Happy finals week! Take a break from studying or procrastinate a little by reading my last column for The Post. I have been in Argentina for almost three months now, and I have learned so much. I am so elated that I have had the opportunity to study abroad. For my final column, I would like to talk about why you should study abroad. I talked to my friends at a cafe about what happens when you study abroad and gathered these answers.

Becoming more independent

Living in a foreign country by yourself is a great way to be more independent, at least physically. Some students are probably still financially dependent on their parents, but they still learn how to live by themselves and without their parents by their side.

Meeting new people 

Studying abroad has given me the opportunity to meet so many people from around the world. I’ve made friends with other students from several different continents, and I’ve learned a lot about countries I haven’t even visited just through talking with people from different countries. This is one of the biggest reasons why you should study abroad.

Trying different foods

Whatever country you decide to study abroad in, I’m sure it will have different but delicious food. You might not like all of it, and even if you try some gross food, you’ll at least have a good story. For me, I’ve tried cow intestine and blood sausage at a ranch, which I wasn’t a big fan of, but the experience was entertaining.

Exploring 

Not only do you get to study in the country and eat different food, you have time to travel within the country or region and explore what the region has to offer. My trips to Patagonia and Mendoza were eye-opening, and I saw how beautiful Argentina is.

Learning how to deal with problems on your own 

I had to handle being sick and going to the doctor without my parents, which was something new for me. Also, while I was studying abroad my dog died, and I had to cope with that loss while being in a country by myself. Studying abroad can be difficult when problems occur, but you learn how to deal with them and become stronger because of it.

Learning a new language 

If you study abroad in a country with a different language from what you’re used to, you have the opportunity to become bilingual, which is a useful skill. My Spanish has improved so much since being in Argentina, but I think I talk like Google Translate. I can speak Spanish, but I speak in a very English way. Nonetheless, I’m going to keep improving to the point where I can call myself fluent.

Disconnecting from technology 

Depending on what cell phone plan you have, you might not be able to use it often when you’re in a different country. I’ve gotten lost numerous times without a GPS, but I figured it out. When you can’t text your friends while you’re out, you might end up waiting on different sides of the same corner for 25 minutes (yeah, that happened once). Although not having technology can be frustrating, it’s also really refreshing.

Building your resume 

Studying abroad looks good on the resume. Don’t make this the sole reason why you decide to study abroad.

Learning how to handle conversations about politics 

Expect people to bring up Trump or the electoral college. When my host mother has friends over, they first ask me my name and where I’m from, and then what I think of Trump.

Becoming more flexible

Before coming to Argentina, I was very rigid. I would always have a plan and would die if I was late anywhere. Living on “porteño time” (which means everyone is 15 minutes late all the time) has made me much more relaxed and spontaneous.

Becoming a global citizen

Living in another country has helped me realize that there’s a world beyond my own country and that no country is better or worse than the other; they’re just different. You start to see a world without borders, a world in which everyone is different but also the same. Countries are countries. People are people. You learn to appreciate other countries besides your own.

Anyway, that’s why I and my friends think you should study abroad. Even if you don’t have time for a whole semester, you can learn so much from just a short trip. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my columns. I enjoyed writing about my experiences and what I’ve been learning in Argentina. I hope I have encouraged you to travel or at least to look at people from different cultures in a new light.

I would like to thank my editor, Chuck Greenlee, and the entire copy staff of The Post, and I would also like to thank my mom, for always being my most devoted reader and gently informing me when I mess up something. If you want to continue reading about my experiences in Buenos Aires, I have a blog that I post to on a semi-regular basis. ¡Muchas gracias y hasta luego!

Jessica Hill is a sophomore studying journalism and global studies. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What did you learn studying abroad? Contact Jessica at jh240314@ohio.edu or tweet her @jess_hillyeah.

Comments powered by Disqus