In a folder labeled “Study Abroad” buried deep in the contents of My Documents lies dormant an antiquated list from a year gone by of my top 10 goals for study abroad. Here are some of the top 10:
1. G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher
2. Make at least two new good friends
3. Visit at least five different geographic locations around the country
4. Increase my Spanish-speaking competency from intermediate to high advanced
5. Leave a positive impression on the people of Buenos Aires about Americans
With the exception of number 5, I know for sure that I have achieved all of these goals. I hope that I have achieved 5 as well, but I suppose that only time will tell. As I examine these goals and think about others I created before coming here, I realize that there is still so much more that I could do to continue to benefit from this experience.
I recall an idea from an essay I wrote which involved setting up a penpal system between children in Buenos Aires and Findlay where I attend school. I completely forgot about this before, but now I think that it is definitely something I’d like to do. I think that the kids would really enjoy and benefit from it, and it would open up so many doors for communication between the two countries. It would be my opportunity to give back, and to continue what I have started.
On a more personal note, I did it!! It was no easy journey– Buenos Aires isn’t exactly the fairytale land that I always imagined– but I got involved, I got great grades, I made great new friends, and I have learned more than I ever thought I could have about myself, about the world at large, and about how I will go about morphing my world into what I want it to be.
The most important discovery I have made is that though it is important to believe in the power of your dreams (hats off to you, Eleanor Roosevelt), the reality is that our dreams are never exactly what the world has in mind for us, and we have to believe in the power of our actions in the moment of truth in order to succeed. I have been successful here, but this is only the beginning. Every day brings to life new dreams and realities.
So, thank you Buenos Aires. I shall miss your medialunas and the public bus system. I will certainly miss the kisses whenever meeting up with old friends, and without a doubt I will long to return to the weekend ferias. It has been quite a wild ride, but here I am to tell the tale. This will be the experience that laid the groundwork for all my future dreams to come, and the reference for how to deal with challenging realities.
You, Buenos Aires, will always have a special place in my heart. Muchas gracias por todo, y sin duda nos vemos pronto!
Un beso grande,
Classmates Connecting Cultures
Buenos Aires, Argentina