Jean Rust is a student at Wichita State University and an ISA featured blogger. Jean is currently studying with Veritas Abroad in Valparaiso/Vina del Mar, Chile.
Challenge my view of the world. Living in the Midwest is great, but sometimes I think staying in one place too long keeps you from understanding the amazing things this world has to offer (gorgeous views, intriguing people, and awesome adventures). One thing that I’ve heard time and again from people who spent a chunk of time abroad is that they come back changed. They had a shift in perspective and priorities. What mattered to them became precious to them as well.
Have my picture taken with the piano stairs of Valpo. Stairs. Painted like a piano.Pure awesome. From the pictures I saw before I arrived, and the few days I have spent there, I can see that Valpo is a colorful city. Almost all of the buildings have a coat of bright paint. The ISA office itself is even painted a cheerful blue. Street art and ferias artesanales (collection of tiny stores selling clothes, jewelry, shoes, crafts, and knick-knacks) are everywhere. It’s such an artsy town and I want to explore as much as I can!
Improve my Spanish. It’s been almost a year since my last Spanish class, so my conversation skills are a little rusty. Moving to Chile will force me to hone my command of the beautiful Spanish language. There is nothing like trying to understand directions in another language when the other person is speaking rápidamente. Also, I don’t want to sit around the dinner table and smile at my host family in silence (awkward!). I want to learn about their culture by talking to and learning from them.
Learn. I am in Chile to study abroad. That means learning. But I don’t want to limit my learning to just the classroom. I’m going to be in a country completely foreign to me, with people I have never met. This will definitely be an opportunity to learn more than I can fathom. I have the wonderful opportunity to learn about Chile, Chilean culture, and the world around me.
Experience everything God has in store for me. I’m in Chile to experience missions first hand and to experience God in a whole new way. I’m sure He has this crazy plan that I know nothing about. I’m learning to trust Him and His plan for me. (Jeremiah 29:11) So far, His plan has led me to Chile, a country far from my mind until last fall. He gave me a heart for the orphans here, leading me to choose Veritas for this chapter of my life. I know that los huérfanos (orphans) are the reason I came, but I have no idea what His plan is for my time here. All I know is that I can follow wherever he leads.
Jean, we will be praying for you! I know God will do mighty things while you are there.