It’s inevitable that you will experience many difficulties when studying abroad, but if it weren’t a challenge, you wouldn’t be learning much. To be blunt, everything’s difficult at first and everything’s an adjustment. However, every day it gets easier for me to forget what was good about life in the States and allow my current reality to mold my future self.
There are a lot of really obvious difficulties to speak of such as language barriers, finding your way around etc. However, the main difficulty I’ve encountered while being here is this culture’s attitude about life and accomplishing things. There’s honestly not much you can do to prepare yourself for this notoriously laid-back society. There are admirable aspects to this lifestyle but other aspects not so much. At times this can be a very frustrating aspect of this city, especially for students from the U.S.
My friends and I have more affectionately renamed Buenos Aires “The City of Inconvenience.” Some days it seems impossible to accomplish very basic tasks because of matters that are almost always out of your hands. Some days you leave the house and return hours later forgetting what you went out for in the first place. You won’t remember why until after you realize you still don’t have toilet paper. But in all seriousness, it’s important to maintain a “go-with-the-flow,” “you win some, you lose some” kind of mentality when studying here. However, I take comfort in knowing I’m near eternally indebted to this city for the amount of virtue it’s already afforded to me.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being here, it’s stress management. Many times things don’t work out the way I planned, but I’ve pretty much mastered laughing things off and realizing not being productive is not the end of the world. If you can enjoy basking in happenstance, you will most definitely feel at home here. I’m very proud to admit that Buenos Aires has nearly cured me of every tightly wound fiber of my being, and I’ve never so inadvertently freed myself of a flaw. Muchas gracias, Buenos Aires.
“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” — C. JoyBell C.