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It’s not goodbye, it’s a see ya later

It’s been two weeks since I got back from Argentina. I sometimes forget that I don’t need to constantly speak Spanish. Driving felt weird as well since I was constantly walking to get to places while abroad instead of driving. Whenever I have driven around since returning home, I have been more cautious, especially on the highway. I kept worrying if I was driving in the center and not merging into the other lanes correctly. I still remember what the highway was like in Argentina. The memory haunts me from driving. I kind of miss walking around to get places. Everything was so conveniently located since most places were all close to each other.  As soon as I got back to the U.S, I ate my favorite food every day until my stomach could burst. I gained some weight as well. I was kind of disappointed by how much I gained.

I can’t really tell if I experienced any culture shock since I got back or if I am currently experiencing it. My daily routine has definitely changed. My eating habits have been changed as well. Argentina was experiencing winter at that time and didn’t have many fruits and vegetables available for purchase. Host families will not buy a lot of vegetables and fruit due to the high cost of seasonal produce. Luckily I was able to receive plenty of nutritious food from my host mom. She was a nutritionist. Her food was amazing and was better than the food that I found outside the home. I have been making adjustments and changes throughout my return. I definitely think that I have learned a lot from my study abroad experience. For example, I think I improved in listening to Spanish. I wished that I was able to study abroad longer and improve my skills more. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to go study abroad and travel by myself. I wouldn’t have done it without the support from my family and friends. There were many difficult and happy times throughout my study abroad trip as I was able to explore a new country and eat different types of food. If I had an opportunity to do this again, I definitely would. Hopefully, later in the future, I will be able to visit Argentina again and explore more cities and landmarks. My journey of studying abroad ends here but I will cherish these memories until I die. There are not many people who have the opportunity to study abroad and therefore I am thankful for this opportunity and hope others have an opportunity like I did.


Julie Jeong is currently a freshman at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Chemistry, Entrepreneurship, and Spanish. Julie will spend the summer with the UMKC Spanish Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She plans to attend UMKC’s Dental School after her undergraduate study. She plans to use Spanish in her career as a future dentist who strives to help patients and eliminate miscommunications.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

School Life in Argentina

 

Classes at the University of Belgrano have ended. My class at the University of Belgrano was fantastic. I was enrolled in Spanish Intermediate Level 1 at the University. I really enjoyed it because I was able to go over the basic grammar and focus on grammar that I was not confident about. My classmates and I didn’t feel like the class was too easy either. We all had different strengths and weaknesses in the grammar while we learned, and gained more knowledge of the topic. I met a lot of other exchange students from various states of the United States at the University of Belgrano. We had classmates who were staying for only the summer semester, like me, and classmates who were staying for the fall semester as well.

My professor was very helpful and encouraging. She explained everything in Spanish very well. When there were times that my class or I didn’t understand something, she would explain it in another way in Spanish by using a different word or situation to understand the topic or lesson. We would constantly hear Spanish for the entire class period. I think this was very helpful for me, and for all of my classmates as well, in improving our comprehension of Spanish. Our class had many fun discussions in Spanish. It helped everyone with beginning to be comfortable speaking Spanish. Our confidence in the language increased and we really enjoyed our time at school.

My class was from Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 2pm. But don’t worry! We also had breaks in between. The major difference between school in the US and school in Buenos Aires was that I actually walked to school. Thankfully, I lived the closest to the school and took only 5 minutes to get to school, unlike my other classmates who had to walk or take the subways to go to school.

After class, my friends and I would go to a cafe or go to a restaurant to grab some lunch. I think school life in Argentina is very similar to the United States. I have improved in my listening skills in Spanish due to my class solely being in Spanish instead of English. I would have to explain my opinions in Spanish. I was able to get out of my comfort zone and was not able to use my English as a way to keep myself comfortable. My journey doesn’t stop here with my class coming to an end. The journey to improve more of my skills is still ahead of me.


Julie Jeong is currently a freshman at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Chemistry, Entrepreneurship, and Spanish. Julie will spend the summer with theUMKC Spanish Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She plans to attend UMKC’s Dental School after her undergraduate study. She plans to use Spanish in her career as a future dentist who strives to help patients and eliminate miscommunications.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Struggles in Argentina

My first week of Argentina has been full of emotion. Struggling to get to the places that I wanted to go and getting lost on the way. New experiences and meeting new people. A lot of things has happened so far on this trip. Not everything will go the way you want it to and you just have to keep moving forward. During my first week in Argentina, there was a lot of miscommunication. There were many things that I could not understand and words that I didn’t know how to say. It led me to the case of a problem with my host family and eventually moving to a new one. Not everyone will have the perfect host family. It is up to you to decide whether you stay or change families. I learned that it’s not good to have an uncomfortable environment especially in a foreign country and it’s going to affect your studying abroad experience in a negative way. Moving to a new host family changed me. I felt more comfortable coming home after a long day of exploring. Staying at a host family is the foundation of our experience while studying abroad. If your foundation is strong, you feel more confident and comfortable to adjust to the new country.

Struggling to translate everything in your mind to Spanish was rough. There were times that I was very frustrated with Spanish. As the days passed, I got used to hearing Spanish around me. I definitely feel that I’m improving and being more comfortable speaking in Spanish. There were times that I got lost in Argentina and I had to ask for directions. Many of the citizens in Argentina are very nice and willing to help. Luckily, I was able to find two girls who were about my age to help me get home. They were getting on the same bus as I was and I was able to make two new friends that day.

Even though I struggled to get to places and had some miscommunication, this didn’t stop me to keep moving forward. I think it actually taught me a lesson that my study abroad experience will not be perfect. I had too much high expectation for this trip and I think what I really needed was to relax and let everything happen as it goes. Till next time…. On with the journey!


Julie Jeong is currently a freshman at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Chemistry, Entrepreneurship, and Spanish. Julie will spend the summer with the UMKC Spanish Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She plans to attend UMKC’s Dental School after her undergraduate study. She plans to use Spanish in her career as a future dentist who strives to help patients and eliminate miscommunications.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

 

Preparing for a New Journey

I will be traveling to Buenos Aires, Argentina this summer to study abroad. I am very excited to travel abroad for the first time and to travel alone without my family. This is a good opportunity for me to improve in my spanish and travel to a different country. I have packed all my clothes and things that I may need for Argentina. When I arrive, it will be winter time and I’ll deeply miss the warm weather that Kansas brings. Due to the weather, I have packed warm winter clothes but also some summer clothes because I could travel to another country that may be warm with other students. I also have packed my host family’s gift as well. It’s nice to give a small gift to the host family to thank them for having me stay at their home.

Before I leave for Argentina, I will need to finish my homework that my professor has assigned my class. My professor has assigned us homework to do before we leave so that we can get most of the homework done and spend most of our time with activities to do in Argentina. I think this is a good way for all the students to explore more in Argentina rather than be stuck at home doing homework. I’m nervous for my classes in Argentina. Hopefully I can adjust well to the environment and get along with everyone. I’ve said my goodbyes to my friends and family because I will miss them while I am in Argentina. I can feel the butterflies in my stomach going crazy for this trip. I will be leaving soon and I am excited for this new journey. Argentina here I come!


Julie Jeong is currently a freshman at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Chemistry, Entrepreneurship, and Spanish. Julie will spend the summer with the UMKC Spanish Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She plans to attend UMKC’s Dental School after her undergraduate study. She plans to use Spanish in her career as a future dentist who strives to help patients and eliminate miscommunications.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.