Looking Back and Into the Future From Studying Abroad

Alia McLaughlin headshot
Alia McLaughlin
June 27, 2024

Thinking back to embarking on the 10 hour plane to Buenos Aires, I could not imagine experiencing the things I did while abroad. I truly came into the experience with no expectations but a hope to connect with people and learn more about its politics and culture. However, there is so much I learned to embrace and memories I will take with me for a long time. 

When people ask what I would miss the most or what my favorite part was, the answer to both questions would be the people I met. Navigating traveling, taking classes, new experiences, or simply day to day activities, I have learned so much from the people I have spent time with. I realize the positivity and encouragement I hope to surround myself with and spread to others. Buenos Aires and the people I encountered through my running club, the volunteer space, and the hostels I stayed at were nothing but welcoming, accepting, and kind. The trip to Patagonia, Jujuy, Mendoza, and Uruguay were stunning and encouraged me to seek the thrill in exploring new places. While I have traveled abroad with my family, traveling with friends was a different but positive experience that I hope to share with others in the future. The pace of the city taught me patience and embracing the small things, whether that was how the light shone on the buildings, the dogs that walked happily on the streets, or people chatting at cafes. There would be some days where I had no plan, but my decision to walk in the park or spontaneously go to a market had led me to some meaningful and unexpected conversations. The best memories came with spontaneity and simply saying yes to an invite or giving into a new experience. That being said, studying abroad shared the value of being open-minded and to take in the moment. To be appreciative of the now and embrace those with you right now is a feeling that can not be replicated. I hope to find myself in this special city again. 

Ciao for now Buenos Aires; sos una ciudad tan bella

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Alia McLaughlin headshot

Alia McLaughlin

Hi! I'm Alia and I am from Park City, UT. I love meeting new people and hearing about their stories, yummy food, running, and learning new languages. I'm psyched to study abroad and I hope to continue these hobbies and try some new ones too!

2024 Spring
Home University:
St. Olaf College
Political Science
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