The day came for me to leave Chile after saying goodbye to my two closest friends on the program, Abby and Quincy. The beautiful and very sad part about studying abroad is leaving your life at home for a few months to completely create a new life abroad while exploring new places with a different language and with different friends. Although it can feel like we have forever at some times, the time in general flies by really quickly when you are abroad. There are so many things to adjust to, things to learn, foods to eat, people to meet, places to explore, and connections to be formed. Now, after five months abroad, it is time for me to return home to the home I have known in the town I have lived in my entire life.
When I left my one-year-long study hard in high school, I genuinely felt my heart break in half. I have seldom felt an emotion as strong as the one I felt on the day I left and I cried for hours upon hours on the way home. I thought my life was over, that no one was going to understand me at home, that my friends abroad would never talk to me again, and that I just had the best year of my life and nothing would ever come close to topping it. Although yes may seem a little bit dramatic, when I was 18 it genuinely felt like my life was ending, and in a way it was, but only a small part of my life. Ever since I went home, I longed to go abroad again and I planned on going abroad in college before I even started my classes. I spent hours researching all the potential programs and knew that I wanted to be in South America. After my five months abroad in both Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago, Chile, I can say that my college study abroad was pretty different from my high school one, but there were many takeaways and lessons that I learned which can serve as a comparison for my experience.
My favorite part of my study abroad was definitely the opportunity to travel to many places in South America. In total, I visited eight different countries and many different cities. This does include the solo traveling I did before my trip, but still, I was able to travel to all those places. I loved getting to practice my Spanish more and became more comfortable with it by practicing with my host families and with locals that I met in my program. Another favorite of mine was getting to try all of the local foods and getting to live with host families! To me, host families can be one of the best parts of the experience and I got really lucky with mine. Overall, I learned a lot during my study abroad and got to experience many cool things and I am sad to say goodbye!
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Hello! My name is Amanda & I am a senior at Penn State University, studying Labor and Human Resources, Global and International Studies, and Spanish. I love traveling, spending time outside, reading, cooking, and spending time with my friends!