One of the biggest culture differences between Argentina and the United States is the strong familial ties, specifically how long children live with their parents. Living with parental figures has been one of the largest adjustments that I have had to deal. In the States, I have been living away from my parents for two and a half years and have grown accustom to being my own sort of quasi-adult. However, I am my own sort of quasi-adult here in Argentina. I say quasi, because in both situations I am given certain freedoms but recognize that I am nowhere near complete independence (nor do I want to be—thanks mom and dad).
“I have to check in with my mom”
I, like many young adults, do not get to keep in touch with my parents as much as I’d like. Going to classes, working, and staying active in student organizations take up a large part of my time—now add a three-hour time difference. Typically, I talk to them once a week. However, when you are living under someone else’s roof and have new pseudo-parents, staying in touch and checking in is a MUST. It has probably been three years since I have spoken the phrase “I need to go home to check in”, but I find myself saying this regularly in Buenos Aires. I am not discouraged to not go out (in fact, I’m told to go out and dance every weekend) but it does make me feel fifteen again.
“I don’t even make my own toast”
This next point may be very specific to my homestay as I live with a lovely woman that keeps the house affairs in order (cooking, cleaning, etc.).
I do not consider myself a cook by any sorts. Sure, I can get by and know the basics of how to survive but I am not some culinary expert. However, when everything is cooked for you, you begin to miss doing certain things yourself. From a very young age, I was taught to be self-sufficient and not to expect things to be done for me. However, in Buenos Aires, breakfast is prepared for me every day, dinner is cooked for me five times a week, and my sheets are changed once a week. Of course, I am grateful for my host mother and Maruja, but I do feel a dependency on them that I have not felt in a very long time.
“Today’s agenda: picnic, market, and drinks”
I’m just going to say it: studying abroad is like living in a fantasy world. Sure, you have to go to class and do homework, but these are the only requirements of your time here. With a schedule like: breakfast, class, picnic, dinner at home, and drinks with friends, you can’t help but feel like some odd in-between adult. You are free to choose what you want to do and given the freedom of an adult but have very little responsibilities. However, I’m okay with this lifestyle… :)
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<p>Come one, come all on this adventure of a lifetime! I'm Elizabeth, known to many as Liz and Avocado by some. Originally from Northern California, I am currently studying Communication Studies and American Culture at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. I've decided to take my education beyond the bounds of the United States and head to Buenos Aires, Argentina!! Follow me along this journey as I navigate a new country and try to remember Spanish!</p>