Shalom from Tel Aviv, Israel! After my program ended in Buenos Aires, I boarded plane after plane after plane – and after a layover in Santiago, a mere night at home in New York City and then yet another layover in Paris, and ended up in the Middle East. I barely had time to process my semester in South America as I did as much laundry as I could, ate as many bagels as possible (alas, only two) and tried to prepare myself to move to a country whose language I cannot read, let alone speak. Coming to Israel has been an incredible culture shock and an unspeakable challenge, while delaying my assimilation back into American culture. I immediately started two internships, both of which require academic work of an entirely different nature than the work I did in Argentina. However, being here and struggling everyday makes me appreciate the ease with which I was able to navigate Buenos Aires and the level of comfort I attained there. My goals going into study abroad was to establish a life for myself, and on this level I believe I succeeded. I had my volunteer job twice a week, where my students would greet me by name and try to trick me into speaking spanish with them. I had my classes, my favorite bus lines, the bakery I probably visited a bit too frequently. I strengthened my friendships with two porteños, who gave me a goodbye card so beautiful I arrived to our final IES event in tears. I improved my spanish to the point where I was having in depth political discussions with anarchist cab drivers who recommended various documentaries and books to further my political education. Buenos Aires was so good to me – I will miss her busy streets, never ending cultural life, and political fervor. While at times I was frustrated by her traffic, or driven to the point of madness by the relaxed professional attitudes, or just plain hungry as a strict vegetarian in the meat capitol of the world, I cannot deny that Buenos Aires gave me exactly what I wanted from study abroad – a sense of normalcy and a complete life of my own. She proved to me that I can handle everything I take on, and more. I have always had a wandering heart, maybe it is because I grew up surrounded by New York City’s never ending energy, and Buenos Aires proved to me that I am capable of moving my life. Everytime I catch a snippet of spanish conversation on the streets of Tel Aviv, I am brought back to Argentina-oh, and they sell alfajores here too!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I'm Emma Pulido and I am spending my semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina! I've been waiting to go to Buenos Aires since a high school trip to Valparaiso, Chile got me interested in the Southern Cone countries and I couldn't be more excited to finally be here. I'm from New York City, but am currently living in Saint Paul Minnesota, where I study International Studies, Anthropology and Political Science at Macalester College. I've been focusing my studies on identity politics and tourism, so living abroad in one of South America's most mixed and dynamic cities is perfect for me! I hope to continue to study identity politics and nation building in post conflict nations post graduation, but for now I keep busy with school, Model United Nations, watching movies, exploring new places, making DIY craft projects with my roomates and my job as the student photographer for Macalester.</span></p>