In high school, I was very into geography. I loved those quizzes where you matched countries with their locations and their flags. I knew that it wasn’t possible to go to all of these places in a lifetime. Europe was in reach and the US, maybe. And I’ve been to Southeast Asia, so count that in, too. But so many places weren’t even close and I couldn’t dare dreaming.
As I was applying to colleges, their study abroad programs or partnerships were one of the factors I looked into. I didn’t know where I wanted to go, but I knew I wanted to go somewhere that I wouldn’t have a chance to go otherwise. Hong Kong and South Africa were in my mind back then. I knew nothing about Latin America, you just never meet people from there in Turkey. You hear about the beautiful models and talented soccer players, but that’s about it.
I took Spanish in high school and I kept taking it in college. The Spanish classes I took in high school were based on Spain Spanish and we didn’t talk a lot about the cultural aspect. In college, it was different. We talked a lot about the Latin American culture and our projects were based on different aspects of Latin American countries. I was intrigued. I loved working on those assignments and learning more about customs I had never heard of. Knowing so little about Latin America, I knew I had to go somewhere in there to make the most of a study abroad experience.
As for Buenos Aires, it is one of the biggest cities in Latin America, where you can experience the culture and still get to meet people from diverse backgrounds. It is a city with a lot of European influence, but it still carries characteristics of its surroundings. I am looking forward to discovering the city and its customs in depth. I am excited to improve my Spanish and become more proficient and I am so excited to get to know a culture, that I read about, in person. I cannot wait to learn tango, try el Mate (a caffeinated Argentinian drink), walk around in the city and meet new people. It will be a time of new experiences and making memories.
I wouldn’t have dreamt of this opportunity in high school, Latin America was beyond my reach. Yet here I am preparing to get on a plane that’ll land in Buenos Aires. There are still a lot of places in the world that I haven’t been, but it’s safe to say that I’m checking one off the list, a one that I would have never thought of.
Cheers to a new day and memories to be made that’ll last a life time.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Hello hello! I am Idil and I am a junior at Lafayette College studying Economics and Anthropology & Sociology. I am from Istanbul, Turkey and I am studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester. I am an adventurous person who loves trying new things and meeting new people. I love spending time with locals and learning more about a city from their perspective. I cannot wait to take on this experience and bring you all with me!</p>