Chau, Chile!

Mollie Abts
May 20, 2019

And just like that, my time abroad has come to an end! It seems like I was just landing in Buenos Aires, and now I am sitting in the Santiago airport anxiously awaiting to board my flight. It’s such a cliché, but time really does fly in the blink of an eye! The past few days I have spent my time trying to savor my last moments in Santiago, but admittedly the anxiety of packing and prepping was a big distraction. I am grateful that during my time in Chile, I considered the things that I wanted to do and see early on so that I had ample time to do them, whereas in Buenos Aires, I felt like the last few days I was rushing to check everything off my list.

I am thankful that my time abroad has humbled me and taught me what it feels like to be out of my comfort zone. It puts things into perspective when you are now the foreigner, the one who has no clue what’s going on and can be picked out within a crowd. I am also thankful for the group of people I shared my experience with, as they helped me with transitions and always kept the program entertaining, to say the least.

Being abroad was definitely challenging, but as I reflect on it, I’m glad that I got to experience a semester abroad, as I know it will benefit me in my pursuit of a career and in my daily life. I had always planned on studying abroad since I started my freshman year of college, so the decision was easy for me when I got the acceptance letter from IES Abroad. However, I did not know what challenges I would face. Even though I’m five hours away from my family while I’m at school and do not get to see them often, I was very homesick while abroad. Just the thought of being five thousand miles away from my family and friends made me queasy. But with the help of FaceTime, those five thousand miles didn’t seem that far.

The other challenge that I faced was the language; using your second language can be exhausting! And while I’ve been studying Spanish since my elementary school days, there was always some slang words or phrases that I never caught on to, sometimes hindering my ability to understand what someone was saying. I definitely feel like my Spanish skills have improved because of study abroad, and for that I am thankful. It’s very challenging to just throw yourself into a different language and culture, but the outcome is worth it.

I will forever be grateful for all that Buenos Aires and Santiago taught me; from learning how to navigate new cities and cultures to experiencing traveling alone in foreign places, South America has taught me it all. I’m so happy that I chose a multi-location program in South America, as it gave me a unique study abroad experience and showed me all the hidden beauty that South America has to offer.

Chau Chile, next stop Minneapolis!

 

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Mollie Abts

<p>Hi all! I am a junior at the University of Minnesota studying Global Studies, with a focus on the global political economy in Latin America. I love being able to experience my favorite city, Minneapolis, while<br>gaining my education. My hobbies include reading, trying new food, shopping and exploring. My favorite animal is a sloth, and my favorite travel memory so far was when I got to witness a sloth climbing down from a tree outside of the Panama Canal!</p>

Home university:
University of Minnesota
Hometown:
Waukesha, WI
Major:
Global Studies
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