As a first year, I knew studying abroad was something that I would always do. I told whoever would ask that I wanted to immerse myself in a foreign country, fully experiencing a different culture and hopefully improving my Spanish. However, it all seemed like a far-away dream which makes it difficult to fully grasp its realization. Now, less than a week away from departure, reality is just now starting to set in and with that comes many different emotions, but mostly excitement. Heart-pounding, chill-inducing excitement for a semester of new adventures.
But before I get ahead of myself, I should introduce myself (except to my mom and dad—hi parents). I’m Elizabeth Azevedo, originally from Northern California and a junior at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. I’m a double major in Communication Studies and American Culture—two things that I am ridiculous passionate about. Other things that I am ridiculous passionate about include, but are not limited to: searching for the perfect pair of booties, listening to an absurd amount of Chance the Rapper, and discussing complex social systems and how they affect our daily lives (told ya I was passionate about my major).
Coming from California, going to school in Michigan was a huge leap of faith—especially since I committed to going to UofM without ever seeing the campus (yep, I really did that). I’m no stranger to taking leaps of faith. However, this is a much bigger leap, one across continents and cultures. It is in times like this that Google becomes my best friend. Before committing to Michigan, I got lost in the depths of blogs, videos, and forums; so naturally, I’ve done the same with Buenos Aires. I cannot tell you how many “What to Pack for Study Abroad” lists I’ve read or how many videos about the city I’ve watched in the weeks leading up to my departure. While these lists and videos can be a little overwhelming, they also add to my eagerness for the possibilities and opportunities that await in a completely new setting. As such, I’d like to list some of my hopes for the coming semester:
• Find the best empanadas in Buenos Aires
• Travel to Iguazu Falls
• Take a tango class (dancing in the streets will suffice)
• Improve mi Espanol
• Learn the rules of drinking yerba mate
• Take a trip to Uruguay
• Feast on some delicious steak
I’m sure there are an endless number of things that I am missing from this list but I hope throughout my time in Buenos Aires I’ll be able to add (and cross off) items. This semester is all about opening myself up to and trying new things. This is a once in a lifetime experience and I plan to make the most of every opportunity. So, buckle up and let’s get moving!