Buenos Aires, Argentina: Preparation

head shotLeanna Scachetti is a 3rd year Telecommunications News major in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida with a minor in Spanish. While this is Leanna’s first time studying abroad, she has traveled abroad extensively and visited England, France, the Netherlands, and Costa Rica. She decided to study abroad in Buenos Aires since she’s never been to South America and she is looking forward to the Argentine accent. Her love for learning, traveling, dancing, writing, reading, and food are sure to make her blog a fun read this summer.

I’m leaving for Buenos Aires, Argentina on Thursday. There is an empty suitcase staring at me from the floor of my bedroom. The countdown is real guys.

It’s crazy to think that after a semester of prepping, planning, paying and praying, it’s actually happening. I’ll going with IFSA Butler’s Summer Language and Culture program to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I’ll be staying with my host mom in Palermo. I’ve never been south of Costa Rica, and I’m exceedingly eager to see what awaits me.

Since I was accepted to the program and have been telling people about where I’m going, I get very mixed reactions. Some people are so excited for me and I hear those phrases whose responses to such are almost scripted in my head: “You’re going to have so much fun.” “It will be a life-changing trip.” “You’ll fall in love!” “You’re never going to want to leave.”

But others react differently. For them, the moment “Argentina” rolls off my lips, I can see this wave of thought across their face and a low “oohhhhh” escapes this moving thought; a visible manifestation of this conflict they see between the excitement of going abroad, mixed with worry and fear of a land unknown to many. For a lot of Americans, Latin America is a vast land filled with drugs, thievery, tropical fruit and dangerous men with the seam of country lines doing little or nothing to stop the spread of any of it. And while I appreciate their concern and I realize that some of this does exist, the quote keeps coming back to me “A life lived in fear, is a life half lived.” As with everyone traveling abroad, we have to be smart, you know, keep our wits about us and what not. But I also want to show people here the people of the countries from a perspective they might identify with, and how I anticipate that we’ll find much more alike between us than differences.

A lot of people say their study abroad is a life-changing event, and I welcome that possibility with open arms. We all need a little shake up every now and then, right? Something to make us realize at once how big and yet how small our world really is. I hope that my time there will give a little clarity to my world; to the mind of a college student thinking about her future and the way she feels it ought to be lived.

I can’t wait to share stories and pictures with you all (trust me, there’ll be a million) and introduce you to the people I meet along the way! Besos!

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