After six years of Spanish classes and months of preparation, the real countdown has finally begun. Two short weeks from now I will board the plane and begin the phase of my college career that they say will change my life forever. In a matter of days, I will be propelled from my comfortable and somewhat predictable existence, to a life in which I’m in a foreign land, alone, scared and stricken with language barriers. Yet, the excitement still outweighs the nerves and the fears.
Preparing to study in a foreign country seems to be a never-ending task. The last few months have been a whirlwind. Filling out last-minute paperwork, beginning to say those dreaded goodbyes to family and friends, reading up on the Argentine culture, brushing up on my Spanish, and dealing with sporadic panic moments have kept me busy. Two weeks left and still so much to do! The overwhelming task of packing has been put on the back burner. Changing my cell phone plan, getting vaccinations and buying my host family a gift are also on my long to-do list.
Upon completion of this list, I will be a hemisphere away from the ordinary, everyday life that I’m accustomed to; my fears are endless. Some of the fears are big and real. Like anticipation of the culture shock that will come from leaving my Kansas hometown of 500 people and adjusting to life in a bustling metropolis of millions of people. But the majority of my fears are superficial–the fear that the humidity’s effect on my hair will prohibit me from taking any good pictures while abroad nearly tops the charts.
I know that some of my fears are certain. I will have communication issues, probably on a daily basis. I will make social faux pas, and I will be forced to battle homesickness. But I am confident that upon my return to the United States, the fears that I have now will pale in comparison to the priceless benefits that will come from living and studying in the beautiful Buenos Aires.