I am indecisive and a worrier. Tasks as simple as deciding what to wear can leave me perplexed for over an hour: What if it rains? What if it doesn’t rain and I’m stuck carrying a jacket in the heat? What if I’m dressed too nice? What if I suddenly get invited to an upscale event and am underdressed? Within my first few months of freshman year at Tulane, however, I made a big decision; I chose to split my year abroad between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Madrid, Spain. Whether it was my friend Brad’s persuasion skills (in high school he did a study abroad program in Buenos Aires and raved about it) or the excitement of getting to travel around South America, I never really questioned my choice. Then one day in the summer I woke up and realized I had a week left before I was off to Argentina. Furthermore, I am leaving my comfort zone to go to an area of the world I had never been to before, South America. I had a page filled with appointments I needed to make and tasks to complete. I had to get all my necessary medications (Argentina is not the easiest place to ship things to), vaccinations, documents to enter and remain in the country as well as somehow fit three seasons worth of clothing into two bags.
After consulting numerous handbooks and double checking that I had not missed anything, I am finally all packed and ready to start my journey. Though I still have some concerns, such as taking my classes and communicating to my host family entirely in Spanish, I am mostly over the week of panic and extremely excited for my new adventure in “the Paris of South America”! It also helps to have my boyfriend, Grant, and my best friend, Brad (both Altman scholars), studying abroad with me, especially for reassurance on the plane ride over. While in Buenos Aires, I will be taking my international relations electives at the Universidad Torcuato di Tella and a writing class through the Middlebury program. Additionally, I will be interning at IDES, a nonprofit institution that predominantly focuses on economic and social development research in Argentina and Latin America. With my spare time, I am hoping to travel to various places in Argentina and potentially to nearby countries, as well as explore the cultural mecca that is Buenos Aires. I cannot wait; in fact, I already have my South American Handbook packed in my carry-on to start reading on the plane and to begin the important process of deciding where to visit first!