This post is part of the MLK Spotlight, a new feature on our blog. The goal will be to highlight MLK student (or staff) stories, experiences, and perspectives. Have something you'd like to share? Send an email to email@example.com.
Brooke is a junior in the MLK Program, majoring in Political Science. This fall she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As she wraps up the semester, she shared with us a few pictures and looks back on her experience so far:
"So why did you choose Argentina?" Sitting opposite my host mother, Maria, in her antique-adorned apartment for the first time, this question seemed nearly impossible to answer. Had I really just spent an entire semester filing out countless study abroad applications, returning email after email, and attending numerous meetings without once taking the time to ask myself why? Staring back at Maria, unable to formulate any reason, it had appeared so.
Prior to coming to Buenos Aires, I had virtually no idea of what I was getting myself into. Despite the fact that I'd studied all of the informational emails, done my fair share of browsing the Internet, and even read a variety of travel blogs, I arrived to Buenos Aires on a cold Saturday morning with no inkling of what I'd be walking away with three months later. Now as I am rapidly approaching my last weeks in the city I've come to call home, I am rushing to do, see, taste, and feel everything before it is time to board my flight back to the U.S.
They say that everyone should experience a semester abroad at least once in order to become a well-rounded citizen. From my experience, all this and more is true. I never thought I'd be where I am today, equipped with such a patient view of the world. While I've learned a lot about the outside world, I think I have learned even more about myself. Even though I'm not entirely ready to return to "real life" back in the states, I know that many of the vital philosophies I've acquired here will stick with me.
In my short time here, I've had the privilege of experiencing people and culture so contagiously alive. There truly is no other place in the world like Buenos Aires. Where else can you witnessed the indescribable force of one of the world's largest waterfalls, be rendered speechless by passionate tango shows, or even watch in disbelief as the sun rises up over the Buenos Aires skyline after an entire night of dancing in a boliche? In this city I took pleasure in getting to know some of the most unique and vibrant personalities I will probably ever find. I discovered the difference between what I thought Argentina was, and what Argentina actually is.
The enigma of studying abroad in a foreign country is that you arrive in an unfamiliar environment, uncertain and hesitant to adapt, only to realize that by the end of your time there, you have seamlessly. Three months ago, the question of "Why Argentina?" threw me for a loop. Three months later, I've found an answer.