Gain an honest perspective of growing pains associated with deciding to study abroad from Buenos Aires Fall 2022 student Connor Fox-Moore.
***This is an example of a student’s experience from Fall 2022. Specific programming and activities are subject to change by semester.
Deciding to study abroad for my first year of college was probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I knew that it would be a huge adjustment from my high school life, but that was what I wanted! And, if you are interested in Verto then I assume you also have this mindset. The feelings I’ve had surrounding my study abroad experience have been quite the whirlwind! After I enrolled with Vero and submitted my deposit, I had months before I actually left for my semester. The reality of it all didn’t really hit me until right before I left. I started to question if I was able to totally unroot my life for three and half months on an entirely different continent, just two months out of high school. Honestly, nervous doesn’t even come close to how I felt. But, I knew that this is what I needed so barreled through.
Arriving on Location
I new that challenges were ahead of me after deciding to study abroad but the first day was tough. I was exhausted from twenty hours in and out of airports and planes, and when I arrived in Buenos Aires, I had no idea it would be cold (pro tip, if you decide to go to Buenos Aires in the fall, it will be cold the first couple weeks)! I was surrounded by people who I wasn’t familiar with and in a city that did not speak the same language as me. But, when I arrived at my homestay I was able to unpack and was able to relax a bit. It was daunting meeting my host mom. She knew very little English and I knew even less Spanish. I questioned if we could really live in the same house for months. But, she was so welcoming and knew that I struggled with the language. She continues to help me with my Spanish and coach me along as best she can. I realized that my host mom wanted me to feel at home, and that she would not be a stranger I lived with but my newfound family.
The first week of studying abroad was a mix of those feelings; trying to relax while also being nervous for what was to come. I also found that I was the most homesick during that first week. It’s common that when we are going through extreme life changes, we try to cling to the things we know, and in the beginning, it was hard to find these things in a new place. Then, one day, I realized I knew how to get from my house to school without using google maps. After that, I realized I had found restaurants where I knew what was good. I had friends who I could go out with on the weekends, and I made a routine. And suddenly, I had a life in Buenos Aires. A life that I was genuinely happy with. I felt content and not out of place.
It is likely that after deciding to study abroad, you will have feelings of discomfort and homesickness. Humans are creatures of habit, and it takes adjusting to blend in to new places. But this uncomfortable feeling will not last. Homesickness is a spectrum, not stagnant, and there will be days when you don’t even want to go home! When you look around in whichever location you end up in, and realize you’ve made a new home. Of course, there will also be days where the homesickness or sadness lingers for a bit. When you remember the little things, but I can assure you that the totally amazing things you will experience in your semester will compensate for that sadness. I think my biggest advice would be to let yourself feel it all. Acknowledge your feelings of homesickness and don’t push it away; it will help you heal faster. Enjoy your semester to its fullest. Be cognizant of the fact that it won’t last forever, and truly enjoy every moment of it because it will be over before you know it!