What to Expect When You Study Abroad: Part 9 (Homesick and sickness)
Study Abroad Experience through a Journal
The study abroad experience can be the best or worst experience that you will ever experience in your life. There will be nothing like this experience. Most of you will be around 19-21 years old with a fresh passport. You may or may not have traveled internationally before, but more than likely, that international travel consisted of a chaperone of some sort. The study abroad experience is completely different. There will be tears, smiles, and a bunch of homesickness. But you will make friends for a lifetime, travel partners, language skills, and a new found respect for the world.
This blog will consist of a few entries in each blog post, all in chronological order.
Places Covered in My Journal
My journal follows my travels from March 1, 2009 to June 27, 2009. This may seem years ago, but emotions never change when you leave the country as a wide-eyed 20 year old in a country where you don’t speak the language.
Places I visited in this Journal:
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Iguazu Fall (Puerto Iguazu), Argentina
- Mendoza, Argentina
- Tigre, Argentina
- Colonia, Uruguay
- Santiago, Chile
- Valparaiso, Chile
- Vina del Mar, Chile
- Bariloche, Argentina
These journal entries occurred for the Spring 2009 semester with IES: Buenos Aires. I studied through Wofford College. Tip to studying abroad: Make sure your credits are all transferable! Luckily, Wofford College accepted all of the credits through my program that I had chosen, IES.
Journal 25: May 16, 2009 “Economics” (Rise and Fall of Argentinean Economics)
An economy in turmoil. Turn the corner, hope not to get robbed. Turn another corner trip over a homeless family resting their heads on a cold, heard pavement. Walk down the street only to be asked for money at every turn. Either by a child in rags giving you an old Valentine’s Day card in hopes of a few pesos or an adult attempting to peddle bootleg and stolen goods. Turn the next block to be detoured, because the farmers are protesting Kristina Kirschner and the rest of the Peronists in power, because of their unfair taxation of the farmers’ crops.
At 50% taxing of soy, the farmers are bound to be rather ticked off. Turn the next corner and have your credit card triple charged for a purchase that was in pesos but changed to dollars (i.e. 40 pesos = 40 USD times 3 (120 USD)!!!!!
A Journal On Hand is a Great Way to Keep Up with the Small Feelings
Prescriptions Written By Private Doctors
Journal 26: May 20, 2009 “The Doctor is In…” (Doctor’s come to you in Argentina, when you have private insurance)
Insurance is free in Argentina, but you have the ability to buy private insurance. There are many perks that comes with private insurance. One perk is that a doctor will see you within 2-3 hours. Another perk, is that a doctor will show up on your doorstep and see the invalid in their bed. This is greatly appreciated, rather than get out of bed, sick, and try to navigate the country. Also, most private insurance doctors speak English.
It just would not be a semester with me without an illness. And may I say, I miss the healthcare I grew up with and love. Here, when you get sick you call a doctor and the doctor come to your house and checks you out. Well explaining what you symptoms are in a language, you can barely order in is quite the challenge.
Once you do this, the doctor checks you out. Well, I was deathly ill and the doctor did not even listen to my breathing or take a swab for a strep test. The medical system is public here, or you can buy health care for a better private experience. I purchased for the private experience, but I had purchased a horrible healthcare insurance. The doctor did not know what Septra is or how to properly take a z-pack.
Needless to say, I did not take the meds prescribed. I was scared of having an allergic reaction. Before you go to another country, make sure you find drugs offered in that country that are the same chemical compound as what you are allergic to.
Journal 27: May 21, 2009 “Nothing Could be Finer, than to be in South Carolina” (Homesick at its best)
OK, so I will admit it… I miss the dear ‘ole Palmetto state. I do not miss the state; I whole-heartedly and fully am lost without the beauties of that simple East coast state. Home of Wofford College. Home of my family. Home of me. I miss all that my south has to offer!
- - Having a mild Southern accent compared to most people.
- - Sweet Tea
- - Fried Okra and Tomatoes
- - The use of y’all in everyday conversation.
- - Simple and slow paced living
- - Sweet Tea
- - Grits! (no, not Girls Raised In The South)
- - Never thought I’d say it (Country, anything!)
- - My family
- - Cute southern gentlemen
- - The lack of pollution from a bus, or bondi, every ten seconds
- - Being able to take a walk and actually feel as if I was not going to be robbed
- - Wofford College and my professors, the professors here treat you as if you are another number
Oh and Myrtle Beach. At least I am coming home just in time for one of the best holidays of the year… 4th of July. Good Food, good company, and fireworks. Oh yeah, I will be 21 this year, so a good cold beer and a good cookout to add on top of it. Oh how I cannot wait to see my family and my beautiful state! ( I may actually do the stereotypical, kissing of the ground, when I get off the plane).