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Maggie Mai

Maggie Mai by the Lake with DucksProgram: API-Buenos Aires, Argentina
Semester Abroad: Spring 2012
Major: International Studies
Minor: Spanish

In spring 2012, I study abroad in Argentina. Why did I choose Argentina as my host country? It was because the thought of traveling to a Latin American country never crossed my mind until I attended to a study abroad orientation and researched thoroughly on the every study abroad programs. I wanted to challenge myself by picking a non –English speaking country and learn a new and commonly used language.

Therefore, I embarked on my journey to Argentina with Academic Prgoram International (API). My program entailed living with a host family and attending classes at Universidad de Belgrano in the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires. Initially, I ignorantly thought that Buenos Aires represented Argentina; I only planned on staying in Buenos Aires and disregarded other regions of the country. Indeed, Buenos Aires is the largest metropolitan city in Argentina, perhaps Latin America. It is also highly influenced by European cultures and regarded as “the Paris of Latin America.” However, I somehow caught the travel bug and ended up travel to the most northern region, Salta and Iguazu; the southern region or also know as “El Fin de Mundo” Patagonia; and the western region, Mendoza where it is locate directly below the Andes Mountains.  Traveling was the best part of my study abroad experience. I honestly learned more while traveling than attending classes. No words or pictures can justly describe that natural sceneries that I witnessed. I made friends by exchange ideas and culture while I was traveling and living in hostels. I learned to be more curious than I ever was.

Besides traveling all over Argentina, I made Argentine friends through Martial Arts or Brazilian Jiujitsu. Towards the end of my study abroad program, I was able to compete in a competition and became the gold medalist for my division. Argentina is definitely one of those experiences that I reminisce often. Not only did I learn Spanish, it made me become more culturally, geographically, economically, and politically aware of Latin America, especially Argentina as whole.

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