Sophia Leddy (a double major in International Political Studies and Spanish) studied in Chile in the fall semester. Here's what she says about the experience:
It is strange to blog about something so important in my native tongue after I had been blogging about it in another language entirely. There is something about being in a foreign country and speaking its foreign tongue that makes that tongue, that culture a part of you. It is in the sharing food and a living space with other people that you can appreciate structure in life while at the same time appreciating the spontaneousness of going out for pizza or drinks. It’s a strange dichotomy that makes perfect sense to those who’ve traveled.
And so I have returned from Chile, that foreign land, with a new perspective and a heart longing for the friends I made and the mountains I used to guide me every day for over 3 months. In an effort to keep things brief, I am happy, much more so than when I left. The old philosopher talks about happiness, and I have to wonder if he had been able to travel. A philosopher, which is what university-educated students should strive to become on some level, has to have time to contemplate and space to learn. I found time sitting in my room alone or having tea with my host family. I found a space when wandering a foreign city alone, then meeting strangers and striking up a conversation over lunch. I thought hard and often about human nature and about this completely different, new people I had encountered. I’ve realized that all humans are the same at a deeper level. They seek to be happy, healthy, and to be a part of something great (with the definition varying between people of those words).
My adventures have not ended, nor will they anytime soon. But now, after learning a new language and way of thinking about everything, I have taken Chile in my soul. Chau, amor del alma y del corazón.