Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Study Abroad in Chile

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.

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