As a kid I used to bike around my street. I distinctly remember one day I ignored my parent’s instructions and biked into the neighboring street. I biked all the way to the end of Oak Street, quickly turned around, and sped home to call it a day. It was such a thrill to explore new land.
Ten years and 2000 miles from home later, I sit in Chicago anticipating my most adventurous exploratory journey yet. I will spend four and a half months studying at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC).
I chose PUC primarily because of the Spanish speaking culture it inhabits. I am a native Spanish speaker, but I have lived in an English speaking society the majority of my life. My first language has always come second, and for a little while in Chile, it will come first again. I am excited to speak Spanish in class, and then speak Spanish at the supermarket, and then speak Spanish at home.
That neighboring street all those years ago, was not that different from my own street. I do not expect a semester at PUC to be so different from a term at Northwestern University. I do expect to meet countless fascinating people. I expect to share laughs with strangers and make them my friends, and I expect to come back knowing a little bit more about myself, my first language, and the world.