By Emily Pettingill
This past winter, 21 Union students traveled to Córdoba, Argentina to study Spanish, live with host families, volunteer and immerse themselves in an incredibly foreign culture.
Geographically speaking, Córdoba is located in the very center of Argentina. Our group was therefore able to travel far and wide throughout Argentina to many places such as Salta, the northern region; Mendoza, the wine country; and Buenos Aires, the fast paced international metropolis.
Córdoba is the second largest city in Argentina and inhabits 1.3 million “Cordobeses.” The climate was every Union student’s winter dream: 80 degrees and sunny almost every day.
The goal for every student on the trip was to become as fluent in Spanish as possible within the short time we were there.
In order to do this, we had to speak Spanish 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It was very difficult to understand the language because it is quite different than the Mexican Spanish we have been taught at Union.
To our delight, by the end of the trip, many of us were thinking and even dreaming in Spanish.
The most rewarding part of the entire experience was conversing and hanging out with our language-speaking partners. Many of us became very close friends because they were incredibly warm and generous. They took us to boliches (clubs) at night, hung out with us by the pool or at the river on the weekends and met us for coffee to catch up throughout the week.
I will always cherish the memories I have of this unforgettable experience, and I still cannot believe how quickly those 10 weeks went by.
I am sure that in the future I will return to Argentina; however, for now, the greetings and smiles that our group shares when we see each other on campus will have to fill the void.