Monday, July 22, 2013

Feelings on Having American Amigos in Argentina

Before I came to Argentina, I was very adamant that I wanted to make Argentinian friends, instead of spending all my time with American's. Well, now that I'm in Argentina I've become a part of an adorable little clique of 7 other American students studying here at the Universidad de Belgrano. Pretty much, exactly what I said I wasn't going to do. The hilarious part is that all of them feel the same way. We came here to live abroad and mingle with people that are unfamiliar.

But there are a few barriers in my way to that dream. First of all the language barrier, because it's super hard to make friends when you don't speak their language. Believe me I've attempted this regardless but the conversation usually trails off after you use up your entire Spanish vocabulary in 5 minutes. I should note though that our friend group ranges from absolutely no Spanish skills at all to advanced Spanish so some people can speak with the locals fluently.

Also, it's really hard to just find friends out of nowhere. All of us American's aren't friends because we bumped into each other on the street, (though that is how I met my one Argentinian friend ironically). It's because we have things in common and we were put together by the University as international students. I sort of wish we were in the dorm builds like they do with international students at home. But then again I absolutely adore my host family and it would probably keep me from getting the full experience of living like a local.

So now being here with my American friends I realize that there is nothing wrong with being friends with other Americans. They are going through the same experience as you and can relate to what you're feeling. Also they often times can help you navigate the confusing world of not being able to clearly communicate with basically everyone around you.

The thing that is different than what I originally thought, is that all of the other students I'm friends with want to be friends with locals and speak their language just as badly as me. We're not trying to avoid making friends, we just haven't found them yet.

I think once classes start things may look up, because the more advanced students with have classes with locals and their will actually be some people at the school for us to mingle with. Plus I strongly believe that where there's a will there's a way. After all we haven't even been here a week yet.

The conclusion I have reached is that it's okay to make friends with people that are familiar to you and speak your language, but don't use them as a crunch, use each other to have an even better experience!


PS. I promise to start taking pictures and posting them here soon. Right now it's just so dang cold I don't want to take my hands out of my pockets!

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