My not so sweet, very emotionally confusing actually, 16…

16. What a “famous” number. This number symbolizes so much. You have your sweet 16 to symbolize that you’re closer to some faint understanding of adulthood. It is apparently also the number of introspection. Perhaps that’s why we have sweet 16s. To prompt some sort of introspective analysis about what we’ve been doing with our lives thus far and to try and figure out what the heck we are supposed to do with our future lives. But for me, this number brings very mixed emotions. Today, November 5th, 2018, marks only 16 days left in my program.

I am quite excited to get back home to the United States and be back with family and start working again (because abroad has drained my bank account), but there are also very sad emotions that come with this 16 day mark. I am sad to leave friends and this beautiful country that I have called home for many months now. Going abroad is weird. No one really told me but it’s not an easy notion. You go away from your home for multiple months, in my case close to 5. And while you are here, the first month feels like vacation. It feels like the time will pass so quickly and you’re just here to hang out and do crazy things all the time. So I had the notion that I needed to be doing something every single day that first month that I was here, and I did a pretty good job at living up to that! I was able to do something crazy fun pretty much every single day that I was here for the first month because it was all brand new and I was exploring this beautiful place called South Africa.

But then the realization set in that this is not vacation. This is not a short term kind of thing. This is LIVING in another country. It took me way longer than it should have, in my personal and professional opinion, to come to this realization. It took me a lot longer to realize that it was okay to watch Netflix while I was abroad. It was okay to spend an entire afternoon reading and just hanging around. I didn’t have to do something every single day that was crazy and out of this world. I could just relax and be with myself, and that was okay 🙂

At 16 days left, I have learned so much about myself and what it is like to live in another country.

  • I learned that I really am not good with change. This was something that I knew already but I also had the opportunity to learn how to cope with change. How to be okay with change.
  • I now have a newfound appreciation for people that are seriously learning new languages that aren’t their mother tongue. There is so much importance in learning another language and it opens so many doors for you. My 7 year relationship with Spanish has given me few real life applications and that is something that really disappoints me. I want nothing more than to be able to speak a new language. (I tried learning Afrikaans, a local language of South Africa, and that was quite a trip within itself. I can show off my two phrases I know when I see you!)
  • I learned that a country is more than just its attractions. The friendships that I have gained while being abroad have been ones that I will cherish for the rest of my life. So many people have positively influenced my life while I have been here and I can’t thank them enough! I wish that I could take them all home with my back to Colorado.

So I have 16 days left and there are a lot of mixed emotions. I want to be back home very badly but I also don’t want to leave everything that I have here. I only have two more exams while I am here, on the 10th and 17th so I will just be relaxing and taking in everything that Port Elizabeth has to offer me.

My experience abroad has taught me not to judge anything from a single story. There are so many different ways to experience abroad, there is not one set understanding about what you will learn or experience while you are. I have learned to go with the flow while being here and take it as it comes. (this was my lame attempt at trying to connect my featured image for this post to what I am saying…)

Enjoy just a few photos that I have cherished from being here and some people who have really made this experience so much more memorable 🙂 (there are so many more!!)

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Corrina Teague

SOUTH AFRICA– NELSON MANDELA UNIVERSITY, 2018 FALL

Corrina Teague is a Hospitality Management major. She is attending the ISA: Nelson Mandela University program in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, during the Fall 2018 term. She is hoping to have local experiences and see the natural beauties of South Africa while abroad.

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How to Attend a Wine Tasting

If you are going to study abroad in Argentine wine country, it helps when your family friends work in the wine industry. Between the beautiful Bodegas (where the wine is made) and the eclectic wine bars, I spent my weekend enjoying everything Mendoza is known for.

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I did not know much about wine. My knowledge is still woefully incomplete, but I did learn something. For example, the altitude, amount of sunlight and soil composition all affect how the grape grows, thus affecting the taste of the wine. I also find it interesting that one vineyard can contain multiple types of soil. Mendoza is famous for its Malbec, so unsurprisingly, this was the one we drank the most. There are sweet, spicy and bitter Malbecs and then there are Malbec blends. There are other red wines or “vino tintos” like Cabernet or there are white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. If I am being completely honest, I can’t always tell the difference between them.

I have attended four wine tastings now and this is what occurs. Typical wine tastings will have you sample around five types of wine that the Bodega produces. You usually start with the whites and then move on to the reds. The wine maker or sommelier will pour a quarter of a glass, he/she will explain the composition of the wine and then you are free to sip. Each wine has a distinguishing smell, so you typically smell the wine first then mix the wine to oxygenate it. Then you drink the wine. It’s common to only take one sip then pour the rest into a spittoon. Many will also sip the wine to taste it, then spit it out. The various wines will often go with different foods, but the most I can remember is that white wine goes well with fish where as red goes well with meat.

Maybe I will learn more about wine in my future, but for now, I have some excellent recommendations on Bodegas.

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Zoe Kaldor

 ARGENTINA – IFSA: MENDOZA UNIVERSITIES PROGRAM, 2018 FALL

Zoe Kaldor is an International Studies and Strategic Communication double major. She is studying abroad with IFSA-Butler in Mendoza, Argentina. Originally from New York, DU’s study abroad program was one of the reasons Zoe chose to attend DU. She specifically chose to study abroad in Argentina because she wants to improve her Spanish skills and experience a new culture, for she believes it is so important in an increasingly global society to be able to communicate in languages besides English as well as experience different ways of life. Zoe is an avid traveler and loves to explore new places; she is excited she gets to do both.

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