At the time of this writing I am preparing for my flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to participate in ISA’s Latin American Studies program at the University of Belgrano. In speaking to friends, relatives, and other folks back home about my plans for the coming semester, one question came up a lot: why Argentina?
I think this is a fair question to ask about any particular destination. But I’m the lone Rollins student participating in this program for the Spring, and as such I’ve thought about this question myself throughout the process. As far as identity, I simply consider myself an American. My family has lived in the same New Jersey town for several generations, and we have no ties to Latin America. Despite this, I chose the ISA program for a few different reasons. First (and maybe most importantly), it offers a great mix of coursework in political science and economics. Second, I truly believe in Rollins’s goal of promoting global education, and what better way than to immerse oneself in such a unique culture and language? And third, I wanted to come away with experiences and stories that would last a lifetime. My parents had not had a similar opportunity during their education, and I hope to pay forward everything they’ve done thus far.
So here I am, getting ready to leave the country just before Super Bowl Sunday, and I feel a complicated mixture of emotions. I’m mostly excited for the new experience, but also a touch anxious for the long plane ride ahead. Nonetheless, when I touch back down in Newark at the end of the semester, I hope to be one step closer to being able to the ideal of global citizenship.