For the readers who are not my mom and her Facebook friends, I’m Rashel Korte, a Junior at Wofford College. A (mostly) Accounting major who also dabbles in Spanish, Finance and International Affairs.
My first week at Wofford, I went to the Study Abroad office. I didn’t know where I wanted to go, when I wanted to go, or even what I wanted to study — I just knew I wanted to study abroad. I left the office with 10 different pamphlets from Copenhagen to Peru; I’m pretty sure I called my mom immediately after to talk excitedly about how I couldn’t wait to study abroad. For a mom who had just dropped her only daughter off on the other side of the country, I’m sure this was not a comforting conversation.
Why SIT Argentina?
I had never taken a language class until the mandatory, freshman, Spanish 101. I fell in love with the language; unfortunately, it was a one-sided infatuation as I was (am) terrible at Spanish. I realized pretty quickly that the only way I was going to gain any kind of practical fluency was by going somewhere where I would have no option other than to speak Spanish.
I chose SIT mainly because I really like the internship/research component. SIT allows their students to spend the last four weeks conducting independent research or interning with an organization. I’m a hands-on person, and I like being able to put my classwork to work on actual issues in the world. I don’t want to just be a collector of knowledge – I want to put it to work.
Ready to go?
Mentally and emotionally I am ready to go. Although I haven’t traveled out of the country very much, I have attended school 1,000+ miles away for two years. I know what it’s like to live in a place where I don’t know anybody and I’m out of reach of family. The hardest part for me will be being away from Wofford for the semester, I’ll miss the community that I’ve found there.
A wonderful family friend has insisted on speaking only Spanish to me this summer. Every time I see her I get a jolt of fear as I mentally brace myself for the conversation that’s about to follow. Throughout the conversation I make mistakes and accidentally speak in the preterit instead of the imperfect. I forget words. I get frustrated. By the end of the conversation, I’m reminded of how much I have to learn but I’m exhilarated because I’m one step closer to learning and grasping another language. I think this is how my study abroad experience is going to be. A little bit of fear of failure, many mistakes and confusion along the way, but in the end, an exhilarating experience that will have pushed me to try, to fail, and to keep trying.
Te veo pronto, Argentina!