My trip was filled with so many new things, and coming home was definitely an adjustment. First, I caught myself saying “gracias” or “perdón” or “sí” when I was talking in English. Clearly the immersion aspect of the program had quite an effect. I was also very excited to be awarded a prize for one of the three students most improved in Spanish during our group’s 6 week program.

Coming back to Alabama, I was shocked at how it wasn’t too hot or humid outside. I wore jeans and walked my dog several times without a second thought. After the heat and somewhat scarce air conditioning in Colombia, I’d adjusted quite well to the warm weather. And the roads in the US are so wide and spacious! I did a double take on McFarland Blvd, because in Barranquilla there are about two wide, informal lanes of space that end up fitting three lanes of cars with little space. I have absolutely gained appreciation for the infrastructure of buildings and cities in Alabama.

I miss the friendliness of the people in Colombia, and all the new experiences like trying so many new fruits, foods, and getting to learn about so many tiny differences in culture that makes Colombia the amazing country that it is. I also already miss the amazing views and geography in Colombia. I got to see mountains and crystal clear water for the first time! And the museums and shops all around the cities (which I’m sure is common in larger cities in the US as well) were so special and exciting to explore.

Going to Colombia was a truly special experience and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to grow my perspective of the world and my knowledge of the Spanish language and culture through this trip.