It’s been two weeks since the end of my UA in Colombia trip, and although I’m glad to be home, I can’t help but miss the amazing experiences that I had in Barranquilla. While I can’t hop back on a plane to Colombia tomorrow, I can make sure that I continue to learn and grow from my experience abroad. This upcoming semester, I will be taking UA’s Spanish Outreach course, where I hope to continue to develop my Spanish-speaking and comprehension skills while giving back to my community. I will also be spending more time volunteering with the various programs offered by the Spanish Department, in roles such as translating, ESL tutoring, and assisting with cultural and linguistic programming. I also look forward to attending the Spanish Club’s weekly “Charlas,” where I can expand my conversational skills in a fun and casual setting. These are only some of the various opportunities available on campus to expand Spanish language skills, and I’m excited to take full advantage of them once I return to campus.
Another thing that excites me about returning to T-Town is seeing all of the wonderful friends that made over the course of my study abroad program. One major advantage of a faculty-led program is that it’s easy to reunite with your study abroad friends- you all go to the same school! This made saying goodbye in Barranquilla so much easier, although it was definitely still hard, and my group has already made plans to reunite in Tuscaloosa and practice Spanish, cook Colombian dishes, and make new memories on American soil.
While my program may have come to an end, the lessons I’ve learned and the memories I’ve made will stay with me. Through UA in Colombia, I’ve earned a newfound appreciation for Colombian culture and grown a greater love for the Spanish language. I’m incredibly excited for this next chapter in my life, as I take everything I’ve learned during my time in Colombia and dedicate myself to a deeper understanding of the Spanish language and Latin American culture.