Studying abroad in Mexico was the best decision I ever made. To be honest, I never thought I would go to Mexico. I always wanted to study abroad in South Korea. I changed my major to International Studies and it was a requirement to study three years of a language. My school does not offer Korean classes. They only offer Spanish, German and French classes. I decided to take Spanish. I decided to study abroad in Mexico because I wanted to finish college quickly. Studying the 200 level series of Spanish in 5 weeks was a great opportunity for me.
When I first arrived in Mexico, I did not want to be there. It was extremely hot and I was not used to the weather. We had to walk everywhere in the heat. I remember thinking, “Why did I even come here?” I did not know anyone and I was anxious because I only studied one year of Spanish. As the days went by, I started falling in love with Mexico. On my last day, I was crying so much because I did not want to leave.
My host family was incredible. I lived with my host mom and my host dad. My host parents were so supportive. Whenever I would doubt myself, they would always tell me that I could do it. They helped me with my homework whenever I needed help and they made sure I was comfortable. I did not feel like a stranger in their home. There were two other guys living in the house. One of them was Juan. Juan is their helper. The other guy is Fernando. He was renting a room there. The two guys are really nice. They helped with my homework, practiced speaking Spanish with me, and showed me around the city. I also became friends with my host moms’ niece. The night before I left, I gave a thank you card to my host parents, and to Juan and Fernando. I almost cried when I gave my host mom her card. I am so grateful that I met and got to know all of them. They do not know how much of an impact they made in my life. They have touched my heart.
I am so happy I took this opportunity. Going to Mexico changed my life. Living there for 5 weeks certainly improved my Spanish. I was surprised with how much I knew and how quickly I was learning. Whenever I would call my parents, I would accidentally speak to them in Spanish. One of the things I miss about Mexico is speaking Spanish every day.
When I went to Mexico, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life after college. I wanted to be a translator but I was not too sure about it. When I left Mexico, I was talking to my friends. One of them mentioned the TEFL certification. Before I went to Mexico, my advisor also suggested that I should do my TEFL certification because we were trying to figure out what classes I should take. After speaking to my friends, I knew what I wanted to do. I want to teach English abroad and I want to teach in Mexico. If I did not go to Mexico, I would not have figured out what I wanted to do after college. Going to Mexico made me discover so much about myself. It boosted up my confidence. I did stuff I never knew I could do on my own. I learned a lot in school and I learned more about life.
Before I left, my advisor told me that I might fall in love in Mexico. She was right. I fell in love with the country and the people. I ate grasshoppers, climbed pyramids, gained so much knowledge and explored new places. I will never forget my experience there and all the wonderful people I met. I’ll be back Mexico.