Returning home to Michigan after spending my first time abroad in a place like Argentina was definitely bittersweet. Argentina has taught me so much about myself, education, and life itself. It is hard to explain what specifically changes you when you travel and it can be hard to pinpoint that moment as well. Studying abroad and learning a language and culture by being immersed is the best way to fully understand everything you attempt to understand in a classroom setting.
I was lucky enough to work on my minor in Spanish as well as complete my study abroad as a part of GLI. Argentina has not only given my insight on Latin American culture, but it has also shown me the significance of where I’m from and what it truly means to be American. I’m forever more appreciative of the opportunity that America gives students my age and how our freedom is truly a gift.
Even though I was in Argentina, I spent some time in Uruguay and did some traveling as well. I made a friend from Scotland, Holland, France, and made some friends in Uruguay as well. As never having traveled to Europe either, learning about other countries thousands of miles away by meeting up with new friends across the world was a whole other experience. We were able to talk about politics, education, laws, rights, and of course, what we all consider the basic normalities between countries. It was amazing to me to feel as though I know so much about this large world of ours by meeting a few people in just a miniscule part of it.
As my global theme and topic is discrimination of indigenous cultures, it was also a topic I had brought up within the meetings of new friends. We would have dinner conversations or rooftop discussions about differences within culture of their countries in comparison with the United States or Argentina. They all helped me really put into perspective how native people, no matter the country, influence the culture and lifestyle of that country. I’m grateful for the opportunity Argentina has given me and I’m beyond blessed to have made friends all over the world.
Being back in the United States, I’ve had plenty of time to think about the next steps in my theme as part of the GLI Program. My topic has led me to many different areas of thinking and processing the questions of social inequality and the issue of discrimination of indigenous cultures. I have raised some questions for myself of where to take me next steps and in what direction:
- Is the discrimination of other countries influence in a culture considered indigenous if the inhabitants have moved by immigration?
- What defines an indigenous group?
- Does gender have an influence in this issue? (If so, how large of an influence?)
- What conclusions have I made on the issue based on my time spent in Argentina? Is there a resolution I propose that could help dissolve the idea of discrimination within Argentine or within the United States?