I, like most people who study abroad, did not expect it to happen to me, but the home-sick stage of studying abroad has finally hit me.
It’s not so much that I am ready to go back home and call it quits here, but I will admit the feelings of frustration and anxiety have come along.
Surprisingly, it’s not something that lasts for weeks at a time, at least in my case. It just comes in flurries.
There are just moments where I wish I could understand my teachers better or make a stop at Zaxby’s to get my favorite meal.
As the semester abroad comes and goes, I always try to tell myself that it will get better when I start feeling overwhelmed.
And it has…
Before I arrived, I could hardly keep a conversation going past the three basic questions— Como estas? Como se llama? Y de donde eres? —but now I can hold a whole conversation with people that I don’t even know.
There are times within the conversations that I may not be able to comprehend all of what is being said, but I understand the jest of things.
My Spanish is by no means great at this point, but it has gotten a lot better and others have noticed.
It is the positive comments and getting through with a whole conversation where you actually understood what was going on that keep me focused and wanting to try harder.
This is why most of the other study abroad students and I try to encourage each other in order to keep our spirits up. I think all of us have had this feeling of frustration, but we have learned to just work together.
I understand that getting frustrated and not trying any more will only make things worse, so I put on a smile and keep it.
I still have difficulty understanding some of my teachers. I still wish I could go to my favorite fast-food restaurants. I still wish I could see my family, girlfriend, and friends, but that time will come.
I just have to stay focused for what is in front of me now and remind myself why I came here in the first place.
I came here for the experience and to increase my Spanish, which I have done.
And I know that I can only get better. So I just have to stay positive.
As always, you can find out more about my study abroad experience at Facebook or Twitter at kylejmarcil.