Mr & Miss OU International

I forgot to post about this after the event, however, this past semester I went to the Mr & Miss International Pageant here at OU. I loved it. It was so great seeing so many students represent their home countries and show amazing aspects of their culture. There was a lot of energy and talent on the stage. I was very glad to see that many of the people on the stage were some of my classmates and friends. I love all the pageants that OU hosts because they are a way to put a spotlight on our students who often don’t get to take the stage. It is also a great way for the OU community to learn more about cultures different from their own. And yes, 10/10 I would recommend going again!

OU in Puebla Ambassador

Ever since I came back from Puebla, I felt a bit empty inside. I decided to become an OU in Puebla Ambassador as a way to fill up that Puebla sized hole in my heart. Being an OUP Ambassador is a way for me to connect to Puebla and to also connect others to Puebla. It’s so fun to share my memories and to reflect on my time when I was in Puebla, Mexico. I hope that by being an ambassador I am able to encourage other OU students into choosing Puebla as their study abroad destination. I hope that I am able to go back one day but for now I’ll settle for being an ambassador.

The Shock from Coming Home is Still Reverberating Through Me

So I have been home for more than a month.

It has been a hard month. In the best and worst ways.

I am so glad to be with my friends and family. I love talking about Puebla. I am so happy to haveĀ  my car.

But….

I miss Puebla sooo much. OU is familiar and new all at the same time. SO MUCH CHANGED while I was gone!!

And for the first time in 3ish years I am not living away from home, I don’t have roommates. I am a commuter. So the new lifestyle dynamic added to the shock of being at home.

It’s weird not speaking or hearing Spanish.

And no I am not fluent in Spanish and no i can’t tell you how Mexico was in 2 minutes. A lot of people will ask me about Mexico which I love to talk about, but they expect like this short quip while I’m on my way to class and just passing by and I can’t sum up Mexico in such a short time.

And I desperately want to travel again but at the same time I don’t want to leave home.

Culture shock is very real. And people adjust and deal with it so differently.

It has been hard for me but going through the shock tells me that Mexico had an impact on me.

– S

Also now I am one of those people who adamantly says the “Mexican” food here in the US is not Mexican food. Before I was totally fine going to TBell or Taco Mayo and thought that it was good but after living and eating in Mexico…. they don’t even compare.

NISO Peer Mentor

So since I recently returned from studying abroad I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the international community. Which led me to becoming a Peer Mentor for the New International Students.

I am so glad to be able to have this role because it is such a fundamental role here at the OU campus. The fact that I can be someone’s resource, friend, and guide while they are on there study abroad experience is amazing to me. Studying abroad is so life changing (IK cliche but TRUE) and it’s helpful to have someone who knows the way around to show you the way around.

So far it has been pretty nice. I answer questions. I hang out with my peers. I feel them about events and resources on campus. And these things may not seem like a lot but for me when I was studying abroad these things saved me. It’s nice to know whats going on when you are in a new environment.

– S

 

Game Night

So a couple weeks of go, IAS hosted a game night for international students. I went and had the best time. It was a fun night because I got to hear so many different languages and learn about so many different cultures.

I love surrounding myself with people who are different than me… that’s how I grow and learn more about myself and others.

Also I learned a couple of Turkish words! And no I am not good at pronouncing but it was exciting to learn a different language. Languages are so interesting.

Anyway I am just glad I had the opportunity to get to know the international/exchange students here at OU. Since I was just an exchange student in Mexico I understand the experience. It’s nice to have plenty of friends when you are a foreigner in a foreign country.

– S

Travel Bug

After studying abroad for a semester in Mexico I can definitely say that I have the travel bug. I am so happy to be going home but I also want to travel even more after studying abroad. I got to see so many things in Mexico that taught me more about the culture, language, people, history, and place than any class could ever teach me. I want to learn more about the world. Traveling seems the best way to do that (albeit it is also the most expensive way lol).

So I hope I have the opportunity to travel again in the near future. I encourage everyone to consider traveling if they have the opportunity to do so. You learn how to be independent, you learn more about your culture when you learn about others (I do so by comparing the differences & similarities) and you have the chance to make so many new connections around the world.

Adios Mexico

Last night was my last night in Mexico. I spent it among some of my closest friends that I have made in Mexico. I am currently writing this post in an airport. I already miss my life in Mexico.

I learned SOOOO much about Mexico and about myself. That I can adapt and grow in a different culture than my own speaking a different language than my own.

The memories I have made in Mexico will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Mexico is a vibrant & passionate country and so is the culture. I don’t know how to express the way I feel about Mexico in words. All I can say is that being in Mexico showed me a different side to Mexico than what is represented in the media. It’s warm and kind and full of life. I love the holidays they celebrate because each holiday is full of joy and passion and love for others.

It’s a bittersweet moment for me because I am so sad to leave Mexico but at the same time I am incredibly happy to be going home.

Dia de Gracias en Mexico

Thanksgiving in Mexico is not a thing. However my roommates and I pulled Thanksgiving off and celebrated it with our friends we have made here in Mexico.

It was a day that is usually spent with family so it was pretty heartbreaking for us. But I am glad that I go to share a Thanksgiving meal with my friends and show them how grateful I am to have met them.

I’ll keep this post short. My time here in Mexico is coming to an end soon. Its a bittersweet feeling as my return date approaches.

I’m homesick like I’ve never been but I know I’ll miss Mexico dearly.

One thing to say is that: Studying abroad changes you in ways you’ll never know. Your heart will grow and your mind will expand.

xoxo

S

The Movie Coco

Hola,

Since I am in Mexico, the movie Coco has already been released. I will say for certain that if I watched this movie in the U.S. and had not been to Mexico that I would not have appreciated it/understood it as much. Because I am living in Mexico seeing this movie make a tribute to the Mexican culture was amazing. I watched the movie entirely in Spanish and understood the majority of the movie. It was a fascinating movie and I loved it soooo much. Just seeing aspects of Mexico on the big screen in a Disney Pixar movie no less!! It’s amazing. I recommend that everyone should go watch this movie!

It is also interesting to not the movie theater experience here in Mexico. They will have movies entirely in Spanish and these are movies that aren’t shown in the United States. Then they have the big name movies (like Thor Ragnarok) that will be shown in English with Spanish subtitles.

Anyway,

Go watch Coco!n It’s great!

Solie

 

Viva Mexico

My time in Mexico is flying straight past me. I am excited for Dia de los Muertos. At my exchange university they have put up ofrendas or altas de los muertos. They are extremely beautiful.

This past month I have seen so much of Mexico. I have been to Mexico City (so huge!!) and Cuetzalan (the mountainside is beautiful) and much more. I feel like my spanish is finally (yet slowly) improving and I am making many friends here in Mexico.

I am enjoying my time in Mexico and I feel I have learned so many things about the Spanish language and Mexican culture that you can’t learn in a class.

I still miss many things about home but right now my heart is here in Mexico. Its a completely different thing to live in a country than it is hearing about said country on the news.

The stereotypes that people have about Mexico are not the full story.

I would highly recommend the OU in Puebla program to any students who are considering studying abroad in Latin America. Also Puebla is so much better than Mexico City (to me at least). It’s the perfect size and it’s very beautiful. From Cholula to the zocalo.

I’ve fallen in love with Puebla!

Adios, Solana