For this week’s Take 5, we chatted with Asa Kaylor about his experience living with a host family while going to High School in Argentina from July through December of 2017. Read on to hear his thoughts about going to a new school and making friends abroad!
The first time I made a friend was my first day of school. I was surrounded by people asking me questions and wanting to get to know me, it was quite overwhelming. But one of my classmates showed me the ropes and walked me around the downtown area, and we continued to bond throughout my time in Argentina. everybody called him Coco and he was just the first of many friends I made while abroad.
The way I got involved and really immersed in the Argentine culture was by going out with friends and family. By doing this I was able to meet tons of people and learn about life in Argentina on a more intimate level.
My best mentor while abroad was my coordinator. She helped me with any situation and encouraged me to be more outgoing and get involved at school. She had just returned from studying abroad and knew what it was like to be in my situation so it was easy to connect with her and get to know her.
The most awkward moment or the most stressful was on my 18th birthday. My host family threw me a surprise party (I knew the whole time) and I came home to a house full of about 20 relatives, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends of the family. After we ate they started to get up and say all these nice things to me. So I felt I had to stand up and tell them how much I appreciated all of them, and public speaking is difficult for me and I had to do it in Spanish. My nervousness mixed with my inability to communicate exactly what I wanted resulted in a very short and awkward speech.
My favorite Argentine junk food was a sandwich called sandwich milenesa. Its a thinly cut deep-fried steak with tomatoes, onions, lettuce, cheese, eggs, really whatever you wanted you could put on there. It’s only a little good and I got tired of it pretty quick because I ate it all the time but it’s one of those foods that is linked with many long nights and many good memories.