Alumni Spotlight: Ariane Plante

Ariane is a young traveler who is always up for new experiences.

Photos

Why did you choose this program?

My school proposed to go learn a new language in another country. I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish, and I love Central and South America so Intercultura was the program with the right criteria for me. The woman who’s in charge of language immersions also told me that the program is really nice and that everyone who goes there wants to go back.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The woman at school reserved my classes, my transport, and my residence. I only had to pay her by credit card or by check. She explained to me what was included and what to bring there. I only needed to book a plane to go, and I could stay in the country afterwards to visit. It was really easy to book the program since I basically didn’t need to do it!

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I think it’s really important to bring sunscreen and a beach towel to sit on. I went in February so it was always hot and sunny. Don’t forget a reusable water bottle because tap water is drinkable, and you will drink a ton of it! Also, bring a real English-Spanish dictionary because there are times when it’s hard to reach the wifi so you can’t make use of Google Translate.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

On the first Monday, you need to go to school an hour before the beginning of classes to take a small test so you can be put in the right class; you only do this once.

Afterwards, you’ll know if your class is in the morning or in the afternoon. Classes switch every day, so if you have morning class on Monday, you’ll have afternoon class the next day. On Fridays, you are given a test to make sure you understood what you learned during the week. There is also a graduation for people leaving.

If you stay for the next week, you can look at the new schedule to know if you have to go to class in the morning or the afternoon on Monday. Then you’re free for the weekend!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I was really scared to not be able to make new friends, and to be all alone for three weeks. I’m really shy, and I never really talk to people first.

By chance, a group is made of only six persons, and they were all around my age. We were in the same group for all three weeks, and we had so much fun! We also went to the beach together and hung out during the weekend. Now, I’m less shy, and I realized I can actually be friends with people from all around the world!

What are your realizations after this program?

I think it’s really important to open your horizon. You need to be open to new experiences. You need to respect everyone because we all have different backgrounds.

You also can’t expect to be friends with everyone. However, if you stay open-minded, you can surely expect to create long-lasting friendships!

Also, you’re in a new country, so it’s impossible that everything is going to be the same from home. You need to accept that. Learn and don’t judge!