Hebenstreit reflects on exchange student experience

Conner Graves, Ranger Review Reporter

Isabel Hebenstreit 12 studied abroad in Argentina for a semester of her junior year.

“Since I was young, my mom always wanted me to be interested in foreign languages, especially Spanish. I never really cared about it until I went on a trip with my family to Nicaragua when I was in seventh grade. After that, I got hooked on learning another language. It changes your perception of the world, other people, and other cultures. I wanted to experience that for myself without having a crutch like my family or friends. I decided that a foreign exchange trip would be the perfect way to do it, so I went to Argentina. If I could use one word to describe how being a foreign exchange student changed me, I would either use independent or thoughtful. Through this experience, I learned how to survive on my own. I was in a place where nobody spoke the same language as me, so I had to figure things out for myself. Now, it’s a lot easier for me to look at things in a different way, or from multiple perspectives. This trip helped me experience what it’s like to live a different life. Being aware of different cultures and perspectives, I’m more accepting of other people and appreciate their differences.”