My New Home Away From Home

My cultural exchange in Puebla has been the most enriching experience in my whole entire life. Though many different obstacles came across my path, this trip was incredible. From the culture to the food and the people, I fell in love with this city.

As for the food, it was incredible. Many of the meals I’ve had in Puebla I had never tasted here in Quebec. Mexicans have such a diverse pallet, I was flabbergasted with every bite I took.

In a normal week, I generally saw my friends every day, went to volunteering on Wednesdays and Thursdays and did my school work. It was easy to keep all three balanced because of the way they all intersected. My friends helped me practice my Spanish and would often help out in correcting any of my Spanish mistakes in my work.

In my volunteering at the University of Cuauhtémoc, I came across new people and learnt new expressions from my students which helped with interactions with my friends. With my school work, I got to research different cultural and social phenomenons regarding Mexico. It helped me understand the country in which I was living in, my friends and its inhabitants. All of these joined together made for a remarkable and unforgettable trip. The people were so friendly and easy to talk to, I made friends for life in Puebla. It’s hard not to love such an incredible city when it’s people are so lovable.

I was very lucky, my family brought me on many different trips across Mexico. I got to see Guadalajara, Puerto Escondido, Mexico City, Cuetzalan, Hidalgo, San Miguel de Allende and many other wonderful Mexican cities during my trip. I felt very fortunate and I still do.

I feel like I have grown a lot from this experience. Learning to cope with different new situations alone, without your parents or friends can seem impossible at times, but it’s such a growth experience.

You learn to socialize more and to communicate with others. The skills I have developed during this trip will serve me forever. From problem solving to communication, this trip has changed my way of acting. It has changed my view of the world and has helped me mature.

Overall, leaving Mexico was the hardest part of this trip. I had found a comfort in the streets of Puebla and was proud to call it home. I left the city with many new friends and many I call family.

I am planning to return while in university to study at the BUAP, one of the many local universities in a year and that for a year. I hope the next generations of language students get to live an experience as incredible as I did and I hope they fall in love with the city like I did.

Ariane Desharnais


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