Senior Trades Last Year At Cedar Falls High for Argentina

Senior Shelby Snell is attracted to the possibility and excitement of traveling. Her first time out of the United States is a big jump south of the equator.

For the majority of the year, Snell will be living in Corrientes, Argentina, a city of over 300,000 people. Close to the border of Brazil, Corrientes has sandy beaches, an exciting culture and new experiences. One of the most popular study abroad destinations in the world, Argentina boasts around 40 million people, making it the 30th most populous country in the world.

Staying with three host families throughout the year, she will attend school at el Colegio Nacional General San Martín.

“My first (host family) has already contacted me and they seem like amazing, welcoming people. I’ll have a mom, a grandma and a host brother my age all in that house,” Snell said.

Traveling through the Rotary club, a volunteer-based service group, Snell will learn how normal teenagers live in Argentina.

“It’s all volunteer based, so it only cost $5,000 compared to other programs which are up to $11,000,” Snell said. The cost also includes airfare and a travel agent.

“Plus, I got a $1,200 scholarship through the Community Foundation,” she said.

As soon as she gets her Brazilian visa, her travel agent is booking a flight for the same week. An open-ended plane ticket allows her to decide when to return to the United States, anytime from May to July.

“Mostly, I’m going to try not to make too many plans while I’m in Argentina in order to try to keep myself open to any experience possible,” Snell said.

Apart from spending most of the year in Argentina, Snell will explore Brazil for a month.

“Their seasons are the opposite of Iowa’s, so in January, their summer break from school, I’ll be going to Brazil for a month to travel and see some Brazilian beaches and whatnot,” Snell said.

“My town is also not too far from Brazil, so there’s a high chance I’ll be making some weekend trips there with family or Rotarians,” Snell said.

Snell said she hopes to become more independent and open-minded to the world around her.

“I also want to become fluent in Spanish and less self-conscious while speaking the language overall. I can tell that the experience is going to change me a ton, and I’m just excited to see how,” Snell said.

Class of 2014

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