My internship placement was within a specific department of the Defensoria del Pueblo de la Provincia de Cordoba, called the "Instituto de Genero"; which in English means the Gender Institute. This institute plays a very pertinent role in the promotion of equal rights for all people regardless of their gender or sexual identities.
Through media association and overlapping values I connected with a lot of the Argentineans that I met, maybe even more so than with a lot of the Americans that I know. Argentineans, especially los cordobeses (the name for the inhabitants of the city I was living in) are a warm, welcoming group of people who are endlessly excited to share their culture with you and are patient with you when you need something explained.
There are no words that can describe the beauty of that pristine place. Nor to describe the feeling of a geology student when for the first time she comes in contact with a multitude of elements she has spent years studying about and only dreaming of seeing.
Projectile-pooping penguins, low-swooping albatrosses, havoc-wreaking fuzzy chicks, and on-board shenanigans kept us laughing; the midnight sky lit by a sun just below the horizon, dolphins playing off the bow, and landscapes of icy grandeur kept us suspended in surreal awe.
I felt honored that the veterinarians allowed me to help them with such crucial cases, and I know that these opportunities made my determination to become a veterinarian even stronger.
I worked in an English school with children and teens where I taught them English concepts with games, debates and weekly conversations. I wish I could have taught a lot more about the American culture, but I also made sure I taught them how to be Spartans by yelling “GO GREEN, GO WHITE!!”
Although time is spent in the classroom or at meetings, there is also free time in which students are able to explore the culture and community in which they are studying.
This year, I spent Christmas Day with 200,000 Chinstrap penguins and swimming in the below-freezing waters of Deception Island.
I am still in awe of the magnificence of southern Argentina and our quest to reach the Antarctic Circle.
The experience itself was phenomenal, observing wildlife including penguins, whales, sea birds, and seals along with the incredible ice landscapes, and snow covered mountains were definitely a highlight of the program.
More than I ever would have imagined, the program enhanced my academic pursuits. I met people from all over the globe.
One must be submerged in the culture of the invested markets to have the necessary skills to truly function profitably. As a result, my recent time in Argentina and Brazil will be one of the most integral educations of my MBA schooling and one of the best returns on investment of my career.
Meeting these businessmen and women allowed us to learn and ask questions about operating businesses not only in these local economies, but on a global scale as well. Personally, the greatest highlight of the program for me was our visit to meet Dave Garrett of Stone Sentinel Capital.
The “classroom” environment for this program involved on-site corporate presentations by owners and other key personnel employed by the companies I visited. I thought this was great because it allowed me an up-close and personal interaction with these speakers in a room of less than 30 people. Being able to interact with these guest speakers allowed me to gain a better understanding of what the business culture and opportunities are like in these countries.
Studying abroad proved to me that learning doesn’t have to be confined to a classroom: for the month of June, Buenos Aires was my campus. Each walk to school was different, though my path along the city streets never varied.
This study abroad program provided a learning experience that cannot be found in a classroom. I had the opportunity to immerse myself in a culture, both socially and professionally. I was able to interact with company employees who have focused their careers on business within their country as well as international ventures.