17 Aug Real work experience, a voice with VOS
As grad school began, I felt my time was up. I was too busy with classes and papers to participate in a study abroad program. However, after deciding that I wanted to write a thesis on study abroad programs and intern in the study abroad office at my campus, I started to crave something that I had missed. So instead of regretting the past I decided to make the jump and apply for an internship abroad which would give me experience in the international education field.
I made my decision to live and intern in Buenos Aires, through the flexible program that Panrimo offered so I could brush up on my Spanish. The 2-month internship I chose required my native language, a basic grasp of Spanish, initiative, and creativity – a perfect combination for my interests and goals.
On my very first day, I was welcomed into the VOS family with kisses on the cheek and many smiling faces. One thing that I noticed right away was that the school would be great for practicing the language since all of the staff and teachers were speaking to me in Spanish. After a week of observing the culture of the school and talking with some of the students, I was more than happy to start promoting, advertising, and marketing for this friendly Spanish school. Since then I have been steadily building the school’s image through online websites and sources such as The Argentina Independent, Lonely Planet, and baexpats.org. I have also been making plans to promote them when I return to the states, among many other things.
Naturally, since that first week, I’ve become more and more comfortable with the people and my routine. I get up early, shower, eat a medialuna, take the bus, weave my way between Porteños, get to the school, drink some tea or coffee, and work independently on my laptop, while also greeting teachers, students, or guests to the school. And just like any job or routine, you will eventually get used to it as I have.
One thing I have been trying to avoid is getting too stuck in the routine. More than once I have forced myself to do something different like walking to work instead to see the people and the sights, or stopping into a new restaurant and trying a different type of food. It’s imperative that you don’t get too comfortable with what you know, especially when it comes to a routine abroad, because then you won’t learn about all there is to know and do in Buenos Aires, or in any city. And after a month, I still have so much to learn!