Day two was a great time spent mostly at our host university of Austral. We woke up bright and early for an hour-long bus ride outside of the city to the Pilar Campus. We began our day at Austral with two guest lectures from Dr. Marcelo Villar and Dr. Marcelo Peloizari. They spoke about Austral’s background as both a university and hospital. They also both apologized for their broken English but for the most part spoke very clearly. After that, we ate lunch in the cafeteria and took a long walk around the campus. The campus was very neatly laid out in squares with trees blocking off each region. Dr. Villar had told us earlier in the day about each building and that the grass square spaces are plans for future buildings once funding is acquired. Our walk around campus felt like a walk at a park on a beautiful day. After that, we had another guest lecture from Dr. Gastón Gabin. He gave a very interesting lecture about innovation at Austral.
From our first trip to Austral, I noticed a lot of differences between Austral and Pitt. First off, there was a lot more green space which comes naturally as a difference between a school in a city and the suburbs. Additionally, it was interesting how Austral has to market themselves as a school differently than Pitt does. In Argentina, public schools are free but Austral is a private university. So, Austral has to make themselves a school worth paying for when kids could just drive right down the street to the University of Buenos Aires which is ranked as the best school in Argentina and is free. Due to this, Austral emphasizes its ability of job placement and resources. While Pitt markets themselves similarly, they do not face as many challenges because most (if not all) colleges in the US are nowhere close to free. Additionally, I feel like this means that many of the students are probably more dedicated to their work as a student and focus less on the social aspects of school. One of the biggest similarities between Austral and Pitt is the connection to healthcare. Austral is an education hospital and Pitt is surrounded by UPMC. A final difference is that the dining hall was definitely better than Market Central at Pitt.
Upon returning to Buenos Aires, we got to ride on a bus tour where I took at least a hundred pictures. We travelled around the main strip of Buenos Aires and a neighborhood called La Boca. I’m excited to possibly go back to explore La Boca within the next two weeks. That’s all for today!
Highlight of the Day: Seeing the amazing architecture and artwork throughout Buenos Aires during the bus tour.