As the trip comes to a close, I wanted to summarize my wonderful experience in Argentina. I gained so much during these two weeks, and made so many amazing friends.
In terms of academics, I was surprised how much content I was able to absorb in just two weeks. The focus of the trip was on the Argentinian healthcare system. When I signed up for this trip, I did not realize just how complex the system is. After numerous site visits and guest lectures, I finally have a grasp on how the system operates. Some of the site visits included going to various types of hospitals, a pharmaceutical company, community health centers, Tigre Island, and more. At the end of the trip, we were tasked with summarizing the system in different groups. The groups were broken down as hospitals, pharmaceuticals, the Ministry of Health and primary care centers. My group was tasked with explaining the hospital system in Argentina. After being actively engaged and diligent in every visit and lecture, it was really nice to summarize all that we had learned. The presentations were much more rewarding than I ever expected them to be. My favorite academic activity on the trip was the sit in we had at Austral University in Pilar. We were able to sit in on an MBA class for supply chain management. During the class, the students participated in a Lego simulation for a just in time system. It was fascinating to watch the students flip back and forth between English and Spanish so easily. The class made me very excited for my Operations Management course, which I will be taking in the fall.
The cultural visits and off program time on the trip were a great addition to the trip as well. The visits helped me to explore different parts of the city in a safe and purposeful way. My favorite visit was the tour of La Boca. Seeing the iconic colorfully painted houses in Boca and hearing about their history is something I will never forget. In terms of off program time, it was nice to see the daily life of Argentine’s on a personal level. For example dinner and nightlife are often not starting until 9pm or later. Additionally, all of the meals we at as a group took a minimum of two hours due to the slower pace of life in Argentina. It took a me a little while to adjust to this. Another difference in culture I noticed was the dogs that roam the streets of Buenos Aires. There is a large population of stray dogs in the city, causing some unpleasant sights and smells. Overall it was nice to see a different way of life, and open my eyes to something new. Hearing and seeing something new everyday was an exciting change for me, and I hope to take this curiosity with me going forward.
One of the biggest takeaways I have from this trip is to work for something that matters. After touring many hospitals, both private and public, I was introduced to many medical professionals. Although they spoke different languages, had different titles, and performed various types of work, all of them shared one thing: passion. Each speaker cared so much about the the material they were presenting to us. The nurse that spoke to us in a public maternity hospital cared so much for her patients, and wished she could do more to serve them better. Although her job is often difficult, she shows up to work everyday with passion for what she does.
Reflecting on these two weeks, I learned so much more than I ever could have imagined. I learned how to look at things from a new perspective, and communicate with people of different walks of life. I hope to get the opportunity to study abroad again in the near future!
I wanted to take a moment to thank Mrs. Linda Haller for her donation, and for the Henry E. Haller Jr. Scholarship. Without this funding, this trip may not have been possible for me. I am very grateful for the opportunity to study abroad. Thank you for your donation!
I also wanted to take a moment to thank Brad and Grant. They both made the trip a wonderful experience, and I cannot thank them enough for all the hard work they put into this program. I have so much respect for you both.