Where do I even begin? I’ve been home for just a few hours and I already want to go back to the amazing experience that was Plus3 Argentina. Throughout the program, I gained an amazing group of friends, extensive hands-on knowledge about Argentina and its healthcare system, and have grown tremendously as a person. I want to take some time in this final blog to talk about my experiences and to reflect back on some of the highlights throughout the past two weeks.
First off, the people in our group really made the trip enjoyable. I was adamant when approaching the program about my ability to make friends out of a bunch of strangers. However, everyone was very welcoming and wanted to be able to work together as a group. For those of you thinking about going on a Plus3 trip in the future, take advantage of your pre-program time, your night spent at Pitt, and time in the airport in making friends on the trip. Our Atlanta layover was where I found the group that I spent most of my time with throughout the two weeks. Also, the people running the trip were amazing. Grant and Brad were very supportive and helpful in establishing a positive study abroad experience. Additionally, all of the staff at CAPA and Austral in Argentina were very welcoming and excited to be hosting us.
Secondly, the planned program activities fostered a positive learning environment with regards to the healthcare system and Argentina as a country. My favorite part of the whole trip was our visit to Conin Tigre where we volunteered by playing with a bunch of the kids. It was very interesting how we were able to play with these kids and not even speak their language yet still have a fantastic time. This excursion was where I met Bruno, the boy on the cover photo of this blog post. Additionally, I really enjoyed our cultural visit to the Estancia where we learned all about gaucho culture and experienced a fantastic Argentinian lunch. Also, as much as we may have been tired of it by the end of the trip, the food was fantastic. If you like red meat, cheese, and bread, Argentina is the place for you. In fact, I’m already going through steak and empanada withdrawal! With regards to the educational experience, I learned extensively about the Argentinian healthcare system. Through site visits, I was provided with valuable experience that I would not have been able to get elsewhere. I didn’t only learn about the healthcare industry, but I also feel like I learned how to think like a healthcare manager. We were really tested to reflect deeply on everything we learned in lectures and site visits and think about how we could solve proposed problems. I think that this experience is valuable in developing stronger critical thinking skills. Also, the content was very interesting. I’m know actually thinking about changing my degree plan to a double degree program between the business school and college of general studies for healthcare management.
Finally, Plus3 Argentina really gave me the opportunity to develop as a person. Before this program, I didn’t consider myself as somebody who would be too invested in study abroad. However, I enjoyed it so much that I started planning another study abroad trip for next year before this one was even over. Plus3 really was the perfect freshman introduction to study abroad programs. Since it was only two weeks in time, I never felt homesick or that I didn’t have anything to do. Plus3 Argentina specifically was definitely the best program for me. It gave me the opportunity to travel somewhere I’ve never been before and practice some of my Spanish skills. Additionally, the healthcare focus gave me content that I was very interested in learning about. Also, Argentina is a beautiful country with rich culture and amazing people. There was always somewhere new to explore whether on program or searching for ourselves. Argentina truly had it all.
Before I conclude this final blog, I want to thank those who contributed to my ability to have this amazing experience. First and foremost, thank you to those who determine the recipients of the Thomas Angelo Honors Scholarship. I received this scholarship before I even committed to Pitt and it was one of the biggest reasons that I decided to come to Pitt. Without this scholarship alerting me to the opportunities of this program and that Pitt Business had to offer, I probably would not have come to Pitt. I also wanted to thank my parents for allowing me to seize this opportunity and contributing to the rest of the tuition that came with this trip.
I am forever grateful for everything that came from this amazing program and I hope that these blogs have done Plus3 Argentina some justice for prospective students. If there’s one piece of advice that I can give, it’s to seize this amazing opportunity!