Now that I am finally home for the summer, I have had some time to reflect on the past two weeks. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to study abroad, as it was something I have always wanted to do. Before I begin, I just want to thank my parents for letting me go, Grant and Brad for a wonderful and enriching time, and all of the friends I made for the memories I will treasure forever!
Some of the best memories I made were during the cultural activities. Being immersed in another culture was definitely difficult during the first few days, but once I got the hang of it, it was incredibly interesting. One of the most fascinating things I find when going to other countries are the staple food items. You can go nearly anywhere in Argentina and dulce de leche and empanadas are on the menu. Meanwhile, in America, any restaurant you go to will be different. One of the most iconic cultural activities we went to was when we were able to go to the neighborhoods of Palermo and La Boca. Both are very well known for their street art and colorful buildings, respectively. When you google an image of Buenos Aires, these colorful, lively streets are what truly make this city memorable so being able to visit them are really feel a part of the culture was really special to me.
Now of course, I cannot forget that this was a study abroad and I definitely did a lot of learning while in country. First, I just want to say that I have a much stronger appreciation for people who try to tackle healthcare systems and insurance in the U.S. now, because I really do understand the nuances and complications of not having a unified healthcare system. I learned how to communicate with a language barrier and how to appreciate and resect other cultures. I also want to mention the hospice the we visited again, because that truly taught me a lot about life, death, and humanity as a whole. I learned things about compassion and caring that I will forever implement in my practices as a nurse in the future and that day was invaluable to me.
To any future students looking at this wondering if they should go, just know that this experience was life changing and one of the most incredible things I have ever done. You will learn so much about yourself and others as well as more about healthcare and how it works.