After being home for 24 hours, I have to say I really miss being in Argentina. Overall, I think this trip was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so grateful I was able to experience it as well as cross South America off of my bucket list. Between the amazing food, the site visits and the cultural activities, there was so much we did that I couldn’t narrow it down to one favorite thing.
In general, I loved all the cultural activities we did. My favorites included visiting the different neighborhoods of Palermo and La Boca as well as exploring the neighborhood we lived in for two weeks of Recoleta. The different neighborhoods in Buenos Aires reminded me of the different neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. This was a fun comparison I made between a city that I’ve had a school year to learn and a city I only had two weeks to learn. One of my favorite parts of all these neighborhoods was the colors. Whether on the walls with street art Palermo or all different colors on the buildings in La Boca. The different colors made me excited and we so fun to walk around and take pictures of and with. Also, the ranch we visited was such a cool day. It was a full dive in to the Argentine culture. From eating the homemade empanadas to a carriage ride through the ranch to a gaucho show, the whole day was packed with authentic Argentina things. In my opinion, this day was when we really saw what Argentina is all about. Finally, the tango lessons we had as a group were so much fun. It was so funny to see everyone dancing, whether struggling or dancing circles around everyone.
The food was so good, but it took me a couple days to get used to. Not only is it culturally normal to eat long, big lunches and have dinner at nine or ten at night, but also Argentines love their meat. Mostly every meal involved some type of sausage and/or steak. While I don’t eat much red meat, I did try the Argentine steak because everyone says how good it is, and I do agree. Finally, the empanadas were delicious! We were served them at almost every lunch and some dinners and each time they were to die for.
Each site visit provided a new perspective and a new opportunity to learn more about Argentina’s healthcare system. Before I came, I did not know anything about Argentina’s healthcare system let alone that much about our own country’s healthcare system. However, after the two weeks spent in country, I feel as though I have a much better understanding of Argentina’s healthcare system, especially the primary care system which my group focused on. It was awesome listening to each lecturer tell about their experience and share all their knowledge with us.
As I went in not knowing any of the other nineteen students, I left knowing each of them well and found a great new group of friends that I know will last. We went through this study abroad “guniea pig” experience together and I am so thankful for the past two weeks. I want to thank the Thomas Anglo Honors Scholarship. Before I was even committed to Pitt, I received this scholarship and learned about the Plus3 Program. That was the big final push I needed to commit to Pitt as well as grow my excitement for the Plus3 Program. Also, thank you to Brad and Grant for traveling with us all the way to Argentina and teaching us everything! Finally, a big thank you to my parents who let me come on this trip. It was the perfect way to end the best first year here at Pitt!