And just as quickly as it came, the trip is over. The past two weeks have been an experience like no other. I have fallen in love the the city of Buenos Aires and the people of Argentina. I had such a wonderful Plus3 experience and encourage any incoming freshman to join in on the fun.
My first favorite part of the trip was meeting other students at Austral. It is easy to google things about a culture but there is no better way to truly understand it than to interacting with the people who are your own age. I met some wonderful people who were so welcoming and helpful. It was also a nice opportunity to teach them about our culture and what we are learning on the trip, which many of them mentioned that they appreciated. My second highlight of the trip was visiting the kids and mothers at CONIN. I loved that we got to volunteer and give back to the communities that were teaching us so much. It was also very opening to remind me just how fortunate I am to live the life I have and to be more understanding of others backgrounds and experiences. No to mention, the kids were absolutely precious and brightened my whole trip. I also loved the Evita museum. I live history and politics so it was super interesting for me to learn about her life and everything she accomplished. It was certainly inspiring and I look forward t doing more research about her and learning more.
I think if I learned one thing on this trip it is that no country has a perfect healthcare system. As Americans, on the surface we may think that Argentina’s system is so much better than ours because it is free, but that is not all true. I was really able to witness the strengths ad weaknesses of the system first hand. This understanding is important because it allows me to better understand healthcare legislation within my own country and why it may be a good thing or a bad thing. The positive aspects I saw give me good knowledge and examples to implement into my future career. Not only is this good knowledge, but there is not other sufficient way to learn it than to come to the country itself and participate in the program I did. For that reason, Plus3 Argentina is an extremely valuable opportunity.
I am very lucky to have experienced these moments and to have gained this knowledge. I would not have been able to doo so without the support of others. Thank you to my family for encouraging my thirst for travel, the University of Pittsburgh for offering this program, Grant, Brad, the CAPA staff, and the team at Austral for working extremely hard to make this trip the best it could possibly be! Most importantly, thank you to the Henry E. Haller, Jr Scholarship fund for making this trip financially possible for me. I am eternally grateful.
Chao, Argentina. See you again soon!