Hello, friends, family, and everyone else! My name is Joe Pileggi and I am a rising Pitt Senior from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, pursuing a Marketing Major, a Certificate in Organizational Leadership and Ethics, and a Certificate in International Business. Later this month, I will be traveling to Buenos Aires, Argentina as a participant in the Global Business Institute Summer program. During the six-week program, I will be using this blog to show my Argentinian experience, and I hope that as I gain perspective from all the places, people, and culture I will encounter, this blog will allow you to do the same.
While I have studied abroad twice before (first in Costa Rica and, more recently, in Bolivia), this experience will be very different from the others. Never have I been on an international program this of this duration or level of independence. I will be staying with a host family (who I do not know yet), taking an International Economics course at the Universidad Austral, completing a marketing internship at an Argentinian nonprofit (which I don’t know yet, either), and exploring the city and culture with the people I will meet.
I chose to study in Buenos Aires because I felt it was unique. There is no city like Buenos Aires in Latin America, or even the world. The culture is distinct, the Spanish dialect is different than most, and the people are unique. Since this is the case, I expect business practices in Buenos Aires to be just as unparalleled. Discovering the culture and figuring out how companies in Buenos Aires market to their audience are challenges I look forward to. In addition, since I will most likely be exclusively communicating in Spanish during my internship, I hope to practice my language skills and leave the country more fluent than when I entered (fingers crossed).
As with any unfamiliar experience, there are bound to be a series of new challenges. It’s far too early to identify any specific challenges; however, I expect some degree of cultural differences, communication gaps, and even difficulty getting around the city and living with my host family. I will have to adjust my lifestyle, the way I think about school, business, and pretty much everything else. Also, I hear that Argentinians are very laidback in their life and work, much like the pura vida lifestyle I encountered in Costa Rica two summers ago. So, I plan to keep an open mind, and trust my mentors and friends, because while I may not know what is happening at any given moment, that’s half the fun of studying abroad.
Here’s to the next few weeks… it all starts May 20th.