Wow, time sure does fly when you are abroad. I can finally sit down and write about my time here in Buenos Aires, and how I have developed a life and purpose here in my new city. It took a little while for me to get comfortable with this new way of life, but now after reflecting on my time spent here so far, I barely have had any time to actually take it all in because I have been occupied with so many other responsibilities and adventurous activities.
My expectations of this trip weren’t exactly what I had thought they would be, but I have adapted with time and routine. During the week, I spend every day in class or working at my internship site—which doesn’t sound like a vacation to me. But, being busy and having something to do here really makes me feel like I belong and have developed a life here, rather than being just a tourist that is sight-seeing and taking pictures every chance they can get. When I arrived, I knew that the argentine work culture is more laid-back and relaxing compared to that of the United States. However, I was a little shocked to actually experience what the work environments here are like.
There are times at my internship where I have completed my assigned tasks, and am just sitting there, bored, on my phone. Due to this, I have learned to take initiative and ask “What else can I do,” or “Do you have something that I can work on”? Most of the time, my supervisor tells me to rest and get a coffee—sounds like the life, right? Other than the slow work pace and language barrier, I easily and immediately connected with my coworkers. Everyone here is extremely nice, interested, and welcoming of tourists. My advice to anyone who is planning to intern abroad is to go into it with patience, and to observe the environment and workstyle so that it is easy for you to adapt and fit in with the style of the company.
Other than the slow work pace and the later work hours, I had to get used to a few other things here that originally shocked me. For example, public transportation is very common here, more common than owning a car. Therefore, you would think that there would be less traffic, but no, the streets are crowded with plenty of buses, taxis, and subway stations, let alone people walking to where they need to be. If only I knew how to drive a motorcycle, because then I would be able to drive between lanes and through other cars in order to avoid traffic—and I thought Pittsburgh driving was bad, lol. Overall, the streets are never empty, whether filled with vehicles, or people shopping, there is always some action going on in this megacity, even in the middle of the night—apparently this is also a city that never sleeps!