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Cultural Embrace - Internships in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Riya had an extraordinary experience when she took a cultural internship to Buenos Aires from June 7 - August 2 of 2012 at the age of 19. At that time she was currently taking a GAP year after she finished high school at Kitsilano Secondary. Although she was born in Miami, Florida she moved to Vancouver, BC in Canada with her family in 2007 and has been living there ever since. She obtained several part-time jobs while she attended high school, and after accumulating some well-earned savings, she decided to spend it on an experience she would never forget. Riya is currently 20 years old and is studying Hospitality Management at Vancouver Community College.
Why did you decide to go abroad with Cultural Embrace?
Riya: I decided on Cultural Embrace because I found them through a book my dad had given me titled The Complete Guide to the Gap Year. When I did further research on their website, I found their services to be very resourceful and the contacts whom I spoke with were very amiable as well. I had also read some reviews on their website and after hearing much praise about their programs, my decision was made.
How has this experience impacted your future?.
Riya: This trip has affected my life both personally and professionally. I consider myself to be a bit of a traveller, as I had travelled often with my family when I was young. However I had never travelled alone, so the opportunity to go somewhere for a long period of time independently was tempting. It was also perfect timing, because at that point I was feeling really confused as to what I should do with my future. When I came back to Vancouver I felt a sense of fulfillment; like going on this trip was something that was inevitable. It really taught me how to keep an open-mind, and how we take so much for granted. I made some international friends and I got a better handle on my Spanish. Overall, I'd say it was probably the best thing that happened in my life.
What did CE do for you and what did you need to do on your own?
Riya:This trip has affected my life a lot. I consider myself to be a bit of a traveller, as I had travelled often with my family when I was young. However, I had never travelled alone, so the opportunity to go somewhere independently and for a long period was tempting. It was also perfect timing because at that point I was feeling really confused as to what I should do with my future! When I came back to Vancouver I felt a sense of fulfillment; like going on this trip was something that was inevitable. It really taught me how to keep an open-mind, and how we take so much for granted. I made some international friends and I got a better handle on my Spanish. Overall, I'd say it was probably the best thing that happened in my life!
Tell us about any interesting cultural tidbits you noticed about your country.
Riya: They say that Buenos Aires is a combination of Paris and Florence with a Spanish twist. I found it to be very beautiful and well-connected. The following are some fun facts/popular aspects which I discovered:
- Medialunas (which translates to half moon / crescent moon) are the most common breakfast item along with coffee. They're basically croissants. The locals are referred to as portenos
- Argentina is very big on soccer. The Boca Juniors are one of the most popular teams.
- Dulce de Leche is a must. It's an artisan delicacy that is similar to caramel but much more rich in taste and texture.
- La Feria de San Telmo (translates to The Market of San Telmo) is a popular tourist attraction. It's a flea market that occupies over 15 blocks, and has all sorts of souvenirs and artisan crafts. The fresh squeezed orange juice is to die for.
- I'm vegetarian, so Buenos Aires probably wasn't the best choice for me in terms of food. However, I had no trouble at all! Scattered amongst the city were these "pay-by-the-gram" places which had over 15 vegetarian selections to choose from! I also found a few vegetarian places like Picnic (which specialized in their fresh-pressed juices/smoothies) and San Telmo Deli (delicious sandwiches and ginger lemonade!)
- The Recoleta Cemetary is very beautiful in an eerie way...and there were lots of cats hanging around.
About Cultural Embrace by API
Cultural Embrace by API wants you to be more than a tourist; we want you to interact with the local culture and community you are visiting.
Whether you are a student trying to gain academic credit and work experience, or a professional looking for that meaningful vacation or corporate team building retreat, or a retiree that wants to revive your life in another exotic destination, Cultural Embrace by API offers travel programs that will fit anyone's schedule, budget, interests and passions.