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Cultural Embrace - Internships in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Meet Riya Ramani, Cultural Embrace alum
Riya Ramani was born in Miami, Florida and currently lives in Vancouver, Canada with her family. She is a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, enjoys eating chocolate, cooking and watching movies. She is 19 years old and graduated Kitsilano Secondary High School with honours. She planned her trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the 7th of June until the 2nd of August in the year 2012.
GO: Why did you decide to intern with Cultural Embrace in Argentina?
Riya: I actually found Cultural Embrace via a book titled The Complete Guide to the Gap Year by Kristin M. White. My dad gave it to me as a high school graduation gift, because I was planning to take a GAP year before I started college. There was quite a selection of non-profitable organizations to choose from...I was searching for a program in South America because I was interested in improving my Spanish, and when I browsed the website for Cultural Embrace, it seemed too good to be true. They had quite a lot included in their internship package to Argentina, and all for a very reasonable budget. They were also very resourceful if you had any questions or doubts, and were more than happy to help.
GO: Describe your day to day activities as an intern.
Riya: My internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina was at a hostel - Portal del Sur - very close to my host family home. The position was for a receptionist and tourism position, which I accepted for the month of July. I was expected to come in Wednesday - Sunday from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm. The position was very flexible and working with the staff was a very pleasant experience for me.
From 8:30 am until 11 am I would help the staff in the breakfast room. My duties included serving breakfast, cleaning dishes and chatting with some guests of the hostel. At 11 am I would head over to the receptionist desk, where I would assist the receptionist with phone calls & reservations. Whenever I had spare time, I would also promote some day-to-day activities that took place in the hostel. I had a great experience and made lots of friends with the staff there!
GO: What made this internship experience unique and special?
Riya: This experience for me, was my first experience travelling abroad alone. I had never been away from home longer than 2 or 3 weeks, so it was a very different change for me.
I think that meeting new people from around the world and socializing with people whose culture is completely unique, is what made this trip such a refreshing experience. I definitely enjoyed the company of my wonderful host family, my new friends at school and work, and my roommates. So overall I'd say it was the culture that was unique and the people who I met that made it special for me.
GO: How has this experience helped you grow personally and professionally?
Riya: I feel that this experience changed a lot on my life. I learned how to live independently on my own, I learned a language, I gained valuable work experience and most of all I made new friends. Living in Buenos Aires for two months...opened my eyes. It's not exactly a third world country but it's not a developed country either. There were a lot of politics going on, poverty...it was a totally different lifestyle.
It was only 2 months, but I think I caught on pretty fast. I still find it hard to believe that I'm now one of those people who had the golden opportunity to experience a new culture abroad, for it was truly unforgettable. I'd recommend this to just about anyone who feels like they could use a change in their life.
About Cultural Embrace by API
The Cultural Embrace staff is well-traveled and provides excellent service to program participants. Whether you're interested in teaching, volunteering, interning, or adventuring abroad, Cultural Embrace can provide you with the right program to fit your needs. Visit the Cultural Embrace website to learn more about the variety of available programs abroad.