My experience in Córdoba, Argentina as a medical intern facilitated my development as both a student-scholar and overall human being. Being independent in an unfamiliar city, speaking a different language throughout each day, and immersing myself in a uniquely beautiful culture pushed me out of my comfort zone in the best ways possible. My summer internship allowed me to obtain a better understanding of South America, different healthcare systems, and who I want to be in the future, and it changed the way I look at my life and the lives of others.
I specifically chose to work with Projects Abroad because of their holistic approach in aiding developing countries with projects in various fields of work. Throughout my internship with Projects Abroad, all of the coordinators and volunteers were kind, welcoming, and supportive. Everyone working at the Córdoba location is passionate about the community, making a difference, and embracing the incredible opportunities that Argentina has to offer. For a majority of my work, I shadowed physicians and residents at the Hospital Universitario de Maternidad y Neonatología, a public hospital in the center of the city that serves expecting mothers and infants. A typical day in the hospital consisted of shadowing live births, cesarean sections, hysterectomies, mastectomies, and other surgical procedures. As an additional part of my Projects Abroad medical internship, I participated in outreach work in economically disadvantaged areas of the city, and I was also able to take part in some of the human rights activities that supported the homeless community in the city. There were also monthly community service projects in which Projects Abroad partners with another local organization to help the city of Córdoba and its people in some way.
My accommodations and the relationships I formed while in Argentina were absolutely unforgettable. As soon as I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by my host mom, Maria Elena, and some of my housemates. I lived in a quaint, three-story complex in the center of the city that offered everything I could possibly need. Because each volunteer had a different start and end date, I had various housemates from all over the world throughout my internship. For most of my meals, I ate at home with my host mom and housemates, eating delicious, freshly-cooked Argentine cuisine and discussing each of our unique experiences from that day. As I usually did not work on weekends, I fortunately had time to travel around Córdoba and to other provinces of Argentina to obtain a more holistic view of the country. Having the opportunity to see different parts of Argentina was integral to my understanding of the country, and these experiences taught me that each province has its own distinct accent, life, and culture that are well-worth appreciating and embracing. Reflecting on my trip as a whole, I am so grateful for my summer internship and have become a much more independent, open-minded, and self-aware human being, and I feel so fortunate to have had this opportunity.