I knew I wanted a smaller program that focused on a certain country and I've always wanted to spend an extended amount of time in Argentina. I knew that this specialized program would give me a more personalized experience.
Molly is a student at the George Washington University studying Latin American Studies.
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
R2A organized transportation from the airport, living arrangements, an internship, and even organized social and cultural activities. They showed me how to arrive at my internship and use public transportation as well. The only thing I had to worry about was making my own meals since I chose to live in an apartment alone!
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
I'd advise them to dress warm if they're going to Argentina during our summer months (June-August). Knowing the language is also a huge advantage since navigating around the city can be hard with no prior language skills.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
Each day I would arrive at my internship and spend the full day there. Other participants would spend half of the day volunteering and half taking Spanish classes. This program gives you the ability to arrange your own schedule with the supervisor of your internship or volunteer placement, so it's very flexible.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
I've had a lot of experience traveling so I wasn't nervous but mostly just excited! The one thing that worried me was doing the program alone and not knowing anyone. However, R2A gives you a group of friends and a huge support system if you ever need help with anything. Through this program, I met some amazing friends!
How did you learn to navigate the city?
Trial and error! One of the biggest challenges for me was figuring out the bus and subway system. Often times I would get on a bus and it would be going the completely wrong direction!
I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and ask a stranger or the driver where the bus was going. This is one of the best ways to learn Spanish because you have to force yourself to speak a language you may not be comfortable with. The best way to do this is by asking locals and just trying out many different forms of transportation!