Alumni Spotlight: Joshua Braun

Josh is a Senior at CU Boulder studying International Affairs, Spanish, and Russian. This past semester he completed an internship in Buenos Aires with the Provincial Government working with the Department of Sustainability and Social Responsibility.

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Josh is a Senior at CU Boulder studying International Affairs, Spanish, and Russian. This past semester he completed an internship in Buenos Aires with the Provincial Government working with the Department of Sustainability and Social Responsibility.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I didn't want to just study abroad. I wanted to do something more. More involved, more intense, and more rewarding (in my opinion that is). And really I wanted to experience working abroad, in a foreign language (my internship was 100% in Spanish). And Connect-123 provides that infrastructure does just that.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My university didn't assist with anything. So everything was dealt with by me and the program provider (Connect-123). Connect helped secure housing, and also put me in contact with various host organizations from which point I interviewed directly with them, and then selected my internship from there. I organized travel to and from Buenos Aires, and all the travel I did within Argentina was organized by me as well. Connect organizes weekly social events, and also organizes airport transport to your housing when you arrive, which is a great help.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Be prepared for anything! Keeping an open mind and having little to no expectations is the best advice I can give. Because by doing this, you aren't limiting yourself to anything, and instead keeping the experience wide open. Because the odds are that most things won't be exactly how you imagined them, and that is A-ok. That is part of the richness of working/studying abroad, is that you experience things you never anticipated!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Because of the fact that almost every participant has a different internship, there really isn't any such things as an average day. For me personally an average day was getting to the office at 10 am, working until 2 or 3, then a lunch break, then back to work until 6 or even as late as 9 pm before heading home on the metro (subte). Some days I would travel to La Plata (the capital city of the province of Buenos Aires) for meetings. I worked this schedule Monday thru Friday.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear coming into the experience was that my internship wouldn't be a good fit, and I wouldn't gain the valuable professional experience that I was looking for. It turns out, this fear was realized! My first internship was not a good fit, and was not going to be an environment in which I could thrive and do that type of work I was interested in.

Instead of sitting idly by and waiting for the semester to end, or waiting for an internship miracle of some kind, I decided to change my situation. Connect-123 helped me find a new host organization, and ultimately I ended up working with the Province of Buenos Aires. Which turned out to be the best internship I could have imagined! Moral of the story is, yes sometimes (often times) things do not go as we have planned them to. That is ok, because amazing things can come from challenging and difficult situations, and make us more resilient in the process!

Is Buenos Aires dangerous?

This is a question that I hear and receive a lot. My answer would be no, it is not more or less dangerous than any major city around the world. It is good always be aware and cognizant of your surroundings, but I personally never had any issues with safety. If this is your main concern for participating in this program, I would say that yes Buenos Aires is a big city, but it should not stop you from coming and enjoying all that it has to offer!