Alumni Spotlight: Erin Ryan

What originally inspired you to intern in Buenos Aires with COINED?

Erin: I am a member of the pre-medical society at Boston College, and as part of their weekly listserv they send us links to programs that may be of interest for internship opportunities, volunteering, etc. I found this internship through the provider AIDE Abroad, which partners with COINED in Buenos Aires, Argentina; it is one of the opportunities they offer. I have a few friends who spent either gap years or semester in Buenos Aires and they all loved the city and the country at large. The program was flexible and would allow me to go whatever dates were convenient for me, and whatever placement would provide me with the best experience.

Describe your day to day activities as an intern in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Erin with friends in Buenos Aires

Erin: My days began around 8 when I would wake up, get ready and eat breakfast at my home stay. I then would go to catch the bus to the hospital. Once I got there I spent a few hours filing and organizing, and doing any other tasks that the doctors and administrators needed me to do. I then would leave, get lunch somewhere nearby, and then head to La Boca where I volunteered at an after school program. I helped tutor the kids in English. I then would go home and eat dinner with my roommates and home stay mom. Afterwards, we would do various activities, watch movies, etc. On the weekends I would travel and sight see.

Colorful neighborhood in Buenos Aires

How has this experience impacted your future?

Erin: My experience in Buenos Aires has been very influential in how I see myself both in the present and in the future. It has shown me that I am capable of going somewhere completely foreign on a whim not knowing anyone and making it my temporary home. The people I met, both fellow interns and students in the COINED school and Argentine citizens, have opened up my eyes to how other cultures function and how they view American culture. In terms of my professional and academic goals, my experience has confirmed my passion for the field of public health and has helped provide me with the experience I need to be accepted to the Boston University School of Public Health, for their Masters in Public Health program, specializing in International Health. For me, this experience was the first of many stepping stones to forming the career that I want in a way that is both emotionally and academically satisfying.