Alicia Harris - 2015 Program Participant
Why did you decide to apply for an international program?
I decided to apply for an international program because I always had a curiosity of how other people from other countries live, think, and speak. For me, it's not enough to believe the media and views of another country from my own; I wanted to immerse myself into the culture to find out what it was really like for myself.
Why did you choose Connect-123?
Well actually I didn't choose my program my program chose me! I was the winner of GoAbroad’s Win the World South America contest, which meant all airline and program fees were paid for me. Once I accepted the contest offer and agreed to the terms, I got introduced to Connect-123, did my research, and started to get acquainted with the organization.
Check out GoAbroad’s new Win the World: Australia & New Zealand Contest and Enter before November 30th!
What was your favorite part about Buenos Aires?
My favorite part about the location was exploring on the weekends, whether it was to San Telmo, Tigre, or downtown. Buenos Aires has some amazing ferias going on throughout the province.
What made your program experience unique?
The program I participated was unique because Connect-123 usually has a majority of medical-related internships, but since I won the contest, Connect-123 had to adapt to me being a lover of media and production. Connect-123 really did a great job of placing me with my internship.
How did local staff support you throughout your program?
Paula was amazing! She couldn't answer all of my questions off the top of her head, but she always, always had a great attitude or made an effort to help me. During orientation, she definitely gave me the inside scoop on the dos and don'ts of Buenos Aires.
What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?
I wish I would have tried to speak a bit more Spanish. I would speak Spanish, but as soon as I found out someone could speak English I would punk out!
Describe a day in the life of your program.
During a day in my program, I would wake up, take a shower, play music, eat breakfast, and head to work on the subway. Once I arrived to work I would tidy up the place and make my bosses some coffee or get them something to eat. I would then help my bosses conduct scouting's for the location for possible clients who would want to use the facility for commercials, movies, or photography. If they did like the location and wanted to book the sala or multiple salas, I would help my bosses create contracts and come up with an estimate of how much they were going to charge based on the rooms and company.
While I was there Quilmes beer and Nike shot a commercial at my job site. I got to network with a lot of people. I even took pictures of the salas for potential clients to see them before the scouting!
What did you enjoy doing on your free time?
I loved going to the festivals and trying Argentine food. The culture and people showed me a real good time.
What type of accommodation did you have? What did you like best about it?
I stayed in a house hostel where five other people lived with me. I got to have my own room and my house Mom cleaned my room and changed my sheets on my bed every Friday. I had to buy and cook my own food, but the food was very affordable for me since the exchange rate from U.S. dollar to Pesos was amazing; my $10 to $100 pesos made shopping lovely. My house Mom did cook a huge home going away dinner for me the week I was leaving. She cried, and I cried after she told me she enjoyed me and was going to miss me.
Now that you're home, how has your time abroad impacted your life?
My program abroad has impacted me by learning from others who look and live differently than me. I learned to suspend my American ego and enjoy a different life. My program has impacted me by destroying some of the prejudices I had that were taught to me through my environment that I didn't realize I had picked up until I got to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The people softened my heart. I will never forget this place.