Sally Rountree is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Sociology major and Public Health minor at Simmons College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires on a custom program this semester.
In her first post, Sally tells us about getting accepted to her program and what she's most looking forward to in Buenos Aires.
Before I came to college it was my dream to study abroad. I imagined myself spending a semester in Paris walking down cobblestone streets and buying fresh made bread every morning in the bakery. I imagined becoming fluent in French and returning in the years to come. I imagined walking down the streets of London or Cardiff and going to the theater. Traveling abroad was one of my ultimate goals during college, and I picked a school that I thought would help me accomplish that goal. Originally, I went to Ithaca College, but I transferred to Simmons at the beginning of my junior year – this year. Since I was transferring I figured my chances of studying abroad were lost.
Then, during orientation, we were encouraged to go around to all of the offices on campus and learn about their programs. I went to the study abroad office and stayed there for a while, looking at what they offered. After talking to Joseph Stanley, the director, I realized that Simmons offered summer study abroad options. If I found something I liked, it would still be possible for me to study abroad and finish all the necessary credits to graduate on time!
The Argentina program is focused on public health so that spoke out to me. I originally started off as a public health major though I switched to a sociology major with a minor in public health. Going to another country and becoming completely emerged in their healthcare system still sounds amazing to me. I love learning about health and various healthcare systems. I chose the program based on this and not so much where it was located. I figured pretty much anywhere would provide me with an amazing experience, so I should go with the option that had interesting content. I applied for it and was so excited to hear that I actually got accepted!
I didn’t know much about Argentina before acceptance to the program. I’ve recently started looking things up and it’s made me really excited. The city we are staying in is the capital of the country, and apparently a very vibrant and active place. We have plenty of time to explore the city and try new things while we are there. I’m really happy we are able to do that even though we are taking an entire course. I'm most excited for the tango culture. Apparently every Sunday afternoon there is a large Tango demonstration by professional dancers. People gather in a plaza and watch. Guests are also welcome to join in. I’m so excited to go see Tango dancers and I am also hoping to learn how to dance in a class. I’ve already spoken to one of the other students on the trip about going to a dance class together!
I have some expectations for the trip, but I have no idea if they will reflect what happens. I expect to be able to experience a lot of new things, including going to a polo match. I’ve heard about study abroad experiences from other people and I don’t expect this course to be too overwhelming. I'll have time to go out and explore museums, historical sites, and Argentina’s famous la Recoleta cemetery.
One of my big hopes at this point is that I will find other people who want to go out and explore with me. I only know one person who is going on the program, and it seems like other people may be more connected because a majority of them are nursing students. Since we are all going on a trip to a new country, I’m assuming everyone will want to explore, but it is one thing I am slightly worried about. Other than that, I’m not worried about much. I know I can make my own food in the apartment’s kitchen, so I don’t have to worry about Argentina’s heavy meat consumption (I’m a vegetarian). I’m just super excited to experience a new country, a new culture, and a new language!
I will be posting throughout my stay in Argentina, so stay tuned for some really exciting adventures!
Sally's journey continues every Friday so stay tuned.