On Homesickness, Keeping in Touch, and Being Present

May 7, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire talks about the ways she keeps in touch with her family and friends back home and how she toggles between speaking in Spanish and English.

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Within our first week here, we had a guest lecturer on culture shock. I kind of rolled my eyes through most of the conversation. I had arrived to Argentina early, and this was my third time here. I loved it, and thought surely I, the one who has been drinking mate and making empanadas at home for six years now, won’t experience culture shock or homesickness or any of the normal things. After all, I love Argentina.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - FaceTiming from Argentina to the USVideo chatting between Argentina and the U.S. What a joy to be connected!

I do love Argentina. And though I knew Argentina when I got here in February, I knew it like you know someone after a couple of dates. I was still enamored with every part of it and my knowledge was more dreamy idealizations than reality. After two-and-a-half months, I’m not so naïve as to say I know Argentina like I’m married to it, but I know it like a best friend. I still adore it and am enamored with it and so thankful to call it my home for the time being, but sometimes I get frustrated with it or, dare I say it, homesick.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Homesickness, Tips

El Infinito Silencio: I Attended a Play in Complete Darkness

Apr 30, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

\In this week's post, Claire attends a one-of-a-kind, comedic drama experience in complete darkness to celebrate her 21st birthday in Buenos Aires.

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This past week was my birthday. I could write a whole post about the experience of celebrating a birthday abroad, but in summary: it’s sad because you miss your family and weird because all of your normal birthday things like the vanilla sheet cake from the grocery store or normal sized birthday cards don’t exist here, and also wonderful because people still gather around you and sing “Feliz Cumple” over you and pull your ears 21 times for the 21 years you’ve been on this earth and dulce de leche covered cake is possibly an equal rival for the grocery store kind I love.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - Fun night with these friends at Teatro CiegoFun night with these friends at Teatro Ciegro.

Basically, it was different, as most things are when you spend a semester in another continent, but it was beautiful nonetheless. My U.S. friends Sophie and Ali decided to celebrate with me on Thursday night, and we went to see El Infinito Silencio, a comedic drama that tells the story of an Argentine family through the lens of one of the daughters, who is now an author and is writing out her family’s story. The plot was hilarious and moving, but what made this show really stand out wasn’t the family’s story or the fact that it was my first ever all-Spanish play.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Theater, Activities Abroad

Social Justice is a Way of Living Your Life

Apr 23, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire gets to know her favorite Buenos Aires professor Marlena Reimer better and details Marlena's impactful experiences and social justice work.

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When I first “met” Marlena, it was through a video chat Spanish interview. I was kind of terrified because I wasn’t sure what exactly would happen if I did badly on my Spanish language interview, and it was just a few weeks after Christmas so I was seriously rusty.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - Together with RD Marlena ReimerMeeting Buenos Aires resident director Marlena Reimer in person!

At the end of the interview, she asked if I had any more questions. Soon after the interview, my brothers enlightened me that that question was about Argentina, CAPA, the study abroad experience that we had literally just been discussing. Did I ask any questions relating to these things? No. I asked her what brought her from her home state of California to Argentina. My brothers mercilessly made fun of me when I told them the details of my interview and my question at the end. But I recognized that her story was one I needed to know even just from that odd little interview, and so I’m so glad I got to sit down with her last week and ask her as many questions as I wanted!

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Human Rights, Civil Rights

How Language and Food Can Make You Feel At Home

Apr 16, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire mentions how hearing the language you're familiar with can make you feel at home and explores an American-inspired cafe in Buenos Aires.

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I think I chose the wrong bus the other day, because it dropped me off about two blocks away from the subte whereas last week it left me about three feet away. That kind of thing happens to me every time I get too confident in my city navigating skills, just to keep me humble.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - Cool Wall near Sheikobs...love Palermo!A wall filled with enthusiasm about soccer.

As I walked, I heard the sharp, crisp sounds of the language I grew up with, so different from the warm, musical flow of castellano (Spanish). I half turned around, then kept walking. But something completely outside of my control compelled me: “Are y’all from the United States?” The tall, dark-headed woman in flowy pants laughed as she answered, “England, actually, and South Africa.” I laughed too, “It’s so rare to hear English in the streets I couldn’t help myself!”

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Language, Food in Buenos Aires

Kindness and Spirituality Can Be Found All Around Buenos Aires

Apr 9, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire talks about the Argentinian brand of kindness and what her experience attending church is like in Buenos Aires.

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When I say Buenos Aires is a city unlike any other, I hope you know it isn’t just me saying that because I love it, or because I don’t have much experience in other cities. The opposite is true—I’ve been in New York and Los Angeles and Dallas and Orlando and London and so many others…yet Buenos Aires has its own special flair. The architecture is amazing and so diverse. Today I took the bus from a relatively modern part of the city and within 20 minutes looked up in amazement at the buildings around me.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - ArchitectureThe amazing architecture in Buenos Aires.

Spanish is everywhere, but you’ll also hear Portuguese and English and Chinese often, and if your time here looks anything like my Easter Sunday, Russian, Polish, and Ukrainian, too. Buenos Aires is a massive city, and yet not once have I felt unsafe walking the streets alone or riding the bus or train. If you hit the streets anytime between 3:00-6:00 you’ll find most of the city seated at a café, enjoying coffee and a friend.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Diversity Abroad, Cultural Insights

What My Daily Life is Like in Buenos Aires

Apr 2, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire tells us what her daily life is like while she embraces new experiences and builds a routine.

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Hola! Today is my last day of classes for the week because it’s Semana Santa (Holy Week), so we get the rest of the week off. I’ve officially been in Buenos Aires for five-and-a-half weeks, which feels pretty unbelievable. It feels like just yesterday I had to ask for help with directions every five minutes, leaving 30 minutes earlier than necessary to leave a large margin for getting lost, arriving to class early and still getting lost on the way. 

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - Wonderful MusicWonderful music!

Now I have the walk to school, the subte (subway), and my favorite bus stops all memorized. I’ve also learned that if I get to class 10 minutes early I’ll end up waiting for 20 mins. I’ve slowly started settling into normal. And then I’ll just end up pausing on my walk to my internship and remind myself—WHAT ON EARTH! YOU ARE IN ARGENTINA. It still feels unreal.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Cultural Insights, Activities Abroad

Interview with Buenos Aires Locals

Mar 26, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire meets with local Argentinian friends, Andres and Fernanda, and introduces us to them in this interview.

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Hola! Today’s post is brought to you by two of my dear friends. Andres/Andy was my mentor in a church retreat here in Buenos Aires in 2012. I remember having conversations about the wonderful Fernanda he wanted to marry back then, and tonight I got to go to their home to enjoy some delicious empanadas and to hear the rest of their story. It was truly a delightful night, and we laughed so hard. I hope you enjoy this interview they were gracious enough to participate in! Mil gracias, Fer y Andy!!

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - With Andres and Fernanda_1.jpgFernanda, me, and Andres/Andy.

CLAIRE SHRADER: Can you introduce yourselves?

FERNANDA: Okay, I’m Fernanda, I love to laugh *laughs* I’m a teacher, I work in an evangelical Christian school, and I teach art. I’m 28 years old and I live in Floresta with Andres, my husband, who’s here beside me.

ANDRES: Floresta, Buenos Aires, Argentina, that is. The people from [Claire's] university probably don’t know where Floresta is. I work in digital marketing advertisement, in a huge industry referral here in Argentina. I’m the digital coordinator for the ABInBev client.

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Posted in: Interviews, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Buenos Aires Interviews

A Buenos Aires Internship at the Brincar Foundation

Mar 19, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire starts her internship at the Brincar Foundation and tells us more about the work they do for children with autism in Buenos Aires.

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Today has been an exciting week, because not only did my classes begin, but so did my internship! I have the incredible opportunity to intern at Fundación Brincar por un Autismo Feliz (or, in English, Brincar Foundation for a happy life with Autism) here in Buenos Aires.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - Headed Out on First Day of Internship.jpegHeaded out on the first day of my internship.

It’s simply a dream come true. Children with Autism end up left out of educational, social, and work opportunities often here, and Brincar provides for them what so often the government cannot. Brincar actually means "to jump," and it has that name because jumping is one way these kids express joy. Brincar was founded by two mothers who have kids with autism who wanted to create something better for their kids. The foundation focuses on providing kids and young adults with opportunities to engage with the community through art workshops, swimming classes, music workshops, etc... They also provide them with opportunities for job training through a cooking workshop and a t-shirt design workshop.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Internships Abroad

Cucuruchus and Cherries

Mar 12, 2018 11:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire navigates Buenos Aires by getting used to the ins and outs of public transportation and dishes on what happened when she went to the local ice cream shop.

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Buenos Aires is a busy city. With 2,891,000 people, you can be almost certain you won't see the person you sit beside on the bus ever again. This leaves room for mistakes that in other settings we're used to, like our colleges or small towns, would embarrass us enough to never show our face again in public, to be pretty easy to laugh off. Classes and my internship still haven't started for me, so I've spent this week exploring the city and finding my own little spaces to call home.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - On a Bus Tour of the City.jpegHi Eva! On a bus tour of the city.

I love walking through the streets alone or with a friend and feeling so small between the towering buildings around me. I love that I'm starting to get to a point where I don't have to stop every block or so to ask directions or to stare at my phone's map; I can recognize landmarks and streets and find my way from there. Buenos Aires is on a grid system just like Phoenix, my home for 10 years, and I find so much comfort in knowing I can explore for a few blocks or 10 and still find my way back to the street I want to be on.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Transportation

Orientation Day in Buenos Aires

Mar 5, 2018 1:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire wakes up to a different morning experience in Buenos Aires and gets to know her new campus and fellow classmates during orientation.

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Though I've woken up to the incredible knowledge that I'm in Buenos Aires every morning for the past nine days, this morning was different. This morning I woke up and wasn't quite sure where I was, until I sat up and remembered that yesterday afternoon I moved from my host family from high school's home across the city to live closer to the university I'll be attending starting next week. This morning orientation started.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - Universidad Austral Sign.jpgA sign of my campus location!

For me, this morning looked like café con leche with pan tostado covered in dulce de leche, and a sweet hour of quiet time to read a devotional. After two months at home and then this past week with my Argentine family, it felt strange to be alone in the morning. Mornings in my house are a time to sit and be together, to enjoy coffee on the couch, to discuss our plans for the day. It felt kind of lonely to sit alone. But as I made café con leche, trying hard to make it taste as good as it does when my host mom makes it, I could see other city dwellers going about their own morning routines from the big windows in the kitchen. We were all going about our morning separately, and alone, but that window made it feel not lonely, after all.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Orientation

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