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What I Gained from 40 Days as a Local in Buenos Aires

Aug 5, 2019 10:45:00 AM / by Ben Gunduz

Ben may be back in the US after studying and interning in Buenos Aires, but the changes he's experienced in his 40 days abroad are still fresh on his mind. He tells us the common questions he's asked, how improving his Spanish skills led to a summer job, and the amount of growth he's shown as a business student and a professional. Before Ben signs off as a CAPA blogger, he leaves 5 takeaways to take note of.

It’s been almost a month since I’ve been back in the States after my study abroad and internship in Buenos Aires, and I have had some time to reflect on my time in Argentina. I feel that this experience was very rewarding for me; I have significantly improved my Spanish, gained valuable work experience within my field of study, and explored a part of the world that I was previously not familiar with.

One of the most common questions I get now that I’m back is: “So, how is your Spanish?” And I can comfortably say that it is significantly better and more fluid than before. Speaking Spanish has become somewhat natural to me, and switching between Spanish and English is much easier for me than it was before. When I speak Spanish with my friends, they notice that I sound much more fluent than before, and some even say that I sound like I’m from a Spanish-speaking country. Furthermore, this experience has helped me find a summer job teaching Spanish in my hometown.

Flag And StatueSpending 40 days in Buenos Aires meant that sights like these were a daily occurrence for me!!

Interning in Argentina has helped me garner a new business perspective, gain Spanish business competencies, make valuable connections, and gained vital experience that will be very helpful when looking for jobs or internships in the future. During my time with UNAJE, I worked on exciting marketing projects, went to seminars and learned about the agricultural climate in Argentina, and gained experience working with finances within a company. All of this has led me to grow as a business student, and has greatly expanded my point of view. I now have an understanding of Argentina’s business culture, which could prove very important for my future career. Overall, I feel that my internship was very rewarding, and I am still in contact with my friends and coworkers from UNAJE!!

SkylineBuenos Aires is a very influential city in the world economy; I really enjoyed working there for over 5 weeks!

After about 40 days of time in Buenos Aires (and a day in Montevideo), I feel that I have developed a working knowledge of the city, and the regional cultural climate. With over a month of classes and work, I feel that I adjusted well to living in Buenos Aires; I know several neighborhoods, understand the public transport, am comfortable with slang in Buenos Aires, and have a vast array of friends and connections in the city. I am eager to go back soon and visit some of my favorite places, see my host family and friends, and explore some areas I didn’t get to see. I really enjoyed 40 days of life as a Porteño, and can’t wait for the next opportunity to explore a different region and distinct culture.

Local ArtBuenos Aires is a very artistic city; here are some works for sale by a local artist.

Here are some major takeaways/advice after a couple of weeks of reflection:

1. If you can, try to study abroad.
2. Don’t be afraid of a homestay.
3. Try new things—go to new places.
4. Embrace the local language and culture—stay away from your comfort zone.
5. Work hard, but don’t forget to have fun.

I hope you all enjoyed reading my entries and keeping up with what I’ve been up to. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to CAPA, or directly to me.

Thanks, Ben!

Ben Gunduz

 

Ben Gunduz is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2019, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An International Business major at Northeastern University, he is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

Ben's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Buenos Aires Program

Topics: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Why Study Abroad