I recently had the amazing opportunity to go to Argentina to do 2 weeks of hospital medicine and take Spanish classes. I knew that I would love this experience and get so much out of it. However, what I found most valuable actually surprised me. I was looking forward to learning about the healthcare system and experiencing how the Argentinians practice medicine. I was also looking forward to taking Spanish classes and improving my Spanish. Both of those things definitely happened, and the experience would have been worthwhile if I would have just gotten to do those two things.
But…what I loved the most was actually the cultural classes that I took at night and getting to know Argentinian students. I learned all about the history of Argentina and how it impacts the culture and societal views today. We talked about the education system, healthcare system, politics and what the social norms are. This helped me out during my 2 weeks stay, but it also helped me broaden my horizon and views of the world.
Being taught about a culture in both an informal and formal classroom setting BY native Argentinians took this experience to a whole other level. It developed my passion for global health and travel and lead me to fall in love with Argentina and everything that it stands for. Now I know that wherever I go to next, I will be sure to seek out opportunities to learn from locals and learn about the history and culture of the country.