Since I was a little child I knew I would like to become a doctor. It was not easy if I heard that I couldn´t start to study right away after finishing my highschool because of my degree (only the very best are eliged to study medicine. Others have to wait for an university place). Now I had the election of waiting to get a study place or to use my time for travelling to the adventure of my lifetime and even to attend the compulsory nursing internship abroad. As you could imagine I have chosen to travel to Argentina.
Hard to leave home knowing that you will be far away overseas for the next months seperated by an ocean and 11.000 km. Destination South America, specifically Argentina. And all my doubts: will arrive my luggage? Will I get my flight? Can I communicate with the people? How are the other participants at my accommodation? Will I make new friends out there?
At the end I can say I never felt so alive and free like in Argentina.
All my doubts were gone when I entered the volunteer house “ADV32” and several other participants and an Argentean guy welcomed me friendly. The mood was very relaxed and I will never forget all these nights at discos and pubs or just sitting on the roof terrace at full moon. But also the adventureous excursions to the world´s biggest waterfalls of Iguazú, the national park Talampaya and Ischigualasto in the desert, the tango metropolis Buenos Aires, crossing to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay and all the trips to the nearby Sierras de Córdoba were absolute highlights of my travel. You can´t find anything like this in Europe.
In Córdoba I fist started to attend the 4 weeks language course which was held by friendly and competent language teacher. At some point I was a little sad to realize that I couldn´t speak fluently Spanish after this short period of time. But definitely my language skills improved during my internship at the hospital in Córdoba. Just half an hour walking the hospital was located quite near to our hostel.
By talking with the patients I applied all theoretic language stuff I learned in the course and I got more fluent every day. The nursing supervisor is very friendly and explained a lot. If you show enough interest the language barrier doesn´t matter so much and you can do and learn a lot.
Generally I can recommend every prospective medicine student to do an internship in an Argentinean hospital. My tasks were to go for drugs to the pharmacy, to bring all care materials to the bed of the patient, to wash patients, to empty urine drainige bags, nothing you wouldn´t have to do in Austria as well. On one day I also could shadow a surgery.
My hints: bring a doctor´s overall and suitable pants. A good idea is to memorize Spanish words for all working utensil like guantes (gloves), arujas (needles) or cinta (tape). And if you not yet begin to study medicine like me it would be advisable to learn some medical terminology.
With such stay abroad you definitely will not wast any time. Not only your CV will be upgraded and your personality will be enriched but also you will spend a great time in Argentina.
Andrea-Helena S. (18) from Bregenz, Austria