Tag Archives: Internship

My first real adult decision!

Coming to Buenos Aires was a dream of mine since the past year. I constantly Googled the city for pictures and more information, I bought tons of books, asked friends who had traveled there what it was like, and even managed to make some friends from Buenos Aires currently living in Germany.

For my internship I definitely wanted to leave Europe for a different experience and learning Spanish was the goal. I also like the Argentinian dialect! So when I found an agency able to find an internship in Buenos Aires for me I was ecstatic! I had to wait 2 months before I got offered a job, and when that day came (May 8th, 2011) I went out and drank liter cocktails at a local bar to celebrate.

For the agency I needed to submit a Spanish exam so they could test my level of Spanish and see if it was sufficient enough to start the job immediately. As I expected it wasn’t so they said I needed to take a language course before my internship, and that the language school was located in Córdoba (the 2nd largest city in Argentina). I thought, oh man I just want to go directly to Buenos Aires and start working, but oh well. Afterwards I was excited to have the chance to live in 2 main cities in Argentina.

I spent a month in Córdoba taking intense Spanish classes and meeting a lot of great people. It’s a student city with about 1.5 Million, but it’s somewhat safe and laid back. Córdoba also has the best weather in Argentina, and a very nice dry climate. A man working for my agency told me on my first day that Che Guereva  moved to Córdoba because it was a better climate for his asthma. The nature surrounding the city is also amazing, with many mountains and lakes. I had one of the greatest months of my lives in Córdoba.

When the time came to move to Buenos Aires, I made sure to say bye to all my friends which was very hard. I was excited though, to finally come to this big amazing city and meet people and enjoy the big city life. I was shocked immediately when I moved into my house here, and it was not catering to my health. The woman has a dog and a cat, and I am highly allergic, and she smokes inside the house which is bad for my asthma. Besides that I live on the widest avenue in the world (Av. 9 de Julio) so it’s always very loud with sirens, cars, and buses. I realized I needed to get out of this living situation so I contacted my agency and they said they would look for a new place. I attended the first day of my internship but left even early on that day because I got so sick with the flu, I had the chills etc. I had a fever with a temperature the next 3 days, and a week later I am still getting over my sickness. I really enjoyed the job though; it is ideal  for tourism. www.sayhueque.com  The boss is from United States and was very nice and helpful. My first day was research but afterwards he was expecting me to write stories promoting destinations. Like I said, I really liked the job; the commute to work was terrible though. It took about 45 minutes door to door. The subway here has a good connection but it’s very humid, and I noticed myself sweating badly and having difficulty breathing. I am thankful I haven’t encountered the “subte” during rush hour because I really heard that is miserable.

Since my agency is based out of Córdoba and not in Buenos Aires, they are not so well developed in Buenos Aires which is understandable, so that made me wonder how long it would take them to find me another accommodation here. Out of curiosity I asked if it was possible to return to Córdoba, and said if not that’s possible it’s ok. I just wanted to know. The women responded very quickly and said yes it was possible and even proposed a new internship. I was surprised and thought; wow perhaps I should go back. I had a terrible week here and it is a fact that the climate here is very humid. I noticed it was tight in my chest as soon as I arrived and sweat instantly. The humidity in Buenos Aires is about 70-90% and in Cordoba around 20-40%. The hard decision was – Do I stay in Buenos Aires possibly living in this terrible house for a long time but having a job that’s very interesting even though the commute is terrible. Or Do I return to Córdoba where I was more than happy with my life, friends, and the climate, but have a possibly less interesting job? I spoke with some people about it for advice and came to the conclusion to go back to Córdoba. For my health the climate is better, the nature nearby is fantastic and accessible, I love my friends I’ve made, living costs are cheaper, and my commute to work will probably be about 10 minutes walking.

I am very happy with my decision even though I am still asking myself if I will regret leaving Buenos Aires. It’s amazing how your views of somewhere can change after you experience it first-hand. I never imagined that I would learn to love Córdoba so much and long to come back, but it’s come to that point. Overall I found more pluses in returning to Córdoba then staying in Buenos Aires. I suppose sometimes leaving a good job opportunity behind for health and happiness is the right thing to do.

Looking forward to seeing how these next 3 months play out.

That’s it for now

Taking an “Urlaubssemester”

What is an ‘Urlaubssemester’ you might ask?
Well in German, “Urlaub” means vacation;holiday, and “semester” is of course the same as in English.
So yes, I am taking a “vacation semester” off, although I’m not going ON vacation 🙂
As many of you know, Ive lived in Germany the past two and a half years,and the last year and a half I have been studying International Tourism here in Berlin, for my Bachelors degree.
Since i was crazy and decided to take the hard way out, by studying in another language, I have had some challenges. Ive done well but every semester so far I have had “Nachprüfungen”, better known as “make-up exams” in English. In the German school system if you fail an exam you have 2 more chances to take it and pass it. If you have to take the exam the third time, the highest grade you can get is a 4 (a D by American standards). If you fail your 3rd time you cant go on with your semester.. you have to go back to that semester and re-do JUST that class…which is nonsense..
But dont be scared for me, this DIDNT happen in my case 🙂
The 3rd semester was one of the hardest times of my life. It was winter, dark, cold, and we had about 17 different classes. A total of ca. 35 hours of class a week!! Pretty much a full time job. I had a few exams I had to make up from the 2nd semester..that continued with me during the whole 3rd semester. Luckily by the end of it I had passed everything (throughout the 4 months of the 3rd semester). Due to asthma,stress and other things, i didn’t do as well in the 3rd semester as I had hoped.
I came to a mature decision myself and decided I want to re-do my 3rd semester and take it slower. I mean after all, its crazy at all that I study 100% in German! Ive done well so far, but of course I run into obstacles. In the end of October I will begin my 3rd semester again,with a new group of people, a few months rest/internship experience, and a better grip of the subjects! I am motivated! 🙂 The professors also praised me on my “wise” decision, and I am thankful to have their support as well as from friends and family!
For the next few weeks I will be in Berlin, perhaps doing some side jobs for some extra cash. Then at the end of June or beginning of July I will be headed to SOUTH America! Buenos Aires, Argentina to be exact. For a few weeks I will take an intensive Spanish class then I will do a 12 week internship. I will be working for a Tour Operator called Say Hueque where I will be organizing personalized tours through Argentina and Chile for Independent travelers, handling English and German speaking customers, and helping write the travel blog for their website! This job sounds PERFECT for me I could not be happier that I got this position and I am very much looking forward to it. As I am not that much of an experienced blogger, this blog will be good practice for me, and also keep everyone whose interested, updated on what I am up to!
Thank you for reading
Nat