Meet Alex, our Buenos Aires guru, ready with suggestions on how to make the most of your South American adventure!
Where do you intern in Buenos Aires: I work for a telecommunication company. The company manufactures and distributes telemetry devices to companies needing remote monitoring systems for equipment in isolated areas: industrial connectivity (oil mainly), water and waste water, as well as traffic and roadways.
What’s your typical day like: A typical day for me begins around 10am or 2pm depending if you need the extra sleep or not. Most of the time, the work I do consists of market research, researching possible distributors located in designated countries, as well as competitors for specific devices. When I am not busy conducting research I help with the translation of their website from Spanish into English, mainly editing grammatical errors although I have translated several pages from scratch. The coworkers are all friendly and engage me in conversation which is great because it has allowed me to improve my Castallano under their instruction.
Most valuable thing you’ve learned in your internship: It is important to always try to learn new things; several of the people I work with have been briefly explaining computer programming and attempting to teach me a few things. You never know what you could learn and what could potentially help you out in the future.
Greatest challenge you’ve faced in Buenos Aires: I have a hard time with the bus system at times considering there may be multiple lines for the same bus number, not all going to the same places, and I have a pretty bad sense of direction. Also overcoming the Castallano accent is fairly difficult because each person speaks differently and many words are specific to the city, not to mention the people love to talk fast, so many words blur together.
Goal before leaving: Travel to other parts of South America. This weekend I am actually headed to the 50th anniversary of Oktoberfest in Cordoba, Argentina so that will be an interesting experience. But I would really like to travel through all of the countries in SA. Obviously, that is not possible in this time frame, maybe next time.
Best memory in your housing: So many good memories and different ridiculous things happen, but ultimately I enjoy just sitting on the roof relaxing as the sun sets/rises. Naps on the roof in the sun are great too.
Your biggest accomplishment in Buenos Aires: Staying active – it is easy to sleep an entire day away when you get home after the sun comes up. Also I have been cooking more than ever before, avoiding turning massive amounts of pastries into meals.
Biggest tip to newcomers: My biggest tip would have to be regular clothes; my internship is informal but I came prepared with business attire (dress slacks, ties, button downs), where in reality jeans and a shirt are fine. Also, the beginning of spring is cold (scarves and jackets). Be prepared for cold and hot weather, take a coat or hoodie when you don´t need one, the temperature will change. Also cash is king everyone wants those USD´s and you will get a much better exchange rate with cash. Bring a debit card and make a trip to Uruguay to withdraw USD, and if you are completely unprepared (like me) xoom.com will be your best friend.
Why choose Road2Argentina: Once I arrived in Buenos Aires, Road showed me the ropes, and the other roadies welcome and help you out as much as possible as well.