Past students at the Middlebury School in Argentina have held internships in a variety of fields. Read below about their experiences in Arts and Culture, Education, Entrepreneurship and Economics, Environment and Sustainability, Human Rights and Social Services, International Relations, Journalism and Publishing, and Medicine and Public Health.
Arts and Culture
Centro Foro y Estudios Culturales Argentinos (FECA)
Alexandra Blaney (Pomona College)
I worked at the Centro FECA, an organization that studies argentine culture, especially the tango, in a field broader than the usual artistic-aesthetic one. It is a small organization, which meant that I actually participated and contributed. I did whatever small tasks needed to be done such as creating contact lists, checking presentations for errors, translating brochures and proposals into English, etc. I also helped with a photography exhibit and a presentation to prospective financers. My main work was researching the increasing incidence and cultural value of tango throughout the world, which involved reading articles and books in English and writing short reports on them. My experience was a success because I was very careful to ask exactly what I was supposed to be doing and by doing things that needed to be done without being told to do them. It was very interesting to learn about something as argentine as the tango and the experience of working on the development of a project was very valuable.
Hannah Epelbaum (Middlebury College)
During my semester in Buenos Aires, I worked in Centro FECA, a center for Argentine cultural preservation with a focus on tango. In addition to holding weekly tango lessons open to the public, FECA hosts workshops and exhibits by local and foreign artists and entertainers. My responsibilities in the office included updating an archive of events relating to tango that occurred around town, and completing a translation of the brochure of the center.
Fundación de Arte Valta Thorsen
Donovan New (Pomona College)
The Valta Thorsen Foundation is a good place to meet lots of different people and gives you the opportunity to learn about many different art forms. My first task was to fix up and paint this little room in the back, then I was assigned to take pictures of all the groups in the foundation and put together a slideshow video. I also did some busy work along the way – things that the paid assistants would not want to do. This internship was not terrible since it did replace having to take another class; but keep in mind that the supervisor definitely cares about perfect results, quick completion, and punctuality.
Teresa O’Connell (Tulane University)
In the Fundación Valta Thorsen, I do a variety of things to keep the foundation up and running. I teach piano lessons when my boss is out of town and unable to teach them, attend various events, master classes, plays, etc., help organize the foundation’s collection of sheet music, and clean, paint, and do other housekeeping projects quite frequently. There are always classes in session when I’m there and I’ve met a lot of employees and students from all over Latin America, studying stand-up, Brazilian dance, acting, and more. My boss has also taken me to board meetings and other events associated with the foundation. There is usually no set schedule and the tasks I do vary from week to week, so you should expect frequent changes in what’s expected of you; I’ve definitely learned a lot of Spanish through communicating/coordinating my availability with my boss!
Dina Magaril (Middlebury College)
My primary internship in Buenos Aires was with a design company called NoBrand, which is a branch of ImagenHB. They are a design company that work with printing and branding design. NoBrand makes T-Shirts with images portraying different aspects of Argentine culture but geared towards tourists. They also created a modern take on the mate gourd, made out of glass. My work involved researching various companies NoBrand was working for and doing design for. I wrote a lot of marketing literature, such as slogans and brochures for various companies. I worked with another intern in doing translations in both English and Spanish.
Pujan Gandhi (Middlebury College)
I can truthfully say that I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at ProjectArte this past semester. It was more than just an internship; it provided me with a sense of community in a city that can often be quite overwhelming. My bosses always welcomed me (with song) and made my work experience a pleasure, of course with the aid of the traditional Argentine diet of mate and cigarettes!! While it was certainly a laid-back office atmosphere (often consisting of music-swapping and art talk), I did gain insight on operating an art gallery and the challenges of existing as a non-profit organization. Plus, I also made some valuable contacts in the art-world. It is a very active organization, offering a variety of projects—ranging from fundraising to weekly cinemas—to which one can contribute. Our team consisted of people interested in art history, others were passionate about film, others in literature, others in education and general social-change. In addition to my Argentine colleagues, I made friends with volunteers from all around the world. We were a group of passionate people of divergent background with similar interests working together to make a difference—I’m not sure what else you would want from a study-abroad internship.
Sara Cowie (Middlebury College)
For my internship, I worked at an art school for students from 15 to 18 years old. These students are all on scholarship and are selected through a rigorous process. ProyectArte’s office, classroom and gallery all were part of a house in the neighborhood of Villa Crespo. I was fortunate to fulfill a variety of needs at ProyectArte. Some days I helped around the office, other days I worked on some projects with other international volunteers, and for a few days I walked around the city with another volunteer and posted flyers to recruit more students for the following 18 month term. I also attended a magazine launching that supported the school. Overall, the experience was quite rewarding. I felt very comfortable working in such a relaxed, enjoyable environment and I definitely contributed my time and effort to the school and for such a wonderful cause.
Brendan Deiz (Pomona College)
It was a great experience. When I first went to Conviven, I didn’t know what to expect. I had been told that it was in a very rough neighborhood and I had to be really careful. So I was extra cautious the first time, and every time afterward, but I realized as long as I was smart about things, I would be fine. I’m really glad I had this internship with Conviven, because not only was it cool to be able to teach music to students who otherwise might not have the opportunity, but I also learned a lot in the process. I got a peak at a very different type of life from my privilege in the US, and, not to sound too cliched, but it was indeed eye-opening. I knew I was going to experience a level of poverty I wasn’t used to, but what was really important for me was the relationships I developed there. I will never forget my time at Conviven, and I would definitely recommend the organization to anyone looking for a real experience in Buenos Aires for their internship, doing something besides just shoveling papers around or calculating data.
Fulbright Commission Argentina
Nora O’Leary (Middlebury College)
Hice una pasantía con la Comisión Fulbright Argentina durante mi tiempo en Buenos Aires. La Comisión es una parte de la organización Fulbright, que es una programa de los Estados Unidos que fue formado después de la segunda guerra mundial. La programa da becas a estudiantes graduados y profesionales a vivir, estudiar e integrarse en una cultura diferente. Estudian en universidades en otros países con la esperanza de que aprendiendo de otra cultura puede promover la paz. Con la Comisión mucho de mi trabajo fue leyendo formularios y aplicaciones de estudiantes que quieren estudiar en Estados Unidos, y corrigiendo su ingles. También hice mucho con una programa de intercambio de directores de escuelas que tomaba lugar durante mi tiempo con la Comisión. Trabajaba con Education USA, que tiene su oficina en la Comisión y manejaba sus paginas de redes sociales como su Facebook y Twitter. Con ellos también hice tres presentaciones sobre la vida de “American College” a grupos de estudiantes en escuela segundaria con información sobre el SAT, ACT, y como aplicar para una visa. Los presentaciones fueron en español y ingles.
Elinor Reinhardt (Middlebury College)
He trabajado en muchos diferentes proyectos con Fulbright y EducationUSA y el tema más importante entre todo que hice es cómo se puede crear más intercambio y más conexiones entre los Estados Unidos y Argentina a través de la educación. Mi tiempo con Fulbright me mostró las ganas que tantos Argentinos tienen para estudiar en los Estados Unidos y esta pasantía es un lugar muy importante para entender las diferencias entre los sistemas de educación terciaria en ambos países y para entender porque eligen algunos estudiar en el extranjero.
Al final, Fulbright y programas así ofrecen una manera para compartir y aprender en diferentes lugares y en diferentes culturas con sistemas de educación muy distintos y para mi, esto es una experiencia inestimable.
Vi las diferencias entre un sistema de educación pública y gratuito y el sistema de donde estudio en los Estados Unidos.
Elliot Michalson (Tulane University)
Fundación Leer is a non-profit organization that facilitates reading materials and programs to children and schools in the city of Buenos Aires as well as other provinces in Argentina. My efforts at the Fundación included researching and collecting information about potential businesses and organizations for the Fundación to solicit donations from. These businesses were from all over the world: within Argentina and the continent of South America, but also the United States, parts of Europe, and China. Once information was collected, I would enter contacts, addresses, and descriptions of the entities into the online central database, and on occasion make calls to certain businesses based in the United States on behalf of the Fundación. The work environment of the Fundación is upbeat and productive, without being too tense or nerve-wracking; it is a popular workplace for volunteers, and there are often other student and adult volunteers working alongside you. I would recommend Fundación Leer for anyone who has skills in independent research of business markets and trends, and has an interest in using their bilingualism to optimize their productivity on the job.
Amy McCowan (Middlebury College)
The Fundación Leer is a non-profit organization based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that strives to foster in children the joy of reading at a young age. Founded in 1997, the Foundation signed an agreement with Reading is Fundamental, Inc., an NGO based in the United States, but largely independently implements its own programs within Argentina, aided by the financial support of international sponsors. Foundation reading experts travel throughout the country, visiting communities of all income levels to establish Reading Corners and the anual National Reading Marathon. In poor communities without easy access to schools, the Fundación Leer holds training workshops to teach the teachers and parents of the community how to teach their children how to read, how to build or set up a Reading Corner, and the Fundación Leer provides new books to fill these Reading Corners or mini-libraries. By fostering early literacy, the Fundación Leer aims to increase the educational potential of Argentine children for when they enter school, which in turn will turn these students into active citizens when they graduate. As an intern, Middlebury students will be helping in the Buenos Aires office with odd jobs.
Alaina Robertson (Middlebury College)
I had an internship with L.I.F.E. in Buenos Aires, Argentina. LIFE is an organization that works with kids in poor areas of Buenos Aires. It offers a variety of after school activities: english class, after school homework help, play times, soccer, cooking class. Overall I would call it an average internship. Like many nonprofits in Argentina, it was very disorganized. The best thing you can do if you are going to have an internship there is coordinate an activity. This will allow you to make your own organizational bubble where you can do what you want. Don’t count on anyone to really tell you what to do, you need to figure out your own work here unless you want to end up organizing the entire office (which I don’t recommend). At LIFE you can choose to volunteer by going to the activities, you can help organize an activity, or you can do various jobs in the office.
Julia Deixler (Middlebury College)
I volunteered for L.I.F.E. Argentina, (Luchamos para una Infancia Feliz y con Esperanza.) The non-profit organization works to bring education and a better quality of life to children living in conditions of extreme poverty in and around Buenos Aires. Through various activities such as school support, an annual Christmas event, English classes, birthday parties and computer classes, L.I.F.E. strives to provide confidence and life opportunities to children in need through culture, education, and recreation.
Entrepreneurship and Economics
Cassidy Coash (Middlebury College)
Ashoka is a network of social entrepreneurs in 70 countries around the world - in fact, it is the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs in this network are called Ashoka Fellows, working towards solutions to problems in six broad categories: civic engagement, economic development, environment, health, human rights, and learning and education. The Ashoka website features profiles on these Fellows as well as the context of the problem and the strategies the Fellow has to solve the social problem. For our internship, Jake and I have been working on the Fellow profiles for Ashoka Argentina. We have researched each organization in Ashoka Argentina as well as the social problem that the organization aims to solve. Our project is to update the data and the information in the profiles in Ashoka Argentina to measure impact of the network and to present the newest information on the organization. Through our research, not only do we learn about the Fellows and their organizations, but we also get to learn different perspectives of Argentina through the lenses of civic engagement, economic development, environment, health, human rights, and learning/education.
Jake Ness (Middlebury College)
During the past few months in Ashoka, Cassie and I have been attempting to update the profiles of the “emprendedores sociales” that belong to Ashoka Argentina. It has been a phenomenal way to delve into the problems that plague various social sectors of Argentina. Specifically, we have investigated the fields of health, human rights, economic development, disability, education and youth, the environment, and public participation. We currently are finishing up searching for new facts and figures regarding the social impact of individual Ashoka fellows, and will be moving on to contact the fellows personally in order to confirm the information that was found and ask for facts that have not yet been published on their organization’s websites.
Instituto de Desarrollo Económico y Social (IDES)
Fynn Alejandro Fernández (Middlebury College)
(Remote internship) IDES is a research institute in Argentina that promotes thoughtful and investigative academic research in different social science fields. The team of academics seeks to contribute positively towards their fields of research in order to improve the literature available for readers of their published journal. The main tasks that I completed for the institute were to help publish the journal digitally. In my work, I was engaging with the journal by familiarizing myself with hundreds of articles that have been published by the institute. Students can expect to dive into their own research interests that relate to economic, social, political, historical, and cultural issues.
Kevin Hongzhou Lu (Middlebury College)
(Remote internship) During my internship with IDES, I did a research project on Chinese investment in Argentina’s pork sector. I wrote a 13-page essay on the impact of this investment on the Argentine economy and discussed the related risks. I also helped translate various texts that the institution needed. It was great working with IDES and I really learned a lot about Argentina’s economy and society.
Qingjie Zeng (Pomona College)
I intern at the Institute for Economic and Social Development. It is a non-profit civil association/think tank, whose mission is to promote research and discussions in social sciences and to bring together researchers and professionals to conduct collective projects that address social and economic problems.They regularly publish scholarly journals called Economic Development, host academic lectures and seminars, and partner with universities to offer postgraduate programs and scholarships. I work at the reception and communication sector, and my main responsibilities include answer phone calls and inquiries about the organization, translate documents, and assist with events coordination. I am also working on a research about the influence of Chinese investment in Argentina. It’s a relatively flexible internship that gives you lots of liberty to research on social science topics of interest.
Audrey Davis (Tulane University)
Instituto de Desarrollo Económico y Social (IDES) is a private non-profit research institution that publishes the academic journal, Desarrollo Económico. IDES hosts a number of researchers who focus on a wide range of topics under the umbrella theme of social and economic development in Latin America and Argentina. Their research includes projects regarding, human rights, historical memory, anthropology, international socio-economics, education, and government. For my internship with IDES I did data entry in their in-house research library. I digitally catalogued pre-existing print journals from their collection and newly acquired online publications. The internship included a class, which met four times over the course of the internship, about the socio-political history of Argentina with two of the in-house researches who were also my advisors. I was invited to attend a number of conferences that IDES hosted or co-hosted with other research institutions. Working at IDES allowed me to experience a very academic environment of social sciences.
Malkie Wall (Middlebury College)
I interned at the Instituto de Desarrollo Económico y Social (IDES), a non-profit research center dedicated to the study of economic, social, historical, political, and cultural issues in Argentina and Latin America. At first I helped with an investigation about civil associations in Buenos Aires by calling the organizations and conducting telephone surveys about their activities. Later, I worked with Excel and did follow-up research about the same organizations online. I also translated documents from English to Spanish. The hours were relatively flexible, because I generally worked by myself in an office. The internship also included a couple classes with our supervisor about the political and economic history of Argentina in the past few decades, which helped me decide on the topic for my final paper. My day-to-day work was pretty dull and administrative, and involved little interaction with other people. However, the classes were interesting and my supervisor was very helpful with the final paper.The telephone surveys and translations also helped with my Spanish.
Environment and Sustainability
Derek Buchner (Pomona College)
This internship is a very solid one for anyone interested in sociology or environmental studies. You work with a cooperative of “cartoneros” (El Ceibo) in the well-off barrio of Palermo who go house to house asking for recyclables which the neighbors sort out ahead of time. The daily activity is variable and hands on and like most things in Buenos Aires is what you make out of it. I accompanied the cartoneros as they go about their collection in the mornings and depending on your willingness to help out, you can join in on the collection. From there you pick an “investigation” where you design a research plan for some topic of your choice and then you carry it to the end. Your boss is Cristina Lescano (google her) who is pretty famous globally for her rags to riches story of collaborating with the poor neighbors of Palermo and fighting against class issues and poverty. In other words, she’s sort of a hot-shot in the cooperativa world but is still an amazing person with a wealth of contacts, experience, and information. There’s always interviews, videos, meetings, and government visits which you can tag along for. As with anything in Buenos Aires, you have to take the initiative in this one, and the more you put in to, the more you’ll get out.
Fundación Ambiental de Recursos Naturales (FARN)
Marilia Muschett (Middlebury College)
(Remote internship) This past spring I worked with FARN, an NGO in Argentina focused on the environment and natural resources. My remote internship involved meeting with various employees of the company with work specifically on the restoration and legal protections of the water basin of the Matanza-Riachuelo river. The team was helpful in supplying me with ample background information and resources to ground my understanding and spark deeper analysis. With this, I completed a research paper analyzing the collaboration of FARN with local stakeholders as supported by legal funding and protections. Overall, I would recommend this internship as a way to learn more about the conservation field in a different country.
Corinne Tsai (Pomona College)
During my time in Buenos Aires, I interned at the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation (la Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), a non-governmental organization that promotes sustainable development and democratic participation from the public. I worked with the biodiversity team and in the legal clinic. My supervisor was Ana Di Pangracio, the Deputy Director of FARN, who supported me throughout the process of writing my final paper and provided me with opportunities to attend meetings and presentations on topics related to my work. The legal clinic, composed of students from the faculty of law of the University of Buenos Aires, provides support to people who are affected by environmental problems so that, among other things, they can present requests for information from authorities and obtain it. I enjoyed my time in the clinic because I was able to connect with local students, observe consultations, and learn more about environmental law through theory classes at the university. Even though it was difficult to feel useful at some times (since I didn’t have knowledge about argentine law), if you take advantage of the experience as an opportunity to learn, you will enjoy it. I am grateful to have had the internship because I now have more knowledge about environmental justice, human rights, environmental problems the people currently face, and the country’s legal system.
Renata Massion (Tulane University)
This semester I had the opportunity to work at FARN, an NGO that works to create sustainable policy and promote environmental protection in a variety of different areas. Everyone in the FARN office is extremely welcoming and will answer any questions you have. I worked on a variety of projects for my supervisor including creating an excel sheet for possible donors and grants that FARN could be eligible for and helping with a research project promoting and sustaining biodiversity in the río Parana Delta. This experience has been wonderful for expanding my knowledge about environmental policy and the inner-workings of an NGO in Buenos Aires. My internship at FARN was one of my favorite parts of my time in the city.
Sophie Weil-Roth (Pomona College)
FARN is a very welcoming and relaxing place to work. When I came into the office on Mondays, I would work on small research projects for Samantha or I would sometimes work with law students in her clinical class. I really liked working with the other students, and I think I would have enjoyed doing more work with them. The law students are from the UBA law school; they were very helpful in terms of answering any questions I would have about Argentine law or any general questions. On Wednesdays, I went to the UBA law school to listen to lectures from different lawyers from different organizations, each with a specialization in environmental issues. Although I do not have a law background like the other students in the class, I was still able to learn a lot from the lectures. On Fridays I would work from my house on projects that Samantha would give me or on my own final research paper. I really liked learning about the Waste to Energy plants and on the risks of fracking. Thanks to these small investigations, I was able to figure out my subject for my final paper, which is about the dangers of fracking and the direct risk it has on the indigenous peoples living in Vaca Muerta.
Minah Choi (Pomona College)
I had the opportunity to work with the environmental organization FARN this semester in Buenos Aires. FARN is one of the major environmental advocacy firms in Argentina, and they engage with a variety of themes ranging from climate change to lithium mining and indigenous rights. During my time with FARN, I learned a lot about the environmental movement in Argentina/Latin America and the work being done in the NGO sphere. I would generally work on research for projects or documents in progress, translate articles, and transcribe audio recordings of interviews. There was an event put on by the organization, and I also helped receive guests for the panel. I really enjoyed talking to my boss and the people working at FARN, and experiencing exchange in a context outside of the classroom.
Fundación Instituto de Investigaciones y Educación Ambiental
Brittany Thomas (Middlebury College)
In my internship with Espana Verrastro at the Fundación Instituto de Investigaciones y Educación Ambiental, I worked with two other Middlebury students, investigating solid waste issues and helping to create an educational garden at a youth program in Buenos Aires. For the investigation portion, we researched problems the city is currently confronting—shrinking available space in the landfill and limited recycling options—through sources printed in the newspaper, La Nacion. We worked in a garden at Puerto Pibes, which had first been planted years earlier, but more recently had been without any hands to care for it. We recovered the beds from weeds and planted a mixture of new seeds. I was able to attend a seed fair and learn about other small-scale gardens throughout the city, which hope to serve as platforms from which to teach about other environmental issues. We hosted an inauguration of the garden at the end of the semester to introduce the kids to the garden, and it was great to see their excitement over tasting peas and finding seedlings.
Becky Wasserman (Middlebury College, Spring 2013)
As an intern at Instituto de Investigaciones y Educación Ambiental (Institute of Environmental Education and Investigation), I worked with España Verrastro, a researcher for the institution, and two other Middlebury College students. The four of us formed a team during the internship, working on two distinct projects. Each week, we allotted one day to researching waste management politics in Buenos Aires. I was in charge of creating a document of election candidates’ statements, on the national, provincial, and city level, about their positions on waste management. From this process, I learned about trash in a way I had never considered before, even as en environmental studies major. The other day of the week, all four of us spent time at Puerto Pibes, an elementary school and afterschool facility for teens, building a huerta (organic vegetable garden) for the community. We spent our Friday afternoons trying to build this huerta from the bottom up as well as coordinating with staff to create the start of an environmental education program, using the huerta as a teaching tool. It was extremely rewarding to see a group of young adults without much exposure to environmental issues begin to learn about plants and express interest in continuing the project in the future.
Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina
Rachel Korschun (Middlebury College)
While studying abroad in Buenos Aires I did an internship at the Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, a large non-profit environmental organization. The Fundación is one of the largest environmental organizations in the country and is affiliated with the WWF. The organization does work with protected land and marine areas and environmental issues in the country. I worked with their group of volunteers, which was mostly comprised of university age argentines. We office. I would do standard office work, translations, research, and blog work when I was in the office. This is a great organization with a lot of dedicated people working towards a better environment in Argentina.
Sabrina McNew (Pomona College)
I worked with the FVSA in Buenos Aires for 15 weeks as part of my internship for credit during my semester abroad. I was worried at first about choosing an internship over another class, because I had heard from some people that they’re a waste of time, but I was really lucky with the FVSA and am really glad I did it. It started off slowly (as most things in Argentina, and even more so with ONGs) because my boss, Andrés has no lack of things to do and not a lot of time. The other girl from Middlebury and I were hounding him by email for two weeks before we actually got started. Despite the slow start, however, I realized that Andrés was actually really attentive, organized, and passionate about the work in the fundación. Among other things, he coordinates the work of the volunteers, the group where we worked. We got to know the other volunteers, which was great, because they’re mostly young college students from a variety of carreras, countries and backgrounds. We had group meetings every once in a while, but a lot of them I didn’t see that often because we all came to the office on different days. As for the work- I did a variety of tasks, some translating, some office organizing, and some research. The things I liked the most: 1. we spent time organizing the articles in the 100 magazines of the FVSA by topic. This was great because I got to read most of the magazines, which are really great sources of information about the history of conservation and environmental work in Argentina. 2. Also, the volunteer group organizes “field trips” to various ecological reserves a couple times a month. During the trips I got to spend more time with the volunteers, get out of the city, and see different parts around Buenos Aires. During the time in the office, I really appreciated that I generally knew what work was going on, so that I could continue with our projects without always having to ask for something to do. The FVSA is a good organization and the people in it are committed to environmental work. It was a good opportunity for me to learn more about jobs in the sciences that aren’t strictly academic. Good internship overall. Advice: be proactive – ask for things to do, if they offer you a field trip, go.
Melissa Segil (Middlebury College)
I had the opportunity to work at RED-ES, Amigos de la Tierra, an environmental NGO based in Montevideo, Uruguay. I researched and prepared a report about climate change and deforestation, specifically the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. I also organized an climate change conference for the 350 Day of Action in October 2009.
I enjoyed working and going beyond student life while I was studying abroad, and it was inspiring to see people working hard on environmental initiatives in another part of the world.
Human Rights and Social Services
Emily Selch (Middlebury College)
I worked with Awareness Association, a nongovernmental organization that wants to teach democratic values and civic consciousness ideas to the community, but especially children. The tasks that I realized there was an investigation of the work of other NGOs and multilateral agencies develop a similar awareness work. I also wrote a summary of a project. I typically work with other interns, but sometimes I work with my boss (Alexis Estevez) in organizing an agenda on a trip to USA or collaborate in other tasks. I think it is a recommended place. I like it because the internship is very independent. The tasks are important and, for me, very interesting. Also, learn the specific vocabulary of this internship has been useful for my Spanish.
Ethan Grossman (Pomona College)
I had a generally positive experience interning at Conciencia during my time studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Working in the Institutional Development Department in a small, close-knit office allowed for constant interaction with the person I was working under as well as people in other departments and positions. Mackenzie (the other Middlebury intern) and I were invited to the president’s home for an event honoring Ibero-American general secretary Enrique Iglesias as well as their annual fundraiser event at La Rural. In regards to my tasks during my internship: I worked mostly with Alexis developing correspondence and preparing materials for his trip to the U.S. where he met with various organizations and institutions to discuss Conciencia and develop its international network. This mostly involved researching institutions that would support conciencia with this goal (organizations with similar missions, ideologies and focuses on Latin America) and writing letters on behalf of Conciencia to organize these meetings. Once this was completed, I was involved in preparing some of the materials used for these meetings as well as helping with Conciencia’s effort to maintain contact with the organizations Alexis met with after he returned to Argentina. There were a couple of days when I worked on filling out grant proposal requests as well. While none of these tasks were particularly interesting or challenging for me, I did appreciate seeing how a nonprofit functions from an institutional development perspective.
Thomas Crocker (Middlebury College)
RESPONDE is an Argentine NGO that aids in the recuperation of rural towns at risk of disappearing due to lack of opportunities, loss of heritage and culture, no economy base, etc. During my time at RESPONDE I was able to choose projects of my own to work on. I chose to focus on the ways in which tourism can benefit rural towns to restructure their local economy, create opportunities for the people and recuperate the lost heritage and culture of the community. A large portion of my time with Responde was spent working on an informative paper geared towards members of rural communities thinking about utilizing rural tourism as a means of recuperation for their town; I was able to put together a thorough and informative guide to establishing a rural tourism program for members of the communities (what types of services would need to be established, how to attract and promote their tourism project, how the program could benefit their community, etc.). My final project for Middlebury and Responde was about the role of Responde and other NGOs in assisting and guiding rural towns through the initial phases of establishing a rural tourism program. On top of these two large projects, I also spent time in the office translating documents. The people at my internship were really nice and welcoming; the atmosphere was relaxed and they were helpful whenever I needed help finding information. I felt my work was appreciated and will be useful for them as they move into their first rural tourism program in Berna.
Rachel Hudson (Westminster College)
RESPONDE is a nongovernmental organization that assists isolated, rural towns throughout Argentina that are disappearing for lack of resources and economic growth. The future of the rural towns is precarious because many have abandoned them, while those that remain struggle to preserve the lifestyle, removed from basic resources that are taken for granted in the urban society. RESPONDE offers various projects to confront the issue, from education and tourism to auto sustainable food production. As an intern, I had the opportunity to learn about each area of the organization and participate in the Revival program to attract international volunteers to the towns. It is a typical office job but the members of the organization are very helpful and friendly. Each member of the organization works individually and most of the time I did internet research to recruit volunteers. Although the everyday tasks of an office environment aren’t terribly stimulating, it is definitely possible to get more involved and personalize your work. I was able accompany the RESPONDE staff to a small town in the province of Santa Fe where we presented workshops to encourage the community to produce and sell their unique food products. It was very meaningful to meet the inhabitants of the town and see the work of RESPONDE on a more personal level. I fell in love with the community and I returned to San Francisco at the end of my stay in Argentina. I taught English to the children, organized physical education workshops and a mini marathon to encourage health, and event management skills. The intention was to attract more people in and outside of the community to participate in activities to build up the community. RESPONDE has a great mission and it is more than worth it to get involved. RESPONDE attacks the issue from every angle, so the volunteers have the freedom to bring their individual talents to the organization.
Olivia Kier (Pomona College)
The Luisa Hairabedian Foundation is a non-governmental organization that draws from the experiences of the Armenian Genocide through remembrance, truth, and justice to raise public awareness about serious violations of human rights and the importance of education in preventing further genocides. By teaching history, the social sciences and international law in workshops and school programs the LHF hopes to bring about positive social change for a more equitable society. As an intern, I had various projects that included organizing and sorting through the historical archives of the documents used for the Truth Trials of the Armenian Genocide in Argentina legally sponsored by Dr. Luisa Hairabedian in 2000. I also had to create a digital record of the oral testimonies of members of the Armenian community in Argentina. Along with these archival tasks, I completed grant proposals to request international funding for the foundation. Outside of the office, I participated in various activities with the foundation; saw presentations hosted by my supervisors, visited workshops, attended a theatre production, and went to historical sites related to genocide, like the Ex-Esma. All my supervisors were very warm and welcoming and the work environment was a great place to learn about Argentinian history and culture. The work flow is not always consistent, but if you take initiative and ask questions you can get a lot out of an internship with the FLH.
Olivia Haas (Converse College)
The Fundación Luisa Hairabedian (FLH) is a non-governmental organization that uses legal tools, the Armenian Genocide, and the process of seeking the truth, memory, and justice in Argentina for positive social change towards a more equal society. FLH collaborates with the community through educational programs in schools and universities in Argentina and abroad, providing research and legal tools, and with many alliances with whom they engage in thought provoking discussions about the human rights and the process of remembrance. As an intern my primary project has been setting up and digitalizing the Genocide and Human Rights Center of Documentation, consisting of original documents that were used as evidence in the Truth Trials. Other tasks range from translating documents to participating in events and discussions.
FLH helps me contextualize history and current events in Argentina. The workplace is a space of support from co-workers and of open conversation.
This internship with FLH complements and significantly enhances my experience living and studying in Buenos Aires through Middlebury’s Study Abroad program.
Anoush Baghdassarian (Claremont McKenna College)
My internship at the Luisa Hairabedian Foundation this semester was one of the highlights of my study abroad experience. I wanted an internship where I could delve further into the field of human rights while of course practicing my Spanish and working in an atmosphere where my work was valued and the people around me were dedicated and passionate about the work, as well as helpful and patient. I received all of that and more by working at the Luisa Hairabedian Foundation. The Foundation has four sections—juridical, educational, cultural, and academic, and the work they do in each section is truly unique and exceptional Before I arrived at the Foundation, the founder and his partners had carried out a trial using the right to the truth law in Argentine courts to find out where lie the remains of his relatives in Armenia, due to having been deported during the Armenian Genocide in 1915. They used this law that was created during the time of the last military dictatorship in Argentina and they used it to their advantage in order that Argentina would officially declare the atrocity of the Armenians, a genocide (since it is controversial because Turkey still denies it). The group of lawyers during this case travelled to archives around the world to find documents of the time period from the governments of England, France, Germany, Russia, the Ottoman Empire, etc, to use as evidence in the case, and the work I was tasked with at the Foundation was helping to create an archive of these documents so they can be made public and used for future use. This Foundation is the first group to hold a trial like this for the Armenian Genocide and to it was an exceptional experience to be a part of this pioneering effort. To help create this archive I got the opportunity to read the official historical documents and create a resume for each one so they could be filed away with a short summary in front, explaining of what each article comprises. It was a great experience to learn about international affairs, how each country communicated with one another, and how with these official documents, genocide and crimes against humanity can be fought and receive justice. It was a great experience in the human rights field and I think that any student who is interested in history, human rights, international relations, education, or law, would be interested in this internship. In addition to the work that I did, there were other great events that the Foundation created that students could be a part of as well. Educational events—creating powerpoints and going to different schools and parts of Argentina to present about crimes against humanity, and specifically the Armenian Genocide in this instance of the 100th anniversary. Additionally, the current President of the Foundation is a human rights lawyer in Argentina who works to represent the “desaparecidos” (disappeared people during the last Argentine military dictatorship) and in addition to speaking with him and learning a lot from our conversations about the history, laws, and human rights, I was able to attend a trial which was an exceptional experience in being a part of Argentine history. This is definitely an internship I would recommend for future students for the quality of work, the uniqueness and importance of the Foundation, and the kindness and intelligence of the staff.
Julia Lighten (Middlebury College)
Poder Ciudadano is a non profit organization located in Monserrat, Buenos Aires, and it is the Argentine chapter of Transparency International. The organization promotes citizen participation in politics and anti-corruption through actions that contribute to transparency. At the beginning of my internship with Poder Ciudadano, I read various sources that provided important background information about the founding of the organization and its principles. The purpose of this first task was to become familiar with the organization, its mission, values, and past projects in order to contribute effectively to its current projects. After reading and taking notes, I was tasked with researching manuals that detailed international standards for data entry. This was helpful for the organization, for they have a database with information that aligns with their objective to promote transparency in the Argentinian government. When researching the sources, I listed my findings, briefly wrote about what each source explained, and I identified where I received them. Finally, I contributed to an election simulation based on a similar project completed in 2001. Before contributing, I read about how the project was previously modeled. I then completed various tasks such as entering data about the candidates of the upcoming elections, as well as reporting what I found in news sources about certain candidates´ actions. Overall, the work consisted of both individual and group tasks, and the assignments contributed to my learning and professional skills.
Ivy Geilker (Middlebury College)
Poder Ciudadano is the Argentinian branch of Transparency International, a non-governmental organization that fights against corruption and for citizens rights to transparency. The office functions like a classic think-tank, which means its a mix of volunteers and employees who work individually and collaboratively on research projects. In my time with PC I worked on a independent research project on the topic of gender and corruption. I was doing original research, attempting to add literature to the field. Poder Ciudadano is a good internship for students who are interested in research and are comfortable sharing office space with a variety of other students and professionals.
Zoe Chevalier (Williams College)
My internship in Poder Ciudadano was an extremely rewarding and interesting experience. The foundation focuses on the fight [against] corruption and the mobilization of civil society in questions of public interest. During my time here, I got to work closely with some of the directors on the preparation of the Annual Report, where they invited ambassadors, journalists, public servants and businessmen to assist their report on corruption in Argentina for the past year, and presented their book. I then focused on my own research project on the commitments that Argentina made with other international actors to fight corruption, and the follow-up on these commitments. Overall, my experience at Poder Ciudadano was wonderful, as the openness, kindness and interest of all the people in the office helped me feel welcomed, and the general “buena onda” in the office made me have a real experience of the Argentinian workplace. Highly recommend!
Caroline Jasiak (Tulane University)
Poder Ciudadano is a nonprofit organization that is working to fight corruption in the Argentinian government. I have been working on a project called Recursos Transparentes, which is a joint initiative between Poder Ciudadano, and similar organizations across South America, that helps to promote the transparency of government spending and fights against the misuse and abuse of public resources. For Recursos Transparentes, I have helped to spread the word about the cause through social media, have worked as a translator so that those of the English-speaking world can also be aware of the cause, and have helped contact journalists and broadcasters throughout the provinces of Argentina. Overall, this internship has been a great way to improve my general knowledge of South American democracies as well as work with some incredibly bright and incredibly friendly people. I have loved working for Poder Ciudadano because I feel like that the fight against corruption in the government is something that is incredibly important and is a fight that will continue for a long time.
Maren Walsh (Middlebury College)
This semester, I interned with the international NGO Techo, which works to bring emergency housing alternatives to families in need in 19 countries across Latin America. Techo has constructed 13,830 houses to date, in addition to running working groups with community members to motivate local engagement. Because Techo relies heavily on volunteer participation, I was able to contribute in a variety of ways: I organized online databases, attended fundraisers, visited communities to speak with families, and constructed houses. Techo provided me with opportunities to observe how NGOs operate, as well as enhance my understanding of inequality in the Buenos Aires region.
Jillian Dos Santos (Middlebury College)
As an intern at TECHO, I had the opportunity to work in a welcoming workplace with fun, enthusiastic young professionals. My duties at TECHO changed often depending on the needs of the organization. One day I would be constructing miniature wooden houses, while the next I managed and updated volunteer databases. In my time there, I gained valuable experience of how internal operations function in a nonprofit environment. I would recommend this internship to those with an interest in NGOs, especially those with skills in as excel, photoshop, video editing, and web development. Prospective interns without those skills may not be able to fully benefit from the teaching potential that an internship at TECHO has.
Isaac Harris (Pomona College)
Techo is a nonprofit organization with offices in several countries in Latin America that provides housing support in impoverished areas. In Argentina, the focus is on emergency shelter— building stable, wooden houses for those in “asentamientos” where there is little infrastructure and mostly makeshift construction. As an intern, I work some days in the office doing mundane data-entry of “encuestas,” the interviews of families who apply for the emergency shelter. On Saturdays various groups of volunteers go out to the impoverished neighborhoods and collect the “encuestas” — this is always much more interesting and rewarding, and is a good way to make friends. Techo has a good vibe with passionate volunteers, although I wish I could see more sides of the organization.
Consejo Argentino para las Relaciones Internacionales (CARI)
Nate Moll (Middlebury College)
(Remote internship) The Argentine Council for International Relations (CARI) is an international relations think-tank based in Buenos Aires. The organization hosts events with experts in a variety of IR fields and conducts research on related topics. While working with CARI, I attended virtual events and translated a few articles per week on a subject of my choice for publication on its website. My supervisor was also incredibly open to giving me more detailed tasks upon my request. Finally, I was given a lot of freedom to explore topics of interest in my final paper. My advisor worked closely with me throughout the process and consistently asked for updates on my paper.
Journalism and Publishing
Renn Mulloy (Middlebury College)
Hekht Libros is an independent publishing group directed by women. The group is responsible for all stages of bookmaking: the selection of the text, working with the author, editing, translation, design, physical construction of the book, and distribution. The group’s independent nature encourages a cooperative process that brings together many actors from the cultural community in Buenos Aires. I have worked on finding financing for a collection of feminist photography by artist Gisela Volá. I have translated presentations, sewn books by hand, attended lectures on a variety of themes, and participated in meetings with various authors. The opportunities for research are quite expansive, given the many moving parts involved in the creation and distribution of cultural material outside of the traditional publishing framework.
Emilio Araujo (Pomona College)
I went to Bar La Tribu before even starting my internship for a screening of the original 1995 version of Ghost in the Shell. That’s to say, La Tribu is such a cool cultural center that I highly recommend going to events there even if you don’t intern there. As a community based radio, it has a strong focus on feminism, queerness, and gender identity which permeates every aspect of the space and work. During my time there, I was technical operator for Sonidos Clandestinos—a program which brings to light little known international artists, a guest on Infernet—a comedy talk show, and I worked on various events (like Ghost in the Shell) at night in the bar. While some of my work was technical for example, recording, editing, writing for the website, mixing audio, setting up mics, or organizing the program alongside the console operator, much of it was directly interacting with my coworkers, both on air and off. While it was honestly pretty terrifying to talk live on air when I first arrived, by the end of my time with La Tribu it felt more like hanging out with friends, chatting, and drinking mate than recording a radio program. Muy buena onda! I loved my time here and it provided a more casual, creative, and flexible work space which allowed me to explore my interests and get outside my comfort zone in a supportive and friendly environment.
Medicine and Public Health
Annie Aguilar (Middlebury College)
I recommend working with las Damas Rosadas in Hospital Ramón Sardá if you are interested in public health and/or women’s health and seeking an interactive internship. Although the pace of the work is very relaxed, assisting the other volunteers and the patients requires that you are on your feet and speaking in Spanish the entire time. The other volunteers are generally very kind and open to answering questions. They always tried their best to cater to my interests. I got a chance to visit each of the different care departments and gained a more holistic understanding of the inner workings of a maternity hospital. I witnessed women resting, recovering, working through labor, and giving birth, and I observed babies that needed extra care in Neonatology. My favorite part of this internship was speaking with the mothers while they recuperated with their babies after giving birth. During my time at Hospital Ramón Sardá, I learned a great deal about how the public health system works in Argentina. Because public health care in Argentina is free for all, I met women from many different countries in South America. Argentina has several very progressive laws regarding women’s health and respectful birth within the hospital setting. This internship introduced me to the difficulties that public hospitals and their limited resources can face with the application of such laws and what they do to combat these limitations.
Madeline Walsh (Williams College)
I greatly enjoyed my internship with the Damas Rosadas - a group of volunteers who provide important services to women (many of whom are from low-income and immigrant communities) and their newborn infants at the Hospital Maternidad Sarda. The Damas Rosadas work to make sure that mothers receive proper support - including clothes and places to stay while their newborns are in the hospital. During my time interning here, I had the opportunity to hear many women’s stories, to work in a neonatal ward, and to feel part of a group of wonderful volunteers who make new mothers’ lives a little easier at what is often a challenging time. I would recommend this pasantia to anyone who is interested in a hands-on opportunity to learn about public health services in Argentina.
Fundación Alicia Moreau de Justo
Ella Dyett (Middlebury College)
This spring (2019) during my time here in Buenos Aires I did an internship with the Alicia Moreau Foundation under Graciela Gonzales. In this internship, I would observe Graciela’s sessions with some of her clients at the foundation. Most of these clients I observed were children who had been abused or had neurological or other mental health issues. She would also interview their parents to get their perspective and understand a little bit more about the child and their environment. I also got to experience a whole other side of psychology by helping her give neurological and psychological exams to determine whether people were fit to work in their current jobs or jobs they were applying for. This was interesting because I got to learn a lot about warning signs to look for while conducting a psychological interview. Lastly, I would go with Graciela every week to a popular feminist club that she is a part of and helped them plan and execute a few fun events. This was interesting because I got to see how feminist topics, that are so important to me as a woman, are discussed here in Argentina. Even though we dealt with some pretty heavy themes, I feel like I really learned a lot and enjoyed my time with Graciela. I would very much recommend my internship to anyone who is studying or merely interested in Psychology as you will really get to see how psychology is studied and applied so differently here in Argentina.
Laura Frischer (Pomona College)
Working with Fundación Huésped in Infectious Diseases at Hospital Fernández was a really incredible experience. Fundación Huésped has fought against HIV since 1989 not only as a transmittable disease but as a societal problem as well. The Foundation funds research in the area, offers many different support groups, and provides legal aid for those who need it, among many other functions. I worked with the psychologists and doctors in the hospital who offer free HIV testing and medical checkups for those with infectious diseases (almost always HIV). For my first month I shadowed the psychologists who conducted the pre- and post-HIV test counseling sessions, for my second month I worked with the director of volunteering in the archives, and for my third month I saw patients with HIV-related neurological disorders with a doctor. Overall, I feel that my experience provided invaluable exposure to medicine and more specifically to the system in Argentina.
Fundación Interamericana del Corazón (FIC) Argentina
Hannah Craig (Tulane University)
Fundación Interamericana del Corazón (FIC) is a nonprofit public health organization that is focused on promoting cardiovascular health. While at FIC I worked with a supervisor to research and write a report on the marketing strategies that the tobacco industry uses to sell flavored cigarettes, with a specific focus on the capsule cigarettes that have become very popular in Argentina. My main responsibilities were to find, read, and analyze scientific articles relating to flavored or capsule cigarettes. Once I had gathered evidence from the articles and interpreted common themes, I wrote a detailed report based on the results of my findings. I finalized this report by editing it in conjunction with my supervisor. The finished report will be used to guide future research and studies within FIC.
Naomi Caldwell (Swarthmore College)
This foundation operates on the core belief of health care as a human right. FIC Argentina conducts investigations, publishes research, writes protocols, and lobbies and maintains open dialogue with the Ministry of Health to hold the government accountable as promoters of healthy living. Their work focuses on the themes of tobacco control, alcohol consumption, nutrition and fitness, and the staff includes teams of investigators for each of these areas as well as teams of lawyers and economists who bring a different perspective to FIC’s research. Interested students with diverse academic interests could thus find relevant work with FIC. I mostly worked with the tobacco control team to research and catalogue the online market of electronic cigarettes. My time here ended in collaborating on a protocol and research proposal for a future project. I also had the chance to learn about the other ongoing projects such as illicit trade of cigarettes and falsification of their stamps.
Fundación para la Lucha contra las Enfermedades Neurológicas de la Infancia (FLENI)
Kathleen Wilson (Middlebury College)
FLENI is a private hospital in Buenos Aires that specializes in the treatment of neurological disorders in children and adults. The foundation integrates clinical care with clinical research studies and has a focus on teaching graduate and medical students. I spent most of the time during my internship shadowing evaluations for a clinical study on Alzheimer’s Disease and shadowing cognitive and language tests in the children’s neuropsychiatry unit with psychologists and speech therapists. This internship is a fantastic learning experience for anyone interested in healthcare or clinical research and I would highly recommend it to those with a background in psychology, biology, or neuroscience.
Emma Wilkinson (Middlebury College)
La Fundación Argentina de Afasia “Charlotte Schwarz” es un centro para asistencia a las personas que padecen de afasia, un impedimento del lenguaje que afecta a la lectoescritura, comprensión del lenguaje, reconocimiento de palabras, y el habla. La institución funciona en el módulo de Centro de Día y Planificación Centrada en la Persona. El motivo de la fundación es proporcionar apoyo a las personas con afasia, desarrollar los potenciales de los pacientes al máximo, y mejorar la calidad de sus vidas. Durante 13 semanas trabajé en algunas funciones en la fundación. Participé mayormente en el taller de comunicación aumentativa como una asistente y organizadora. Cuando empecé a trabajar el taller acababa de cambiar de Comunicación Aumentativa a un Laboratorio de Tecnología, donde las personas en la fundación podían enfocar en sus intereses y desafíos personales en cualquier área de la tecnología. También participé en el taller de conversación y la escuela para personas con afasia.
Molly Drane (Middlebury College)
Paco is the residue of cocaine mixed with industrial solvents, rat poison, and other poisonous add-ins. It is commonly referred to as la droga de los pobres, or the drug of the poor. Bajo Flores is a villa (in English we would call a villa something like a shanty town or a slum) in Buenos Aires that is notorious for Paco manufacture, use, and sale. I began my Study Abroad internship in September 2009, working with the group Las Madres Contra el Paco when they opened their rehabilitation center Hay otra esperanza, the first of its kind within a villa and one of the few centers that accepts Paco addicts. With Hay otra esperanza, I taught both an Art and an English workshop to the addicts. Through the program, Las Madres create a safe, welcoming, and positive environment for the Paco users and the children. Hay otra esperanza certainly promotes and achieves that type of atmosphere and support structure, something the addicts and the children may not have otherwise. Even though I left the center discouraged countless times, frustrated that the group seemed to be despairing or that I couldn’t get through to certain individuals, I really feel that I did establish a solid connection with those who stayed in treatment. After my first semester abroad, I decided to continue volunteering at the center because I honestly loved the work and the community I had become a part of within the program. Despite being a yanqui (and having trouble understanding the villa slang), I was always welcomed by the addicts and Las Madres with open arms and besos. The community that has been created within Hay otra esperanza is unique and, without a doubt, a successful step in the battle to control Paco. I can honestly say that working with Las Madres and the Paco addicts was truly one of the most defining parts of my year in Buenos Aires.