Sara Gold

Human Rights Intern | Buenos Aires
McGill University
15 June 2014

When I started university, I knew that I wanted to spend one semester abroad. I completed an internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina with Connect 123 this February-June so as to take a productive break from my studies and to truly think about what direction I was headed in.

I chose Buenos Aires to improve my Spanish, experience living abroad and for its fascinating history amongst many more reasons. I knew that with my International Development Major and Women’s Studies Minor, work experience before graduation was necessary and that Argentina had a long and interesting past and current history in relation to women’s rights.

I interned at two NGO’s. One dealt primarily with issues affecting women and children with HIV/AIDS. My responsibilities included looking for funding, compiling a master list with the funder’s requirements, explaining the grants and sending them to the organization as well as translation/revision of their entire website, many grant proposals, budgets and official e-mails. At this NGO, I learnt a lot about non-profit work in Argentina, the inner-workings of the United Nations, marketing, grant-writing, budget creation and translation. My supervisors were clear about their expectations and made feasible, yet ambitious goals.

The second organization was a feminist non-profit that dealt with women’s rights in the context of domestic or any type of violence. I was more independent at this internship and initiated my own project, which was the creation of a blog for the organization. I also assisted them with a little bit of translation and writing up material/designing a program for workshops they held later in the year. When the workshops started, I assisted them in preparing and hosting their events.

In both of my internships, I learnt greatly about women’s rights in Argentina, the inner-workings of NGOs and the impact both groups are making domestically and internationally. My level of Spanish also went from barely speaking to conversational fluent in a matter of months. My greatest challenges were of course, first, adjusting to the language switch and to a different working culture.

In my free time, I met up with friends, attended Connect-123 or other events, explored the city and travelled to places all over South America and Argentina like Peru, Chile, Patagonia, Mendoza, Brazil and Uruguay. Buenos Aires is really the gateway to many exciting destinations over the continent and there are definitely ways to travel affordably.

I made many incredible friends and took time to really enjoy and explore the city. I took the time to appreciate and think, which is something we all forget to do when we’re caught up with life.

I loved everything about Argentina; the people, the food, the expressions, the places, the city, the music, the literature, my apartment, the nature, the culture, the language and more.

Thank you to Paula and Katie from Connect-123 for warmly welcoming me to B.A. and helping me make the best of what the city had to offer.

Taking a semester to do my internship and travel truly helped me confirm my career plans and take the time to consolidate my skills. I would highly suggest for anyone to get out of their comfort zone and pursue international opportunities like this one, so as to learn, be taught, share, travel and experience.

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Sergio Demara

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