Since 2012, Students in the Liberal Arts and URGD Programs that show a strong interest, meet the required Spanish level and demonstrate the required academic skills, have the opportunity to apply for internship positions (unpaid, non credit) that give them exposure to professional practice in public and private organizations.
This semester, CIEE Buenos Aires has offered a number of prestigious and interesting internships to students, including Assistant in Literary Magazines, Research Assistant at the Argentina Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Assistant at the Foundation for Studies and Research on the Woman (FEIM), Assistant in Film Magazines, Research Assistant at the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (INADI), and Assistant at Lluvía: Management of an Art Exposition.
Read on for highlights from students about their experiences!
Isaac Walker, Grinnell College: Spanish Major
“It doesn’t matter which stories we tell, the novel argues, only that we never stop telling stories.”
This is the last line of the review that I wrote of Toque de queda (The Curfew) for my internship. Every week I work on a new draft of a book review, and these reviews will eventually be published in Argentine literary magazines. It’s not as easy as it might sound, but the challenge is worth it. It has taught me new ways to use and appreciate the Spanish language, and refined my writing skills in any language. Like the author of Toque de queda, I believe that society needs stories, and my internship is giving me the opportunity to learn about and participate in the stories that Argentina tells.
Isaac with Toque de queda
Argentina Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Nick Richard, Tufts University: Psychology Major
This semester Zack, Lochard and I are interning as Research Assistants in the Cancillería (equivalent to the U.S. Department of State). The internship entails meetings with Diego Filmus and Secretary Daniel Filmus, weekly research and bi-weekly reports regarding the Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands) along with keeping up to date with news from the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, and studying cases of former and current British colonies and their unique processes of decolonization and relationship to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. We have learned a ton so far, become more fluent in the debate surrounding this very present and controversial topic in the Argentine national consciousness, and recently had the luck to meet with Secretary Filmus in the Cancillería, which was a very impressive experience. We look forward to all the future challenging and rewarding experiences that this internship may present, including the 10 kilometer race in July to raise awareness for the Malvinas. Wish us luck!
Zach, Nick and Lochard with Secretary Daniel Filmus, former Senator of Buenos Aires and Minister of Education, Science and Technology
Lochard Philozin, Grinnell College: Economics Major
Without any doubt, one of my best experiences thus far in Argentina is working for the Cancillería. Although I was born and raised in the Caribbean, it was not until I started this internship with the Cancillería that I realized there were countries in the Caribbean that I did not know exist. Thus, the internship gives me the opportunity to learn about the socioeconomic and political history of two of those countries, Anguilla and St. Kitts and Nevis. Moreover, I have been acquiring new knowledge on how the UN Special Committee on Decolonization works. Most of all, the internship gives me the opportunity to contribute to a diplomatic fight whose aim is to achieve something that is right and fair. That is, pursue Britain to return the Malvinas Islands to the Argentinian people.
Zachary Lubelfeld, Indiana University: Political Science Major
My internship position is researching current and former British colonies for the Foreign Ministry's Committee on the Issue of the Malvinas. We do the majority of our work from our own computers, so it's up to us to figure out for ourselves what information to write about in our reports. Fortunately, after submitting a report, we'll get them back with suggestions for revisions, which definitely helps me understand what to focus on. The issue of the Malvinas is one of the core aspects of Argentine culture: no matter how they feel about it, everyone has a strong opinion. These reports allow me to see the issue from an Argentine perspective, which is important if you want to understand why the Malvinas are such a big deal in Argentina.
Foundation for the Study and Research of the Woman (FEIM)
Maisie Dolan, Grinnell College: Women’s Studies Major
A month ago I began my internship with FEIM (Foundation for the Study and Research of the Woman), where I am working closely with a handful of inspiring women on a project to engage the youth of Buenos Aires in dialogue and action surrounding sexual and reproductive rights, services, and education in Argentina. Investigating these social issues in Argentina within the current global context of population and development is fascinating and provides a great opportunity to practice and improve my Spanish, especially within the specific vocabulary of a human rights non-profit. But the most rewarding thing so far has been connecting with the local community and individuals in a meaningful, tangible way around an issue that is important, relevant, and interesting.
Reuben Unrau, University of Oregon: Journalism Major
When the opportunity arose to write reviews of Argentine cinema through the CIEE internship, I viewed it as a new adventure in my path to become a writer. My previous writing experience had almost only been through journalism, so changing my focus to the lens of a critic presented a unique challenge. Working for the past two months has opened my eyes to the beauty and details of independent films. I had to do in-depth research of the director and his aesthetic vision, while also drawing comparisons to a novel to which the film was based. It was challenging at first to develop the voice of a critic but with the guidance of Hernán Sassi, I can admit that I am proud with my work and enjoyed the new experience.
Reuben and Hernan Sassi
National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism
Sharon Zavala, Allegheny College: Environmental Science Major
When I applied to be an intern at INADI (National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism) I was very nervous because I’ve never worked with such a large institute but luckily INADI has been there every step of the way to help me with everything. I’ve been an intern there for only month but within that month I’ve learned so much already, not only about the institute itself but also about Argentina and their gypsy population which is the group I’m focusing on for this project. My task is to draft a thematic dossier regarding the gypsy population in Argentina. The gypsy population is important to analyze because it’s the society that suffers the most from discrimination, even more than Jews or Muslims. So for the past few weeks I have been gathering a lot of historic and present information about gypsies. In the next few weeks I will have the opportunity to interview a few gypsies and have a discussion with them about their experiences in regards to this topic. Overall, this has been a great experience thus far and I will only be learning a lot more in the weeks to come.
Dora, Maera Lucio and Sharon at INADI
Theodora Saclarides, Vanderbilt University: Spanish Major
My internship with INADI is invaluable because it has nuanced my understanding of Argentina. Previously, I assumed that Buenos Aires truly was the “Paris of South America”. In reality, Argentina has a more complex sociocultural identity. Through collaborating with INADI, I have learned more about the marginalization of populations that do not comply with this Eurocentric vision of Argentina.
For my internship, I complete weekly assigned readings that focus on racism, discrimination and xenophobia in Argentina in addition to my own investigation about gypsy populations. We meet at the headquarters of INADI every week to discuss and evaluate our progress with the readings. Our final research project consists of producing an academic text about gypsies in Argentina that INADI can use as a reference material.
Now, I know a different Argentina that does not match my previous misconceptions, and my study abroad experience has been richer because of this learning process.
Management of an Art Exhibition: Fernando Goin, Lluvia Office
Photo of Paseantes, a painting by Fernando Goin
Karlyn Gehring, Oberlin College: Psychology Major
A highlight of each week is working with the coordinator of the Lluvia office in curating and managing work with contemporary artists. As an intern, I’ve been helping on a project with artist Fernando Goin. So far, I’ve researched information for a more cohesive website and for paying opportunities to house his work. One challenge, of course, is the language, but equal to that is being in a city where I am not already connected to resources. However, this grants me the opportunity to build such resources and connect with an art community I wouldn’t have otherwise had access to. Apart from working, I’ve attended art gallery openings, art management workshops, and have learned much about Argentine culture through Goin’s work.