Tuesday, March 7, 2017

SLU PT Study Abroad Opportunity - Argentina

¡Hola! from Argentina

By: Lena Brocato (DPT Class of 2020)

I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Córdoba, Argentina, which is a city in the center of Argentina that is vibrant, politically charged and full of fun and loving people. It is located about 30 minutes away from gorgeous mountains and is full of universities and college students, making it a very fun and energetic city. In Córdoba, I studied with a program called Casa. This program challenged us to live simply and love extravagantly. It focuses on four pillars: Community, Accompaniment, Spirituality and Academics. We were each assigned a "Praxis site", or service site, that we went to two times a week for the semester. At my praxis site I got the opportunity to work with a foundation that helps support young adults that are struggling financially by providing them with magazines to sell in the city. This foundation, La Luciérnaga, also provides these young adults with meals, clothes and classes on professionalism in hopes that they can get more stable jobs. My role was accompaniment based, so I spent the morning working with a few women, preparing lunch, cleaning the building and organizing what ever they need. Then in the afternoon I got to spend time with the people that sell the magazines. It was my absolute favorite part of the entire week! These people do not lead easy lives and yet they are so full of joy and have great, goofy spirits. It was so nice of them to take time out of their days to chit-chat with me. It is very rewarding to get to use my Spanish to connect with these "Canillitas,” or the people selling magazines, that I would not otherwise get a chance to know.

Photo I took of the Canillitas in their backyard area at La Luciérnaga
On top of the great experience of Praxis and adventuring through Córdoba, we also had the chance to explore other parts of Argentina! I went to Buenos Aires, Las Sierras, Bariloche and El Bolsón and have met some great Argentine friends through our classes and lives in the city. 

Las Sierras, Córdoba
Casa in Argentina is a unique study abroad experience that I would recommend to anyone who is ready to challenge themselves through uncomfortable situations, experience things that can change your worldview and push yourself to learn how to better love and show empathy to others. Although my semester did not have a Health Science focus, I learned more about what it means to “walk” with others and meet them where they are than I think I ever would have, had I stayed in the states. 

March in opposition of racial profiling and police brutality with Casa students and people from La Luciérnaga through Córdoba
This is one of several posts featuring SLU PT Student study abroad experiences. Because of its unique format, the SLU PT program gives students the ability to study abroad the fall of their junior year. For more information about study abroad experiences at SLU go to: http://www.slu.edu/study-abroad.

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