My internship and time in Buenos Aires has been both difficult and rewarding. Coming from such a small town, I had never taken public transportation by myself until this summer. Figuring out taxis, buses, and the Subte in Buenos Aires has been at times stressful but also very empowering. The first weekend I had to go buy a Sube card, find a place to charge it, look for domestic cell phones, and run errands. It has all been really empowering. Even at the end of my second weekend in Buenos Aires I already feel way more at ease.

My work at the U.S. Commercial Service office has already been really exciting and challenging; I dove into my assignments right away. So far I have done two translations from Spanish to English where I have been required to compile, synthesize, and describe market developments. These reports were updates for some of our clients in the telecommunications and agricultural sectors. I also have been doing international company profile reports for some of the leading businesses in the energy and mining sectors. In doing so, I help compile information on potential Argentine businesses that would be interested in importing U.S. products. The hardest part of the internship and of Buenos Aires in general is the Spanish. Even though all of the sector specialists speak perfect English and help me out with unknown words, the work is so technical that I felt really discouraged the first couple of days. I have been studying though, and it is going a lot better already. I am mainly working with oil, gas, and mining industries, so I am trying to cut myself some slack as I can barely talk about that field in English!

(Lauran Feist is a member of the International Scholars Program.)