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Jul 31, 2019

Argentina Reflection - Justyce Toeke

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To say that my time in Argentina was unforgettable would be an understatement. Over the course of only 8 days, I was able to meet life-long friends and learn about an entirely different yet similar culture. In Argentina I was able to experience what business life was like and just how much relationships influence how a business is run. I learned that both personal and professional relationships affect how a business is set up and run. Regarding business, I also found that creating human interactions when you are unable to physically interact with people is both useful and appreciated in business culture. I learned that with such an unstable economy like Argentina’s, people have to be flexible and ready for situations to change in an instant. This made me both envy and appreciate what we as New Zealanders have here in our country. Envy because Argentines learn how to naturally work around difficult situations and appreciate because in New Zealand we have the stability in our economy to be able to not have to heavily worry about how strong our dollar is or if we are going to be able to afford everyday necessities. As I began to familiarise myself with my new surroundings, I began to see how open the people of Argentina were and how expressive they loved being. Not only were they strongly opinionated, but they were also open-minded and always loved gaining knowledge about foreign things.

The Argentine students we had the privilege to work with in particular influenced this view I created of Argentine people. These four students showed such amazing hospitality that my time in Argentina was ten times better than what it could’ve been. They each were supportive and patient when it came to teaching us about their culture and tried their absolute best when trying to learn New Zealand culture. They definitely made the experience that much more special. Adding to this unique experience was the amazing support crew we had. Whether it was Colin, Jess, Ali or Lucy, all of us students had someone to go to. If we felt a little ill or just needed someone to talk to and answer our questions, one of them was always available and ready to give you their attention. I personally had to go them a few times and each time, they were awesome and provided me with just what I needed. I believe that with them, many of us New Zealand students felt much better being so far away from home. Overall, during my time in Argentina, I found that I was able to come out of my shell and bond with a range of people. Something I tend to find hard to do. I was constantly surrounded by supportive and caring people which made me feel comfortable to open up and have the best possible experience.

The trip provided through YES and LA CAPE was a life-impacting journey that enabled me to learn more about myself and is something I am honoured to have been a part of. It helped me gain a clearer idea of what I want to do after high school and I would highly recommend any student to apply because you never know what you might gain from a once in a life time trip like the one I just took part in.