CAS '22 Jacob Kayser

GRIP: Intern in Argentina

Programs Abroad:

  • Global Research & Internship Program (GRIP): Habitat for Humanity Intern in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ask me about...

  • Traveling, specifically backpacking, in Argentina as this was my second time traveling throughout South America for an extensive amount of time

  • My experience living with a host family abroad and adjusting to that environment

  • Adjusting to a work environment

  • Speaking Spanish in a professional setting

My Experience Abroad:

This past summer I interned at Habitat for Humanity in Buenos Aires. While many may think that this organization solely builds houses, in Argentina the organization focuses on both empowering homeless families and improving housing public policy. My project consisted of interviewing families who rent informally in Buenos Aires. Using that information and other documents, I wrote a report on how housing public policy can be updated in Argentina in order to help families who are abused by their landlords and have no contract to fight back. 

As an Urban Studies major, I'm particularly interested in housing, education, and transportation policy. This experience opened my eyes to the corruption in Latin America and how NGOs are using their power to implement public policy that will combat it. 

Other Highlights:

  • One of the highlights of my experience abroad was going to Villa 21, one of the largest slums in Buenos Aires. I went with my supervisor and another intern to interview residents who rent informally in the slum to discuss their housing situation. It was fascinating and disturbing how quickly the "European-like" city turned into a third world country just by taking the subway. 

  • Three other highlights were traveling to Mendoza, Patagonia, and Iguazu Falls with other interns in the GRIP program in Buenos Aires. Argentina is a magical country and it was beautiful to hike in the Andes and see the wonderful nature that exists. I was also fascinated by the fact that Argentina is a very diverse country in terms of nature. Mendoza is the wine capital of Argentina and the Andes hover over myriad vineyards. Patagonia features incredible mountains that tower in the sky and encircle frozen lakes. And Iguazu Falls is home to one of the largest waterfalls in the world surrounded by a jungle. 

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