"The intensive Spanish course was a great way to build the foundations of the language required in order to do the placement. We learned appropriate phrases and vocabulary that was used frequently during our placement. "
Negin Kamyab 2012
Physical Therapy Argentina - Mendoza
I have volunteered in clinics and local hospitals close to my home for sometime now, so I was looking for something more when I went in search for a volunteer program that had placements abroad. Work the World was able to provide a safe and comfortable home close to the hospitals, which included food and an added bonus of Spanish lessons to start off my placement with!
I chose Work the World because it’s a well-established organisation that specialises in medical placements in many different parts of the world. I liked that I was able to choose from a variety of different places to do my volunteering in, which included choosing from different hospitals within Mendoza.
The reviews, blogs, case studies and videos posted on their website and facebook page really helped with getting a feel for how the experience was going to be.
The assistance before my departure was really great! The ‘my trip’ section of my profile was helpful in reminding me of what I needed to get done before leaving. I was always able to contact someone from head office via email and telephone whenever I had a question. I received a telephone call a few days before my departure that outlined exactly how my arrival was going to be. From being picked up at the airport to our first day in city, every detail was thoroughly explained.
Martin from the house (wearing his Work the World t-shirt) was waiting for us at the airport. He was so nice and welcoming! We took a cab to the house and during our ride, Martin talked a little bit about the city, the house and the students who were already there. We were welcomed by the other students and got a tour of our beautiful home. The next day Martin took us out for lunch and gave us an orientation of the city, pointing out the important locations, such as the laundromat, grocery stores, internet cafes and the places to eat and hang out! Pretty much everything that we needed to know was explained and shown to us.
Our home in Mendoza was amazing to say the least. The rooms were cozy and clean with lots of closet space. The kitchen was nice and big with a wonderful balcony overseeing big trees in the front of the house. The living room was located on the first floor, and it was where we would sit on the couch, bundle up with a blanket and watch television shows after a long and eventful day. There was also a large rooftop that looked over the beautiful city. Here is where we would have our weekly ‘asados’, and it made a perfect spot to sit in the sun and read a book. Our dining room was nice and large, and this is where we would eat during dinner and have our Spanish lessons in the mornings.
There were 12 people living in the house while I was there, but it never felt crammed as there was lots of space and with a total of 3 full bathrooms in the house, there was never a problem getting ready in the morning. Staff were all so nice and accommodating, providing information about the city and the different activities available. We were able to reach them via telephone at any time if needed, and they were always making sure that our needs were met.
The intensive Spanish course was a great way to build the foundations of the language required in order to do the placement. We learned appropriate phrases and vocabulary that was used frequently during our placement. It started off at a very basic level and advanced as the days went on. Everyday we would review a bit of what we had learned the day before and build upon that as we advanced.
The hospital placement was very hands-on and practical.
The physiotherapy clinic was located inside the paediatric hospital where the outpatients were seen on a day-to-day basis. We were able to shadow the therapists, learn their techniques and perform them on the patients. The therapists that we were working with were all so friendly and knowledgeable. They would thoroughly explain each patient’s condition and treatment, and answer any questions that we had. The techniques used in the clinic were very different to what I had seen in the local hospital back in Canada, and I was so excited to learn something that was completely new to me. Being exposed to different techniques and treatments added variety to my prior knowledge of physiotherapy. We saw many different conditions at the clinic, some of which included Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, and scoliosis. The variety of conditions and treatments that I came across really helped expand my knowledge of what field physiotherapy is, both in a clinical and hospital setting.
Work the World gave me a very unique experience because it combined volunteering with traveling. I was able to meet new people, learn a new language and try new foods while gaining a lot of experience in the physiotherapy clinic.
After an exciting day at the clinic we would usually come home, have some lunch and plan the rest our day in Mendoza. There was lots to do in the city, and we found a local travel office that would book our adventures for us. Aside from the one-week of events that Work the World had organised as part of the Intensive Spanish Course (wine tasting, bike and wine tour, tango lessons and cooking lessons), we took part in the horseback riding at sunset adventure that followed up with a grand asado! We also went for a full day tour of the Andes Mountains where we took breath-taking pictures of the mountains, and had lunch in a local restaurant. We also spent lots of our time in the local parks, restaurants and shopping centres as well as the bars - the house was just minutes away from “happy street” where all the great pubs and clubs were located!
I really enjoyed my experience in Argentina. I got to travel, volunteer and meet some amazing people through Work the World. My advice to future students would be to plan your trip for at least 4 weeks in order to have time to gain experience through the placement, and to be able to travel within South America. Bring your camera and don't forget your appetite - the food in Argentina is amazing! Enjoy every moment and enjoy all of what South America has to offer.
I would hands down recommend Mendoza as an elective placement choice. It is such an incredible city, and the elective opportunities there were incredible. I never would have had the opportunity to work with patients the way I did if I had done my internship at home.
Mary Jackson, Elon University 2012Read More
Most of our time in the department was spent with neurological patients, cardiorespiratory patients and in the Neonatal ICU. A large amount of the neurological cases comprised of Cerebral Palsy and Obstetric Brachial Plexus injuries, while the cardiorespiratory cases were predominantly pneumonia and bronchitis.
Charlene Sharma 2011Read More
The backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the Andes Mountains while walking through the city centre is a truly breathtaking sight.
Priyanka Nayak 2011Read More