International Programs

Getting to know Amy Aranda '24

Publication Date

Sociology and Spanish Double Major
Anthropology Minor
Study abroad term, year and location: Fall Term 2022, Córdoba, Argentina

What is a favorite memory from studying abroad?
One of my favorite memories in Argentina has to be experiencing the unreal waterfalls of Iguazu. Although traveling on a bus for 23 hours may sound like a lot, the trip was definitely worth it. Argentina has so much to offer you can go one direction and see the glaciers, the desert, mountains, and rainforest. Iguazu is right at the borders with Brazil and Paraguay. I've never seen anything like it before.

Amy Aranda '24 and friends

What are some of your favorite accomplishments from your study abroad experience?
Being able to improve my Spanish and becoming more independent. Being comfortable with the unknown and living spontaneously in a city you've never been has been such a rewarding experience. Being able to appreciate every moment and living in the present has been a small accomplishment for myself. We tend to get so tangled with reality, school, work or what our future will be when instead we should be focused on the present and what's in front of us, which is exactly what I did in Argentina.

What is a challenge you overcame?
A challenge I faced that I persevered was being independent and learning how to enjoy your own time. In a city I've never been to, it can be intimidating to not depend on others. With time I was able to independently wander the streets and explore other parts of Cordoba. I felt comfortable taking a taxi on my own or taking the bus home.

Advice for Women on International Women's Day?
Some advice I would give to women is take a leap of faith and be spontaneous. While in a state of uncomfort, embrace it and take a moment to acknowledge that it's okay. It seems that everyone lives in such a rush, always looking ahead to the future when in reality we are missing out on what's right in front of us. I believe being present and living in the moment is one of the crucial things to do because time is only fleeting.

What is the attitude towards gender and gender roles in Argentina?
Patriarchy is still very much alive in Argentina. We can see it through gender roles and the roles women are handed to. Argentinians host their famous asados where the men usually cook the meat on the big grill while the women prepare other dishes and serve/clean up after others. Although I will say Argentina is one of the most progressive South American countries I've seen so far. Transgender and the LGBTQ community is very outspoken and seen on the streets openly. There are still traditional thoughts over these new events but the new generation is taking it all in their hands and sharing with others a better understanding. Women tend to be the caretaker and housewives while the men go out to work and are served by their wife. Although, I have seen more representation of women in politics and leaders of a community in desperate need. At the same time most congressmen are corrupt and take advantage of their own privilege.

What are the cultural expectations for men and women in Argentina?
Under cultural standards and expectations for gender roles are very distinct in Argentina. Men are expected to be masculine, self-reliant, and dominant. Meanwhile, women are expected to be more feminine and the main providers of care. I saw the difference in gender roles when it came to the household.

What are the gender stereotypes of Americans in my host country?
The gender stereotypes of Americans in Argentina are very straightforward. I noticed Argentines are very straightforward people and will tell you what you think. Once they hear you speak Spanish they will instantly know you are not Argentinian. Stereotypes about Americans are that we are all economically stable and have this wonderful American Dream.

How do men treat women in my host country?
Men tend to be very caring, but blunt about the gender roles everyone possesses. Machismo is very much alive and seen in Argentina, men tend to take advantage of the power they have and continue this cycle of patriarchy.

What are the cultural norms regarding friendship and dating?
Everyone is very friendly and welcoming even with friendships between girl and boy. Compared to in the US if you are seen with a boy their preconceived notion is instantly are they dating.

How do my personal values compare with my host country’s attitudes about socially accepted gender roles?
I understand a lot of the socially accepted gender roles since I come from a Peruvian household. As a latina I understand the toxic masculinity that comes within a hispanic household.