Blake with CEA Students at "Las Cateratas Iguázu"
If you’re one of the friends who he plays futbol with every week, you probably know Blake Hendrickson as your gringo buddy who, when he started playing with you 4 years ago, tried stopping the game because he had knicked the ball with his hand, and has since learned (in classic Argentine style) to mask and deny any foul, handball, or misconduct on the field.
If you’re his Argentine girlfriend, you probably know Blake as your blond-haired, blue-eyed, caring, picker-up-of-their-new-puppy’s-poop, who approached you on roller blades that one day in the park and swooped you off your feet (figuratively, of course, as the literal swooping of women off of their feet should not be attempted whilst on roller blades unless you’re T.I. from the movie “Roll Bounce”).
For me and the rest of us CEA students, we know Blake as a professor, answerer of questions, serial emailer, elderly bro for us younger bros, the guy who meets our sleep-deprived eyes with a wide grin at 8 am at the migrations office to get our student visas, and our guiding hand in navigating the hoops, chutes, and ladders that make up a part of studying and living abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
|Blake doing the "Thinker"|
Blake Hendrickson is 32 years old, and comes from Lake Park, Minnesota (yeah I haven’t heard of it either). During his undergrad, he spent the summer between his Junior and Senior year studying in France, and liked it so much that he returned to teach English in Die for a year. After France, he spent a year teaching English in Spain. The following year he went to Hawaii where he would receive a Masters degree in intercultural communication, and 4 ½ years ago, came to Argentina to complete his PHD.
Through his studies and exposure to living and studying abroad, Blake has become somewhat of a connoisseur of friendship dynamics, especially for abroad students - an interest that became the topic of his dissertation. “There is a very strong relationship between the experience you have and the friends that you make in a place,” he says. When it comes to students studying abroad, no matter where in the world, he insists that in order to make the experience the most that it can be, “you have to make local connections.” “I’m kind of fundamental in this idea,” he says.
|Blake with students|
“At the core of friendship are shared interests and similarities…culture is something that we see as a wall, but you can get past that.”
Officially, Blake is CEA’s Student Academic Assistant here in BA. He is one of three advisors that address students’ needs and make our program run smoothly. His favorite part of the job is making relationships with students and, “helping them adapt to a different culture, and reflect upon the experiences they have.” His least favorite part of the job is dealing with migrations, especially, “when people don’t bring their paperwork!“(nudges me…guilty as charged).
Unofficially, Blake is a guy who you can really go to for anything: restaurant suggestions, dating advice, friendship, etc. He’s a Yankee turned quasi-porteño who knows the ins and outs of the city, and continues to work towards implementing the best programs possible for assimilating CEA students into Argentine culture. He’s been here for 4 ½ years, has a dog and Argentine girlfriend, and can cook a mean asado (a succulent cut of beef ribs, and also the term for a BBQ Argentine-style).
To sum it up: Don’t let his 8th grade haircut fool you (just kidding Blake ;), Blake Hendrickson is the man, with the intercultural-communication-for-students-studying-abroad plan.
Blake enjoys empenadas over pizza, tango over cumbia (the two most popular Argentine dances), and dulce de leche over Nutella (traitor).
Mathew Cerf is a CEA MOJO in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is currently a Junior at the University of San Diego.
Read more about our CEA Content Creators.