Take me back to BA! May 01, 2020

By (University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse) - abroad from 06/21/2018 to 11/18/2018 with

API (Academic Programs International): Buenos Aires - Universidad de Belgrano

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself (independence especially) and I also learned a lot about the country. There was no time that I regret while abroad and I definitely think I saw everything I could in the span of 5 months.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Universidad de Belgrano was great! Very different experience from University back at home because it is just one tall building instead of a campus full of buildings. The classes were not terribly hard and not too demanding compared to my classes back in the US. I studied mostly spanish classes there including grammar, literature, argentine movie history, and popular culture. 'Cultura popular' was my favorite course I took!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It was way more than I could have wished for. Constant support whenever you needed it and also lots of engagement with them as well with excursions!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host Mom was outstanding. She always took care of me in ways I did not expect a stranger to take care of me. She welcomed me into her house will open arms and made my study abroad experience so much better.

* Food:

Oh my goodness. Argentine food is so good! You will fall in love with empanadas and probably eat them once a day! Their food is very authentic and very different. You can still find french fries and hamburgers at a lot of places so if you are picky, it is easy to find stuff you will like too. Such a good country for unique food!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

At first, it was hard. My spanish wasn't 'good enough' I didn't feel like. The culture and the people down there just appreciate if you try. They know who speaks english (most times) and they are patient. After a couple months, I felt very comfortable speaking and also navigating my way around the big city. There is a lot of traffic and it is easy to feel overwhelmed using the busses and the subte (subway), but once you get the hang of it, it is a piece of cake.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had any health issues I had to deal with while abroad, but if you did need health care, the API team would assist you in the doctor visit. They had a hospital that they told us about one of our first days when we were down there, and said if we needed to go to the doctor or anything, that we should go to that one.

* Safety:

Argentina is a country that normally has a lot of events and activities that go on pretty late in the night. Even at the latest events that I attended, I never felt unsafe. The one thing that everyone down there will tell you though, is there are a lot of pick pocketers if you are not careful. They will advise for you to wear everything very close to your body and hold onto it. They also advise if you go on the bus/subte to wear your backpack in front of you. Other than this, it is a very safe city!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Argentina has so many beautiful features culturally and physically. I wanted something different than Spain, which is where most students who take spanish go abroad. I definitely got that with Argentina.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I think expenses is something you have to think about well in advance. I had a good part time job before I left so I was able to save up quite a bit of money to live off of while I was there. If you want to try all the food you can, see all you can see, travel, and always be on the go, you would probably need a couple hundred a week.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

All of our UWL staff, API staff, and my host Mom encouraged me to use my spanish as much as possible.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The API Resident Directors
  • Host Family Placement
  • Excursions
* What could be improved?
  • Receiving Host Family info sooner
  • N/A
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew it was going to go so fast. Don't wait around to do things you know you want to do while you are down there. Just do it. Nothing is going to be a waste of time!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'