My time interning and studying in Buenos Aires has changed me for the better. Past Review

By (Mississippi College) - abroad from 02/27/2018 to 06/16/2018 with

CAPA Buenos Aires: Study & Intern Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Working at Brincar, a local nonprofit, not only gave me language proficiency, but also the valuable opportunity to do something meaningful to effect change while abroad. I learned what my limits and capabilities are, and was stretched and challenged to lead programming all in my second language. My internship also allowed me to meet and work with so many incredible locals who are making huge differences in the lives of people with Autism in Argentina. Beyond the internship, the friendships I made, both with locals and international students, and experiences I had will stay with me forever. It was totally, without a shadow of a doubt, worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes themselves (I took Advanced Spanish, a Global Cities course, and a class that corresponded with my internship) were all pretty different. The class that corresponded with my internship was wonderful, intellectually stimulating, and challenged some of my preconceived notions about cross-cultural issues. The other two classes weren't my favorites; a little disorganized and difficult to get responses from professors, but overall, a positive academic experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our knowledgable on-site staff made me feel safe and cared for. They were wonderful about providing information on opportunities for engagement in the city, as well as other helpful cultural and linguistic tips. They responded to emails and texts rapidly, even when they weren't in the office. They made sure we knew we could come to them with anything, from homesickness to actually being sick, to just needing to complain about how much we missed a certain type of food. They were incredible.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved living in a homestay and getting to speak Spanish with my wonderful host, Rosario. It was also a fantastic experience getting to live with two other students from the US.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Never once did I feel unsafe when staying in Buenos Aires. Just like any city, it's good to be cautious, and I took my tips from the Argentines around me: for example, on public transportation, everyone wears their back packs on their fronts with an arm slung over it. This prevents theft. Things like that, and just being generally aware of your surroundings, will keep you safe.

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

The internship was a CAPA unique component that completely made my experience.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Probably around $60-70/week on a typical week, for food and transportation. $100/week if I was going to events/sites with admission fees and visiting caf├ęs.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I bought my own groceries and made my own lunches each week, which saved some money. It's also a great experience to grocery shop in your second language! Also, always check if students get in for free at museums, events, etc. In Argentina, they often times do!

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

I had a 20 hour/week internship entirely in Spanish, so the majority of my time in Argentina was spent speaking spanish.

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 400 level classes (so, upper level advanced.)
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? I definitely encourage study abroad students to search out their own opportunities for language growth outside of the classroom. For me, that looked like my internship, volunteering each week, attending a local church, and seeking out relationships with Argentines.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The internship
  • The internship course
  • The opportunity to blog for CAPA
* What could be improved?
  • Courses taught by locals
  • Communication pre-departure
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that I wasn't going to be able to find authentic Mexican food in Argentina--I would have eaten a lot more of it before I left!

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.'