It's nice to take a break Past Review

By (Spanish, Political Science, Wellesley College) - abroad from 07/18/2012 to 07/15/2013 with

CIEE: Buenos Aires - Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My spanish did improve and I know know the differences in the spanish spoken in different countries, I know infinitely more about Argentina than before I came, and I got to travel around Argentina and a bit around South America, and it's interesting to live in developing country.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It really depends on the classes you take and if they're program classes or at a university and if so what university.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my host family but it would be nice to have the option of being able to live in apartment with friends, especially in my second semester.

* Food:

My host are good cooks, but once again the food really depended on your host family.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel like I know Buenos Aires pretty well, but it is hard to make good Argentinian friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I sprained my knee, my program took me to a hospital and helped me with the system. I had to pay out of pocket for everything, but my private healthcare reimbursed me for most of it, so not that different than in the US. I needed a couple of vaccines prior to arriving, I think it was for Hep B and I can't remember the other.

* Safety:

I usually felt safe, I was never robbed etc, but I know a lot of people who had their phones or worst case their laptops stolen. There are dangerous parts of the city, but just don't go to them and you will be fine.

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


* 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)

Partially this depends on the exchange rate for dollars you get, if you use the official exchange rate living expenses rise considerably, but the black market gives you a much better exchange rate if you have the dollars (this only applies to Argentina). A lot of people take advantage of this time to travel and go out a lot, so I spent more money than I had anticipated.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $100-150, not including any traveling I did.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook at home when you can, don't buy too many drinks at bars. If you're going to Argentina, bring dollars or euros and exchange on the black market.


* 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

Since everyone in the program is American, most people end up speaking english with each other. I spoke the most spanish with my host family and in my classes.

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? Span 241
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Either immerse yourself in an activity outside of the program (dance, soccer) or get a local boyfriend/girlfriend.

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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Freedom
  • Enough structure and support
  • The activties they organized
* What could be improved?
  • Knowing concrete dates (arrival and departure) further in advance so it's easier to book tickets home.
  • Housing: I wish I could have stayed in an apartment my second semester
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It is really hard to make local friends, you really need to make an effort and Argentinian Spanish is completely different than the Spanish I was used to.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.