A Beautiful Semester in the Paris of South America! Past Review

By (Spanish Language, Literature, Rutgers University - New Brunswick) - abroad from 02/19/2015 to 07/18/2015 with

CIEE: Buenos Aires - Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained advanced language skills, while was my primary goal in studying abroad. I also found that I felt much more independent after living abroad for five months.

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 program allowed for students to take classes at several local universities (UBA, UCA, UNA), and there was great depth in the variety of courses students could choose to take. Most majors could find courses to transfer back to their home universities.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site advisors were always trying to assist students to ease transition into our new home. However, sometimes organization was lacking, though this was often due more to the disorganization of local institutions than the program itself.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The program is all home stay, which was one of the highlights of the experience for me. Living with a family improved my Spanish more than anything else, and also helped to reveal less obvious aspects of Argentine culture.

* Food:

Argentines do not like spicy food at all, and tend to season their food almost exclusively with salt. It tends to be a bit bland.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program offered the students a number of integrative opportunities, including a conversation club, soccer club, and arts and culture club where we could learn more about Argentine society and meet other Argentines. Living with families also facilitated integration.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I needed medical attention once during the course of the program, and I went to the hospital that the program recommended. The medical services were quick and efficient.

* Safety:

Parts of Buenos Aires are safer than others; there are some neighborhoods that it is not recommended for students to visit. I personally had two cell phones and my wallet stolen, so it is very important to always be aware of your surroundings.

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)

It was very easy to live on a student's budget. My host family provided breakfast and dinner, and lunch was usually about $3-5 daily.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $25
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make a weekly budget for yourself; be flexible enough to break it sometimes, but try to keep track of how much you're spending on food, clothes, activities, etc.


* 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

We were living with host families who only spoke Spanish, and all program activities were conducted in Spanish.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had completed a 400-level language course
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? Make friends with local students!!

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Home stay
  • Emphasis on Spanish
  • City
* What could be improved?
  • Organization
  • Home stay locations
  • Communication
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Study abroad will sometimes be very challenging, but it is ultimately worthwhile.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!