Look for another country Past Review

By (Anonymous University) - abroad from 06/22/2017 to 12/13/2018 with

CIEE: Buenos Aires - Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that you should do hours if not days of research before coming to another country, and if it is your last semester or even just your senior years, it is best to wait. You can always study abroad after you graduate or do internships.

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.

In all actuality I feel that I only learned in one of my classes. Three lacked substance and one was too hard to even understand. The one class that was too hard to understand was at the local university, and after seeing early that I would not pas the class, I requested to leave. However, the director was not cooperative and told me (2nd semester senior) that he could not show favoritism, and I would need to remain in the class, even though this has caused me to be 6 credits short.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was not helpful and if you went to them for help they would provide the bare minimum,

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My first host mother only did a half of laundry load a week and would not allow me to use her washer. I requested to live with a non-smoker and she was a chain smoker, and I told the housing director and she stated that she didn't know she smoked. We ate soybean patties 4-5 times a week because she would not buy other things to cook. My second host mother is also a smoker after stating that she didn't smoke, and when I spoke with the resident advisor she said that she didn't think it was a good idea for her to speak with her because that would damage the relationship my host mother and I have. She then made a joke stating that since everyone else around me is smoking I should just join in. My host mother also made comments about my body saying that women my color (black women) tend to have bodies like mine. She than later asked me to stand up and show her friend how big and nice my butt was. I told the program all this information and they told me not to take it personal. Later in conversation she (my host mother) accidentally called a black actor a "nigger". Once again I told the program this information and they said not to take it personal because they don't think she knew the meaning of the word, Needless to say I am still with this host mother.

* Food:

It was horrible in my first home, but amazing in my second.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I did not go out at all, but that is my own fault. However, the program does not do anything to assist with cultural integration either.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I've gone to two doctors about what I assume is an ear infection I am not quite sure what it is. However, the first doctor was a regular doctor and I was given antibiotics and a shot, but the problem continued. The second doctor was an ear specialist and I was given antibiotic pills and antibiotic drops. I went to one doctor in February and I believe the other was in March, but needless to say it is now June and I still have the ear infection.

* Safety:

I do not go out so for that I am not quite sure how safe it is. I do have a friend from one of my classes who almost got attacked by a man one night. So I guess it is fairly safe, but do not go out at night by yourself.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I studied abroad with CIEE in the Dominican Republic for the Spr 2017 semester, but this CIEE BA program seems like a completely different program. This study abroad program was horrible, and it has been around for 25 years, but it lacks the basics such as organization for starters.


* 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)

As long as you plan accordingly you will be fine.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I was spending about $200 pesos a day at minimum for food. So maybe about $50-70 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Yes! Go to the outdoor markets and the grocery store to prepare your own food. Eating out everyday will start to become expensive.


* 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 told to use it daily in class, but only did 1 1/2 program trips, we were rarely forced to speak 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish Composition (level 3)
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? Listen to spanish music and try to read spanish books.

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
  • International Students
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 church that I go to
  • The students both local and international that I met
  • One of my spanish classes
* What could be improved?
  • Organization
  • Better advisors!
  • The lack of communication between CIEE and the local universities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how unorganized the program was, and how the structure of the classes went. I also wish I knew how uncaring the director and advisors would be. Many of the students are actually leaving the program early.