Falling in love with Argentina Past Review

By (International/Global Studies., University of the Pacific) for

CIEE: Buenos Aires - Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The only standout negative aspect of the entire experience was the schooling. Otherwise, the advisors, both at my university and through the program, were extremely helpful, and the city was amazing. I feel in love with the atmosphere of Buenos Aires and want to return, come hell or high water.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The grading system is set up to where it is much harder to get a good grade, and the professors compensate for this by saying that lower grades are ok instead of adjusting it, despite the fact they are teaching strictly to Americans.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone was very helpful with whatever circumstances were happening. With all the chaos that went on within the country and in personal life, the program advisors were almost always available to talk. I felt that I was personally not prepared for the grading system and my academic semester was heavily affected by this. This came from a lack of understanding Spanish when I first arrived, both during on-site orientation and the beginning of classes. Personally, it became quite difficult to communicate with the professors because of language barriers that produced confidence issues.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The neighborhood was wonderful. Security and location to most things could not have been better. Travel time to school was a bit excessive, but it became a compromise for other activities. I wasn't able to use the kitchen, but for me that wasn't an issue. There were other exchange students that continuously moved in and out, which was a negative aspect because it created a wall that prevented me from getting close to my family. They were used to having foreigners in and out and didn't form close bonds, which is something I was looking for. The family overall was warm and friendly, but didn't form anything deep nor included the students in on most family events.

* Food:

Family had limited menu, and cooked for vegetarians, which I was not. The neighborhood had a wonderful variety of restaurants around, though tended to be expensive. The quantity of food was certainly smaller than the average American portion, but by the middle of the stay it was more than enough to satisfy.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program arranged two trips to different areas of the country, which was really nice because I wouldn't have seen those areas on my own. It was a good way to mingle with other students because the program was so large and became segregated quickly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Safety regulations are the same as any big city: be careful and aware of your surroundings. There was nothing out of the ordinary that caused anyone to become really upset or surprised.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about 80 dollars a week on food and shopping (clothes and souvenirs). Traveling was the biggest expense but varied greatly on where you went.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Traveling out of the country typically cost me $1000 US dollars a week. Food is cheap, but water is not free and tends to be more expensive than soda or beer.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? upper-level spanish courses
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Host family, taxi drivers, people on the street, employees in the school all spoke Spanish. There were some locals who insisted on speaking English, but the majority knew very little English and spoke worse than I spoke Spanish.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The workload is fairly heavy for a study abroad program through the CIEE school, and the public school system can be extremely unstable.