How South America Opened My Eyes to the World Past Review

By (Journalism., SUNY Purchase) for

College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS): Buenos Aires - Universidad de Belgrano

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad really opened up my eyes to how other cultures live and I'm now seriously considering a career in which I'll be able to use my new language skills. I'm also considering moving back down there after graduation.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I chose to take all of my classes in Spanish, which was difficult at first but became easier as the semester went on. The workload was minimal and your final grades are based primarily on the midterm and final exams. I felt that the teachers were a lot more lax when it came to teaching and attendance for classes was electronically recorded when you swiped your ID card. The grades are based on a 1-10 scaling system (for example 10=A+).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I liked this program as compared to some other programs that my friends in Buenos Aires were in because 1. It was a lot cheaper 2. There were no planned group excursions (I was able to organize my own trips, which is a lot cheaper than if planned through a program). The program group was very small (there were only 8 of us) but you will meet other students in your classes at the university. Basically we had no communication or interaction with our program advisor aside from our 1 day of orientation and the emails that she would send us letting us know different events/activities going on in Buenos Aires. So if you're looking for a more independent kind of study abroad experience, this is a good choice.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was arranged for me through the program. My university was about a 15 minute walk from my house, which was very easy as compared to some other students who had to take the subway every day. Buenos Aires has different provinces and so most places for nightlife required a bus or a subway ride (very simple). My host family was absolutely amazing, they were super welcoming and made me feel like I was a part of the family. There were also 3 other student who lived in the house with me (it was very big), which made the experience even better. I couldn't have had a better housing experience. Everything was provided for me (pillows, cookware etc.)

* Food:

Buenos Aires is a city of carnivores. They love their steak and meat and potatoes. They're also big on bread, dulce de leche, and mate (an herbal drink). Probably not the best spot for vegetarians, although it's possible. My host family gave me huge portions at dinner (I eventually had to ask them to give me less food) and breakfast was very simple (cereal, toast, coffee etc.).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

As I said earlier, the program does not arrange any kind of outings or field trips. The student is responsible for planning their own trips, however information about certain events is provided via email.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The program provides health insurance for students. Buenos Aires is a generally safe city, however the typical city dangers of robbery, theft are present. I never had an issue with healthcare.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

As I said before, I took all of my classes in Spanish which helped me a lot to pick up on the language. I also lived with a host family who did not speak English, which also helped me to improve my Spanish speaking skills. I absolutely needed to use the language in everyday interactions as a lot of people in Buenos Aires do not speak English.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • International Students
  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The program dates (started earlier/ended earlier than the normal American school year) which allowed time to travel after the program ended
  • Living with a host family
  • Independence ( I was able to plan my own trips)
* What could be improved?
  • I really don't know
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I would definitely recommend this program if you're willing to plan your own activities/weekend excursions. The program is very small, and so most of my friends I met through classes at the university. The housing is with a host family, which I highly recommend if you're seriously trying to learn the language and culture of Argentina.