Learning Immersion in Counseling and Spanish Past Review

By (Arizona State University) - abroad from 07/06/2015 to 08/14/2015 with

ECELA: Buenos Aires - Spanish Language School in Argentina

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Spanish skills grew a lot- I can hold a conversation much more easily than before I went! It was a personal challenge for me to be away from home for 6 weeks, but I am stronger because of it. I really appreciated the field trips that were part of the program as I got to see how social services work in another country and was able to get some ideas to bring back to my job with me. I also learned a lot of valuable vocabulary and phrases to use when speaking Spanish at my job.

Review Photos

ECELA: Buenos Aires - Spanish Language School in Argentina Photo ECELA: Buenos Aires - Spanish Language School in Argentina Photo ECELA: Buenos Aires - Spanish Language School in Argentina Photo ECELA: Buenos Aires - Spanish Language School in Argentina Photo ECELA: Buenos Aires - Spanish Language School in Argentina Photo

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 Spanish language material was challenging enough for me to grow but presented in a way that made it fun to learn and accessible.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were pretty well organized and knowledgeable. They did a good job of presenting us with cultural activities to try and were able to answer any questions or concerns we had.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was wonderful. They were very friendly, kind and caring. They went out of their way to help me feel safe and welcome.

* Food:

Food was sometimes hard because I have a dairy allergy. However, my host family made sure to make things that I could eat, and since Buenos Aires is a big city, I was often able to find food to buy. vegetarians, vegans or people with gluten or dairy intolerance may have a small challenge here, but it's manageable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There were plenty of opportunities to explore the local culture, both through the school and my host family. Through the counseling program, I learned about life outside of the city as well as about social services in Buenos Aires. I really enjoyed getting to know the culture through the field trips that were part of this program!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I have a number of allergies and had hives most of the time while I was there. Both my host family and the school were helpful in trying to help me get rid of the hives. Medication was also readily available at a number of pharmacies nearby.

* Safety:

I have heard that Buenos Aires is one of the safest cities in the world, and it did feel that way. The school made sure to give us advice and guidance on how to stay safe. I did not have any concerns for my safety while in the city, as long as I followed the guidelines offered by the school.

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)

I only had to pay for lunch and food was relatively cheap. I like to shop so I spent a lot of money on souvenirs and things like that. There was a good mix of free cultural events to participate in but there is also plenty of opportunity to spend your money on things like a trip to a ranch, a bike tour, and a trip to Uruguay for the weekend. It's really up to you how much you spend!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at cheaper restaurants most of the time; the food is just as good! Walk as much as possible to save money on transportation. Find the best way to exchange money- there were a number of different methods that students were using. Talk to the school staff to see which one will get you the best rate.


* 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

Classes were completely in Spanish and we were strongly encouraged to speak Spanish at all times while in the school building.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? 3 semesters in a community college
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? Speak it as much as possible! It can be hard, frustrating and even embarrassing, but that is how you will improve!

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
  • 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?
  • Spanish immersion
  • Field Trips
  • Exploring Buenos Aires
* What could be improved?
  • We spent too much time together with the other people in the program. We needed a break from each other after the long days!
  • More flexibility in switching levels of classes if we feel we are ready to advance.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? In the counseling and Spanish program, the days are long and it will be a lot of work. If you are looking to go for a vacation, it would be better to just sign up for the Spanish classes. Otherwise you are looking at 8 hour days of classes and field trips.

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!