Left a piece of my heart in Buenos Aires Past Review

By (Case Western Reserve University) - abroad from 07/23/2016 to 11/19/2016 with

IES Abroad: Buenos Aires - Study Abroad With IES Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I lived with one woman, and her lovely, old perro. She was such a sweet and caring, yet chill and funny woman, and something I can't thank her enough for is opening her arms to make me a part of her family. I would go over her kids' houses for dinner and lunch and her grandkids quickly became my hermanitos. The way I was able to dive in and be so up close and personal to the Argentine life, and find my own personal way to connect to their values, was irreplaceable. My second family, as well as my friends I became close with (other U.S. students through IES and students from Spain, Italy, Germany, and France through an international students trip) we're the hardest part about leaving this beautiful country. I also made friends in Argentina just from going out into the amazing night life, as well as from joining a fĂștbol league with the coolest girls. Every Saturday they would drive me an hour away with them to go play, and after to enjoy the sun, grab a mouthwatering sandwich from la parilla, and jam to the live DJ. My exposure to the language made my confidence in speaking Spanish skyrocket and made everywhere I went a mind-boggling adventure. It was my first time away from home for that long of a time-period, and of course I missed my crazy family and hilarious friends, but the explosion of your mind opening and expanding more than you could ever imagine, makes it all worth it. P.S. the vino tinto, choripan, and dulce de leche make it all worth it too ;)

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Buenos Aires - Study Abroad With IES Abroad Photo

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Not the most flavorful food that Argentines eat at home, but it's part of the experience! The food that they are known for, however, is absolutely delicious! (Their meat, dulce de leche (better than caramel!), and red wine)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Although I would desire to experience a different Spanish-speaking country to expand my culture experience, IES did a fabulous job of: connecting argentine culture to every single one of your classes, offering trips to see Argentina from a variety of lenses, sending you events going on every week and weekend in the city, making sure you're safe and comfortable, and for me, providing the most wonderful host family.

Finances

* 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)

You're living in the middle of the city! Shopping isn't going to be super cheap, and there is a lot you're going to want to experience! However, it is possible to do just fine on a student budget! The clothing is expensive, but food is about the same as U.S. pricing, if not cheaper! There are many scholarship and loan opportunities to help you out as well.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take advantage of the meals provided at your home-stay! They are already paid for, and it's part of the wonderful experience to get to know your host-family! It's a lot of fun to go out to eat with friends, but try to save that for the weekends or for when you won't be home if you're out at an event!

Language

* 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

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 4 years in highschool and 2 years in 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? It's nerve-wracking at first! No matter what level you are at. Especially with the country's slang! However, neverrrrr stop practicing. Especially with your U.S. friends! It is easy to result to english, but instead try spanglish! Always talk to your taxi drivers for practice and make bets with your friends for how long you can go without English! You have to put in the effort of speaking Spanish as much as you can if you want your level to improve. And some days are better than others! Just keep pushing and I promise you your confidence in speaking the language will increase as well.

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

  • 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?
  • Program Assistants! They were so helpful for our transition into our new life, and they became our good friends!
  • Overall friendliness and support of faculty! Administration and Professors
  • Opportunites offered! Both in Buenos Aires and outside travel!
* What could be improved?
  • More information on outside university class opportunities. They did share quite a few options with us. However, one of the options to take classes in Spanish for International Students at UCA (so the classes were still in Spanish, but not as difficult as normal Argentine student classes) was not mentioned!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Honestly nothing! I think it's important to be a little blind going into this! I also am a big fan of the element of surprise.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.