Buenos Aires: most modern city in Southamerica Past Review

By (Economics., Brandeis University) for

IFSA: Buenos Aires - Argentine Universities Program, Summer

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about a new culture different from anywhere else I've traveled.

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 workload was mild enough to begin, but started getting heavy during the last week or two of the program. however there was still time to explore the city and have fun during the last week.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program leaders knowledge about Argentina was extensive but they exaggerated the dangers of the city. They were very accessible. The large size of the program was nice, but it was difficult to meet up with people that lived in different neighborhoods.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I like my host family, an elderly couple. They let me have time to myself and we chatted over dinner. My host mother cooked for me every night and made me breakfast as required by the program. The food was pretty good. However, it was difficult to meet up with other people from the neighborhood who lived far away in different neighborhoods. I was located in a neighborhood in between where my classes were held and where the best night life was, but there was not a whole lot to do in my area, though other students were located throughout the city. I learned the public transportation system really well, though it was a challenge at first. Fortunately, transportation was really inexpensive. I did not need to purchase anything.

* Food:

the food was excellent and cheap. As long as you like red meat (there's a lot of beef), you'll be fine. vegetarians on the trip fared well, but I absolutely loved the meat, and I could get lunch for less than $5 a day. There are a lot of cafes, bakeries, and stands along the roads that sell good and inexpensive food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Travel was pretty easy to do, especially with three day weekends. I highly recommend making the trip to Iguazu. It's a 19 hour bus ride overnight, or a two hour flight that costs about double, but it was so worth it, and you only need 2-3 days there. I also traveled to Mendoza which is very outdoorsy, and the program went to Uruguay for a weekend. I would recommend going to the optional salsa class. If you only take 2 classes, there's a lot of time to explore the city as class ends at 12:30. However, it was difficult to meet people outside of the program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The city is known for pickpocketers, so you just have to be cautious with personal items. keep extra cash and your passport at home, and just carry with you what you need including a copy of your passport. My recommendation is to take two credit/debit cards with you so you can take one with you and leave the other at home. Don't be oblivious especially in touristy areas. I did not have any health issues, but vaccines are necessary.

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
Language acquisition improvement?

We always spoke Spanish in class, with our host family, and in the city, but it was difficult to always speak Spanish with my peers in the program.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Independent, ready and willing to explore