Buenos Aires, Argentina: A life-changing experience! Past Review

By (Biology, General., University of Arkansas - Fayetteville) for

ISA Study Abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned more about myself (strengths & weaknesses, about their culture, and my culture. I learned about how to adapt to another culture and to be flexible and be thrown into a completely foreign context and adapt.

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 perfect. I learned a lot about the language, culture, history, and literature while I was there. However, I was still able to get out and travel and spend time in the culture. The grading system was fairly similar to that of the states. For the most part the teachers were lenient on us. They definitely challenged us and wanted us to learn, but they also realized that it wasn't our first language and that we didn't want to spend every day studying.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff at ISA was GREAT. They helped us with anything and everything we needed, they answered questions, pushed us to really learn the language, and they knew the right directions to push us with any questions we had. The size of the program was great too because we were able to meet others studying abroad and have that support system. Most other programs in Buenos Aires didn't have an office they could go to like we did. The ISA office had a lounging areas, computers, wifi, etc.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My family was a little older so we had to work through a lot of issues with them trying to "control" me. I wasn't going out to party or anything, but they worried a lot about me so we just had some conflict. I learned a lot from them though and they were good to me. They provided two meals a day, they did my laundry, helped me with whatever I needed and incorporated me into family gatherings. It was a great experience getting to be a part of a fmaily while i was there.

* Food:

Argentine if fairly bland and gets old fast, but it's not bad. My host mom was a great cook!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Argentina is GREAT! There's so much to do, so many places to see, and the people are very welcoming!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe there, and I'm a single female. I often walked home by myself at night and felt safe. I did get pickpocketed on the subway, though, but that was partly my own error in speaking loudly in English and having my iPod out. That's a problem on the subways. ISA was great about warning us about risks, etc.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't convert money in your head. Get used to their system and spend money like you were in that country. You can easily justify spending $10 here or there and it quickly adds up


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

My professors, my host family, those in the ISA program office, and with Argentinians wherever I went in daily interactions. Some people spoke great English and many had a little bit of experience. Yet, I always spoke to people in Spanish and that was most often the only way of communication.

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
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The support system at ISA
* What could be improved?
  • Some of the home stay families
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I strongly encourage you to consider this program. Argentina is wonderful, Buenos Aires is amazing, ISA is wonderful, and it will be an experience like none other. It truly will be life changing. It will be challenging, eye-opening, a learning experience, and just amazing!