An Unforgettable Experience! Past Review

By (Longwood University) - abroad from 03/03/2012 to 06/23/2012 with

ISA Study Abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned more about the culture of Argentina and was able to partake in many aspects of the culture. I learned more about myself. I became more independent and more patient. My language skills improved considerably, or at least I feel like they did. They're not as good as they could be, but... I'm pleased. It was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The professors didn't really expect a lot, or at least most of them didn't. I actually didn't feel like I was learning much of anything. That isn't the program's fault, but the professors.'

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I absolutely loved the ISA staff here in Buenos Aires. They were helpful, resourceful, down to earth, honest... It was really nice to have those people we could just go to if we needed something.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my host family, and I would recommend them to almost anyone. The only requirements for anyone wanting to stay with my family would be: You have to be willing to become part of the family, and you have to love dogs. :)

* Food:

We ate a lot of milanesa and mashed potatoes, pizza, pasta, and empanadas. It was all REALLY good, but the diversity wasn't too much. But the food was delicious. It helps that my host mom bought stuff all fresh and cooked it all fresh and used only natural stuff. She made her own sauce for pasta...

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Well, I didn't put myself out there so I missed out on parts of the culture, but I was definitely integrated into it - taking the buses, taxis, subways, trains (on rare occasions); speaking Spanish; attending classes... It's hard not to be integrated when you're submerged into the culture, you know?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally didn't have any health issues, but my housemate did. Our host mother accompanied her to the hospital when she needed to go, and the ISA staff was somewhat informative when explaining the situation of insurance and all of that stuff. I can't honestly give my own personal opinion since I never had any issues, hence why I gave it a 5/5 rating. ** My housemate said that the health care was excellent **

* Safety:

Safety? In what way? Personally, I didn't have any issues. People warned us about getting robbed or taxi scams, but none of that happened to me. The only thing I felt myself looking for was traffic on the streets... run whenever you can, just don't get hit by a vehicle!

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)

It depends. If you're a huge spender, then it's hard. If you're paying your own way or your parents are paying, it's even harder. I am fortunate to have a dad who gives me money whenever I need it, so I didn't have too much of an issue because I always had cash.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Approximately $150 or more
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take out large amounts of money at one time to save on the ATM fees. Never carry ALL of the money around - leave majority of it in the home stay and only carry small amounts: this will keep it from all getting stolen (should that happen) and from spending it all at once.


* 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

We were SUPPOSED to use the target language, but being around people who spoke English made that harder than you'd think. The program directors always encouraged us to speak in Spanish, but... we usually didn't.

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? Upper-level Spanish courses - culture and literature
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? TALK ONLY IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE, even with people who are from the same place as you are.

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
  • 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?
  • I absolutely loved the program directors!
  • Loved the excursions!
  • LOVED, LOVED, LOVED my home stay!
* What could be improved?
  • Maybe find other professors to teach certain courses? Some of them were just unbearable.
  • Maybe if the professors cared more about class, I would have cared more to actually do my work?
  • Maybe if the professors were more organized, I would have known what was going on. But then again... it's Argentina and not the States...
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I really can't think of anything at this moment. I wasn't really expecting anything when I applied for the program or when I came abroad. No expectations means no letdowns or disappointments.