Buenos Aires: A city that stole my heart and opened the world to me. Past Review

By (Spanish / Communication, Nebraska Wesleyan University) for

ISEP Exchange: Buenos Aires - Exchange Program at Universidad del Salvador

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Worthwhile? YES. 100% yes. It was a challenge, but it has transformed the way I see the world. In a way, I'm a bit fearless now. I learned a new language, made amazing lifelong friends, and saw some amazing things. It helped my cultural awareness by making me realize that although I appreciate the great state of Nebraska (where I've lived all my life), I also will be happier living elsewhere. It didn't really change my academic interests, only cemented the fact that I love learning language and love meeting new people. It gave me an insatiable thirst to keep travelling (much to my mother's dismay).

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.

The workload is pretty heavy, but it's very different than an American schooling system. Classes are mostly test based (which I enjoyed) and grades are on a scale of 1-10 (one being the lowest). 10s are perfect and don't exist.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I loved the mix of students from all over the world and the freedom they allowed us. I wish they were a little more accessible as instructors though.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host families were in great locations. First one in Palermo SoHo, then the moved to Palermo Hollywood. Both were located near the subway stations to allow me to get around the city relatively easily. My second host family was located close enough to the school to allow me to walk to class. The meals were excellent and I made really close friends in both situations. My first host father asked me if I had any sexual relations with some of the other tenants, and that was why I switched to a new family midway through.

* Food:

Excellent food with my host families. Buenos Aires has no short supply of eateries, mostly fatty carbs though (I'm ok with it.) Eat empanadas, the pizza, pasta, and by fruit from Bolivians or Peruvians. It's so good!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program didn't really set up that much culturally for us to do. We did have a beginning of the year BBQ (asado) for the international group, and that was really fun. Most things we set up amongst ourselves without the aid of the school

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never really had any bad health scares while I was there. I really can't answer this question fully.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I relied on my stipend but would splurge occasionally on meals. I would say I spent around $10 USD per week on transportation, and maybe $20 on outside food. I was extremely miserly my first few months and tried not to spend anything. I often didn't eat very much. I wouldn't recommend that.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Argentina is a cash based society and coins are especially valued as it's the only way you can pay for the bus if you don't have a fast-pass card. Save your coins!!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 250 level courses.
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Just living there! My host families were very helpful. I'd also say to make as many friends as possible and live with them if possible. I lived with some Colombians in my spare time and they were so great at helping me.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Local Students
  • International Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

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A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Friends
  • Students
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Liaison between foreign office and students
  • more events for international students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This is a great program if you're independent. There's not a lot of hand-holding for the students and you'll figure it out on your own. It also attracts students from many parts of the world so that was great for me. The school can be a bit conservative, but hey, classes will not be your priority. Overall, a good institution. Also, you really must like city living to enjoy Buenos Aires. It's a bustling, busy place and it crowded and perhaps a bit dirty. I loved every part of that. For people craving tranquility, seek a school outside the capital.