Buenos Aires: Learned What I am Capable of as an Individual Past Review

By (International Relations/ Latin American Studies/ Spanish/Portuguese, Tulane University) for

Middlebury Schools Abroad: MIddlebury in Buenos Aires

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
After studying abroad, I am eager to continue my studying and go abroad again. This is truly the best way to grasp a new language and culture. I learned so much about the Argentina culture, Spanish language, and myself most of all. I became a stronger, more independent, and self-reliant person from this challenging experience.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

At Universidad Torcuato di Tella, the classes were similar to those at Tulane, a private American university. Most of the professors had received graduate degrees from the States. The classes were organized and followed a syllabus, interactive, and challenging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My expectations were met in regards to the organization of the program and the staff in country as well as staff in the States in Vermont. I felt well-informed before arriving and I adjusted well to new situations.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was treated as family in my host home. I did not need to buy and of the housing amenities. All was included. I was very near to the university, walking distance, and a few subway stops from nightlife. The housing was organized by Middlebury.

* Food:

I did not particularly enjoy food in Buenos Aires. Restaurants usually had good steak, but lacked vegatables and variety. Restaurants are pretty expensive in Belgrano and Palermo, where I lived. It would be useful to be a good cook.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program organized a group trip to Cordoba, Argentina by bus, to visit the university there and to explore a different part of the country. We went hiking in the mountains. It was an exciting trip!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt safe in Buenos Aires, especially in the neighborhood I was in, Belgrano. Do not ever keep a wallet in your pants pockets, front or back, because it is guaranteed that the subway will be packed every day and night during the work week. Carry a shoulder bag and keep it in front of your body. Do not make eye contact when walking at night in the streets because Argentines are very interested in talking to foreigners. Taxis are safe and usually populous at night and early morning. I got the vaccinations advised for traveling to Argentina, and no major risks occurred while I was there. At the end of my stay there was a train accident with a bus. And a few months after I left, a train crash with the platform due to faulty maintenance. I used the train and never had problems, but just something to be aware of. The company will surely improve its services due to the major publicity of these fatal accidents. I did use the program's health insurance, HTH and it was very helpful. I got an appointment approved beforehand so I did not pay anything out of pocket.

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

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Ferias (outdoor markets) are very common all over the city, all of the goodies are very cheap so watch out! It adds up!

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
Language acquisition improvement?

The best way to learn a new language is commit to speaking only that language. Immersing yourself with students in the host country and spending time with native speakers of the language is the only way to learn everyday speach and improve pronunciation, construction, and most of all vocabulary.

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
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • group trip included
  • the city itself!
  • staff available in the city to talk to about challenges
* What could be improved?
  • prior information about the university options
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? An independent person, who enjoys a city setting, and late nights (Argentines do not go out until midnight or 1 am and return at 5 or 6 am)as well as friendly people and endless places to visit right inside the city or within 20 minutes of transportation.