Endless opportunities for unexpected adventures and new encounters! August 09, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/26/2018 to 07/14/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: MIddlebury in Buenos Aires

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Attending a public university in Buenos Aires exposed me to how an educational institution can apply feminist theory to it academic structure, as well as how effective student-led demonstrations are generated. I learned how to navigate cities and how to uncover unexpected, exciting experiences. I miss the art scene in this city! BA is alive with art, cooperative learning, political activism, and opportunities for unexpected adventures!

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.

I felt totally supported by the directors of the Midd program in navigating the public university setting. They arranged for me to work with a tutor, which was key to my academic success!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Buenos Aires is a foodie-friendly city. Besides Argentine meats and sweets, you can find all kinds of international cuisine! I appreciated all the vegan/vegetarian options and health-food stores as well for when you need a break from heavy eating.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt more integrated into the culture after finding a local dance studio where I took modern dance classes several days a week.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Middlebury staff was insistent that we make safe decisions while living in Buenos Aires and spent a majority of the orientation providing us advice for doing so.

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

I think we had the ideal balance of independence and support in this program.

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)

Cities are always more expensive, but at least food is fairly affordable in Buenos Aires. There are many free activities, but I preferred to take dance classes, which cost me a fair amount of money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent approximately $50-100 dollars on food and other expenses each week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring as many dollars as you can! Also, to avoid ATM fees when you run out of dollars, use Xoom, a money transfer service through PayPal. Xoom allows you to pick up a large amount of pesos at one of many locations for a small fee.

Language

* 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 required to only speak Spanish under the Language Pledge.

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? Spanish340
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Ask locals questions instead of looking up the answers yourself! You'll get more language practice, better advice, open up opportunities for connections, and get comfortable not being perfect with the language.

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

  • Local 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 loved the trip to Iguazu!
  • I appreciated how the program emphasized that learning a language is just as much an emotional process as it is an academic one. They encouraged us to be patient and forgiving of ourselves and pointed out our progress at times when it felt less obvious.
* What could be improved?
  • The Midd language class is a very supportive environment, but it could be more challenging and act as a safe place to push students in their language skills.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had made a plan to budget my money better! But I learned how to as I became more familiar with the costs of living in a city.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Introducción a la Problemática de la Violencia Familiar

Course Department: Trabajo Social
Instructor: Lic. Linda Dwek
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Although I felt strongly about the importance of the content of this course, it was fairly disorganized among the three different professors. Also, the final exam was oriented more towards social workers rather than focused on the lecture content, which made it difficult for me as a student without the social work background.
Credit Transfer Issues: The content of the course does not apply to my field of study.
Course Name/Rating:

La intervención social en clave feminista

Course Department: Trabajo Social
Instructor: Lic. Elena Zunino
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This course was completely discussion based. All the reading material was rooted in both western and non-western feminist theory, and included many Latin American women. The professors were extremely knowledgeable and helpful in providing feedback on essays and during discussion. I learned the most just by listening to my peers, many of whom were final-year social work students.
Credit Transfer Issues: The course content for this class did not apply to my field of study.