Cultural and Spanish immersion in the big city February 15, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 07/22/2019 to 12/17/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: MIddlebury in Buenos Aires

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Spanish improved an incredible amount, I gained more self confidence, and I learned all about a new country, of which I previously had no knowledge. It was definitely worthwhile.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administrators were extremely helpful, but also gave us a ton of independence. And they really made an effort to improve our Spanish!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I LOVED my host mom. I really lucked out - she was so wonderful and kind and we were very compatible. She is like a sister to me now. And I really liked the location of her apartment - Colegiales.

* Food:

Host mom was a great cook and was vegetarian, like me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Very integrated, but only because I really made an effort. Integration was not a given, but I joined lots of organizations and made an effort to make Argentine friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe. Was robbed once, but in general I did not feel at risk. Program instructors also warned that there would be a ton of catcalling, which I did not find.

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

I loved Buenos Aires and my host mom, and met so many wonderful and friendly people. I also loved traveling around Argentina ad Uruguay, made affordable by all the low prices.

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)

Argentina was very cheap when I was there because of the financial crisis.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? When I was there, going out to lunch was cheaper than buying groceries and making lunch.

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

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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 300-level
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? Join a student organization - I joined a chorus and had to speak in Spanish with members. Plus, we traveled to Mendoza one weekend, during which I spoke only in Spanish. Also, do an internship! And speak to your host family and make dinner with them and eat with them as much as possible.

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
  • 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?
  • host family
  • choral group
  • radio internship
* What could be improved?
  • length of program (too long)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Take Spanish risks in conversations - people won't judge you, but instead will be excited to speak to you and eager to help.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Clase de Escritura

Course Department: Middlebury program
Instructor: Liria Evangelista
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: The course felt a little disorganized, though I did like having the opportunity to practice my writing and to ask a professor from the program questions about Argentina and Spanish. The teacher was very knowledgable and clearly wanted to share her knowledge with us. I participated a good amount, and was assessed with occasional writing assignments (for which instructions were a bit too vague).
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Política y Sociedad en America Latina

Course Department: Ciencia política
Instructor: Carlos Freytes
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This course was EXTREMELY challenging and involved a ton of reading and memorization. The teacher was great, but the TA was not. I participated because I had to (it was a part of my grade), and I had to study a ton for the midterm and final exam. I will say, though, I learned a lot about the history of Latin America, which I did not know before.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Relaciones Internacionales Contemporáneas

Course Department: Relaciones internacionales
Instructor: Jorge Battaglino
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: It was challenging, but I learned a lot and a lot about how Argentines view contemporary international relations issues. I participated a decent amount, and felt my Spanish improve throughout. I really liked the teacher, and felt fairly evaluated by the exam.
Credit Transfer Issues: