A challenging, but highly rewarding, once-in-a-lifetime type of experience May 19, 2020

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 07/23/2019 to 12/13/2020 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: MIddlebury in Buenos Aires

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be more independent, I learned more "street skills" (navigation, safety, etc), I became a better cook, I learned how to take risks, I learned the language. It was very worthwhile

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.

Middlebury Schools Abroad in Buenos Aires offers a true language immersion experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

Middlebury's Argentina program is hands down the best that I could imagine. If you want to learn the language and culture and really feel like a local for a half or full year, then this is the program for you. It's really intense how they teach you and it can be difficult sometimes to overcome personal frustration, but in the end it is 100% worth it. You'll be fluent in the language if you put in the work.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about 15 USD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would avoid going to the fancy steak restaurants. They are good, but you can easily get a slightly less good steak for only $5.Empanadas are a great option for when you're really hungry and want something cheap. They usually only cost a $1 each. I would also buy pasta in the grocery stores because it's really cheap.

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

The language pledge was very strictly enforced.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? Spanish 310
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? Practice Spanish literally whenever you get the chance, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. Talk with your host family in Spanish whenever you see them. Take your notes in Spanish. Watch Dustin Luke on YouTube and try to understand what he is saying. Practice thinking in Spanish. Even talk to your friends in Spanish.

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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Lack of vegetables at times
* What could be improved?
  • more student check ins about mental and physical health
  • more interactions with locals, program-sponsored events to do so
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that I was going to be just fine and that I wasn't going to stay at a low level of Spanish forever. It really stressed me out that I wasn't going to be able to thrive for a while at a low level of Spanish but everyone improved. You just need to be patient and forgiving of yourself.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Writing: Culture and Linguistics

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Liria Evangelista
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Professor Evangelista really made this course. She made a huge effort to make sure we understood cultural elements very well and was able to answer all of our questions. She taught places to see, restaurants to visit, slang people used, and rioplatense Spanish. The cultural project was a great way for us to learn Argentine culture in a way that mattered to us. I chose music for mine and really enjoyed going to various concerts around Buenos Aires. She was superbly efficient in teaching us grammatical concepts that we needed to brush up on.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Internship in Argentina (Poder Ciudadano

Course Department: n/a
Instructor: Juan Hurtado/Florencia Cavalli
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Taking an internship as one of my classes was one of the best decisions I made down there. It's a great way to get even more immersed with the locals, and it taught me very valuable workplace skills and mannerisms that I will take with me to my next job in the United States. The challenging part was writing a 20 page research paper independently in Spanish, but students will feel accomplished when they do so.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Religion and International Relations

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Ivan Petrella
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: All of the readings were manageable and very interesting. The bulk of the course was Professor Petrella's lectures which were also very interesting. Be careful to take detailed notes during the lectures because the exams are based heavily off of them. I participated less in this class than I would have at my home institution because I found speaking Spanish in a classroom full of natives to be intimidating. But if I could do it again I would participate more because the classroom environment is very friendly and forgiving towards international students.
Credit Transfer Issues: I did not have credit transfer issues.