Adventure-filled, Community-oriented, Very Fun Semester January 08, 2024

By (Ecology, Evolution Biology, Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/04/2023 to 12/18/2023 with

SIT Study Abroad: Argentina: People, Environment, and Climate Change in Patagonia and Antarctica

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a lot of language skills. Yes it was 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.

The courses were not as rigorous as Middlebury. However, they were all in Spanish, and this was helpful for language development.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program


* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had some interpersonal issues with my host family, but this was not program-specific. The house I lived in was great, close to the city, and had warm water and plenty of food. My host parents were kind and well-intended.

* Food:

Food in Argentina is often difficult for U.S. students as they don't have as many options. Especially in Ushuaia, fresh food (fruits, vegetables) are more expensive and not as commonplace in every household. However, we had a stipend for lunch which I really enjoyed. We could choose what we wanted to eat then. Food was inexpensive overall (for U.S. students) and it was easy to buy extra snacks.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We lived with host families which helped a lot with integration into the local culture. I joined a local gym and climbing gym and met some locals there. This was a very cool and unique experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I visited the doctor for a stomach issue and it was resolved within the day. One of my program directors went with me to help with translation (as this difficult while I was sick). I really appreciated this. I did pay out of pocket, but it was reimbursed by the program insurance later.

* Safety:

The city felt very safe. There were no issues with crime. I could ride the bus alone. I felt comfortable walking at night. I took Ubers around the city after going out and never felt uncomfortable. Uber was very affordable as well.

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

I loved the area. I was able to live in a city and also hike or be outside every weekend. I made lots of friends on the program. The program is very well structured in terms of creating a community. I always felt supported by my directors and the other students on the program. I do not feel like the classes were very good, but this did not take away from my overall experience. I had chances to develop my language skills outside of the program classes.


* 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)

This program was more affordable than Middlebury. There were some external costs but everything was affordable because of the exchange rate for U.S. dollars.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $25-50. This was mostly on outside food or drinks.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? No.


* 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 didn't speak Spanish between students but with everyone else we did.

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? I had finished my Spanish minor.
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? Listen to podcasts, watch movies. Don't worry too much if your language is not great. The program is structured to help people of all levels and there were beginner/intermediate speaks on my program who can now hold most conversations.

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

  • Americans
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?
  • community
  • proximity to the outdoors
  • experience of traveling to Antarctica
* What could be improved?
  • class rigor
  • host family support
  • ease of travel
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I was nervous to study abroad (mostly about language and making friends). I wish I had knew that the program is structured to meet everyone where they are. The great thing about SIT is being with a small community of other U.S. students who are also going through the same situation. We all got close and it was nice to have this support system in a foreign country.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Socio-Ecological Dynamics and Conservation in Southern Patagonia and Antarctica

Course Department: N/A
Instructor: N/A
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This course was very surface level. There was no overarching theme of this class. I was disappointed that we did not have any readings assigned nor was the class focused on discussion, as it was advertised as a humanities course.
Credit Transfer Issues: I did not transfer credit.
Course Name/Rating:

Spanish for the Natural Sciences

Course Department: N/A
Instructor: N/A
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This class was not organized and did not have a curriculum. I thought the assignments were fair and the podcast was fun. However, we did very little in class besides talk amongst ourselves and our professor. One day before the final exam we began to review difficult grammar concepts (which were on the final exam). No effort was put into reviewing these concepts over the course of the entire semester.
Credit Transfer Issues: I did not transfer credit.
Course Name/Rating:

Environmental Research Methods and Ethics

Course Department: N/A
Instructor: N/A
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: The content of this course was surface level. I thought this class would involve labs or field work but it did not. We spent a lot of time learning how to search for and read academic papers, and very little time on how to conduct research. However, I do think that the culminating project we did for this course was very beneficial.
Credit Transfer Issues: I did not transfer credit.