Challenging For Most of the Right Reasons Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 02/26/2019 to 06/10/2019 with

SIT Study Abroad: Argentina - Public Health in Urban Environments

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about going with the flow. It was hard as a bit of a control freak to come to the terms with the fact that most everything was not going to be 100% on my terms and that there was going to be some form of compromise involved. The friendships I made with fellow students on my program, laughing at these uncontrollables, however, will last a lifetime. I would say it was very worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The courses were informative, but oftentimes repetitive. The workload was fair, but also unevenly distributed.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration team was stellar and available for all emergency and non-emergency needs.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It was challenging and rewarding to live with a host family, but overall, I enjoyed the experience. The only thing I would change would be having a more standardized set of rules for host families and students.

* Food:

Argentine food is high in meat, wine, and carbs. I personally loved it, but for vegetarians, vegans, and other health and vegetable lovers, you will face a challenge, although not insurmountable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

If you make an effort to speak Spanish with the locals and are not afraid to look like a bit of an idiot, they will love you. How well you integrate into the culture is entirely up to you.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health care was readily accessible in Argentina. My program never really saw anyone experience severe health issues, but the few people who did make hospital visits had a fine time. Public healthcare is free. Yellow fever vaccine is optional prior, and I actually got it in Argentina for free.

* Safety:

Your phone will be stolen. Other than that, entirely safe.

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

I always knew that with my background in Spanish and passion for public health that this was the program I wanted to pursue. I don't regret that choice.


* 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)

You will just be paying for diversion. Weekly cost varied enormously across the program. I would say I was somewhere in the middle and probably spent the equivalent of 75 dollars a week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Honestly, abroad is about enjoying yourself. Argentina has great food and culture, so I never felt guilty about splashing out a little extra on it. If you really want to save money, consider drinking beer and wine as opposed to mixed drinks, which will cost you a fortune at the bars and clubs.


* 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

My program was run almost entirely in Spanish.

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? An upper-level course
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? Don't be afraid to look dumb. It's hard to force yourself to speak Spanish amongst one another and I get that, sometimes you need a break, but when you're out, order in Spanish, talk to people at the bar in Spanish, etc.

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?
  • The city and culture
  • Their ability to cover most costs
  • The challenge of a homestay
* What could be improved?
  • Quality of coursework
  • Standardization of rules for homestay families
  • Individual freedom
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Living with a host family is really scary at first, but it will be 100% fine once you are integrated.

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.