Great for Spanish learning and in-country travel! March 06, 2023

By (Psychology, Scripps College) - abroad from 08/30/2022 to 12/12/2022 with

SIT Study Abroad: Argentina - Public Health in Urban Environments

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much Spanish, a lot about navigating big cities, and developed a lot of personal confidence.

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.

This program is definitely academically focused and I was pretty satisfied with the overall academic content. Our classes offered us relevant context for learning about the public health context of Argentina and took us on interesting experiential outings all over the country. The content was sometimes repetitive (especially for students who have taken public health or research methods classes before), but it was nice to not be dealing with anything too difficult when all of our classes were in Spanish. I also had a great experience with my Spanish class (the only class taken through a separate university) and felt like I improved on Spanish a lot through both this class and the thematic seminars. We did spend a lot of time in class and had pretty regular homework, which sometimes felt like it impeded my ability to explore the city.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The in-country staff are clearly so dedicated to their job and invested in making sure we have the best experience possible. They really made an effort to be accessible for both personal and academic reasons and facilitate our immersion into the culture through answering all our questions and leading some activities to get us acquainted.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host families provided are a fantastic learning experience but will inevitably come with challenges! I thought living with a host family was essential for improving my language skills and I felt very welcome in my host family's home and appreciated that they cooked meals for me. However, I think there are challenges with navigating unfamiliar cultural/family dynamics and living separate from your friends on the program can be difficult sometimes, when you can't really hang out at home with one another.

* Food:

Overall, Argentinean food is a lot of bread, meat, and cheese with very little seasoning and it can be hard to eat enough vegetables. Buenos Aires is of course a large multicultural city with some really delicious options, but the good food tends to be more expensive and far away from the area our program was situated in.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I definitely learned a lot about Argentine culture from living with a host family and traveling to different parts of the country. Buenos Aires is a very exciting city with lots of culture and nightlife to explore, but I sometimes felt limited in my ability to do so because of the intensive program schedule and feeling guilty about ditching my host family. Most of the people in our program didn't meet many people outside of it, but this is definitely about personal motivation as much as the program itself!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not personally experience any health issues but reports from friends were that the insurance they provided us was difficult to navigate and they felt somewhat uncomfortable with different standard of privacy in the hospitals. However, there was abundant and good quality healthcare available to us in all of the locations we visited.

* Safety:

Buenos Aires is a large city and that comes with safety concerns -- most notably, there is a lot of pickpocketing (I never felt concerned about more violent crime). However, this is totally avoidable if you take precautions such as carrying your valuables in front of you and keeping a hand on your purse when you are in crowded situations and not walking alone at night. I felt comfortable using public transportation, even at night as a lone woman, and walking around alone during the daytime.

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

My experience was not the idyllic, fun-filled study abroad experience many have, but I enjoyed the mixture of personal challenge and fun that I had and especially loved the travel component of the program!


* 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)

Our breakfasts and lunches were provided by host families and they also provided us a daily stipend to cover the cost of lunch and public transport, so it would have been theoretically possible to go the whole semester without spending any money. Of course, in order to eat more varied food and go out and about, you will have to go slightly over the budget but can have a great quality of life and get plenty of souvenirs on an additional $20-50 a week.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I really enjoyed eating at buffet-style restaurants for lunch because they were varied, had vegetables, quick, and super cheap!


* 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 used Spanish in class and with our host families, but they did not pressure us to use it with each other in more casual social situations.

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? Intro to literary analysis in Spanish
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? Be brave about conversing with your host families and also socializing with people you meet around the city!

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?
  • Travel
  • Friendly staff
  • Spanish learning
* What could be improved?
  • More free time
  • Better facilitation for meeting locals
  • More variety in academic content
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's really tiring at the beginning to learn a language and spend so much time in class but it will be worth it to stress less about academics and put yourself out there by taking classes and exploring the city nightlife in the evenings!

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!