Endless personal and educational growth December 14, 2022

By (Spanish, Knox College) - abroad from 08/24/2022 to 12/06/2022 with

SIT Study Abroad: Argentina - Social Movements and Human Rights

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about myself. Gained independence. Learned to trust my own abilities. Improved my Spanish. Saw more of the world. Learned how many more types of experiences are out there. Saw other ways to approach the idea of social movements. Spoke with local communities that I never could have imagined being able to meet without the help of SIT.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were challenging in a fundamentally experiential way. It is hard to describe how interconnected everything we learned in this program was. No one class could stand on its own because everything related to every other experience we had both in the classroom, on excursions, and just walking around in our day-to-day experience. Also, the opportunity to complete an internship at the end made this program go beyond a normal study abroad experience. I learned an immense amount about myself and what I want in my future during those weeks of my internship. The classes and experiences before my internship helped me know how to conduct myself concerning experiences at work. The classes themselves spanned a wide range of topics but it was clear that what we were learning about catered to the interests of my peers and I's interests which we expressed during the application process.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration of the program was phenomenal. Their constant support helped me get through the rough days in-country and their enthusiasm for the job and what we learned was contagious. They truly cared that we were learning and growing, having fun, and that the difficulties that come with any study abroad experience could be overcome and learned from.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had many opportunities to speak with locals and the program brought in many guest lecturers to help broaden our knowledge. We learned many things about local culture. That said, because classes were taught amongst our own program, there where not many opportunities to interact with locals beyond our homestay situations (which went a long way to helping us experience the local culture). It was difficult to make friends beyond the program itself, where everyone is generally from the US. If you're intentional about it though, especially from early on, and with the use of things like bumble bff, this can be gotten around.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I rarely (if ever) felt unsafe, which as one of my friends points out is a pretty big deal given that my phone was pick-pocketed. I really was never concerned for my safety beyond being aware of my surroundings and being careful when I crossed the street (the driving culture is very different in the US, street lights and road signs are closer to suggestions than hard and fast rules). Pick-pocketing can be an issue though and if you don't watch your stuff closely your bag or phone is gone in the blink of an eye. Personally, my phone was taken in a particularly crowded area and despite my best efforts, I wasn't too surprised to find it missing. I highly recommend listening when the program directors suggest you carry an old/cheap phone with you instead of something expensive. It could save you a lot of headaches if it is taken and you have to erase all the data remotely and replace it (you need to have an argentine phone number anyways so haveing basically a burner phone helps there too).

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

This program was very difficult in many ways: emotional and intellectual. Having completed it, I am exhausted, but it was extremely rewarding and I don't know that I have ever been so proud of something I have done, or felt like I have grown so much. I have never been a city person, but now I kind of miss it.


* 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)

I had a couple of bigger things I purchased but they were by no means necessary. The most expensive thing in Argentina would be clothes and technology so try your best to bring those things with you and you should be fine. There are many free events in the city and many affordable shows/theater events (as long as you are fine with less-than-perfect seats).


* 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

I expected a full immersion experience and that was not this program. All of our classes and readings were in Spanish, and everything to do with the program was in Spanish, but the other students were from the US and generally spoke English with each other. It can be hard to maintain any sort of long-term Spanish exposure, without English conversation, unless you want to isolate yourself from your peer (which I don't recommend). However, between classes, my internship, and my homestay experience, I am very satisfied with my language improvement.

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
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? If you like to read, by books there in Spanish and read them. If you're going to watch anything, watch it in Spanish. If you journal, try to do it in Spanish. Try to make local friends. Go to local classes in Yoga or art or something like that. Try to take small but intentional steps to practice each day. If you can, find other people in your program who want to practice in their free time and practice together.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The administration
  • The academic excursions
  • The location
* What could be improved?
  • More focus on language immersion
  • More clarity/organization for academic assignments
  • Better bonding with the group as some small cliques formed
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I wasn't going to bond with my host mother and that I should look for connections with people my age early on in order to meet more locals.

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!