Incredible experience in BA, but would consider another program. Past Review

By (Barnard College) - abroad from 02/26/2013 to 06/10/2013 with

SIT Study Abroad: Argentina - Transnationalism and Comparative Development in South America

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My spanish skills improved remarkably during my experience abroad. I really enjoyed my ISP period and this time strengthened my research skills and forced me to use my language skills in the field. This experience is beyond worthwhile and although the program had some limitations, I learned a lot and felt that they prepared me well for spanish presentations and the research period. I learned a lot about Argentine history and was able to learn about some of the surrounding countries as well.

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.

This program really varies in academic intensity.There is a lot of classroom time but the assignments themselves are graded very easily and the tests were pretty easy. The ISP period was somewhat intense but it is really up to the student. The spanish classes are absolutely incredible and will not be like anything you have experienced at an American university.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Overall the on-site administration worked very hard and was supportive. Unfortunately SIT deals with a lot of bureaucracy and that is definitely felt in the on-site administration, for instance in the structure of the classes and program and the restrictions on international travel.

* 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:

The crimes in Buenos Aires are generally not violent. There is an incredible amount of theft and robbery and this should not be taken lightly. I knew countless people who were robbed during their time in BA and it is important to be aware at all times.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Very easily. Students are at a huge advantage in Buenos Aires, especially if you bring American dollars with you or use the transfer service called Xoom. Although technically illegal, the system of selling your dollars is well integrated into the economy and drastically changed by experience in Buenos Aires. The blue dollar rate was at times double the official exchange rate. Xoom is also incredibly safe and reliable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-80


* 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

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? Spanish 4
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? Talk with as many people as possible. Really use your host family as a tool. Your host parents are teachers in every sense of the word.

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?
  • Spanish classes
  • Host family
  • ISP period
* What could be improved?
  • Bureaucratic limitations
  • Overwhelming time in class, took away from experiencing the city
  • Programs and visits that did not contribute to the theme
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had been informed prior to this program that I would not be allowed to travel internationally. I think a lot of students go abroad with this hope and it was very disappointing that this was not a possibility. Friends in other programs had a lot more freedom and flexibility. Additionally, I understood that it would be academically rigorous but I was not anticipating so much time indoors. Even on our excursions to other countries, we spent the majority of our time in a classroom, being spoken to not with.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.