An experience I will remember forever Past Review

By (Peace and Justice, Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/25/2014 to 12/08/2014 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I found a new confidence in myself and my ability to converse and make my way around a foreign city. I figured out public transportation and learned so much about the culture and history of Argentina and other South American countries. The academics were an important piece to me, but I also learned to relax a bit and take in the sights.

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.

For a study abroad program, there is a good deal of readings every night and the amount of time spent in class is much higher than I am used to at Wellesley College. All resources are provided to the students in large compilations of readings in mostly Spanish, some English. The amount of actual assignments are small, limited to final papers and exams, in addition to the ISP at the end of the semester. This is not a discussion-based course, as most of the various professors lectured through the entire period. Although the idea of experiential learning is highly publicized by SIT, in my opinion, there was a limited amount of such experiences. One amazing part of the academic experience was the amount of travel we were able to do, in visiting three other countries in the Southern Cone, and being able to compare experiences and lifestyles among them all.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The directors and coordinators are amazing. They are so involved (admittedly sometimes a bit too much) and provide assistance with almost everything we needed. I got strep throat and a few other mild illnesses while abroad, and they made sure I had great medical care at any time. They also offer great help with the ISP, you just have to ask.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had an amazing homestay experience. To be honest, I was not looking forward to living with a host family, but it turned out to be my favorite part of the entire semester. Not every family gets along with their student as well as mine did with me, but if you make the effort to be involved, most families are really excited to have you.

* Food:

The pizza is great, tons of ice cream and gelato, and the empanadas are delicious. Diet includes lots of meat and breads, depending on your family, and not a huge amount of vegetables and salads. Palermo Soho has some great restaurants and cafés.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because SIT is largely US students and local students are not involved, it is a little difficult to integrate to the local culture and meet Argentine. There are some great programs (Argentina for All, BAIS, and Pals) that you can add on Facebook to find out about events for international students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Great access to health care at Hospital Aleman, which is the German hospital. You always need your passport and have to pay upfront (about 500 pesos), but you should be reimbursed some of that when you return to the States.

* Safety:

We had very few incidents occur, none with any safety concerns. One students was pickpocketed and I had some bogus charges on my bank statement after using an ATM in Uruguay, but other than that, no risks to any student.

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


* 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)

SIT program give a perdiem, or a small amount of money, for lunches and transportation. It was a great help, but it is certainly easy to spend more than what they give. There is no need to spend much, but going to bars and boliches, doing touristy things, and going out to eat can definitely add up.


* 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

The program classes and structured activities were all supposed to be in Spanish, though sometimes as a collective the group of students steered things more toward English. It's really up to each student individually how much they plan to practice the language, but the other students decisions can also play a large part in the success of that plan.

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? One 200 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 try. I spent so much time worried about getting the perfect pronunciation and grammar that sometimes I wouldn't say anything at all. I would say that is one of my biggest regrets, but also one of the easiest things to change.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • My host family and RIVER PLATE
  • The ISP period and resources
  • Travelling to Montevideo, Asuncion, and Porto Alegre
* What could be improved?
  • The restrictions on individual travel (SIT International has some strict rules)
  • The amount of experiential learning could be higher
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known to take advantage of every second. I thought that I had so much time to do everything, but it went so quickly. I would also do some pre-planning about trips that I would have liked to have taken and how feasible/expensive they might be.

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!