Fantastic, unique study abroad program/experience! Past Review

By (George Washington University) - abroad from 02/26/2018 to 06/11/2018 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 participated in the ‘SIT Argentina: Transnationalism and Comparative Development in South America’ program during the spring of 2018. I had a fantastic experience with the program overall and would recommend it to students who want to gain a well-rounded perspective on the current and past political, economic and social issues facing Argentina and the Southern Cone region in general. My classes were small and taught by experts in different fields, which allowed us to gain different perspectives on the issues we were learning about. Our classes often included experiential components: they included field trips to different NGOs and social justice initiatives in Buenos Aires and beyond. The program directors in Buenos Aires (Nuria, Julieta and Pablo) are some of the kindest, most supportive people I’ve met and made me feel comfortable and supported at all times. One of the best parts of the semester, and the thing that separates this program for other SIT programs, was that students get to travel to three surrounding countries (Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay) as part of our curriculum. During these excursions, we took classes, went on site visits to the MERCOSUR headquarters and local NGOs, and spoke with local activists and academics in order to better understand various issues facing the Southern Cone region as a whole. We were able to do some tourism on these trips too, which was incredible! These international excursions really complimented my learning and experiences in Buenos Aires and were definitely some of the highlights of my semester. Most SIT programs do not incorporate international travel, so this one is particularly unique in that way. Buenos Aires is very exciting, bustling city to live in and there is always something to do. I lived with a wonderful host family and was able to improve my Spanish while living with them and through my classes. If I could go back and choose this program again, I absolutely would!

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 all taught in Spanish by experts, academics and activists, which provided different perspectives on the issues we discussed. Based on what I've heard from friends, the academics of this program are a bit more rigorous than others but I found them to be entirely manageable. I learned SO much from my classes and the experiential learning/travel experiences that were incorporated into our curriculum during the program. I always felt supported academically.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program directors Nuria, Julieta and Pablo are some of the kindest, most supportive people I know. They always went out of their way to make students feel comfortable and supported. I couldn't imagine my semester without them!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Students live with host families which I found to be a great way to learn about Argentine culture and improve my language skills. All students have their own room so you are able to have your own space while living in your family's home as well. My host family was wonderful and I still talk to them often. I think your host family experience can vary depending on how much effort you are willing to put into it, so I would recommend pushing yourself to really get to know your family.

* Food:

I am vegetarian and I found it entirely possible to find food to eat in Buenos Aires. Although the national cuisine is pretty meat-centered, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes that offer a variety of food options. My host family was notified of my food restrictions before I arrived and they were very accommodating.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I think living with a host family definitely facilitates more integration into the local culture. As with any study abroad program, it is easy to only befriend other Americans in your program, but if you really make a pointed effort to get to know Argentines, there are opportunities to do so.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Nuria, Pablo and Julieta (the program directors) were very supportive and readily available if students had any health issues that needed to be addressed. The local healthcare system in Argentina is good and usually cheaper than the US.

* Safety:

Buenos Aires is a large, bustling city where petty crime in not uncommon. However, like with most cities in the world, if you remain aware and smart about your belongings and surroundings, you shouldn't have a problem. During orientation week, students get a full run-down on safety issues and how to prevent them, and the program is very conscious of and careful about student safety in general. I never encountered any safety issues during my time in Buenos Aires.

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)

In general, it is possible to live on a student's budget in Buenos Aires. The city is not super cheap but it's not insanely expensive either. All meals are provided by host families and students are allotted money for public transportation within the city each week. That being said, if you choose to eat out a lot or travel around the country, you can end up spending a lot of money on leisure activities/plane tickets/etc. So it really depends on how you choose to spend your money.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat with your host families as much as possible!


* 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

All of our classes were in Spanish and we were encouraged to use it as much as possible. We only spoke Spanish with our host families too.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
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? Advanced college Spanish literature classes
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? Try to speak Spanish as much as possible! Spend lots of time with your host families, ask questions in class, push yourself to speak Spanish with local people you meet even if they offer to speak in English with you. It may be scary at first but it gets easier and you're only there for a semester, so take advantage!

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?
  • Program excursions to Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay
  • Fascinating classes
  • Super supportive program directors
* What could be improved?
  • More opportunities to travel independently
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The courses are considered an important part of the program. They take place Monday through Friday and students are highly discouraged from missing them. However, I found them to be very good and I learned a lot from them. The workload was probably more than other study abroad programs but I found it very manageable.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'