Abroad in Argentina: from caterpillar to butterfly Past Review

By (Spanish Language and Literature., Trinity University) for

Spanish Studies Abroad: Córdoba - Semester, Year or Summer in Argentina

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I came back from abroad lightyears ahead of where I was before I left. Friends and family have commented on how much I have grown as a person and matured. It is impossible to go abroad and not come back changed. I am still the same person with the same set of values and the same personality, but I know myself better and the way I respond to and handle challenges. I know how I live in another culture. I learned that when we have to be, we are so much stronger than we ever thought possible.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad Nacional de Cordoba
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was normally light. Leisure time seems to be more valued. Teaching method was based on lecture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our directors were very helpful and supportive. I felt as though they were our "foreign parents." It was helpful that they knew english, although in every way encouraged us to speak the native language. However, you knew that if a problem were to arise, you didn't have to struggle in spanish to work it out.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The location of my host home and the house itself was nice, probably above average. However, my host mom was very busy and oftentimes I was left alone in the house, sometimes for entire weekends without an explanation as to where my family went. I got more out of spending time with my friend's host family.

* Food:

It is very difficult to find spicy food in Argentina. If you want anything spicier than a tomato, you might want to bring some salsa from home. Also, peanut butter is scarce.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

A few times a week our directors would send out emails of many cultural events to attend. There was always more than enough to choose from. Our program hosted several field trips to places around Argentina such as Buenos Aires and a hiking/trekking trip with our speaking partners.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

There were only a few incidences with students in our program who were pick-pocketed. There was never any violence, just petty crime. Be aware that some taxi drivers (especially if you travel to surrounding countries) will try to rip you off. Do not give in too quickly! Obviously safety is first, but usually if the driver realizes you know what you're talking about, he will stop trying to mess with you. Healthcare was very accessible and cheap. I did not need any vaccinations before going abroad.

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

Finances

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It is very possible to live on $25 or less per week. The only necessary expenses include transportation, which is .50 cents per bus ride (usually 3 or 4 per day) and an occasional afternoon snack or coffee at the university. Groceries are significantly cheaper, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You will want to travel. You will have time for roughly 3 medium-big trips and various mini trips during your time abroad. I had a friend who budgeted $1500 for all trips in total, which seemed to be the average amount. ($200-500 for larger trips, especially those out of the country; smaller excursions can be done anywhere from $50-$200) It is worth it to save a little extra cash before traveling abroad to avoid the disappointment of not being able to travel with friends.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Spanish was necessary to survive daily life. Hardly anyone spoke english, with the exception of those in my program. We practiced the language mostly through daily interactions, in the classroom, and with our host families.

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

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I feel like our program accepted a large variety of students who all benefitted from the experience. I think it is especially good for those from small liberal arts colleges.