Argentina: Live the Life of a Local Student Past Review

By (Spanish and Religion, Wartburg College) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I think I may end up working abroad when I graduate. I am not sure which country I will end up going to but living in Argentina has given me the confidence that I can survive within a program in a Spanish speaking country.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Expectations were met 100 percent. The two directors of the program are wonderful people who really care about the students and are willing to let people know what's really going on.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I actually had to switch houses halfway through. My first host family proved to be a bad match. My second host family was extremely helpful, welcoming, and willing to help me with anything and everything. It was in this second host family that I ended up living with another American student, although the program normally discourages that type of living situation. All ratings are for the second host family as that is the one I really count as my home.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I really liked the cultural events in Buenos Aires and the trips planned by the coordinators. Many of them were outdoorsy events and I loved the natural beauty Argentina had to offer. It would have been nice if we had some say in where we went though, since so much of our money is going to it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Cordoba is a big city and like any big city there are risks. If you are careful about who you give your information out to, do not walk alone at night, and take public transportation or go in groups as often as you can you will most likely be safe. They have social health care in Argentina so take advantage of it when you get there! If you are sick you can go in and maybe pay a very tiny fee compared to what you would do here in the U.S. They have good qualified physicians as well.

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? On average I spent around twenty dollars each week including public transportation and food. You should not have to spend any money on food though. My friends and I just liked to eat out a lot.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you go to Argentina you will want to travel. It is impossible to resist. I had not origionally planned to travel anywhere as I come from a lower income family. However, I ended up traveling and I do not regret it in the least. Traveling is not as expensive in the U.S. however the transportation fees will take a huge bite out of your budget. Plan on around at least $300 for long trips. Some people went down south and spent over a thousand dollars however. It is all up to your taste in luxury.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? A three hundred level college course.
Language acquisition improvement?

Compared to countries such as Spain or Mexico, there are very few people in Argentina who speak English. This was a wonderful thing as whenever you wanted to go somewhere in Argentina you had to practice your Spanish. We also had host families who knew no English whatsoever so Spanish was essential. We had speaking partners who were native students at the university so we practiced Spanish with them too.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans