Experience of a lifetime! Past Review

By (Calabasas High School) - abroad from 06/15/2012 to 07/13/2012 with

Study Abroad Programs in Argentina

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned the language and culture. I learned an enormous amount about Argentina, specifically Buenos Aires, and the Spanish language. I also learned a lot about myself; one month with myself, new friends, and an entire city taught me many things and I believe I am much more mature now than I was before I went.

Review Photos

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Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Academia Buenos Aires
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.

I had a great time at the academy learning Spanish language and culture. I personally had a fantastic teacher (Ricardo Cabral) with whom I plan to keep in contact via email, so my experience was outstanding. Some teachers were better than others, but all of the staff was very kind, competent, and helpful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Alexia Zamparo was our onsite director and did everything with us from lunches and dinners to cultural activities. She was a great friend, a delight to be around, a caring director, and always willing to answer any of our questions. She was awesome!!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Although my room was very small and sometimes lonely, I adjusted to it in a matter of days and began to enjoy the advantages. My host mother and grandmother were both extremely nice and willing to meet all of my needs. The house was at a convenient location; across the street from most of the other group members, in a safe neighborhood, near 2 major streets.

* Food:

Argentinian food is now one of my favorites, especially asado. Asado is an assortment of meats including steak, ribs, sausage, and much more. I also tried mate, a very strong green tea. I still drink it at home!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

At times I felt really American when surrounded by a different culture and language, but I got past this feeling soon and began to feel enveloped in the language and culture. After 4 weeks I felt like Buenos Aires was my real home.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There wasn't a huge emphasis on health care, although it wasn't completely necessary. Many people still smoke in Buenos Aires, but other than that health was never an issue.

* Safety:

Our onsite instructor emphasized numerous times the need to execute caution because Buenos Aires is a big city like New York or Chicago. There are safe and unsafe taxis, people, and places, and we were well informed of them all. Any safety problems would have been the faults of the students, but there were none.

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)

Extra money is definitely a necessity. Some students spent more than others; it would have been possible to get by on $50 per week, but most of us chose to spend extra money on nicer meals and souvenirs.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $75-$100 per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I did the best I could at saving money. Once you arrive and you escape into freedom, money won't be necessary but it will be very helpful. Most meals are included but you might want to go out with your friends more than once a week (saturday night dinners aren't included). Souvenirs are also all around and very impressive. All I can say is that you should expect to spend between $50-$150 per week, less or more is possible but difficult(less)/not recommended(more).


* 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

At school we were only allowed to speak Spanish during class, and our onsite director spoke to us in Spanish 95% of the time. Although we didn't speak in Spanish 24/7 because it's extremely difficult, we all made an effort and were encouraged to speak in Spanish as often as possible.

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 3
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? Make sure to focus during class and never speak in English (there are no punishments but it will lessen what you learn). You will need to speak in Spanish with most older natives (30+), and with younger people (30-) you should speak in Spanish. Younger people might know some English, but speak with them and your friends in the target language whenever you can. You will notice a HUGE difference, I did!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Education (in language and culture)
  • Instructor
  • The city (Buenos Aires!)
* What could be improved?
  • More information about host families beforehand
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Host family information

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 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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Nivel V

Course Department: Spanish Language
Instructor: Ricardo cabral
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Spanish Level 5 was a challenging but interesting course. In just 4 weeks I improved my Spanish to the point where I could talk almost effortlessly with the instructor with moderate fluency. We embarked on one field trip: we visited the place where our instructor is employed while he's not teaching. He works at a cultural center downtown in the heart of the city and we were able to learn about Argentinian art and culture. There were less than 5 students in my class so I participated often and with passion. Homework was assigned in small amounts and checked every day, and there was one exam at the end to receive college credit.
Credit Transfer Issues: