BsAs: Being Independent In Buenos Aires Past Review

By (Global Business, George Mason University) for

University of Belgrano: Buenos Aires - Summer PEAL, Argentine and Latin American Studies Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
After my study abroad experience in Buenos Aires, I feel I have both grown as an individual and as student. I am more independent and much better at taking things as they come, enjoying the current moment, and making the most of a less than likely situation. I am also more outgoing and am more motivated in school. My experience has changed my cultural awareness in that I now know, that what someone says about a city or country may not be true, and only going to that country to see for yourself will disprove what someone else says.

Personal Information

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 instructors at the Universidad de Belgrano are fantastic. My teacher made even difficult topics so easy to understand it made me wonder why teachers in the US teach it any other way. My friends in other classes also had amazing teachers and commented on how much they were learning and how quickly.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Front Desk at la Universidad de Belgrano was very helpful, yet also encouraged you to be independent. If anyone had a question or problem, the Front Desk would be able to help and was very knowledgable about most international student problems.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My homestay was amazing. I was in one of the largest housing units of my program and I stayed with another member of my group, and another student from Morocco that had been there for a year. My host mom was amazing and I learned a lot from her and felt taken care of. She gave me sheets, a great room, and a nice closet for my things. She also had dinner and breakfast waiting for us everyday, allowing us to eat whenever we pleased. Whenever I would eat, she would come into the kitchen and we would talk about our day, laugh when we didn't understand each other, and got to know each other.

* Food:

Buenos Aires in general is like any other city. It has tons of options and places to eat. I had no problems ordering or finding something I'd like. Prior to departure, I read that no one goes to BsAs for the food, other than steak and malbec wine. I myself had a lot of very good food, it was just the process of finding a great place to eat. Others in my group with severe dietary restrictions did have some difficulty, but after exploring, gluten-free restaurants were found, and other restaurants with special menus were available.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Going to Recoleta hand craft fair was an awesome addition to my program. It was the perfect time to buy souveniers and presents for my family. I also enjoyed going to Lujan zoo, which is a zoo outside of the city where you can actually interact with the animals. Lujan Zoo was not included in the trip, but it was very affordable and easy to go and do independently. Learning to Tango and seeing a Tango show was also one of the most memorable experiences of my trip.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The city, although it sometimes has an unsafe reputation, is very safe as long as you are smart and stay in the areas/neighborhoods that the Front Desk advises you to stay in. I never had anything stolen nor did I ever feel unsafe. As with any trip abroad, travel in groups or pairs, do not look like a dumb tourist, and have fun!

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

I could practice the language not only with my instructor, but I learned so much doing simple things around the city such as ordering in a restaurant, shopping for clothes, buying bus tickets, and just to random people in cafes. Some people spoke English, but even with basic Spanish you can get by, and learn a lot if you make yourself speak the language.

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

  • International Students
  • Americans
  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? My advice to a student going on this program would be to go out and do as much as you possibly can. Even if you are tired, go out and explore, even going to a different section of the city and sitting in a cafe was one of the most interesting expereinces of my trip. Don't be lazy. Explore. Any type of student could benefit this program, yet a student with a more independent mindset would do well on this trip.