Ask me where I've been: Argentina
Why study abroad?
When else do you get the opportunity to live in an amazing country for almost five months? It’s five months of learning how to be independent, and you create amazing memories. Abroad you can create your own adventure and do whatever you want (within reason, of course) in an exciting setting. Try new food, go to museums, chat up locals at a bar or night club, the possibilities are endless! When you get home you’ll have stories to tell and be able to speak proficiently in a foreign language! That’s pretty cool.
Why did you choose Argentina?
I chose Argentina because I wanted to go to a Spanish speaking country and I’d never been to South America before. Argentina has many beautiful places to visit, an amazing and lively culture, and a rich political history that was fascinating to study.
What courses did you enroll in while abroad?
Sociology, Argentine History, Human Rights in Argentina, Research Seminar (included an internship), Intermediate Spanish, Argentine Foreign Policy.
What was your living situation?
I had a home stay with a single mother and her teenage daughter. They were fantastic - so kind and helpful, and the mom was a great cook!
What did you do for fun?
To be honest, I ate a lot of food (steak, empanadas, and alfajores-two cookies sandwiched together with dulce de leche and coated in chocolate. YUM.)! I also went to yoga a couple of times a week, went to museums, and took advantage of the fabulous nightlife in Buenos Aires.
Highlights of the program:
IFSA provides free cultural excursions throughout the semester. I saw a few plays, went to a rugby game, and went to the circus!
The most challenging aspects of your experience:
Adjusting to the Argentine economy, which is always in trouble. You have to be prepared that you might not be able to find all of the comforts you could find in the states and be aware that people are super money conscious, for good reason! Also, as a woman, it was hard sometimes to be in a culture rife with machismo. It’s tough, and good to know in advance so you can develop a thick skin to deal with the culture shock of machismo.
Final comments or suggestions for future participants:
Go to Argentina! You will meet friendly people, never be bored, and eat delicious food! Did I mention the steak?