I studied abroad during the fall semester of 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For me, this was a dream come true. I have wanted to travel, live, and study in Argentina for the past three years, and to finally be able to get that opportunity was incredible.
Some of the best moments and highlights from my study abroad trip actually occurred outside of Buenos Aires on the group sponsored weekend trips to the Iguazu Falls and Uruguay, as well as a last minute trip to Cordoba and the surrounding towns for a four day weekend. There are so many things to see and do in the city of Buenos Aires, but when you leave for the weekend to go to another country, or even just another city, it is like stepping into a whole new world. The opportunity to travel while you are abroad is always available, every single weekend.
One of the major advantages of being an international student is that often your classes are held Monday-Thursday, so you always have a three-day weekend, with a few four-day weekends because of national holidays. One of the neatest things about studying abroad, for me, were the friends that I made. Yes, I made quite a few American friends, but I also made many friends from around the world, including Italy, Sweden, Germany, England, Switzerland, Brazil, and obviously, Argentina. I not only got to learn Spanish while I was in Argentina, but I was able to learn a bunch of different words in Italian and German as well. In addition, there are opportunities at the university to learn Portuguese, which many people took advantage of.
I also loved the pace of life in Argentina. Despite being in an extremely busy, crowded, noisy city, it was a very relaxed, slow, and peaceful place to live. Finally, and probably most importantly, if you get the opportunity, live with a host family! They are absolutely incredible and it is a great way to learn the language, learn the culture, and eat the food that they eat there. My host family was incredible and I truly felt as if I was a part of their family. The dinners each night were incredibly good as well, and getting the chance to eat with my host family and their family and friends really helped me learn the language.
If I had the opportunity to do this semester with ASA all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat. The only thing I would change is that I would realize I shouldn’t sleep in on weekends, and that I really need to be out and enjoying what the city has to offer, because once you are back in the States, you will not find those opportunities and experiences again until you travel abroad next time.