Study Abroad in
We cannot believe how quickly time has passed with our spring 2014 students! Upon arriving, they felt a combination of excitement, anxiousness, curiosity and complete openness to the vast possibilities that Buenos Aires provides. Over the past couple of months, we have watched them explore, question and leave their comfort zones to settle into their active porteño lifestyles.
After visiting university campuses in Buenos Aires and experiencing a busy shopping period with many options for classes, the students have finally settled into their homes and schedules. They are taking diverse classes at FLACSO, UBA, UCA and IUNA and many are even taking this chance to intern and volunteer with prestigious organizations all over the city.
During orientation period, the students participated in a plethora of cultural activities, ranging from workshops and scavenger hunts to learning the tango and visiting a traditional folkloric restaurant. Read on for more details!
We understand how difficult it may be for students to enter a new culture in a new country. Our workshops made the transition a bit easier as they allowed the students to openly ask questions and manage their expectations about various issues. We held workshops on housing and cultural situations; public transportation and safety; the particular style of Spanish spoken in this area; reflections on gender relations in the local culture; and, held a chat with former students that have come back to live in Argentina.
The students were able to choose from three recreational activities to share with the staff. Some students chose to get their game on in soccer, undoubtedly the most popular sport in Argentina and some chose to reflect at the Buenos Aires Holocaust Museum.
And, finally, others chose to observe the city’s history through a walking tour in downtown Buenos Aires and San Telmo neighborhood. Each experience was unique in its own way.
As in any great city, one must learn to master public transportation to be able to get around independently. And in our program, a bit of independence is strongly encouraged! During orientation, we walked the students through how to use the Guia T, a local pocket-sized transportation guide, and we put their knowledge to the test in a scavenger hunt race.
Groups of students rambled around the city, stopping and taking pictures at main attraction points. At the final stop, they met with the staff at some of the yummiest pizza places in the city for lunch!
Buenos Aires is famed for its passionate dance of tango. Dancing arm-in-arm on the streets of San Telmo or in dim milongas is ideal with good company, which is exactly what the students had waiting for them when they met up with staff members at La Viruta for a tango lesson.
They learned different pasos, or steps, and were told to switch partners every few minutes. Tango is wonderful because it brings people together and this was a great chance for students to bond and meet locals.
After a 2-year tour around Brazil, New York, London, Moscow, Greece, Belgium, Holland, Israel, Spain, Taiwan and Manila, Fuerzabruta came back to where their incredible trip started: right here in Buenos Aires.
We took the students to the Cultural Center of Recoleta to experience an incredible spectacle made up of acrobats, aerialists, swimming and music.
In mid-March, the students and staff took a day trip to peaceful Tigre, a beautiful port town in Buenos Aires province, which is adjacent to a delta made up of small islands. We took a train to the port and from there hopped onto a low boat that rode us through the river, surrounded by homes and buildings.
Our destination was an island, where the students spent the day swimming, playing soccer and enjoying the nature.
A few hours into our trip, the rain decided to make its way and we headed inside for delicious asado and some valuable hours of bonding, playing truco and learning about the traditions behind mate.
Our way back to the city was a unique adventure in the rain!
From March 23-28, we had various college representatives visit us from a number of U.S. universities: Jonathan Larson from Grinnell College; Arik Ohnstad from Vanderbilt University; Erin Pendle from Georgetown University; Katherin Aldag from University of Illinois at Chicago; and, Pamela Boeck from Oklahoma City University. Representing CIEE were Rachel Daroca and Betsy Parker.
They had a wonderful time learning about both the Study Center and the city of Buenos Aires. They toured the Study Center, learned about academic offerings, visited the local universities and met several host families.
One evening, the students, staff and group site visit members shared dinner at a lively peña.
A peña is a bustling Latin American style restaurant in which a group of musicians plays live traditional folklore music while visitors are served dinner.
On March 26, the students, staff and group site visit members enjoyed a comforting dinner and live playful music at La Peña Los Cardones. It was a chance for everyone to bond, laugh together and take a peek into the culture of northern Argentina, which many students would be visiting in the following weeks.
Overall, everyone had a wonderful time experiencing a traditional yet ever-present part of Argentine culture.