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2 posts from September 2014

09/18/2014

Fall 2014, Issue I

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Casa rosada

Welcome to Buenos Aires!

We cannot believe how quickly time has passed with our fall 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.

In July, we celebrated our 20th Anniversary in both fancy and fun ways - to read more about it, check out the CIEE post!

ACADEMIC ORIENTATION

Students visited different university campuses and had a very busy period of choosing courses. Finally, they have all settled into their regular schedules and they are taking a wide range of classes at FLACSO, UBA, UCA and IUNA; many have even taken the opportunity to participate in volunteerism and internships with several prestigious organizations across the city.

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

Students threw themselves into a number of cultural activities during orientation, ranging from workshops and scavenger hunts to learning the tango and visiting a traditional folkloric restaurant. Read on for more details!

WORKSHOPS

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.

SCAVENGER HUNT REMIX (AUG 30)

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 scrambled 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!

TANGO CLASS AT LA VIRUTA (July 31)

Tango is known worldwide as the passionate signature dance of Buenos Aires, and any day of the week you can find couples dancing in abrazo on the streets of San Telmo or in dimly-lit milongas. Students met up with staff members at La Viruta to give it a try and see what all the fuss is about.la viruta corto.jpg

They learned different pasos, or steps, and the instructors had everyone change partners every few minutes. Dancing tango necessarily brings people together, and this was a great opportunity for students to bond and meet locals.

SOCCER / MUSEUM / TOUR (AUG 7)

The students chose to participate in one of 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.

 

Estancia La Alameda (AUG 8)

The first trip of the semester was to a traditional Estancia or Ranch. The students and staff took a bus ride just outside of Buenos Aires city limits to the lovely country property. First, we took a tour in a tractor-drawn cart and made a stop at the dock. Later, students had the opportunity to ride horse-back and try out traditional gaucho activities.caballo.jpg

All of the country activity made the students hungry; fortunately, we had plans to share a delicious asado and were treated to a traditional folkloric dance demonstration. To close the evening, the students learned about the tradition of drinking mate, among other cultural intricacies in Argentina. We had a chat about housing and intercultural communication, fittingly ending the trip by sharing and bonding with one another.

 

FUERZABRUTA (AUG 13)

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.

 

ORQUESTA TIPICA FERNANDEZ FIERRO (SEPT 3)

Founded in 2001, the Orquesta Tipica Ferdandez Fierro has toured Europe and Latin America, producing their own music and introducing the world to their heavy style of Tango. The students met up with staff at the Orquesta’s club, Club Atlético Fernandez Fierro, to see the impressive show, which ended up being part of a live recording for their next album!

 

STAY TUNED...

We’re going to be traveling to Jujuy soon - check back in to hear about our trips!

09/05/2014

Cultural Correspondent: "Teatro Colón" by Jaysel Shah, Georgetown University

Teatro vista

I have a confession. I only really wanted to go to Teatro Colón to see the spectacular interior of the building. I had seen some pictures, but they weren't sufficient to demonstrate the huge size of the theater with its gilded balconies. I would have thought that this dream of seeing the Teatro Colón would never be fulfilled because the inhibitively high cost of tickets if it wasn't for the Corresponsales Culturales program with CIEE. When I found out about this option to take advantage of cultural events that would normally be inaccessible to students, I decided to go ahead and buy tickets to the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra. My cousin was coming to visit me in a few weeks, and I wanted to show her this building that was supposed to be the most beautiful in the city.

Teatro escena

I think that I have never been in a building as amazing as the Teatro Colon in my entire life. Our seats were in the High Tertulia, a little bit to the left of direct center. From this vantage point, were were able to fully appreciate the massive, semi-circular structure of the theater, as well as see the stage. At first, it was a little hard to concentrate on the music because the building itself was so beautiful. The detail of the paintings on the ceiling and the intricately carved balconies were spectacular. Returning to the music, this was my first experience at the orchestra, and I honestly enjoyed it immensely. Everyone aroudn me had their eyes closed, as to not be bothered by visual distractions around them and just focus on the music. Others used the soothing sounds to coaxe themselves to sleep. At the end, the program lasted for more than two hours, which for my cousin and I, was a little too long. Nonetheless, I loved the entire experience, including the music and the beauty of the theater, and I plan to return at least one more time to see the opera.