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Argentina : Reviews (Buenos Aires)

The following program review responses have been selected for publication by Study Abroad & Global Engagement
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Summer 2012 Participant
My favorite part of the program was learning about the culture!

 

Emily Anna Frese, Summer 2012 Participant
My favorite part of this program was living with people of a different culture and speaking with them on a daily basis.

 

Tess Rebecca Hoerle, Summer 2012 Participant
I loved the host family experience!

 

Patrick William LeSage, Summer 2012 Participant
My favorite part of this program was how each student was capable of thoroughly interacting with the culture, while simultaneously broadening their language skills due to the enthusiastic staff that KU provided us with and how we were given the opportunity to travel and immerse ourselves in the diverse environments.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
I particularly enjoyed the excursions outside of regular class time, such as the day trips to El Tigre and la estancia Cine Cine. I thought they were well-chosen and showed us a variety of aspects of Buenos Aires that would have been difficult for us to find on our own.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
My favorite part of this program was being able to experience a completely different culture than I have ever known or been around. To be able to immerse myself into the culture and experience different aspects of it like the food, people, and history was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

 

Summer 2013 Participant
My favorite part of the program was that there was always something for us to do. I really liked the fact that we had tons of excursions planned for us so that we could see the city and experience the culture of Buenos Aires.

 

Summer 2013 Participant
I appreciated that degree of independence this program allowed me to have during my time in Buenos Aires. We had enough scheduled group activities to experience important cultural aspects that we may not have otherwise, however for the most part I was free to explore what I wanted to. My interest was in getting to know some locals and exploring less touristy locations to better experience the culture and I think I really had a chance to do that.

 

Summer 2013 Participant
My favorite part of the program was being surrounded by Spanish. I already loved the language before going to Argentina, and being surrounded by it both put me outside of my comfort zone and also made it much easier to learn. I was eager to improve my speaking abilities so I took any opportunity I was given to practice Spanish. By the time I returned home, the thing I missed the most was having so many opportunities to speak Spanish. I began speaking around the house even though none of my family had no idea what I was saying.

As for the excursions, my two favorite were going to El Tigre and getting Tango lessons. At the Milonga, it was great seeing people dancing and for them it was just a normal part of their life. On a Thursday evening the thing the decide to do is go dance tango with their partner. I loved dreaming that this could someday be a normal part of my life. El Tigre was a very beautiful escape from the city. Although it took a while to get there, the day spent on the river was peaceful and the asado was fantastic. It was a very relaxing day.

 

Andrew Doerflinger, Summer 2014 Participant
I enjoyed the freedom that we had on the program. When we weren't in class, we had the opportunity to really explore Buenos Aires and visit many different places around the city, which was amazing.

 

Brianna J Leyden, Summer 2014 Participant
My favorite part of this specific program was the amount of cultural experiences we were provided with while in Buenos Aires. Not only were we learning about history and culture in a classroom, but we were actually getting to see that history and culture while out in the city. For example, we would read about tango and elements of masculinity in class, and then get to see real tango dancers and learn how to dance it ourselves. Other weeks we would read about the effect of the dictatorship of the '70s on Argentinian politics, and then we could go out and see actual civil demonstrations in public. Also, getting the opportunity to practice actual conversational Spanish with native Spanish speakers and having to hear it all the time was what really impacted my language ability and improved it in a way that Spanish literature classes can't. Also, living with a host family gave us an instant connection to the Argentinian people and culture. The conversations with them and our native Spanish teachers expanded my vocabulary and knowledge of the cultural context. All in all, every moment of the trip was a learning experience, both in and out of the classroom.

 

Amber Nicole Norris, Summer 2014 Participant
My favorite part of this program was interacting with native Spanish speakers in Buenos Aires and being able to improve my language skills because many of the people were also attempting to better their English skills at the same time.

 

Summer 2015 Participant
This trip made my desire to become fluent in Spanish much more "real." I was able to see how important learning another language is and how great it feels to communicate in another language with someone of a different background and culture. It felt very real to me. It was also valuable learning about Argentine history in that country. I had the opportunity to visit places that I had learned about in courses at KU.

 

Alexandria Kay Kaminsky, Summer 2016 Participant
I loved being able to visit many different areas of the city during classes! It really helped me connect what we were learning in class to real world situations

 

Summer 2016 Participant
I loved living in the city and having a campus ten minutes from the Casa Rosada.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
This program is the perfect length. Six weeks is just right for language immersion and 9 hours of Spanish.

 

Danielle Sue Peterson, Summer 2016 Participant
Although I was really intimidated by it at first, I loved the independence we had on the trip. During the beginning of the trip I wanted more group activities and help getting from place to place around the city, but once I began to learn I loved that we were trusted to find our way around the city with little help. It made me have to learn how to do things myself rather than rely on others. It also helped with my Spanish because I had to talk with people and read signs to find my way around the city.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
My favorite part of the program was all of the organized activities outside of class. They were incredible and were definitely things that I would have missed had they not been scheduled through the program. It also gave my life a lot of structure when I was overwhelmed by the volume of opportunities and options that I had while I was there.

 

Azeez A Baig, Summer 2017 Participant
Earning nine hours of Spanish credits towards my major while exploring Buenos Aires and traveling to other parts of Argentina was my favorite part. There was a good balance between school but also having fun, going on excursions and understanding the Argentine culture.

 

Calen L Lawrence, Summer 2017 Participant
I loved living with an Argentine host family because I feel like I experienced authentic Argentine culture. I also loved having endless opportunities to practice my Spanish because now that I am home, I already miss having conversations with Spanish speakers. Also, all the excursions that are included in the program cost are so cool and definitely had a positive impact on my trip.

 

Summer 2017 Participant
My favorite part was meeting new people. Going into the program, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I didn't know anyone, and I was a little bit apprehensive about this in the beginning. In the end, I had nothing to worry about because everyone (KU students, faculty, and University of San Andres faculty) was so amazing and kind.

 

Katherine A Wipfli, Summer 2017 Participant
My favorite part of this program was experiencing the Argentine culture, including the cultural experiences, but especially getting to know the people associated with the program, such as our professors, our coordinator, Paula, and my host family. My favorite cultural experiences were watching las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo march on a Thursday afternoon and visiting ESMA, a detention center for los desaparecidos during the military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983.

 

Summer 2017 Participant
My host family was far and away my favorite part of the program. I was so lucky to live with a family that I can now call my own and who cared so much about my time there.

 

Sarah Irene Frederick, Summer 2018 Participant
My host family was incredible and did everything to make sure that my roommate and I were comfortable. We became great friends and they even hosted my real family for dinner when they came to Argentina to visit.

 

Summer 2018 Participant
My favorite part of the program was living with a host family. I truly felt like it was my second home.

 

Summer 2018 Participant
My favorite part of the program was learning about the Spanish language and Argentinian culture outside the classroom. Buenos Aires is a city rich in history and tradition with people that are genuinely down to earth. I learned more during my trip than in the eight years of Spanish I've taken previously, combined.

 

Summer 2018 Participant
My host mother made the trip what it was. She was fantastic and I am extremely excited to have someone in the city that I can keep in touch with. In addition, a group of us traveled throughout the country on the weekends so I would have to say traveling to Mendoza and IguazĂș are my other two favorite parts of the trip.

 

Summer 2018 Participant
I loved staying with my host family. It gave me a chance to understand the city and culture.

 

Summer 2018 Participant
My favorite part of this program was getting to know my host-family. It was such a cool, unique experience to see life from their perspective.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
I found learning about the culture in class to be extremely rewarding.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
The host family. I was very fortunate and really enjoyed the woman I was placed with. It was also really cool to be in the center of the city. That really gave me a perspective on what the culture and life there was like.

 

Katherine Joanne Evans, Summer 2012 Participant
It was very rewarding learning how to navigate one of the largest cities in the world. I enjoyed becoming a part of a community in Argentina.

 

Emily Anna Frese, Summer 2012 Participant
I found all of the trips and cultural activities that were organized by the school to be very rewarding. I especially enjoyed the trips to the estancia and the island in el Tigre.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
I had many first time experiences while being abroad, such as simply riding in a taxi, and it was all very scary not only because it was a new experience but it was also in a foreign country. Coming back from Argentina I feel that I can do absolutely anything and no one can stop me. Gaining that confidence is probably the most rewarding thing that I received abroad.

 

Tess Rebecca Hoerle, Summer 2012 Participant
I think it was awesome to be fully immersed in the culture!

 

Summer 2012 Participant
Improvements in my ability to speak and understand Spanish, as well as the new friendships formed have been the most rewarding part of the program.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
I found the placement with host families very rewarding, because it put us in a situation where we were forced to develop our language skills. I also found the planned activities and excursions very rewarding, because they helped us get out of just the areas in which we were living.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
The elements of the program I found most rewarding were being able to stay with and get to know a host family and experience the culture firsthand by living in the middle of the Buenos Aires. It is truly amazing to be able to get to know and communicate with people who have lived in Buenos Aires their entire lives and know the culture. In addition, living in the middle of a huge, bustling city full of history is incredible. It is so easy to visit historic places and really immerse oneself into the culture.

 

Summer 2013 Participant
I really appreciated that the program put us in contact with local students. Some of my favorite experiences were in interacting with a young student of San Andres and getting to talk to someone on a casual level like we would at home, but while being able to see differences in our cultures.

 

Michael P Garrett, Summer 2013 Participant
I think the most rewarding part of the program and the biggest thing I took away from it was the improvement in my Spanish-speaking skills. At KU, in our Spanish classes we use a lot of vocabulary and sentences to form intellectual thoughts and analyze literature. Obviously, that doesn't come in handy when trying to call a cab, order a meal or try to talk to someone on the street. To me, this was very difficult. A lot of basic conversational skills that I learned I hadn't used since high-school Spanish. After the summer program in Buenos Aires, I think my conversation has improved immensely. Living with a host mom that knew absolutely no English definitely helped me grow as a Spanish speaker.

 

Julia Alisandra Schwartz, Summer 2014 Participant
Seeing a real difference in my Spanish knowledge and understanding is one of the most rewarding things of the program.

 

Summer 2015 Participant
My ability to speak spanish was greatly improved by the program which I found very rewarding.

 

Summer 2015 Participant
The most rewarding part of the program was developing relationships with Argentines and developing practical language skills outside of the classroom.

 

Rebecca Danielle Reilly, Summer 2015 Participant
I think that my conversational Spanish significantly improved throughout the duration of the program. I was able to effectively communicate with Argentine natives and I think that this showed a lot of respect for their culture. Being able to participate in cultural activities entirely in Spanish and understand the things that other people were saying was extremely rewarding to me and gave me a greater sense of accomplishment and confidence in myself.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
it was great building relationships with my host family and making friends from around the world.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
Learning about Argentina and the Spanish language in class and then being able to go out on the street - by myself or as a class excursion - was very rewarding. I was able to apply lessons from class around the city, as a part of my daily life.

 

Danielle Sue Peterson, Summer 2016 Participant
It seemed like I hit a plateau regarding my Spanish skills about two weeks into the program - although the classes were very interesting and engaging, in terms of grammar, I felt that I had hit a wall. This feeling didn't really change until about the fifth week when I suddenly noticed how much more confident I was speaking to my host mom, teachers and other native speakers that I met. Therefore I would say that the persistence of speaking and trying to learn Spanish really paid off in the end and felt the most rewarding to me.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
The opportunity to earn nine Spanish credit hours while practicing your Spanish skills in a Spanish-speaking city was incredibly helpful and rewarding.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
The most rewarding part of the program was being able to represent the University of Kansas and the United States of America in a place where there is not that much contact between the two countries involved. I truly was able to be a representative of the United States and that is something that I will probably never have again but it is something I will never forget.

 

Marysa M Bradshaw, Summer 2017 Participant
The fact that what we learned in the classroom we could then walk out the doors and go see the buildings or historic sites was incredible and made learning so much more fun! It was awesome to see my Spanish improve from the first week to the last week in conversations with my amazing host mom.

 

Emma Christine Easom, Summer 2017 Participant
The combination of classes and free time was a great way to give structure to seeing the city as well as familiarity. What I found most rewarding was being able to take the things we learned in class and use them outside of class, like the culture or the new grammatical tenses. The greatest moments on the trip were when I could communicate with the citizens of the city and really see it all from their perspective. I was proud of myself for branching out and the language growth that I noticed. Throughout the trip I became more confident with my ability to talk and understand people.

 

Calen L Lawrence, Summer 2017 Participant
The small class sizes were very beneficial to my learning in terms of Spanish grammar, literature and speaking in general. Again, the excursions that were planned by La Universidad de San Andres were amazing and exposed the class to elements of the Argentine culture. The program coordinators of La Universidad de San Andres were amazing and so helpful to all the American students.

 

Katherine A Wipfli, Summer 2017 Participant
I noticed vast improvements in my Spanish skills, especially speaking. I also loved our professors from San Andres and my host mom. It was great to make connections in Buenos Aires.

 

Summer 2017 Participant
It was overwhelmingly satisfying to get into a rhythm day-to-day and know exactly how to communicate with the people around me despite a very different culture and language.

 

Sarah Irene Frederick, Summer 2018 Participant
I found that my increase in Spanish abilities was the most rewarding part of the program. When I arrived to Argentina, I was completely lost when trying to communicate with people. However, after just a week I could tell that my Spanish was getting better. At the end of the program, my host family told me that my skills had improved tremendously since I had arrived.

 

Summer 2018 Participant
I really enjoyed the cultural excursions, such as the tango show and visit to the ranch. These excursions were really well planned out and demonstrated some of the most intriguing cultural aspects of Argentina.

 

Summer 2018 Participant
I found living with a host family and meeting local people through them the most rewarding. I made several friends that I hope to visit again one day soon.

 

Summer 2018 Participant
It was so rewarding for me to be able to speak Spanish all the time! Before leaving I figured I could probably do it, but now that I've lived in a Spanish-speaking country I can confidently say that I know the language and can function and communicate in a society that doesn't speak much English.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
My Spanish significantly improved!

 

Summer 2012 Participant
Be open minded, and do things! Do everything possible while you are there, you will miss the opportunity if not, and regret it.

 

Emily Anna Frese, Summer 2012 Participant
I learned that you can experience Buenos Aires by walking around the city until you stumble upon something that looks interesting. Then you can ask someone about it and take advantage of the opportunity it provides, whatever that may be.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
Be open to new things. It makes the whole experience a lot easier.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
Keep an open mind! Having no expectations leads to an exciting journey.

 

Patrick William LeSage, Summer 2012 Participant
I learned that studying abroad not only gives a student the opportunity to gain knowledge in their field of study or language, but provides a student with the understanding of how other cultures interact and live, while gaining international experience.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
It is important to try to speak as much with your host family and local people that you meet, even though it is tempting to only speak in English to the people in your group. I would also recommend that people spend some time walking around on their own to develop a sense of orientation and get to know their neighborhood really well.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
I think one of the biggest things I learned about this program is that you have to be very self sufficient. If you do this program, you have to be ready to navigate your way around a big city, and more than anything, you have to ask for help if you need it. This program is not only one to help students with their Spanish. It is also a huge growing up and cultural experience. You will grow as a person if you go on this trip.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
I loved going on the tours lead by the San Andres staff. They are very smart and I learned a lot about the history and culture of Argentina.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
My confidence in speaking Spanish increased dramatically. I have a better grasp of the grammar because the program really reinforced concepts I had learned before but never fully understood or used.

 

Alexandria Kay Kaminsky, Summer 2016 Participant
Have an open mind and do not be overwhelmed. It's important to take advantage of your time there!

 

Summer 2016 Participant
Make sure to pack a winter coat, though you won't always need it, BA can be very cold in the the winter.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
Speak Spanish as much as possible, even with other students from the program. Your brain will switch out of Spanish mode if you are speaking English regularly.

 

Danielle Sue Peterson, Summer 2016 Participant
I feel like we were fairly unprepared in terms of how to plan for the trip and what items we needed to bring with us - I quickly learned what I needed once I got to BsAs. We did talk a bit about this during our orientation, but I would stress planning better for other students. For example, I would tell students to download the WhatsApp, ComoLlego and RadioTaxi apps before they left the US (especially if they choose not to buy an international plan). Additionally, I know we are in college, so ideally we should be knowledgeable and responsible when it comes to money, but I feel like a discussion about budgeting would have been nice - not necessarily about how to budget, but how much various things cost in the country so we know about what price to pay for things instead of buying the expensive version. Another thing that I would highly recommend is for students to research things they'd like to do around the city that involves buying a bus/plane/ferry ticket and then possibly buy some of those tickets before leaving because I felt that tickets became too expensive once we got there because the purchase date was so much closer to the travel date - this was especially true with plane tickets. Another way to help mitigate this problem would be to use the first weekend in BsAs to plan other weekend excursions and make the necessary ticket purchases so things don't seem quite as last minute when trying to go on trips.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
It is important to go into your program without any preconceived notions about the culture or the city itself.

 

Azeez A Baig, Summer 2017 Participant
Living in a different city for six weeks made me more independent. My ability to use Spanish also accelerated as a result of this program.

 

Marysa M Bradshaw, Summer 2017 Participant
When traveling and experiencing new countries, you never return the same. It is important to keep your mind open and not be afraid to make mistakes when learning a new language and culture.

 

Emma Christine Easom, Summer 2017 Participant
You will get homesick. You will have culture shock. But, you will get over it and learn to live wherever you are. The more I immersed myself in the culture and started looking at all the positives, the less I was worried about going back home or the things I didn't have. In addition to venturing out into the city, I really enjoyed the weekend trips I took with some other students because it gave us a sense of independence as well as the opportunity to encounter a new environment. It's important to take some risks, but also to not be afraid to say that you might need to sit an experience out because you need time for yourself.

 

Calen L Lawrence, Summer 2017 Participant
I learned that every student should try to participate in a Study Abroad program. Not only do you learn so much about another culture and language, but you also learn so much about yourself and the kind of person you want to be.

 

Katherine A Wipfli, Summer 2017 Participant
Save extra money for excursions that you plan yourself, such as going to Mendoza or Iguazu Falls. Something to keep in mind when packing is that Argentines dress very warmly for their winter. (You will stick out if you're wearing shorts or a summer dress.) Also, food was my number one expense on this trip.

 

Summer 2018 Participant
I learned that 50 degrees in Buenos Aires is a bit chillier than 50 degrees in Kansas, so pack some sweaters and a good jacket.

 

Joseph W Kovack, Summer 2018 Participant
The best method of improving all aspects of Spanish skills (grammar, conversation, reading, writing) is to be immersed fully into a Spanish speaking culture. No class in the US will match the experience of studying abroad.