At about this time, most of the other IFSA-Butler are just arriving in their countries to study abroad. However, because I’m in the Buenos Aires Intermediate program, we arrived two weeks earlier to hone our Spanish skills in preparation for the semester. In that time, I’ve really been able to get to know the city well. And I love it!
Yes, there are definitely many, many things that are different about Argentine society. IFSA’s motto is “More Culture, Less Shock” and that is definitely what I’ve experienced so far. The first day we arrived, we were able to settle down in our hotel, take a city tour and go out to dinner with the program directors. The second day, we had all-day orientation in which the IFSA-Butler staff taught us all about the school at which we would be studying and Buenos Aires way of life. At the end of that day, we met our host families and moved into their homes.
Sounds like a lot, right? Well, it was. But it wasn’t overwhelming at all; the transition has actually been smoother than I thought. The people here in the city are very nice when you need help (providing that you try to ask them for directions in their native language, which is the courteous thing to do).
All of the students in my group have unique host families. Many of them consist of older couples, but mine is actually a family of six. They are very accommodating, and it’s great to get to know the way of life from the perspective of kids my age.
Not to mention the sights! Buenos Aires, as the country’s capital and most populous city, contains so many attractions that I don’t think I’ll ever get to see them all in five months. La Plaza de Mayo is the center of the city, and it contains almost all the government buildings and is just west of the coastline. I get to walk through it every day on the way to class.
On Sunday, we went to a live performance of Fuerza Bruta, probably the most amazing espectaculo I have ever been to. The IFSA-Butler staff brought us, and it was a great time.
Well, that’s about it for now. So far it’s been a great experience, and hopefully it will get even better!