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Area Studies in Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Location: Buenos Aires
  • Required GPA: 2.75 (4.0 scale)
  • Spanish requirement: None
  • **Application deadlines: November 1 for semester 1 (Feb-July)
    April 1 for semester 2 (July-Dec)
  • Program advisor: Jennifer McKibben
    **Due to Argentine visa deadlines and requirements, IFSA-Butler recommends that non-U.S. citizens apply early to this program.
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Program Snapshot


The Area Studies in Buenos Aires program is perfect for students of all language level. Area Studies courses are taught in English alongside Argentine students. Students chose from specially selected courses with international students at the Universidad del Salvador.

What the Area Studies in Buenos Aires program has to offer

  • Immersion into Argentine culture through academics, program activities and volunteer opportunities
  • Coursework is conducted in English
  • Group excursions and activities focused on the art, culture, sports and lifestyle that make Buenos Aires one of the world's most exciting and cosmopolitan cities
  • Integrated university classes with local degree-seeking students
  • Volunteer experiences available with community


  • Housing is with a carefully selected host family in Buenos Aires
  • Program fee includes two meals per day Sunday through Friday and one meal on Saturday
  • IFSA-Butler houses only one student per family for maximum cultural and language integration


  • Students enroll in the mandatory Spanish course (3 U.S. semester credit hours) in conjunction with three to four additional courses at USAL
  • All area studies coursework is conducted in English and taught by university faculty members
  • USAL subjects may include geography, politics, accounting, consumer behavior, public relations, business and more
  • University course credit varies, but students earn at least 15 to 16 U.S. semester credit hours per semester
  • Academic tutors available during the semester


Academic Structure

What is the academic structure of the Area Studies in Buenos Aires program?
IFSA-Butler offers a semester program for Area Studies in Buenos Aires in conjunction with the Universidad del Salvador (USAL) located in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The program offers one mandatory Spanish course specifically designed for IFSA-Butler students. In addition, you will enroll directly in three to four classes through USAL alongside Argentine and international students. All classes are taught in English by local professors, and all coursework is conducted in English.

Program Courses

What program courses does IFSA-Butler offer?
The following courses are specially designed for IFSA-Butler students on the Area Studies in Buenos Aires program. Students are required to enroll in a mandatory Intensive Intermediate Spanish class based on their language level.. Your placement level will be determined by an oral and written exam after your arrival in Argentina.

Beginner to Advanced Level Spanish (3 U.S. semester credit hours) This course will work on the basic common themes about language use with the following objectives in mind:

  • Auditory comprehension: Understand basic points of a conversation, simple explanations of daily topics or topics of interest.
  • Oral production: Give information about people, places and objects. Create questions about an ample number of ideas. Express personal feelings and opinions.
  • Reading comprehension: Read and understand simple letters to newspaper articles.
  • Written expression: Writing letters and reports

University Info

Universidad del Salvador

has a small student body and a commitment to personalize education, so the atmosphere is nurturing. With faculties spread across a wide area of Buenos Aires, USAL is able to maintain a sense of community among students and faculty. Connect with Argentines by checking into the range of sports teams and activities available during the semester.

University Courses

What USAL courses am I eligible to take?
In addition to the mandatory IFSA-Butler program course for the Area Studies in Buenos Aires program, you may register for three to four courses offered through Universidad del Salvador (USAL). While these courses are open to all USAL students, they are considered the introductory courses to a more specific topic of study. Therefore, they are general in scope and do not require extensive background knowledge in the particular subject.

To register for a course, you must meet any prerequisites, have the required Spanish language level, and space must be available. Please see below for a list of courses that may be offered during your study abroad semester.

How are USAL courses different from the courses at my U.S. university?
The system of higher education in Argentina is more specialized than the U.S. liberal arts curriculum, which means that porteño students enter university with some background in the subjects they wish to study. Therefore, local students take most of, if not all, their courses in one faculty and receive a degree in one field. In the U.S. system, students take a little of everything and don't specialize until a couple of years into their studies.

Additionally, you might notice that your Argentine classmates know each other very well. This is because students enroll in carreras rather than majors. Carreras are similar to majors in the United States but with a more structured program of study and fewer elective courses. Students from the same carrera enroll in the same courses together during their entire undergraduate career.

Course availability changes every semester, and it can also change at the last minute. For this reason, USAL course information must be regarded as provisional. IFSA-Butler cannot guarantee that a specific course will be offered during your semester in Argentina.

USAL Course Offerings
The following list of courses may be available for IFSA-Butler students to choose from. Each course is worth 3 U.S. semester credit hours:

This course is aimed at understanding basic accounting systems. Student will study assets structure and registration by examining cash, banks, investments, credits, inventories and fixed assets. It will also examine the implement intangible assets and deferred charges as well as debts, contingencies and how they relate to balance sheets and results.

Argentine and Latin America History of Art
In this course students will understand the complexity of artistic and cultural productions in Argentina and Latin America. It provides insight into different cultures and artistic expressions through the analysis of paintings, sculptures and architecture. This will serve to contextualize and analyze diversity in the search of a Hispanic identity.

Classes vary per semester and often center around introductory and intermediate-level business, addressing topics such as international business, policy, economy and Argentina’s place in the global market. 

Comparative Politics
This course will provide a general introduction to Comparative Politics. Students will analyze different topics that will be divided into six parts: Democracy and Democratization; Presidential and Parliamentary Systems; Legislatures; Political Parties and Party System; Latin American Political Parties, Party Systems and Institutional Change. Course meetings will combine lectures with discussions of assigned articles.

Consumer Behavior
This course has been designed to train students to interconnect consumer behavior with other subjects by applying concepts related to psychology, market research, sociology and communications. It allows students to recognize the role of advertising inside the process of consumer behavior research and to motivate students to behave ethically as they move forward with this knowledge.

The objective of this course is to introduce students to organizational coaching, thus allowing them to develop skills for a quality human resources management. The course will examine the origins of coaching and the process of organizational coaching as well as other forms of interaction. It will teach integrity and authenticity of coaching as well as action strategies.

Geography III (Socio-Economic Geography)
This course will demonstrate the relevant contributions of adventure and ecotourism to the environmental, social, cultural and economic well-being of destinations and local communities. It will provide students with the tools to examine the existing relationship between the ecologic systems and the socio-economic configurations. It will compare the local/regional lifestyles to tourist development in order to develop a scale of values to conserve and enhance the Argentinean natural and cultural heritage.

History of American and Argentine Culture
Students taking this course will understand the hallmarks of Argentine cultural identity through the analysis of various historical periods. It will analyze the positioning of Argentina in a changing world during the 20th Century. It will also focus on the historical idea that the founding milestones of Argentine culture were instrumental and an original contributor to what was considered to be the universal culture.

Introduction to Journalism
This course is an introduction to the ever-changing world of journalism. It provides a historical and social overview of journalism with special emphasis on print media as a key aspect to a successful democracy. Through readings, videos and class assignments, students will gain a greater understanding of issues involving journalism and society.

Introduction to Public Relations
This course will provide a solid vision and scope of the professional skills and tasks required to work in the public relations field. It will introduce students to the general problems of this discipline, by defining the occupational field of public relations, stating the terms of professional practice and its stages as well as define the role of identity. Students will examine corporate reputation and image as intangible assets of any organization and how this provides a comprehensive and integrated view of strategic links with stakeholders as a management and institutional function.

Latin American Political Systems
The context of this course is framed from 1980 to 2009 and starts by analyzing the state building process in Latin America and the differences between the American and European models. A considerable amount of time is devoted to other crucial questions such as the direction and pace of regime change in Latin America, as well as the relationship between democracy and development. The coursework also explores some of the most urgent challenges facing Latin American countries such as neo-populism, market reforms, and democratic consolidation. The course concludes with a discussion on the future of the state, democracy and development in the region.


How will I register for courses?
Course registration takes place once you arrive in Argentina. A designated day will be set aside for registration at USAL. During this time, you will receive additional information regarding the university classes and the updated course list.

Before leaving for Argentina, it is a good idea to start thinking about the courses you want to take while you are abroad. A course preference form is part of the student portal and designed to help you with this process. While this form is not a final registration document, it is a great tool to help you decide which courses you may want to enroll in for the semester. Be sure to discuss your courses with your U.S. university academic advisor.

While we are sure that your time abroad will be rewarding, you must be aware of some of the challenges inherent in dealing with the Argentine educational system. The resident director will not only discuss these at orientation but will also be available to help you with any problems that may arise during the semester.

Keep in mind that the educational system in Argentina is different from the system in the U.S. For example, universities do not usually publish course schedules until just before the start of the semester. In many cases, current course listings are not available until you arrive on site. Registration can be a confusing and frustrating process; remember that IFSA-Butler staff will help you during orientation.

What if I need to take a required course?
Because of the structure of the Area Studies in Buenos Aires program, you are only permitted to enroll in the mandatory program course and three courses from the approved course list from the Cultural Immersion Program at USAL. Additionally, because of USAL's academic schedule, it is difficult to confirm course availability before you depart. If you are flexible in your course choices, you will probably be able to find a course that fits your needs. Keep in mind that if you need a specific course to fulfill your home institution's requirements, we may not be able to confirm the availability of that course or enroll you in it even if it is available. Both academic flexibility and patience are requirements for studying in Latin America.

Are there any restrictions or additional requirements for courses I can take?
Please keep in mind the following points:

  • All students must enroll in a Spanish course based on the results of their on-site language evaluation.
  • All university courses are conducted in English by USAL faculty members.
  • You are not permitted to enroll in any other courses offered by USAL outside of the approved list of classes.

What are the registration conditions
You must take a full university course load as determined by IFSA-Butler, which is 15-16 U.S. semester credit hours per semester. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. Please be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home university or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.

All courses are graded on an A-F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses unless pass/fail is the only method of assessment for the course. Students are not allowed to register for on-line, distance education or hybrid courses. See the "Academics" and "Program Fees and Financial Aid" sections in Preparing to Study Abroad for more information.


What do I need to know about exams?
Due to the difference in academic systems, your exam schedule will not be available until after you register for courses at USAL. Be sure to confirm exam dates with your professor at the beginning of the semester. You are not permitted to reschedule exams, request alternate assessment or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler will not be able to assist you in conducting an academic record appeal on the class in which you made this arrangement. Additionally, all academic obligations, including final exams, must be complete before leaving Argentina.


How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
After you return to the U.S., IFSA-Butler will send a Butler University transcript to your home university. The transcript reflects the courses taken, credits attempted and grades earned on the BAI during your study abroad semester or year. We will also send an official transcript to your permanent home address.

Academic Tutors

What if I need academic help during the semester?
In addition to the formal Spanish class, IFSA-Butler organizes tutoring sessions for students throughout the semester. These may be scheduled at various times during the week, when students meet with the tutor on an individual basis. Spanish professors are also available to conduct tutoring sessions especially for the Spanish language. Additionally, all students are required to meet with an academic advisor once a month to discuss their academic progress on the BAI. Please speak with the IFSA-Butler resident staff if you would like the assistance of a tutor.


Housing Options

What are my housing options?
Study abroad is much more than academics. Learning takes place not only during class, but 24 hours a day. One of the best out-of-class experiences is the homestay, which is a vital, required component of the IFSA-Butler program. One IFSA-Butler student is placed with a carefully selected, program approved host family for the duration of the study abroad semester or year.

In addition to the program application, be sure to click on the "Forms" tab to download and complete your Family Placement Form. Once finished, submit your Family Placement Form to IFSA-Butler via email, fax or regular mail.


The Buenos Aires Intermediate program includes two meals per day Sunday through Friday and one meal on Saturday.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation with your host family while classes are in session and during short university breaks. If you are studying abroad for an entire year, you will need to find alternate housing during the semester breaks. You will be responsible for the any commuting costs you may incur.

When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will most likely receive your housing assignment one to two weeks before your departure. However, in some cases you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive in Argentina for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via email when it is ready.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.

Do I have to pay a housing deposit?
The Buenos Aires Intermediate program does not require a housing deposit.

Can I arrange my own housing?
All students who participate on the Buenos Aires Intermediate must live with a program approved host family for the duration of the program.

Location Info

Living and Studying Abroad in Buenos Aires
Population: 12 million
Location: Eastern Argentina, near the border of Uruguay

City features

  • Home to countless cultural and sporting attractions
  • One of the most cosmopolitan societies in the world, with a distinctly European air
  • Known as the "Paris of the Americas" for its sophistication and culture
  • Unparalleled opportunities to enjoy theatre, music, films and museums
  • Home to nearly 40 percent of the Argentine population
  • Reliable, inexpensive bus and local trains make getting around a breeze
  • Music and tango permeate the city and add to its colorful flavor

Do more!

  • Head out of the city and visit the Delta Tigre
  • Enjoy a weekend in Colonia or Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Take a day trip to the Isla Martín García

Buenos Aires Tourism
Argentina Tourism
An Introduction to Buenos Aires
Lonely Planet Guide to Buenos Aires
Tourist Guide To Buenos Aires
Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires

Dates & Fees

Buenos Aires Intermediate Dates


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*All students must arrive in Buenos Aires no later than 11 a.m. on the program start date.

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

Program housing is available only until the day shown on the calendar as “Program Ends.” If you have academic obligations after this date, let the IFSA-Butler staff know so they can arrange an extended stay with your host family.

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. Argentine exams are taken under formal examination conditions and changes cannot be made for individuals. 

Buenos Aires Intermediate Fees


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What's included in our Argentina program fees
Expense calculator

Semester 1 Payment Due: December 15
Semester 2 Payment Due:
May 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for the entire program fee, which includes tuition, services, housing and some meals.

Each student lives with a carefully selected host family. The program fee includes two meals per day Sunday through Friday, and one meal on Saturday.

Personal Cost Estimates

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Expense calculator

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

Reciprocity Fee: Please note that in addition to the cost of the student visa, all students with a passport from the U.S., Canada or Australia are required to pay a reciprocity fee of approximately $160 prior to arrival.

Please note: As of March 24, 2016, the $160 reciprocity fee for U.S. citizens has been suspended for a period of 90 days. Unless there is an extension, U.S. citizens who travel after June 24, 2016 may be subject to the $160 reciprocity fee before departure.

Meals: The BAI program includes two meals per day Sunday through Friday and one meal per day on Saturday.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

Commuting: Estimates are for transportation between housing and university. Transportation for personal or recreational purposes is not included in the above estimates.

All costs are in U.S. dollars.

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in Buenos Aires:

jenniferProgram Advisor Jennifer McKibben assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. Jennifer studied abroad in Costa Rica for a year through an IFSA-Butler program. After completing her undergraduate degree in Spanish at Butler University, she moved to Costa Rica for three years to immerse herself in the culture and pursue a Master’s degree in Spanish-English Translation at Universidad Nacional. She is very passionate about helping students have impactful, enriching experiences abroad. Jennifer currently advises students planning to study abroad in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru. She can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4264.


altStudent Accounts Coordinator Angelita Shaffer assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Angelita can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4221.



Student & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler for 11 years, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.


Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office, including our resident director. Click here to read more about Senior Resident Director Mario Cantarini.

rhondaUpon return from your study abroad program, Assistant Director for Academic Affairs Rhonda Hinkle processes your Butler University transcript and assists with any academic record appeals. Rhonda completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Evansville and received her master's degree from Bowling Green State University. She also has taken doctoral courses at Ball State University. For Rhonda, study abroad not only increased her awareness of the world around her but also ignited her passion for travel and education. Rhonda can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 4259.


Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program. Check out the following:

Student Network

Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering while studying abroad in Argentina is an enriching experience, both personally and academically. Students report that even volunteering a few hours per week enhanced their study abroad experience by providing them with access to the local culture and a deeper understanding of problems that face Argentines on a daily basis. Opportunities to volunteer are available for Area Studies students primarily in English teaching positions.  Other opportunities may be available, and our staff on site will help you explore those options after your arrival.


Students who participate on the Area Studies in Buenos Aires program come from diverse academic backgrounds, many with individualized majors or areas of academic interest. For this reason, IFSA-Butler offers optional and specialized academic concentrations, designed specifically for students participating on this program.

Click on the following academic concentration areas for detailed information and course syllabi:

  • Directed research
  • Human rights: Genocide
  • Human Rights: Diversity, Minority, and Gender Studies
  • Literature in Argentina
  • Cinema in Argentina
  • Spanish Translation and Linguistics
  • Intensive Spanish (only for students with four semesters of Spanish)

Academic concentrations provide an excellent opportunity for you to completely integrate into the cultural and academic life of Buenos Aires by working and researching at prestigious civil society institutions alongside distinguished faculty and experts in these areas. Additionally, the specialized concentrations allow you to focus on a specific area of interest in order to gain an in-depth knowledge of that subject from a different perspective.

Academic Structure
Coursework for the specialized academic concentrations is a mixture of IFSA-Butler program classes, seminars, workshops, fieldwork experiences and integrated university classes of your choice. All students are required to take the Advanced Spanish and Argentine Culture program course, along with the specially designed program course(s) for the concentration. The remainder of your courses are selected from one or two of the IFSA-Butler partner universities (UBA, UCA, UTDT or USAL), and course credit varies by university. Additionally, a specialized academic advising system is available to you throughout the semester.

Acceptance into the program automatically makes you eligible to participate in one specialized academic concentration for your semester abroad. You must demonstrate a solid understanding of the Spanish language, have successfully completed at least five semesters of university-level Spanish (or the equivalent), and have a deep interest in the subject area you plan to study. Previous academic or hands-on experience in the field is not required but some background knowledge is preferred.

Please note that the concentration program classes and fieldwork experiences are only available to participants of a specialized academic concentration. If you participate on a concentration, with the exception of Intensive Spanish, you will not be able to enroll in the optional program classes offered to students on the general academic program (i.e. Argentine and Latin American Literature, Argentine Foreign Policy or State and Society in Contemporary Argentina).

Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.