One Month Already?
Hey everyone! It’s officially been one month since I arrived to study in Buenos Aires.
So far, the experience has been amazing. I have loved nearly everything about it. I’ve met some great people so far, between the students from IFSA-Butler, its staff, other students, my host family, and native Argentines. The food is unbelievable, and the history and culture of the city is really something else.
Of course, there are still many adjustments to be made. For one, the traffic in the city is unlike anything have ever seen. And I come from Chicago! Forget about preconceived notions of rush hour: here, it takes place all day, every day. I actually had my foot run over the other day by a car pulling out of a parking lot (though, I admit, this was probably my fault. No worries, I was fine the next day). Also, despite the fantastic food that this city has to offer, the eating schedule that portenos follow is one that screams unhealthy. Minimal breakfast, maximal coffee or other types of caffeine, lunch around noon, and no dinner until 9 or 10 o’clock!
However, these are all small speed bumps in an otherwise journey so far. I can legitimately already say that I have fallen in love with the city. In such a large downtown and metropolitan area, one can explore and find totally new areas and people every day, from the rough football-and-tango-loving barrio of La Boca to upscale Recoleta and Palermo. After about a month, I have grownmore in my Spanish and the ability to converse with my host family (which knows no English) and professors (all classes are in Spanish as well!), and various people throughout the city.
Of course, it’s not all fun and games anymore, now that classes have formally begun at UCA (Universidad Catolica Argentina). Because I am an intermediate student, we are placed in the Latin American Studies Program with interesting classes in which the Spanish and professors are not too overwhelming, though all the material is in Spanish.
In order to commemorate a month of living in the city, some of the students from my program and I took our first trip to the country, and there was no better place to go than to Iguazu Falls, a series of waterfalls that lies on the border between Argentina and Brazil, and is regarded as one of the natural wonders of the world. The trip was incredible, and it was like a whole different world from Buenos Aires. There was no lingering sense of any city-like qualities in the Misiones province, and many of the people themselves were much more of indigenous heritage than European as often seen in the city. It was a different way of life up there, and it gave us a new perspective on the city that we are currently living in.
All in all, the experience has been unbelievable studying in Buenos Aires!
I’ve decided to include a link to my personal blog, which has a little bit more detail included about specific experiences and themes of living in Buenos Aires so far: http://jfrake.wordpress.com/