This past week marked my first experience as, what I would consider, a Real Student in Argentina. I had my first midterm! Called parciales down here, this exam was at the Universidad de Salvador, where I am taking a Prehistoria y Antropología General class. I am an anthropology major in the States, and this is an introductory class, so I have to say, I was not too worried about how things would turn out. But I was worried about how exactly the test would unfold, what type of information I would need to know, etc.
I am taking three clases with Argentine students (two clases at USAL and one at the University of Buenos Aires,) and this particular class is where I have the bulk of my friends. After sending out a few texts asking for all the help and advice they could offer me, I quickly had my study group formed. By studying with Argentine students, I was able to see some of the stark differences between the Argentine education system and that in place in the United States, but more importantly, I was able to see some huge differences in the way in which students in these countries view education in general. Three of my Argentine friends offered to share their notes with me and gave me their numbers to ask them whatever questions I might have. Two other students offered to study with me, and several others were quick to tell me the typical format for these types of exams. In short, I was so incredibly overwhelmed with their selflessness and their willingness to help me. I am usually pretty quick to form a study group in the States with other classmates in my college, but this was the first time I had so many students who seemed like they really wanted to help me succeed. It definitely made the blow of my first anthropology exam given in Spanish fall a Little softer.
For prospective students to the IFSA program, and, furthermore, for students considering studying at USAL, this university has the wonderful safety net of a make-up exam in case students do not do well on their first go. It is, to my understanding, a different version of the exam that students can take if they do not pass the first one. I really hope I do not have to take it, but I am happy it is there!