Marylou Garcia -  2010 Program Participant

A beautiful shot of Igauzu Falls in late summer. Can you believe those Falls were non-existent in 2006 due to a drought?!
A beautiful shot of Igauzu Falls in late summer. Can you believe those Falls were non-existent in 2006 due to a drought?!

How did you come to decide on Buenos Aires as your study abroad destination?

I was undecided as to what country I wanted to study in and was going back and forth between countries in South and Central America. At that time, I was taking a course in South American History and was studying Argentina. The more I learned about the country, the more I knew I could not pass up the opportunity to live and learn in “The Paris of South America”.

What was your living situation like?

During my stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I had the opportunity to live with a host family that welcomed me with open arms! My host mom was a single parent with two daughters, one older than me by a few years, and, one younger than me by two years. I feel so lucky to have been paired in this household because we bonded instantly. I definitely felt supported by all of them throughout my stay and still keep in touch with them to this day!

What does a normal day as a student in Buenos Aires consist of?

A normal day in Buenos Aires consisted of jumping on the bus or subte (subway) to attend class in the morning. Typically, classes lasted until noon and at that point I’d return home to take a siesta or have lunch with my fellow API classmates. Since dinner time in Argentina was around 8 pm, I had the rest of the afternoon to visit museums, walk to a park, and explore the city with friends or by myself!

What was one memorable moment that stands out from studying abroad with API?

There are too many memorable moments to count! However, one that stands out was our API group trip to Iguazu Falls. There is so much history behind those beautiful falls and there was no better way to learn about them than to be there. I am happy to brag that it is now one of the Natural Seven Wonders of the World!

What did you learn from your study abroad experience in Argentina?

This experience abroad is something I take with me everywhere I go. I have the opportunity to share my story and positively impact the youth I work with. It has opened up my eyes to the fact that there are so many cultures, ways of living, and practices to be appreciated and embraced! This opportunity has taught me to move away from materialistic things and has made me embrace life for what it is in its purest form. 

If you could study abroad again, where would you go?

I would jump on a plane and gladly study abroad in India! I feel like my time there would no doubt allow me to awaken on an emotional and spiritual level. The culture and way of life is intriguing and I could learn so much from such a beautiful country!