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IES Abroad Buenos Aires - Advanced Spanish Immersion

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    9

Becoming an honorary porteño

I went to Argentina with the goal of improving my language skills and earning credit towards my Spanish major, as well as having the experience of living, not just vacationing, in a foreign country. After doing this program, I can honestly say that I improved my Spanish skills a considerable amount, and feel comfortable speaking with whomever, native speaker or not. I earned credits toward majors at home, became fully proficient (CELU exam certified), made tons of friends, and had a great cultural experience. I feel like I integrated pretty well — IES staff helped expose us to as much as possible, and I learned a lot from Argentine friends I met in class and while going out. Everyone was very welcoming. Make sure to surround yourself with native friends and don't use English! I learned about the history of the country, how to use porteño accent & slang, how to prepare the traditional drink "mate", spoke about the current political situation, and read Argentine literature. I feel like Buenos Aires is another home for me, and the locals and IES helped make that possible.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Best way to study, best way to travel

It's difficult to pick a most memorable experience from the entire semester, but I would have to say that the trip I took with my Patagonia class to Bariloche was one of the most enjoyable. In the middle of the semester, the combined anthropology and literature class takes a trip to Patagonia to get a first-hand experience in the region studied in the class. The trip was relaxed and scenic, but also highly educational. Our excursions were based on varied aspects of Bariloche as a place: taking hikes, visiting museums, seeing movies, speaking with authors, getting tea at a German tea shop; each experience complemented the class in a new way in addition to creating a well-planned and enjoyable trip. It was a wonderful way to apply our class material, see more of Argentina, and get to know our professors, staff, and classmates.

Our study abroad office is connected with IES programs, and the older students I'm friends with had all chosen IES programs and had great things to say. I had been to South America before, and I know I wanted to go back to another spanish speaking culture with more time to immerse myself and learn. In the end Buenos Aires was my most attractive option.

I lived in a residence hall in the south of the city called Entis. Plenty of other students from my program stayed there, but it was by no means limited to IES students. The other people that lived there were overwhelmingly from other parts of Argentina or South America, and were a great additional way to become immersed. Most students have questions about whether residences or home-stays create a better abroad experience and it's hard to say. After my semester I know of people that enjoyed both and I've also heard criticisms for both as well. My only complaint is that with my experience, I was initially put with a great Brazilian girl who became a good friend of mine and taught me a lot of my spanish. But my roommates after that both spoke english and my language improvement slowed a bit. In that way, it's kind of luck-of-the-draw.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Best way to study, best way to travel

Studying abroad in Buenos Aires with IES was one of the most enjoyable and lasting experiences I've had in college. Paradoxically, although the demand of the classes in terms of grade rewards are moderately low, I felt that my semester accounted for some of the most important and accelerated learning processes I've had in college; helping me to drastically improve my spanish, my knowledge about Argentina, and widen my perspective on both my and my country's placement in world relations and history. My classes are each amazing, the staff at the program couldn't be more lovable and available, and I have fallen in love with life in Buenos Aires and other parts of South America. I'm just itching to get back.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

El Mejor Lugar en el Mundo

Traveling with two of my best friends throughout the Patagonia region of Argentina was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We climbed mountains, played in snow, marveled at penguins, whales, and seals and met people from around the world along the way!

My host-home experience is definitely #1 on my list. I adore my host mama and I still talk to her regularly.

I wanted to be immersed in a spanish speaking culture and Latin America has always fascinated me. It was a leap of faith and I loved it.

I lived with a señora who had kids that no longer lived in the home but visited regularly. I also lived with another girl in my program. We had separate rooms and shared a bathroom. We were given breakfast every day and dinner Monday-Friday. We had GREAT wifi!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

El Mejor Lugar en el Mundo

It is hard to sum up what I learned from my experience abroad in words and coherent sentences but I will do my best. I learned about different cultures and different ways of life. I learned how to go with the flow and really enjoy everything as I stumbled upon new experiences. I learned how to plan and travel places I had never imagined going (try sitting in a boat in the middle of Patagonia with a GIANT whale under you). It was 100% worthwhile and I cannot wait to return to the beautiful Buenos Aires and their wonderful food and culture.
My advice: Be prepared to not have plans go the way you expect them to and embrace it. Live with a host family and speak spanish even when you are uncomfortable (I cannot tell you how many embarrassing mistakes I made at the dinner table, but I am better because of them). Travel and don't be scared to do it alone.

I was terrified before I left of going to a big city known for pick-pocketing and crime. I learned over time, however, that there is a big difference between being aware and smart and being scared. There is no need to be scared in the city. I was never approached a single time or pick-pocketed. Keep your head high and walk with confidence and you'll grow to be comfortable and love everything about the giant, unknown city

Living Situation:
By far the best part about my abroad experience! Live with a host home and speak the language while embracing the culture! It's beautiful and you won't regret it!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

IES Abroad Buenos Aires

Spending the academic year in Buenos Aires through the Advanced Honors program through IES Abroad was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I gained experience through the internship I held there, learned about Argentinean culture and gained American and Argentinean friends that I will have for a lifetime. Also, through this program I took courses at the IES center among Americans and at one of the best universities in Buenos Aires among Argentineans. I highly recommend this program because the staff at IES is so extremely helpful and always there for you! Furthermore, the programs at IES are administered by Argentinean professors, but you are taking the classes with Americans so they know to slow down when you can't understand their spanish. There are also English courses you may take if you are a first year Spanish student. Overall, in Buenos Aires, the people will capture your hearts and their culture will captivate your mind. soy, por siempre, una portena :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Buenos Aires is Awesome

I had an the best time in Buenos Aires, it was the experience of a lifetime. The host family that I stayed with really made it for me, they were so fun and really helped me with my Spanish and invited me to hang out with them. I thought that my classes were difficult and I learned a lot but they also allowed me time to do the traveling that I wanted to do. Argentina has an awesome culture and I really enjoyed my time there, speaking Spanish and exploring the country.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

I wouldnt recommend this program, to be honest....

I wouldnt recommend this program, to be honest.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

I love Buenos Aires

My most memorable experience was probably traveling around Argentina, and specifically to Mendoza. It was such a nice city to travel to and offered great pastimes like hiking and sight seeing.

I did a little research on different abroad programs, and primarily chose IES because it offered homestays and internship opportunities.

I stayed with a host family whom I loved. My host mom Francis was so sweet and eager to host students. Her husband Daniel was also hilarious and very welcoming as well. I stayed with another American student who was part of IES, and she and I got along great. We each had our own bedroom, access to wifi, meals during the week and breakfast everyday.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

I love Buenos Aires

I probably had the best semester of my undergrad career studying abroad in Buenos Aires. The city is incredible, and the travel opportunities in Argentina, let alone South America, are unreal and unparalleled. The staff in IES also made the stay wonderful because everyone-- the teachers, the counselors, etc--were so nice and friendly and helpful. After deciding between going somewhere in Europe or Argentina, I am definitely 100% happy with my decision.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

IES Abroad Buenos Aires

The experience you have while studying abroad is what you make of it, no matter where you go, or which program you choose. I had IES friends in BsAs that hated IES, and I had friends that loved the staff, classes, and center. It's a subjective opinion. Personally, I loved IES, my classes, friends, and home stay. We're all adults, there are parts of living abroad that are not easy, yet it isn't wise to blame the program. Regardless, Buenos Aires is an amazing city, filled with the nicest people I have ever met.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Great Study Abroad Experience!

BA truly is an amazing metropolitan center of South America and was such a great experience!! I wouldn't take it back for the world. And honestly, any program you choose will be what you make it. Depending on what you're looking for, IES can be a great program. I had good classes, an incredible host family, and great US friends. The administration was wonderful. However, it's harder to meet Argentines when you're only taking classes with other US students and some of the classes are not as productive as they should be. So, if you're looking for that experience it's incredible!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

I really enjoyed studying with this program....

I really enjoyed studying with this program. Although it was sometimes difficult to get some of the paperwork and scheduling figured out with the staff, one has to understand that it is part of the Argentine culture for there to be lots of red tape and for people to take their time getting things done. I loved living with my host family and would recommend that option to prospective students looking at this program.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    5

A wonderful experience!

Studying abroad in Buenos Aires through IES Abroad was an amazing experience. I learned so much about the culture and history of Argentina and about myself. I have a better understanding of what my interests are and what I value. I feel more confident and adventurous after spending time traveling and living in Argentina. The courses I took through IES were interesting and appropriately rigorous, though they were easier than most of my classes at Rice. My abilities reading and writing in Spanish improved greatly because of my classes, and my speaking abilities improved from speaking with locals everyday. I feel like I quickly integrated into Argentine culture, but I thought it was somewhat challenging to develop friendships with locals. Buenos Aires is an amazing city, and it’s full of fun things to do and experience. I am very happy I chose to study abroad there. IES Abroad’s administration could be a little more organized, but the staff was very helpful and supportive. Studying abroad can be challenging at times, but it was a really positive experience overall.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    3

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    2

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

IES Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the MOST AMAZING CITY EVER, so no matter the program you choose, it will be awesome.

That said, IES is great for students who already speak Spanish, but if you're a beginner then they treat you like a child. Basically you can't take classes in Spanish except for Spanish class, and so you're stuck in classes with people who have either NEVER spoken before or who have just never taken it in college (aka, a HUGE variety of levels).

If you go to Argentina, you should definitely travel to SALTA --> the most beautiful place ever. Also go to Iguazu, Mendoza, Bariloche, and Puerto Madryn.

Alamo is the best bar on Tuesdays, Sugar has good drink deals on Thursdays, Lost has hip-hop night on Thursdays, and definitely go to PACHA on Saturday (or CroBar).

YAY BA