Health and Safety
Submitted by EatMoreAsado - Ithaca College | April 12, 2012
I had no idea what to expect when I chose to study abroad in Cordoba, Argentina. In reality, I chose the program because it was affiliated with my school (aka I could use my financial aid) and because it wasn't in Spain. As the time to leave for Argentina got closer, of course I got more excited and began to do more research, but in retrospect, I didn't know anything before getting there. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to learn Spanish and speak it confidently. This program did everything it could have to ensure that I could obtain that goal. One of the biggest highlights for me was the Speaking Partners program. Although not everyone had the same experience, I hit it off immediately with my Speaking Partner. She showed me many aspects of the Cordobes lifestyle. We took a belly dance class together, we cooked together, painted, saw live music, walked around the city, and just spent time together, learning about each others' past memories and future goals. She is a lovely, lovely person who taught me so much about the Argentine culture, and we still keep in touch to this day. Also, the assistant to the resident director sent out a weekly email with all of the notable events happening around the city. This was extremely helpful, as it showed us where to go to get the most out of the city. It was efforts like these that really made the difference between falling in love with Argentina and my experience there or feeling completely lonely, lost, and out of place. I anxiously await the next opportunity to visit Argentina and the wonderful people I met there.
I thought that the PECLA classes were much easier than my university courses, but I had also taken many Spanish courses prior to going abroad.
I lived with a widowed woman of 65 and her son. We got along really well and we still keep in touch to this day. I know I'll always have a place to visit if/when I go back.
Of course, it's not the same as if I had gone independently, without a program, but it was the best it could be for a program of its type. I was also pleasantly surprised at how much Spanish the English-speaking students were willing to speak, even outside of class.
I would need an entire book to describe how wonderful and helpful the Cordoba staff was throughout the entire program. They went way above and beyond their job descriptions (or at least, what I imagine are their job descriptions). I felt completely safe and knew that I had support no matter what happened. They also worked to make sure that we knew of local events throughout the city.