Ché, vos! Close your eyes, take a moment to breathe in, and imagine paradise. What do you see? Beautiful waterfalls splashing into rocky pools, green fields stretching into the horizon, and the smell of red wine lingering in the air? If so, welcome to Mendoza. Study abroad in Mendoza is an experience that doesn’t end at the walls of the classroom; in fact, it’s in the colonial plazas and chic cafés that you will probably lose your heart and learn your greatest lessons. If you’re ready for lazy afternoons and excellent academics, take your studies into the colorful centre of malbecs, the Andes, and student life.
Study Abroad Programs in Mendoza
After Buenos Aires, Mendoza boasts the largest number of universities in Argentina. Mendoza is a unique place to study abroad in Argentina, with its international, buzzing student vibe. Students can craft a personalized course schedule and enjoy immersion into Argentine culture, with educational opportunities in a variety of subjects.
Like in most Latin American locations, the most common course of study in Mendoza is Spanish. With its lyrical Argentine twist, the Spanish spoken in Mendoza has a beautiful melody beckoning you to dive in and explore. Spanish is the dominant language not only in Central and South America, it is also utilized worldwide in business, so it’s definitely a useful tongue to pick up. And where is it more enjoyable to do so than around cups of yerba mate and glasses of bold reds?
Another course students commonly study in Mendoza is Latin American politics, which examines Argentina’s history, its role in global politics, and the relationship between countries, economies, and politics within the South American continent. Whether you’re interested in revolutions against corrupt governments or raw good trade routes, Mendoza’s well-connected position and active social scene takes this subject out of the classroom and into the living textbooks of the streets.
Culturally rich and delicious, students can also sign up for supplemental classes while studying abroad in Mendoza, such as culinary arts (cooking classes and complimentary wine tastings?!), theatre studies, and general cultural studies. With a rich history and young student population, there will be plenty of chances to see how the past merges with the present in everyday life and plenty of after-school clubs to become a part of while studying in Mendoza.
Since Argentina is in the southern hemisphere, weather is upside-down. Summer months are from December to March, and winter months are from June to August, so be careful with your luggage! The recommended time to study abroad in Mendoza is from November to March, as the lowest temperatures are avoided, snow sports can be practiced, and spring arrives with all its floral glory. So, if you’re considering doing something academic during winter break...
Life in Mendoza
Mendoza has all of the charm of the old world, with cobble-stoned streets, leafy plazas, corner cafés, and majestic mountains framing wine fields upon the horizon. No matter which direction you look, you’ll be greeted with natural beauty and cultural treats, so tuck in and expand your palette.
Mendoza offers innumerable cultural events that can triple-up as classroom components, language practice, and just plain fun. Do some artisan shopping at the Feria de Artesano market and then head over for colorful discovery at the Museum of Modern Art, which hosts rotating art exhibitions and free concerts. For night owls, there is no shortage of bars and music shows to keep feet tapping. Keep in mind that nightlight doesn’t usually start until after midnight, so take a siesta beforehand!
Those that are musically-inclined can practice their a la derecha and a la izquierda while learning tango, the dance of seduction and passion, and film buffs can partake in Mendoza’s many movie festivals. Check out the colonial churches, join in on a choral concert, and sign up for art classes when you get bored of studying; entertainment is endless.
If you get tired of cosmopolitan life and want to feel some adrenaline flowing through your veins, you can go bike riding through the Wine Road (where happy hour becomes happy afternoon), skiing or snowboarding in Estación de los Penitents, rafting in the Mendoza river, or horseback riding at the feet of the Andes mountains. As the gaúchos say, yee-haw! For those that want nature with more relaxation, how about a peaceful walk through the valleys and lakes that’ll make you feel as if you’re the only person in the immensity of the world? Maybe you’ll even find a dinosaur fossil or two!
Accommodation & Visas
Mendoza’s diverse geography absorbs students like a dream from which they never want to wake up, but first they have to have a place to sleep and a visa to present as a ticket to this dreamscape.
Mendoza cares for its students, offering the best-quality accommodation that will make anyone feel right at home. Most study abroad programs in Mendoza offer student dorms, which can be in the form of independent apartments, university lodgings, or off-campus buildings. If you’ll be sharing your living quarters with other students, it’s worth requesting placements with local students for maximum language-proficiency. Housing arrangements usually give students their own room, with shared bathrooms, kitchens, and common areas.
Many study abroad programs in Mendoza also offer the option of homestays, which place students with local families. This is a great opportunity to see how typical Argentines live, taste some delicious home-cooked meals (the three P’s, parrilla, pasta, and pizza, will keep plates filled), and practice Spanish grammar learned in the classroom. It also lets international students learn the real, useful lingo of the region, such as viviendo en una nube de pedos (literal translation “to live on a cloud made of farts”). This is guaranteed to set you apart from Spanish IIA students. Additionally, some study abroad programs in Mendoza even place students with teachers, who will most definitely keep them on top of their studies.
While the thought of visas can be scary, Argentina’s visa program is pretty straight-forward. For students who plan to study abroad in Mendoza for under 90 days, only a tourist visa is needed, which will be handed out directly at the airport. For those who are planning on studying in Mendoza for more than 90 days (and if you don’t yet, you will), a student visa is required. Program advisors have plenty of practice with visas, so you’ll be in good hands. Just don’t leave anything until last minute!
After you arrive, there will be an Argentine embassy ready to take care of you; check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory to find one closest to you and research bureaucratic specifics.
Benefits & Challenges
Living in the buena onda country, the natural beauty and laidback culture etches itself deeply in students’ minds. Get used to hearing (and uttering) ¡Qué liiiindo! coming from every street corner, and accept the mindset that life is to be enjoyed. If you’re used to a structured lifestyle, where everything functions on the dot, post office errands can be completed in mere minutes, and businesses are always open, this easygoing interpretation might be difficult to get used to. But, learn to relax. Exhale deeply, turn the alarms off your phone, and pour yourself another glass of torrontes.
While Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, there are many variations in its pronunciation and phonetics. Combine this with local lingo and differing intonations, and it’s enough to make Argentine Spanish seem a completely different language than the Spanish spoken in Spain or Mexico. The Argentine accent is considered one of the most beautiful in the world, with its many Italian influences, but it does take some getting used to. Oh well, practice makes perfect.
Instead of imagining yourself chowing down on a juicy steak, listening to a rusty tango, talking to classmates from all over the world, and being able to call this a “study session”, go find which study abroad program in Mendoza is best for you and make that wish a reality. Studying abroad in Mendoza is an experience that’ll last long past its ending date, and the lessons learned will prove more useful than extra bullet points on college resumes.