Michael Kolinsky - 2014 Program Participant
Michael riding a horse at an Argentine Cowboy Ranch.
Why did you choose Sol Abroad over other study abroad organizations?
I chose Sol Abroad because it already had a great reputation with students from my school who had traveled with their program. Also, I asked a few different people that I knew from my school about their experiences with Sol Abroad's programs and I had only heard incredible things.
What made you select Argentina?
I had an Spanish teacher that was from Argentina and she often spoke in class with her Argentine accent; this really sparked my interest in the unique Spanish that is spoken in Argentina (especially in Buenos Aires), and that ultimately persuaded me to choose Argentina over other locations.
What were your housing arrangements like in Buenos Aires?
While abroad, I was taken very good care of when it came to my housing arrangements. My roommate from New York and I shared a room and we each got our own beds. My Argentine house was always very lively because of everything my host parents always had going on, whether it was having friends over or hosting their parents for dinner. It was incredible to see the style of living in a culture that was not my own.
Michael and his program director Raul at a cooking class (they made empanadas!)
What was a normal day like as a high school student in Argentina?
Every morning I woke up at 8:00 a.m., which was early enough to ensure time for walking to the subte (subway station) and taking it to the stop for school (which started at 9:00 a.m.). I would be in school until 1:30 p.m. and then the other kids in the program and I would go down to the café around the corner to get some lunch. In the afternoons, I typically explored various parts of the city, whether it was with the program director and the group, with a couple friends, or even by myself.
After my afternoon activity, I usually made it home by 5:30 p.m. And at that point, it was time for my siesta. I would be woken up by my roommate or my host mom at 9:00 p.m. for dinner, and after dinner my roommate and I usually talked to our host parents for a while at the table. I would fall asleep later that night and wake up the next morning for another amazing day!
What advice would you give to other high school students interested in studying in Argentina?
I would tell them not to pass on this incredible and unique experience. This is the kind of thing that so many people wish they did when they were in high school, so take advantage of it now while you can!
How has your study abroad experience impacted your life at home?
My life would definitely not be the same if I hadn’t studied abroad. I use Spanish every day, and it is one of the things that I am most proud of. My ability to communicate with people in both Spanish and English improved greatly, and I am more confident now with my new found independence.
Michael’s roommates from the first week of the program along with their host father Fernando. This was taken outside of their apartment building right before they said their goodbyes.
Would you recommend Sol Abroad’s Argentina program to others?
I would definitely recommend my Sol Abroad program to others. Looking back on my time abroad, I would not trade it for anything. I met people from all around the world, and I now feel so much more connected to so many other cultures.
If you could go abroad again, where would you go?
If I had the opportunity to go abroad again, I would choose to go to Spain. Spain has a very unique style of Spanish, and the Spanish accent really interests me as well. But, I would be even more eager to see another part of the world and observe how the Spanish language influences another amazing culture.