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Argentine Universities Program
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Argentine Universities Program

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

¡Buenos Aires: There’s always something to do!

The academic options are endless! I felt like a kid at a candy store, when selecting my courses for the semester. I simultaneously felt overwhelmed and excited. One has the opportunity to take classes at four different universities. Matriculating in a local university allows one to integrate oneself more easily into the culture and meet local students. There are also academic concentrations (such as Argentine Cinema or Human Rights: Genocide), which one can choose, which are provided through IFSA. These concentrations allow one to delve deeply into a particular field of study.
The IFSA staff in both the U.S. and Buenos Aires, are very friendly and reply promptly to any queries one has. Throughout the semester, there are various events, such as attending a rugby match, learning tango, kayaking, seeing theatrical works, and more! There is also a semester trip for a few days with to Uruguay, which is included in one’s fees to IFSA.
IFSA gives you independence to explore the city and travel, but is always there if you need them.
Buenos Aires is a wonderful city in that there’s always something to do. I enjoyed the hip café scene throughout the city. There are many museums to explore as well. If one plans ahead, there is often a free admission or reduced admission day. In the spring, there is Lollapalooza, a music festival. In the fall, there is the Night of the Museums; all of the museums in Buenos Aires give free admission and are open from 9pm to 3am.
As someone, who is from a town of 60,000, I found the public transportation, to be wonderful. There are buses that run 24/7 and an underground metro, called the subte.
If you are interested in volunteering, while abroad, IFSA has connections! One can volunteer at local schools teaching English or helping out at environmental non-profits.
All students are assigned to an academic advisor, who ensures that they are on-track. Tutors are also available if one is struggling in a class.
A student’s homestay experience can vary depending on one’s family. Most students are placed with a single retired woman. Homestay placement locations are spread throughout Buenos Aires in neighborhoods like Palermo, Recoleta, Belgrano, and Barrio Norte.
If you like empanadas, study in Buenos Aires! If one travels in other regions of Argentina, the filling and style of empanadas differ.
If you are vegetarian and worried about studying in Argentina, you can do it. It might not be easy, but there are options for you.

I studied abroad in the Fall of 2017.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    9

English Major in the Argentine Literature Scene

I chose a program in a Spanish-speaking country for the language immersion, but the reason I specifically chose Argentina was the literary scene in Buenos Aires. A well-travelled aunt promised that I would love the urban atmosphere and the unbelievable literary culture of the city (there's an independent bookstore almost every two blocks in some barrios). The IFSA-Butler program offered an academic concentration through the massive, prestigious public school of Argentina (Universidad de Buenos Aires or UBA) and still left me several credits to take in classes of my choosing at any of the local universities.
My study abroad was a deeply engaging and rewarding experience but the part I most want to champion is the IFSA-Butler literature concentration because I learned so much and so differently than I had ever experienced before in an academic setting. The concentration, freely offered to any interested IFSA students to help them shape their course schedule and engage with the local literary scene, is only three classes: Contemporary Argentine Literature, Castellano (essentially a Spanish language class), and Literary Methodology. Each course is taught completely in Spanish. The contemporary literature class was incredible: taught by local author Martín Kohan (whose work is available at many of the bookstores throughout the city), he gives both a sort of crash course on Argentine history and culture and unique, almost tender insights and in-depth analysis that could come only from lifelong study of the lives and work of cornerstone Argentine writers including Jorge Luis Borges, Rodolfo Walsh, Julio Cortázar, and Roberto Arlt. Some form of Castellano is a required course for all IFSA students, but in the literature concentration we read more extensively and had a smaller class size (only two students!) which gave us lots of opportunities for practice and direct tutoring on our pronunciation and grammar. Finally, the literary methodology course, taught by an IFSA professor who also teaches for UBA, was the first course of literary criticism that I have ever taken and will certainly not be my last. We investigated what it means to read critically and how one can and should, using Argentine hero (and famously voracious consumer of literature) Che Guevara as the prototypical reader for our studies.
This guided track helped me to understand the context of Argentine literature as I browsed bookstores and poetry readings across the city, opening my eyes to an entire regional kingdom of literature that has never been offered in classes at my home university as anything other than "Latin literature" -- losing all of the regional, historical, and cultural richness of work that is the product of a specific people, time, and place.
Thank you to Diego, Darío, and Martín (along with all the rest of the IFSA staff) for giving this English major so very much to think about.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    4

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    4

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    10

Mandatory Spanish class not good for fluent speakers

I love Buenos Aires. I plan to move back after I graduate, and IFSA-Butler's program let me fall in love with it. It was an incredible experience in every way, but I want to talk about the biggest disappointment with the program I speak Spanish almost fluently and am a Spanish major. I was told before going that the mandatory Spanish class would be split up by level in the language. When I arrived I found out that they were split by theme, i.e. Academic Writing or Theater. This meant that there was great variety in the class' language level and that the professor had to teach to multiple levels. It was an absolute waste of time, as the professors were working with the same curriculum as other courses, and had to spend time helping students with lower levels of Spanish while the students with higher levels were left unengaged. Perhaps the biggest reason why I felt let down by IFSA in this regard is that I could have used those credits to take another course at a local university and would have gotten a much more immersive experience than I had. If you are a native/heritage Spanish speaker or have an advanced level in the language, consider that this program may not be able to provide for you as much as you would hope.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    8

Theatre & human rights in Bs.As

I'm a double major in Theatre & Social Justice in the US, and I wanted a program that would allow me to improve my spanish while studying what I love, and this program did exactly that. I was in the Derechos Humanos (Human Rights) Concentration through IFSA and took a clowning course and a History and Theory of Argentine Theatre course at the Universidad del Salvador, which I was able to count towards my major in the US. Because I was part of the DDHH concentration, I also was able to intern with Bachillerato Popular Trans "Mocha Celis," which is a sort of high school/GED program specifically founded to help transgender youth and adults finish their secondary school education. This internship allowed me to see what the trans, queer, and activist communities were like in Argentina in a way I would never have otherwise gotten. Because there was only one English speaker on staff there, this, in tandem with my clowning course, improved my spanish immensely. At the internship, when I wasn't assisting the English classes and ensuring the students had full metro cards so they could come to class each day, I was doing jobs that enabled me to talk about culture, art, language, politics, and many other things with the other people involved with the school. These conversations I look on fondly, especially because the Argentines I spoke with were so willing to slow down their Spanish, explain slang to me, talk to me about the implications of particular phrases, and also to ask me to explain what certain English concepts were, like Drag Kings and Republicanism. Meanwhile, the clowning course I was in forced me to think rapidly on my feet, as it was a small class and I was the only norteamericanx in the bunch. By the time I left, my spanish was near fluency--and I entered the program only being able to comprehend about a third of everything that my instructors were saying. If you want a language intensive program that guides you only as much as is needed for you to find your sea legs, do IFSA.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Big city immersion

I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 5 months and was enamored with my experience. This was my second time doing an immersion exchange (first time was a 5-month program at a French high school), so I thought this would be a piece of cake. I was wrong. However, it was an exciting challenge and not more than I could handle. I would really recommend this program to someone who has had some international experience before. The best part about my program was the staff, who helped me through some emergency events but never held our hands so we could go out and experience things authentically. Buenos Aires itself has a lot of international students, so there are tons of free cultural activities to meet other people and explore the giant city. On the other hand, there is still a strong local culture and Spanish-speaking expectation that I believe it was much easier to learn Spanish than if I had been in Spain. This is not a country to choose if your goal is to travel to a different city every weekend, as transportation usually requires a plane and they aren't dirt cheap like in Europe. This is a program if you want to make great friends from different US universities and have opportunities to intern, volunteer, join a local dance or art studio, and immerse yourself in the rich and complicated history of Argentina. Academics can be as easy or demanding as you choose, and the host family was a critical component to my experience. Vamos BA!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Freedom to choose your own path

This program is perfect for anyone with decent Spanish skills. You can literally choose to do whatever you want to do. I am a nerd so I got to take lots of classes where I was the only foreign student. The staff in Buenos Aires is amazing and they will treat you like family from the moment that you step off of the plane. The admin in the US leaves much to be desired but the staff abroad more than makes up for it. I made lifelong friends in the program and in the city so I have people to go and visit and live with. Probably the best decision that I've ever made.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Fall semester 2016 in Buenos Aires

One of the best aspects about IFSA was the flexibility they gave us with choosing classes. I felt like we were given plenty of options in a variety of different universities. This allowed us to customize our schedules, giving us plenty of time in the day to explore Buenos Aires before or after class. The workload was not as intense as I expected- most of the "work" ended being translating into castellano. It was nice to learn about the contemporary society and culture though, although much of that ended up being through our own individual experiences outside the classroom. I found all the IFSA staff to be super approachable and always willing to help, whether it be with our classes or adjusting to the local culture. Orientation was tedious, but I imagine most of them are, and there was plenty of useful information. Afterwards, you could really utilize IFSA and their resources as much as you needed them, whether through their staff or the activities they offered once in a while.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    7

IFSA Buenos Aires - hundreds of class options and amazing staff

Studying abroad in Buenos Aires will forever be my most memorable college experience. However, with a transition so huge, but yet so sudden, IFSA staff was very supportive all the way from the first arrival at the airport, through the days of orientation and up to the course selection process. With the hundreds of course offerings for students from 6 different universities, kids are often overwhelmed, but the staff did an amazing job making this difficult task less arduous. There was ample time to roam the city of Buenos Aires and to explore the rest of South America on the weekends. In addition, I think I got paired with the best host family ever imaginable in a cozy Almagro apartment with an amazing family.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Spending a semester as a Porteña

I spent a semester studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina with IFSA-Butler. I loved Argentina and my time there. IFSA specifically was a nice program because it allowed you to directly enroll in local universities so it provided you with the opportunity to integrate deeper with the local culture. While you still could take classes with international classes, most people on the program were in classes with only argentines. The staff in Buenos Aires were also amazing. They were helpful, caring people who I still think about fondly. The only thing I personally didn't like was the homestay. I didn't really like the people I lived with and thought it was awkward that they didn't have to provide us with lunch. This led to a lot of awkward 'hellos' when I would go to the kitchen while they ate a big meal together without me. I honestly think most people didn't have this experience and it was just my particular family. I would recommend IFSA Butler but I would also recommend to be extremely proactive with changing families. Luckily, IFSA is extremely accommodating with this.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Amazing experience in Argentina

My experience in Argentina was nothing short of incredible! The IFSA program helped make everything so so easy (helping register for classes, finding a place to live) while still giving me all the freedom I want as a student. If you wanted help, IFSA was always there for you.. but if you wanted to just be on your own and explore, you could chose that option also. I had the most amazing time exploring the wonderful city of Buenos Aires and befriending locals. The IFSA program is a must for anyone thinking about going abroad - I obviously did it, and it was the best thing ever! I wanna go back.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Wouldn't trade it for the world

Studying with IFSA was the absolute highlight of my college experience. Going into Study Abroad is very scary in the first place, and the IFSA staff was so welcoming and encouraging, they helped make the experience the best it could be. Buenos Aires was an amazing place to study and I loved my host mother, the friends I made, my location, and everything about the city. My classes took a little warming up to, since I took a class with all Argentines, but it was an extremely valuable learning experience for me. I highly commend IFSA for the programs they provide and the experiences each of their students have.