Studying Abroad in Argentina

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I’ve always wanted to study abroad. It just sounded so exciting to be in another country for a period of time and learn brand new things. I’ve been attending those Study Abroad info sessions at ASU since my freshman year, trying to see which study abroad programs suited me best. I just couldn’t really decide on which one to do until this spring when I learned about the 11 weeklong Study Abroad Internship in Cordoba, Argentina. It sounded interesting, the cheapest and I have been wanting to practice my Spanish a little bit, so I signed up. I was a little bit uncertain about whenever I would ultimately go but I ended up going and I’m glad I did. Argentina in general is a gorgeous country and all the people I’ve met are really kind and friendly. It’s been a lot of fun!

During my 11-week internship in Argentina, I interned at a PR company that generally worked with a variety of municipalities and city officials. Their main clients were the Municipality of Cordoba. It was pretty interesting throughout and I definitely learned things. The first few weeks, I mostly spent time observing others as they worked in a variety of positions (editors, producers, and creative/writers). Learning about how their company worked and viewed examples of the work they did. Ultimately, I ended up working with the people in the creative department the most. At first, they were a little bit uncertain about what to do with me, but they figured it out and started giving me small tasks which would be incorporated into the projects they were working on. After that, they started giving me bigger things to do where I was working a little bit more alone, but they were available to help if needed. Working on projects by myself honestly made me a little bit nervous because my Spanish writing skills aren’t the best, but I ultimately got my point across, and they responded positively to my ideas and helped me along to the next step of a project. My experience interning has overall been a positive experience! All the other people at the company have been extremely kind, helpful, and frequently gave me pastries. Which I absolutely love. (If you can, you should really try a medialuna with dulce de leche, it’s so good.) The only thing I would recommend other students to do if they’re interning at an Argentine company would be whenever they’re not doing something (and want to be doing something) to go to whoever you report to and ask if there’s anything you could be doing.

Argentina is an absolutely stunning country and whenever you have a chance you should definitely explore it! During three day weekends the other ASU students and I would head out to other provinces to explore. We went and planned trips to Buenos Aires and Mendoza. Buenos Aires was absolutely gorgeous. We went sightseeing, took a City Bus Tour, went to some museums, and saw a Tango show (Which was so cool, I definitely recommend going to one. Ours ended up costing $30 and it included water/soda, wine and an appetizer/dessert to eat while watching the 1.5 hour long show). 

There was 1 trip planned by the University to Jujuy, a province in the northwest of Argentina, which was fun. It had some hiking (which isn’t my kind of thing) but the views were worth it, as well as a visit to a local indigenous artisan and a visit to an archaeological site. I absolutely loved Jujuy and if you go you should try to buy at least one authentic llama sweater(which are a little bit pricey) and a bunch of non-authentic tourist sweaters. That’s what I did, and they all are so cute!

Going outside of the province of Cordoba was amazing and so much fun, but you don’t necessarily have to go to another province to do things during your free time (and would probably be cheaper too). You could easily do day trips on the weekends to towns nearby. You can take a bus to Carlos Paz which is 30-40 minutes away (and the bus tickets only cost $4 roundtrip) and check out local artisan alfajores shops, go kayaking/taking a boat around the lake(which cost between $5-10), hike in the sierras or take a chairlift up the sierras. Once you´re done you can return late in the afternoon and be back before dinner. You could also easily spend an afternoon checking out the museums (which are free on Wednesday and only cost $2.50 on other days) in downtown Cordoba (my favorites are the Palacio Ferreyra museum and the Cuarteto museum) or the absolutely gorgeous churches. It’s not possible to do them all in one day (trust me, I tried. Literally impossible) so these trips to the museums are something you can spread out over several days. Every weekend in downtown Cordoba, there’s an artisan fair, Paseo de los Artes. There’s also a micro-theater close to Blas Pascal, where you could bring a drink into and watch a variety of 15-minute-long plays(tickets cost $2 per play). All these things you could do by yourself or bring another person with you (which is a little bit more fun because you can talk about what you saw. There’s plenty to do in Cordoba and in the surrounding areas so you don’t necessarily have to go out of Cordoba. I would definitely recommend becoming friends with your tutor or other Argentines while you’re here because it’s a great way to have fun and get great recommendations for things to do in the city.

Studying Abroad in Argentina has been a great experience for me overall. The advice I have for any future student who would want to do this. Firstly, make sure to bring winter clothes! The winter here isn’t like the ones in Arizona and even though it didn’t really rain/snow it was pretty cold at times. I would also recommend bringing extra blankets if you get cold easily like me.  The heating in houses generally is different than in the US and they use heating machines throughout the house to heat. I would also recommend practicing your Spanish a bit before coming here. Generally, my experience was pretty good because I understood Spanish majority of the time (there were instances where if someone talked too fast, I wouldn’t understand and words I didn’t recognize) but I also absolutely sucked a little bit at speaking/writing it so that sometime made it hard to communicate at my internship and out in about in the city. Generally, I felt pretty safe and comfortable walking around alone in Cordoba, Buenos Aires and Mendoza but I was in busy tourist areas during the daytime. If you’re out and about at night, I would strongly recommend going out with another person. I would also suggest that if you study abroad here that you try and keep a positive attitude when faced with issues. Argentines tend to be lax when it comes to their working culture and plans tend to be fairly spontaneous. It honestly took me a moment to adjust to that because I generally like my plans a little bit more structured. Overall, this 11-week long experience has been a positive one.