Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Becky - April

Well I'm starting to get oriented here in Buenos Aires after my first month and a half. I can successfully take the subway anywhere I want, though the bus system hasn't been quite as easy to figure out. Classes have FINALLY started rolling...sort of. I had my first week of classes, where I was still just trying different ones out to decide which I would actually take. The week after that we had off! Well, technically only 3 days, but to take the other two days only meant missing one class, so I grasped the opportunity and went travelling through Patagonia. This week, I missed two more classes. The first class was cancelled on account of massive protests because a teacher was killed by police trying to break up another protest somewhere else in the country. On Tuesday, two of my friends and I searched for our class for about an hour before giving up. They changed rooms without telling us, or apparently even the secretary of that school. Classes have been interesting, though. My favorite, by far, is a seminar on Argentine "ideas and political processes." Art should be interesting. Linguistics will be boring because the teacher sits at his desk and mostly stares at that desk as if he were reading a script (though he's definitely not). He then switches between his two pairs of glasses depending on whether he happens to get up to write something on the board or if he is answering a question, etc. Fridays are my hardest because I have back to back fourth year classes, starting at 8am. My Ethnology teacher is hard to understand and asks me 10 times a day whether I understand her. I'm the only international student in the class, which is scary. But today, 2 new Argentine friends offered to help me with whatever questions I may have. 1 brought me to the photocopy place that sells the syllabus. Yes, you read that correctly, we have to buy the syllabus. The problem isn't paying for it, its figuring out which place has which classes. Anyways, my last class is Folklore, and the teacher for that is a sweetheart. When she met me she gave me a kiss on the cheek; she gets very excited about having/meeting international students.

Travelling last week was amazing. I went with two friends that I met here from the US, Ben and Mona. The first city we went to was Bariloche, on the western border with Chile. There we went on a day long guided trip, hiking through the mountains and seeing waterfalls. It was absolutely gorgeous. El Bolson is a strange little hippie town where our hostel was in the middle of nowhere. We thought we were being abducted when the cab driver turned down a gravel road with nothing in sight. Here we went horseback riding, also through the mountains. On the ride, I got to pick fresh blackberries whenever my horse, Rosilla, let me. Finally, in our last stop at Puerto Madryn, we took a bus down to Punta Tombo where we walked among penguins. It was great!

The weekend before all of this, I went with a group of 7 to the beach at Mar del Plata. Here I got to experience more of Argentine nightlife, which doesn't start until at least 1am and usually goes until maybe 7am. The lightweights that we are, we usually got back to the hostel around 4. Its hard to describe my experiences at Mar del Plata; everything was just so surreal. 8 year olds out on the street at 2am, costumes, heart shaped disco balls, a computer lab inside of a restaurant, animal-like dancing... And when we got back on Sunday night, it rained and the streets flooded for an hour or so. It was up to our ankles inside the restaurant.

So, all in all, things are going well. I'm meeting lots of people, getting through some of the not-so-easy things, and actually having fun. I may even be starting to like one or two Argentine foods, though I usually only have a couple options to choose from being vegetarian.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How were you able to pick our your class choices in order not to be behind when you return to Elmhurst?


2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I am a Spanish major, so that helped. I completed my Spanish American Literature and Spanish American Culture requirements while there. Since I am trying to pick up a political science minor, I also got one of my classes approved for poli sci credit. The rest were just Spanish electives for me.

Usually you can get at least a few of your classes to count for major/minor requirements or gen ed requirement--I didn't really have any gen eds left, otherwise I'm sure one of my classes would've fulfilled Fine Arts. You just need to talk to your advisor. I work as an intern in the International Education Department so I'm very familiar with all of our different programs, and I might be able to help you if you want. My email is Also, definitely go in to talk to Dr. Lagerwey. Trust me, you can work study abroad into just about any major.

2:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home