Chelsea Schoen

Chelsea is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is double majoring in Spanish and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America. She studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina in Spring 2012. She enjoys photography, cooking, and watching documentaries.
IES Argentina students visit Patagonia

Why did you decide to study abroad with IES?

Chelsea: IES offered a variety of programs that interested me, particularly in South America. They had reputable academics, but also bolstered that study experience with incredible cultural immersion that really completed my abroad experience. Their program was partnered with my home university, so there was no problem when it came to transferring credits for courses. Everything was simple and streamlined! They also have great advisors on-site in Argentina that were able to answer academic, cultural, or personal questions, and adapted to your own language level. They were very open about what living in Buenos Aires was like, and never shied away from giving their honest opinion. They program center was in a convenient location and offered a wide variety of resources for students.

IES Argentina students at El Ateneo library

What made this study abroad experience unique and special?

Chelsea: Buenos Aires is a city different from any other I’ve been in! Their socio-political history has really shaped the people, architecture, and culture, and through studying there, I experienced that almost every day. I made a really great connection with my host mom, so early on, I had a resources for care and concern, but also for helpful city tips. She played a large role in giving me confidence in a foreign setting that really made my experience special. I also met a lot of friends, both in my program and locals, who added to my abroad social life. The city itself breathed art to me. The graffiti and way of dress was always expressive and creative and gave the city an awesome vibe!

How has this experience impacted your future? (Personally, professionally, academically, etc)

Chelsea: From my experience abroad, I have gained a multitude of new skills. Primarily, I gained a confidence with the language that I didn’t expect to have this soon. I came to the realization that languages are about communication, and that as long as I continue to speak the language, the grammar will fall into place. I also learned about adaptability and cultural sensitivity. Being abroad is a culture shock, and you have to be able to adjust and respect another culture. I was willing to immerse myself into the culture completely, and that openness really helped my experience. Academically, I have bettered my writing in Spanish and my ability to comprehend a lot more than I was able to before.