Alumni Spotlight: Kristin Hicks


Meet Kristin Hicks! The summer after of her sophomore year she went to Buenos Aires, Argentina from the end of June to the end of July in 2007. She is 26 years old and currently living in her home town in Northern Virginia and attended The University of North Carolina-Charlotte for an undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in Spanish.

Why'd you choose ISA for study abroad?

I actually did a lot of research on study abroad programs; I had a few binders with different providers and what they offered. I basically lived at the education abroad office at my school. I knew I wanted to continue learning Spanish so knew that I wanted to go either to Latin America or Spain. I chose ISA because of what they offered for the price. They offer many summer abroad programs which are between one and two months. I really liked all the excursions offered.

Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.

I have never eaten or done anything on my own before. I usually go with friends or family. With my class schedule compared to my friends, I ended before them. Instead of going home and waiting for them to finish, I was able to be productive and get over my fear of doing things alone. I went to my first ever soccer game and it was incredible.

I went to see the Boca Juniors which was the most fun I have ever had. The energy there and the excitement was nothing short of AMAZING! I had the opportunity to go with a friend I met from ISA and an Argentine girl which was also great because instead of speaking only English, we spoke in Spanish. She then took us out after the big win!

What did ISA do for you and what did you need to do on your own?

ISA had set everything up prior to arriving in Buenos Aires. All we had to do was book our flights to Argentina, from there it was taken care of. ISA was there for our airport pick up and that is where we met some others from our program. They dropped us off at our homestay and later we all met up at the ISA office for our first orientation. At orientation we were able to meet the staff and the other students. They basically gave us an overview of our schedule and maps and advice.

What was the best place you visited outside of Buenos Aires?

Since I was only there for one month, we had our weekend activities planned. One trip which was very memorable to me was the trip to Iguazu. On our way to Iguazu, we were able to take a few stops and see Argentina.

We went to Misiones and learned about the history, had an awesome parilla (barbeque) on a ranch, and went to a mate (tea) farm. The next morning we were able to see the waterfalls which are spectacular and worth a visit in themselves. We took a boat and went under a few of the falls also. I have never been to a place so beautiful.

What I really enjoyed was not only going to the falls but visiting the surrounding areas. We went to a small village and also visited the river which divided Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.

What is one piece of advice you'd give future ISA-Buenos Aires students?

If you go in the summer, it is winter in Argentina and can get really cold. The staff is extremely friendly and willing to answer any questions or give you advice. On my free weekend, I went on a trip with a group to Cordoba, there was only enough space at our lodge for a smaller group. A few of my friends could not go with us, they felt a little left out so one of the guys who worked with ISA took them to a soccer game and took them around the city. Make the most of your time in Buenos Aires, it’s such a fantastic city and has so much to offer. It huge, so go out and explore! Sometimes I would only speak English with the other students in the program. I would also meet as many locals as possible to keep up with the language.