When you first get there, it is going to be so overwhelming. All of the Spanish classes in the world could not prepare you for the experience of being fully immersed in the language. You'll start to panic and question if you really can tell your host family what you like and don't like to eat for dinner, even though you've known that since middle school Spanish. You'll really want to hide away in your room and watch Netflix until everything feels normal again.
TRY NOT TO DO THIS.
Yes, a little bit of alone time is healthy. But it is so important to go out, to make friends with your host family, to bond with your classmates, and explore the city. Córdoba has so much to offer no matter what your interests are. Hiking, museums, nightlife, parks, orchestras, dance classes, even giant chess pieces near Plaza San Martín. It is absolutely worthwhile, and you'll get so much more out of your experience if you get out of your room and see all that this beautiful city (and country) have to offer.
For me, the average week was packed full of fun things.
In the mornings I'd wake up, come downstairs, and eat breakfast. I'd grab all my bags (usually my backpack plus a field hockey bag with maybe an extra one for a change of clothes). Then I'd walk to class! It was about a 30-minute walk, and I loved it because it gave me a chance to listen to music and watch the city wake up.
I'd go to class in the morning, eat lunch with the others in my program (there were 7 of us) and then play a nice game of cards after lunch with my friend Owen. We started out playing Gin Rummy but soon learned to play Truco, a classic Argentine card game (although Brazilians will tell you it's theirs). Then we'd go to our afternoon class, and afterward, I would head to field hockey practice.
From there I'd walk with my field hockey buddies Ro and Guille to their apartment, and if it was a Tuesday, I would drop them off there and continue on to English Talk in Barrio Güemes. English Talk was a group of adults learning English who met every week to practice conversation together, and I went to help out. From there, I would usually head home for dinner and do some homework before bed, but on Thursdays (because there was no class Friday), my friends and I would head out to the bars and restaurants of Barrio Güemes for a night on the town.
On the weekends we planned trips to museums, hiking, or to cities like Mendoza, Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Bariloche, and Iguazú. We loved traveling and exploring the city.
My biggest fear was probably being able to make friends. I'm not a particularly shy person, and I love people, but I was worried I wouldn't be able to communicate my personality in Spanish enough to make friends.
Field hockey helped me a lot with this.
Playing a sport gave me the opportunity to interact with students in Córdoba and make a ton of friends. I realized that we were a lot more alike than we are different and that making friends only takes a conversation.
One of the very last weeks of the program, my friends and I took a trip to Iguazú. Everything went perfectly until it was time to come home. In the taxi on the way to the airport, we received a text saying that our flight had been canceled due to high winds in Córdoba.
When we got to the airport, we learned that there were no more flights until Wednesday morning with the company we had bought our tickets from. It is a great testament to the effectiveness of the program that we were able to communicate in Spanish enough to get refunds, head back to town to the bus station, get bus tickets to Córdoba, survive a two-day journey in the bus back to Córdoba, and make it to the university in time for class Tuesday morning.