API Study Abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina

This program has been paused and is currently not being offered. View more programs from API.

Video and Photos

About

Founded in the 1500s by Spanish conquistadores, Buenos Aires, Argentina has evolved into a thriving, cosmopolitan city with more than 6 million inhabitants within the city limits and another 6 million in the surrounding areas. Known for its vibrant nightlife, where tango thrives in tangueras, milongas, and cultural centers, Buenos Aires offers a dazzling array of learning opportunities, cultural events, and social attractions. The seat of the national government, Buenos Aires presents a unique opportunity to analyze the politics and history of this complex and fascinating country. Universities, museums, theatres, shopping districts, and restaurants abound in this metropolis, described by many as the Paris of Latin America.

API offers programs at three universities in Buenos Aires: Universidad del Salvador, Universidad de Belgrano, and Universidad Torcuato di Tella (UTDT).

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.8 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.9
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 10
Hiya
Michelle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Challenges with support

When I was applying for my study abroad, I chose API because they could do add-on programs specifically to me. For other students, they likely went with the cheapest/most convenient for them. Being in several different classes with students from other programs throughout the summer, I was able to compare our experiences quite a bit, and from this I gathered that I got lucky with the one I chose. Nearly every other student who came through a different program faced difficulties with their program coordinators/program in general--whether that be through poor schedules, miscommunication, or overall dissatisfaction with what their program offered. The largest and most important difference I noted, was effort. API is accommodating and willing to change what you don't want. They fully understand that you paid to be here and go above and beyond to make your experience what you want it to be.

The two courses I took at Belgrano this past summer were advanced grammar and medical spanish. My first course, the intensive language class, turned out to be very difficult. Although I was initially placed into the intermediate course, I was encouraged by my API coordinators, Carmen and Jimena, to ask to be moved up to the advanced class. Without their support and encouragement, I never would have experienced a challenge like this and advanced my linguistic abilities as much as I have. Throughout this course as well as my second, Jimena and Carmen checked in regularly to see how classes were going and to see if I was interested in any events around Buenos Aires. As an API student, I was always kept in the loop and felt as though I had a strong support system. Looking back, I didn't truly realize how important these coordinators had become until a few months in. They treat you like family, doesn't matter if you're here for a week, month or year, they will support you through it all.

What would you improve about this program?
The medical program does not focus on latin based words that are necessary to learn in the hospital. I would have preferred to have a crash course of the basics first before entering the hosptial, but all was done at the same time. Additionally, the course and hospital time takes up 8 or 9 hours 4 days a week. It was a large commitment.
Default avatar
Julianna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Life-Changing Experience

Study abroad is presented to students as a way to experience another culture by immersing yourself in a new country; to improve your language abilities by being forced to practice with locals; to challenge yourself to go outside of your comfort zone. My time in Buenos Aires with API was all of that and more. The only regret I have from college is that I didn't spend an entire year abroad. This program, along with my resident director Carmen, had such a positive impact on me that I lived abroad two additional times after graduating and chose a career path in the study abroad so that I could assist students and having a life-changing experience like I did. The semester taught me more than classic Argentine literature and the history of Eva Perón, it taught me about learning from the stories and lives of locals around the city. It taught me to be a global citizen and to fight for diversity and inclusion because equality and understanding other perspectives is of the gravest importance. It has directly influenced my career goal: to find ways to make study abroad accessible to every student, to help them learn about the world, and learn about themselves.

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly, Carmen, the resident director is an absolute gem. I hope to one day be like her in the study abroad field. She is so kind and compassionate, so knowledgeable and helpful, and will make any student's time in Argentina an unforgettable one.
Fran
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience in an unknown country

My main goal for studying abroad was to improve my Spanish. I believe I did just that on this program. I took part in the early start program with intensive Spanish classes. It was a great way to start the program so I would definitely recommend that. I also took classes with Argentine students. Generally most of my classes were with Americans or a few other foreigners. One draw back is that the program is mostly Americans studying at the school, so there’s a good amount of English, although all my classes were in Spanish. I enjoyed my classes with argentines cause it did really make me feel like an exchange student. I had to do the same work, tests as them so I thought it was a great challenge and overall very interesting to see what school is like for them. My housing was great! I lived with an amazing host family in Recoleta. What I liked a lot about the housing is that only one student is placed per a family, that way it’s a lot more Spanish and then there’s no favorites. Also Carmen and Jimena, the program directors, are fantastic and are always there to help. Everyone LOVES them. Overall Argentina is an amazing experience and unique if you’re looking to study abroad outside of Europe. I would recommend it 110%

What would you improve about this program?
Not much improvement needed, maybe more activities to get students involved with the community although it seems that is already happening.
Default avatar
nickvenn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying in the world of the Tango

Studying through API in Buenos Aires was probably the best experience of my life so far. In between the going to class I was able to meet many interesting people from Argentina and also from around the world. The classes that I was able to take varied immensely. There were business classes, history classes,language classes, and even the opportunity to take classes with the Argentine students that were studying there.
A normal day consisted of going to class and then just exploring the city. There are so many interesting things to do in Buenos Aires. There is a zoo next to Plaza Italia, while I was there there was a large book fair with books from all around the world.
API is great because they let you travel when you want. You are required to attend a majority of you classes by the university, but API allows you to go on weekend trips. They do also have some sponsored cultural trips to an estancia, or ranch, and when I was there we went to Iguazu to see the falls and visit a nature conservatory.
Argentina is also a great place to study because the people are very friendly. Yes, the do appreciate it a lot if you attempt to speak Spanish to them, but there is a large population of people in Buenos Aires that speak both Spanish and English so you will be able to find your way without too much trouble.
API has a short program that they put the students who are arriving through. This program talks about the history of Argentina and the culture. It also informs students about how to be safe while they are walking around and out at night and the normal stuff that you would want to find out about a country. Yes, crime does happen, but the support staff from API was always helpful to the students that they were in charge of taking care of throughout the semester.
I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed this program. You were normally able to find anything that you needed within your community, and anything that you could not find the support staff was able to help you find.
The last thing that I will leave you with is the food. I really enjoyed the food. It was a lot of meats, chicken and beef, and there was a lot of rice and bread as well. The food is not spicy like many people think all Spanish food is. In fact, one of the host families of my friends would always warn him whenever they put black pepper, something that is used all the time in the US, on the food because to them it was spicy.
Overall, I really enjoyed this program and would definitely refer anyone, friend or otherwise, to go to Buenos Aires through API.

Default avatar
patrick.r.nickelson
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My analogy of studying abroad

If I were to explain my experience in Buenos Aires without using clichés of what studying/living abroad is, this is how I would describe it. Keep in mind no analogy is perfect.

It is watching a really profound, enthralling movie. First, you sit down in your seat and you are really excited because there has been a lot of hype about the movie. The synopses you have heard and reviews you have read do not tell you much other than that you must see it yourself. The movie begins and you start soaking in visual and aural stimulation and you understand that you are watching a movie. You are a little detached because you do not fully understand what is going on or what it is all about.

After a while, you stop noticing the chair spring that has been poking you in the back and the fact that the floor is sticky because the action and dialogue start to truly captivate you. The movie’s reality steadily becomes your reality. You become so engrossed in the movie that you begin to feel like part of the movie. You see the characters develop and grow and change and the scenery and setting start to become familiar and home-like. You get lost in the movie. Have you ever watched someone watch a movie? You will not quite understand how engrossed you are watching a movie until you watch someone else’s face while he or she watches a movie.

Towards the denouement, you begin to understand that the movie is coming to an end. You can feel things winding down. You slowly gain objective perspective again of that in which you have just involved yourself. You might even feel a jerk in your heart because you want to see what happens to the characters after the movie is finished, as stories like that cannot and do not just come to an end. The storyline is wrapping up and you are wondering if you put enough quarters in the parking meter. Also, you really have to pee.

Then the movie ends and you leave the theater feeling you finally understand what the hype was about. You have gained a new perspective on just what a movie can be and how it can relate to real life. What you saw was visceral because there was a surfeit of content and aesthetic pleasure that will stick with you. In addition, time was irrelevant because you were so lost in the movie. In the hours it took to watch, you wonder how the little hand on your horologe made so many revolutions. You know you will see it again, but when you feel ready to absorb all that information anew is uncertain territory because it was so beautiful and gratifying that it would not do the movie justice to watch it twice in a row. You have other movies to watch, books to read and music to listen to. Also you spent your last $20 on the ticket and Milk Duds and popcorn to mix together so you get chocolate, carmel and salt all in one bite.

There are no leaks of this movie. You cannot pirate it. You must see it on the big screen with strangers in the theater who will share this movie with you even though you may never see them ever again in your life.

You will return to that theater some day when another movie is worth seeing because as much as you would like to, you cannot spend all your money and time going to the movies. You will bring a friend next time so that you can share the experience together because telling someone about a movie he or she has not seen, no matter how great it is, is about as interesting to the listener as handwriting class in grade school.

Default avatar
makenasage
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure-Seekers, Look No Further!

I truly enjoyed my experience studying abroad in Argentina for 5 months with API in 2010. I did the early-start intensive language option when I first arrived, which helped me to acclimate so well to the language that I placed into a high enough level of Spanish to take all of my classes in Spanish during the semester. This was after just 5 semesters of Spanish classes prior to studying abroad (unlike many people I know, I didn't take the language in high school)! I also lived with a host family, which was not only great language immersion, but was a great way to really experience the culture and people of Argentina firsthand.

One of my favorite parts about studying abroad was getting to travel. Argentina is about 1/3 the size of the U.S., so there is so much to see! I saw deserts (Salta and Tucuman in the northwest), waterfalls (Iguazu Falls in the northeast), penguins in the wild (Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world), hiked snowy mountains (in Bariloche, also in the south), and even went to Oktoberfest (in a quaint town near Cordoba called Villa General Begrano). And that's just some of the more major trips. API does a bunch of really cool excursions, both within the country and to Colonia (in Uruguay).

Buenos Aires is amazing as well. I don't think I could have gotten bored even if I had never left the city at all! My favorite thing to do was to go to the weekend markets, and I also really enjoyed going to shows, taking tango classes, and the night life (which is unbelievable). I did a 3-month internship at a start-up while I was studying as well, which I loved.

To be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of Argentine food. I will say that they have some of the best steak I've ever tasted, and the wine, empanadas and medialunas (sweet croissants) are delicious. But other than that, I found the food to be very bland and flavorless. It's a lot of pasta, pizza, and TONS of beef which is all great, but I got bored of it quickly. That being said, most of my friends loved the food, so maybe I'm just spoiled/picky. :)

API was amazing, from the application process to the support staff in Argentina and even keeping in touch with students when we returned. Whenever I had questions during the application process, they always responded super promptly, and their online toolbox had more than enough information so that I felt completely prepared when I left (the language resources were especially great for last-minute brushing up on the plane).

When I arrived I was greeted by Carmen – our resident director – as well as a couple of API staff members who were visiting for the week, and some of the other students in my group. Carmen spoke to us in Spanish from day one (only translating when need be for the students who were learning for the first time), and became like a mom to us while we were there. She had everyone over to her apartment for a huge dinner the first night, as well as hosting us for several more dinners and events in her home and the API office. Gabby – who helps lead some of the tours and trips with Carmen – was also amazing. She knows more about Argentina’s history and culture than I think most history professors there probably do! She is also an amazing tango dancer, and took us to the milonga for our first lesson.

We were a small group of about 10 students, which I loved, because we became like family while we were there (unlike the huge programs some of our friends were in, which tended to be a lot more clique-y). I still visit with several of my friends from abroad at least a couple of times a year, even though we live all over the U.S. Another great thing about API was that they take so much care with choosing host families that live very central. So although the school was in a residential area, everyone in my program lived right in the middle of the busiest shopping/night life areas. That meant a longer commute to school but it was totally worth it for the conveniences that came with such a central location.

It would be impossible to articulate all the ways studying abroad changed me in just a few words (in fact, I’m probably not even aware of many of the ways I’ve changed!). That being said, I think the broadening of my horizons/perspective shift I experienced is the change I’ve been most conscious of. The mixture of seeing a completely new part of the world and immersing myself in the culture/history/politics/language, and meeting people from all over with fascinating stories – some traveling around the world “just because,” others working remotely so they could live anywhere – was very eye-opening. I was reminded of how big the world really is, but at the same time, how where you go and what you do is really only limited to what you can imagine and set your mind to.

I would go again in a heartbeat. I hope to take another trip to South America very soon, so that I can visit some of the other countries I didn’t make it to (because I was so busy seeing as much of Argentina as I could!), and I definitely want to go back to Argentina someday.

If you love adventure, want to learn or improve your Spanish and are looking for a truly unique and exciting study abroad experience, look no further! I highly recommend Argentina with API.

Default avatar
daniL
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

What I learned...

I think it was impossible to be in the city and not learn something new and exciting everyday. This city was full of art and culture everywhere I went. From submarinos at cafés, to reggae concerts in the park, the tango culture, and the Lunfardo (dialect) mixed with Castellano, everything was an experience. Buenos Aires is a Latin America New York, and you will quickly see why. If you are looking for the pueblos and rainforest that are often depicted on tv, you got another thing coming. This city is hustle and bustle. You may not speak the language, but be sure to have some streetwise about you. As an international, you are a hot commodity...and so is your dollar!

I really enjoyed my host mom, and the neighborhood I stayed in was lovely. Palermo is where it's at for the International crowd. However, I challenge you to do something local. I took belly dancing classes twice a week and tried to eat at local restaurants away from the tourist crowd. I would also encourage you to break away from your program now and then. It is easy to fall into the pattern of hanging out with the same people. This almost always means speaking A LOT of English (kinda defeats the purpose).

The support staff was really great. Gaby Masson is the queen of everything Buenos Aires, she's like and encyclopedia! Carmen is also a big help in pretty much any other area. They will truly treat you like family. Have fun and live big! Know that you are there to experience a culture so, talk to people on the street, talk to your servers at restaurants, take colectivos (buses) around the city just because, and speak as much Spanish as possible. It's an experience you won't forget, but make sure you have good things to remember! Enjoy, suerte!

Default avatar
Lorena
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Semester Ever!

The city of Buenos Aires is absolutely incredible! API makes you feel welcomed to the city and to the country of Argentina! One of the most life changing semesters/times of my life!!