IFSA: Argentine Universities Program

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Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

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About

Located in one of the world's most exciting and cosmopolitan cities, the Argentine Universities Program (AUP) offers students the opportunity to enroll in up to four prestigious universities in Buenos Aires. Between classes, enjoy theatre, music, films, sports and museums, or simply people-watch while sipping coffee at one of the numerous sidewalk cafes.

IFSA offers a semester and yearlong program for the advanced Argentine Universities Program (AUP) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On the AUP, you can choose between two different program structures in order to meet your academic needs and interests. You can participate either in the general academic program or choose to focus your area of study in a specialized academic concentration. All students will enroll in the mandatory Advanced Spanish and Argentine Culture course offered only to IFSAparticipants. In addition to taking courses in Spanish, students participating on the program will live with a host family.

Scholarships

IFSA Scholarships
IFSA Scholarships and Financial Aid

We believe that study abroad should be within reach of every student, so we offer a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities for all our participants.

Value
$500 - $2,500

Questions & Answers

Reviews

8.79 Rating
based on 19 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.6
  • Housing 8.4
  • Safety 7.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 19
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Precious
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing time in Argentina!

IFSA in Buenos Aires was a great program that really allowed me to engage with the city and the country. Class schedules were very flexible, and it was amazing being able to choose classes at 4 different universities. The add/drop period allowed me to try out multiple classes before settling on my schedule. In addition, IFSA organised trips to Tigre and Uruguay, guaranteeing city breaks and excursions. The staff at the office were also great whenever you had any problems. Overall it was a great program

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Caroline
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IFSA: Argentina Universities Program

My experience was unique as I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the local community through playing pick up soccer and joining the USAL women's soccer team. This enabled me to learn about the culture and the people through playing. It was also a great opportunity to improve my Spanish. The ability to take classes at multiple universities offered me a very diverse academic experience as well which I am very grateful for. I also had the opportunity to live with a host family where I had homemade Argentine meals every night and learned about their culture through speaking Spanish. I had the opportunity to travel throughout Argentina as well and explore the vineyards in Mendoza and the mountains in Patagonia.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment was injuring myself while playing soccer and having to go to the hospital. I overcame this as I had massive support from both my teammates and my host family. The people in Buenos Aires are extremely supportive and made me feel extremely loved despite being so far away from my family.
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Lilian
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IFSA: Great program that allows you to do your own thing, but is also there to support you as much as you need.

My experience in Buenos Aires was so many things, and overall a great experience. Starting with the IFSA program, I believe I made the right choice. Already having done some solo traveling, I wanted a program that granted me the independence and flexibility of living alone in a city. That said, it was also great to have the staff to support me through the hectic class enrollment period, to provide travel tips, and teach a wonderful Advanced Spanish Language class. Mario and Dario were especially great supports for me.

The homestay worked out really well for me. IFSA has contacts with a number of host families (many of them single older women) whom they trust. There is an element of luck in whether you will click with your host family, and I was lucky. My host family was a single older woman who lived in a very central location in Recoleta. I had to walk only 30 seconds from the door to reach a great number of bus stops. My host mom herself was a beautiful person, so generous and kind and straight-forward in her communication. I miss her!! It took a while for us to get totally comfortable living together, which I think is normal, but by the end we were really close and both so sad to say goodbye. IFSA has certain standards they ask the host families to agree to, which I think are really well thought-out and provide really good boundaries and standards for the relationship. An example is that IFSA asks the host families to provide the student with breakfast and dinner every day (you're on your own for lunch). This arrangement worked really well. I loved my host mom's food. I was worried about my host family restricting my freedom and setting curfews or strict rules on me, but nothing like that happened. We treated each other with respect and she let me come and go as I wanted. While I had no issues with my host mom, it is important to know that things don't always work out so smoothly. I had a friend who decided to switch host families. The great thing is IFSA has a standard procedure for switching families, and they take the pressure off you. That being said, it can be a stressful experience if it comes to that. It's important to advocate for your needs- having an uncomfortable living situation could really color your experience negatively. My friend who switched was so much happier in the second family she lived with, and it made the second half of her semester much better.

The class selection process is stressful. I was grateful for the support IFSA gave, but ultimately you are somewhat on your own in figuring out your schedule. I ended up with good classes, and none of them were too much work, though I did learn a lot. I took classes at USAL and two IFSA classes.

One of the best parts about my experience was all the traveling I did! Some solo traveling, and some traveling with one other person (my aunt, my mom, and then my friend). I'd recommend traveling in smaller groups or alone if you feel comfortable, because you learn much more and don't come across as a loud group of English-speaking tourists. I travelled to Iguazú waterfalls; Colonia, Uruguay; Salta and Jujuy, Argentina; Chile; Patagonia. TRAVEL IF YOU CAN! It is so worth it, and very affordable especially if you stay in hostels.

What would you improve about this program?
The main orientation was done in basically one day, which felt really rushed, and it was difficult to take everything in. Spreading that out to a couple days would be better. Also, having more social events for the IFSA group to get together in non-academic settings would be nice. I felt it was difficult to get to know IFSA students after the orientation period.
Happy
Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Living in the "In-Between" in Buenos Aires, Argentina

My experience in the Argentine Universities program was unique because, being a crazy language enthusiast, I wasn't satisfied with just studying Spanish. Although the program doesn't include other language classes as part of the possible course pool and the on-site staff wasn't super familiar or knowledgeable about alternative institutions or programs that students could participate in, I was able to find and enroll in a class at a local language-learning center in order stay on track with my Italian studies and was even able to find an opportunity to continue practicing Chinese while abroad. Even though I didn't get any direct assistance in the process of finding these opportunities, I had so much support not only from my IFSA advisor, but also from the director of academic program and the overall resident director who were always will to sit and talk and laugh with me about all the totally random language things that my little heart desired.
The best people -- even if they didn't have all the answers.

Also, I can't even begin to describe my love for all things food.
Bad for my health, but (metaphorically) good for my heart.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing I did was make a deal with a Chinese professor from a local language learning center, meeting every week to teach him English in exchange for him to help me continue my study of Chinese. I certainly never expected that I would have the experience of being taught Chinese in Spanish by a Chinese immigrant in Argentina. Buenos Aires is just full of crazy unexpected opportunities sometimes.
Nadira
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Balanced experience in Buenos Aires

My experience in the Argentine Universities program was great because I felt that I had a good balance between venturing into the local culture as well as the safety and security of being in a program with other American students. We could choose between a variety of universities in the city, from large public schools to elite private schools, so we could tailor the experience to exactly what we wanted. In the same way, we could choose whether we wanted to make mostly American friends within the program of around 80 students, or surround ourselves with Argentine students in our classes. I liked that I had the opportunity to choose how I wanted my study abroad experience to be, socially and academically.

IFSA also provided a lot of support academically and professionally. My advisor made me feel very supported in my classes and I was also able to do both an internship and volunteer at a school because IFSA's volunteer coordinator set me up with those opportunities.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Llama meat in a small village in northwest Argentina.
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Bethany
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

English Major in Argentina

I chose a program in a Spanish-speaking country for the language immersion, but the reason I specifically chose Argentina was the literary scene in Buenos Aires. A well-travelled aunt promised that I would love the urban atmosphere and the unbelievable literary culture of the city (there's an independent bookstore almost every two blocks in some barrios). The IFSA-Butler program offered an academic concentration through the massive, prestigious public school of Argentina (Universidad de Buenos Aires or UBA) and still left me several credits to take in classes of my choosing at any of the local universities. My study abroad was a deeply engaging and rewarding experience but the part I most want to champion is the IFSA-Butler literature concentration because I learned so much and so differently than I had ever experienced before in an academic setting. The concentration, freely offered to any interested IFSA students to help them shape their course schedule and engage with the local literary scene, is only three classes: Contemporary Argentine Literature, Castellano (essentially a Spanish language class), and Literary Methodology. Each course is taught completely in Spanish. The contemporary literature class was incredible: taught by local author Martín Kohan (whose work is available at many of the bookstores throughout the city), he gives both a sort of crash course on Argentine history and culture and unique, almost tender insights and in-depth analysis that could come only from lifelong study of the lives and work of cornerstone Argentine writers including Jorge Luis Borges, Rodolfo Walsh, Julio Cortázar, and Roberto Arlt. Some form of Castellano is a required course for all IFSA students, but in the literature concentration we read more extensively and had a smaller class size (only two students!) which gave us lots of opportunities for practice and direct tutoring on our pronunciation and grammar. Finally, the literary methodology course, taught by an IFSA professor who also teaches for UBA, was the first course of literary criticism that I have ever taken and will certainly not be my last. We investigated what it means to read critically and how one can and should, using Argentine hero (and famously voracious consumer of literature) Che Guevara as the prototypical reader for our studies. This guided track helped me to understand the context of Argentine literature as I browsed bookstores and poetry readings across the city, opening my eyes to an entire regional kingdom of literature that has never been offered in classes at my home university as anything other than "Latin literature" -- losing all of the regional, historical, and cultural richness of work that is the product of a specific people, time, and place. Thank you to Diego, Darío, and Martín (along with all the rest of the IFSA staff) for giving this English major so very much to think about.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I advise future travelers to relax and allow themselves to make mistakes. My first week was a disaster and I couldn't seem to get basic tasks done, like changing my cash, obtaining a subte card, getting a phone to work, etc. Obviously those are necessities but I encourage future travelers to be patient with themselves and their setting as they adjust, and to not try to compare themselves to other people's adjustment rates. Especially if this is a first time abroad or a first time in Latin America, just have patience with yourself and don't be afraid to ask IFSA staff for help. There's no judgment there.
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Jamie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Semester at La FUC

Studying in Buenos Aires marked the first time I had lived in a big city. It took me quite a while to get used to the city, on top of Porteño Spanish. Familiarizing myself with the relevant buses and subway lines made navigating and seeing Buenos Aires much easier. Perhaps unsurprisingly, my time there was a bit tumultuous. I chose IFSA's Cinema Concentration, meaning I took classes at La Fundación Universidad de Cine. All of my professors were engaging and easy to work with. For better or worse, the Cinema Concentration is small, meaning that the other international students I got to interact and take classes with was correspondingly small. It also gave us the chance to do some film and entertainment-centered cultural excursions: live performances, going to the movies, as well as traveling to a film festival on the coast. On-site staff were always amiable and able to help me with whatever I brought to them, whether it be housing, travel tips, or places to inquire for playing tennis. Hitting at the Club Ciudad de BsAs gave me great chances to talk with a variety of people from the area. As an aside, Mario, the program director, is particularly wonderful.

What would you improve about this program?
This change would probably necessitate some shifts in the agreement between the on-site office and La FUC, so I don't know how feasible my suggestions would be to implement. However, as a student with academic film experience, I wish I had been directed to more challenging courses or a wider variety of film/communications/media studies type classes. The Cinema Concentration is the only one that allows IFSA students to take classes at La FUC, and two of them are catered more to those without as much background in film or film studies.
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Rachel
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spend an amazing semester abroad through IFSA Bulter

The Argentine Universities Program was unique in that it was a great balance between guidance and independence. The staff is amazing and so caring about each and every student. The Argentine universities can be difficult to navigate at times, but you get the hang of it after a while. We were offered the chance to engage in cultural activities such as tango, cooking, polo matches, etc. I loved my time in Argentina because of this program. I'd recommend to anyone who does not mind a large degree of autonomy in their experiences (which I found refreshing in a college program).

What would you improve about this program?
Perhaps I would recommend that the program tells each student to get an international cell phone before and come with a few Argentine pesos.