IFSA: Argentine Universities Program

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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.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

88%
based on 10 reviews
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 8.8
  • Housing 8.1
  • Safety 8.3
Showing 1 - 10 of 10
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Allison
9/10

Ideal Semester Abroad

This program was the perfect balance between creating your own semester and receiving support in order to guide your decision making. The most unique part of this study abroad experience was balancing big city life with exploring the culture. I miss the city beyond anything, but I know I’ll be able to return and resume my experience if I were to go back. I was able to become comfortable, but I could also find challenges if I wanted to test my skills.

How can this program be improved?
A little more distance from program. The program was a little too supportive, but it was easy to choose how involved you wanted to be.
Yes, I recommend
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Alexis
8/10

IFSA-Butler Argentine Universities Program

This program is a good balance of independence and support. You have the freedom to take the classes you want and travel during your free time, but the staff is there for you if you need anything. The IFSA professors are super caring and friendly, and I had a good experience in my class at Universidad del Salvador too. The class registration process was a little overwhelming on top of being in a new place and having to figure out transportation, but I did enjoy having so many options to choose from.

How can this program be improved?
Better host family matching- there is a question on the housing form about whether you want an "independent" or "interactive" relationship with your host family but it seems like some of my friends and I ended up with the opposite of what we checked on the form.
Yes, I recommend
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Avery
5/10

Buenos Aires: Independent Life in the Big City

I grew up in a teeny-tiny town in the middle of Idaho, which made the transition to life into Buenos Aires, one of the largest cities in the world, pretty challenging and overwhelming. I was excited about the prospect of living in such a fun and culturally stimulating city, however I was surprised by all of the difficulties I encountered. Adjusting to the Buenos Aires bus system and public transportation overall is probably my greatest accomplishment to date. The hour-long commutes were a challenge, fearing pick-pocketers and taxi drivers, constantly being cautious and being surrounded by crowds 24/7, and getting cat-called aggressively 1-10 times a day, were among the things I struggled to adjust to.

IFSA-Butler's Argentine Universities Program has phenomenal resident staff and directors -- I absolutely loved working with them, and they all proved to be super helpful (especially when it came to health issues, homestay problems, and travel tips!) However, my biggest complaint about IFSA is that, if you aren't a fairly self-sufficient, independent, and honestly social person, you might have a tough time adjusting and enjoying life in Buenos Aires. The IFSA AU Program provides a few small excursions and trips (ex: kayaking, biking, rugby games, etc.), however beyond that, you won't see the other IFSA students aside from your classes, if you're even taking classes in the IFSA office. I was lucky to meet an amazing group of friends through IFSA, whom I was able to spend a lot of time with exploring the city, which was really great and super helpful. However, I see how it can be challenging for some to find those friends right in the beginning, during orientation. Outside of IFSA, the only way to socialize and meet people is to convince yourself to wander out into the city alone, and go to some of the many free social events around the city. This might be easy for some, but it definitely wasn't for me. My language skills weren't great, so trying to meet and socialize with Argentines especially was no easy task, and alcohol almost always had to be involved. I had poor host moms who were never around, or who did not talk to me, which made things lonely and challenging. And, due to rules prohibiting us to have friends over to our homestays, and due to the distance between homestays (15-45 minute commutes), I oftentimes felt quite lonely and homesick.

Overall I do recommend this program because I think it's a good program, it's fairly organized, the staff is phenomenal, there are fun excursions (especially for Thanksgiving the Uruguay trip is INCREDIBLE), and I felt supported for the most part throughout my experience. I had a challenging time personally because life in the big city was really hard for me to adapt to, and I had a really negative and lonely homestay experience. Buenos Aires is a wonderful city, full of unique opportunities, delicious restaurants (try the Japanese-Peruvian fusion, or the late night shawarma), fun street markets (like San Telmo on a Sunday), interesting people, super fun nightlife, and overall an out-of-this-world experience. My time abroad had its ups and downs, but I think looking back on it it just didn't suit me very well as an individual.

How can this program be improved?
More coordination and cooperation between the program/ staff and the students, and between the students and other students. I also think there should be a much more rigorous process for selecting host families; probably 90% of my friends were not happy in their homestays.
Yes, I recommend
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Maddie
10/10

Best 6 weeks of my life :)

So I went to Sri Lanka being in such a bad place and being soo nervous going alone! The first couple of days was all about nerves as expected but I made friends for life as soon as we all settled in. I class these girls as some of my best friends even though we won't see eachother again for a long time! All the staff were amazing - we all became really close like a little family no doubt about it. I haven't felt that happy in my life ever! Ash and Manoj really cannot do much more to make you feel at home. Doing this programme made me realise how lucky I am to have what I have. The orphanage was just incredible - the girls are the most beautiful children inside and out. They will hold a place in my heart forever and I'm 100% going back. I felt safe and secure knowing Ash and Manoj were always looking after us. The sisters were a real blessing to have also, They made us breakfast, lunch and tea every day!! The love we received there was just amazing everything was so humble and just a beautiful experience. Colby joined right when I was leaving but she managed to make such a strong bond with me and always wanted to help us have the best experience we could aka fun games and activites to do in our spare time! I cannot recommend this programme enough!

Yes, I recommend
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India
9/10

Great introduction to Buenos Aires

IFSA Butler did an amazing job helping my peers and I get acclimated to live in not just Buenos Aires, but to Argentina in general. From informal culture classes to free tango lessons, Mario and his team really go above and beyond to make sure all participants are maximizing their time in the city. We learned valuable safety tips within our first few days, and I always felt fully supported. This program also allows for flexibility within one's schedule. I chose to study abroad with the Argentine Universities program because I wanted maximum immersion, but the program also has IFSA concentrations students can take, in which they are only studying with other IFSA students. It was nice to have the flexibility to choose how much we wanted to interact with the local community.

How can this program be improved?
I think the program could be improved by more thoroughly screening host families. It appeared that some families had not been reexamined in a while. While this never resulted in anyone feeling unsafe, it did allow for there to be a major disparity between some students' host family situations in regard to access to resources and facilities.
Yes, I recommend
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Cirkine
9/10

Go to Buenos Aires with IFSA- Butler!

This is a really great program which allows you to feel independent while still having access to help and support along the way. The IFSA-Bulter staff are an amazing group of people. They are all very caring and involved. This program allows you to take courses in different universities throughout Buenos Aires and thus offers an unlimited number of course options and potential experiences. I was able to take an art class, something I never would have done in the US!

How can this program be improved?
The class selection processes is overwhelming and very disorganized. It is hard to recommend a way to improve this process though because it would be a shame to reduce the variety of university options provided.
Yes, I recommend
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Elena
9/10

Best Six Weeks!

This program is great if you really want to immerse yourself in the culture. The second day you are there you'll be riding the 'colectivo' and the 'subte' like a 'porteño' and going home to a home-cooked meal.

Yes, I recommend
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Alexandra
10/10

Went by in the blink of the eye...

Loved the program coordinator, Mario. At the beginning of the semester he invited us all to his amazing house in Uruguay, on a lemon farm, where he cooked us delicious food and we hung by the pool for a day. It was unreal.

How can this program be improved?
I would have benefitted from a week or two of intensive spanish before classes begun.
Yes, I recommend
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Becca
10/10

The Life-Changing Poster at USAL

It was my third week in Buenos Aires and I was sitting in my first class of neurociencias (Neuroscience) at la Universidad del Salvador, I was extremely intimidated, being the only foreign student in the class. Looking around seeing all of the students speaking very quickly in a Spanish that was difficult for me to understand. A poster in the back of the room caught my eye, advertising tryouts for the university's women's soccer team. After much debate, I decided to go to the first day of tryouts that evening. Being on the soccer team changed my life. I now consider my teammates and coach to be my best friends and a part of my family. They helped me to become fluent in argentine spanish, learn the way of life and culture in Buenos Aires, and to eventually feel as though Buenos Aires was my home even more so than Chicago, IL where I had lived my entire life. They were the reason that I extended my stay from 5 months to a full year, July 2014-2015. My favorite memories with them include our weekend asados (Argentine BBQ) that lasted for hours, going together to professional soccer games, traveling with them to out-of-town tournaments in other areas of Argentina, getting dance lessons (salsa, cumbia, and bachata) from my teammates, and making them American foods that they had never tried before such as PB&J and pancakes. The lifestyle, culture, language, food, and people in Buenos Aires are my favorite in the world, and one of the hardest things I have ever done was to leave two months ago to return to the USA, but I still communicate with my team every single day and have grown in ways I could never imagine because of them.

How can this program be improved?
Orientation and class selection was extremely overwhelming. When just arriving to a totally new country with a language that was difficult for me to understand even though I had taken Spanish classes for many years, I felt very nervous and anxious during the first weeks.
Yes, I recommend
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Taylor
9/10

IFSA Butler Buenos Aires

With a full academic schedule, I was always moving around the city. IFSA Butler gave me the support I needed and the activities I wanted to make the most of my time in Buenos Aires! It changed my life!

How can this program be improved?
The program was great! I would have loved to have had more group activities to spend more time with other participants but the ones we had were awesome! I especially loved Thanksgiving in Colonia
Yes, I recommend

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About Institute for Study Abroad

The Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988. Our primary goal is to provide quality study abroad opportunities, plus academic and personal support services, for qualified North American undergraduates seeking to...