One of the many benefits of studying abroad in Buenos Aires is having a study abroad program which acts as a resource for students. My program, IES, has been a tremendous resource for me in so many ways (they rejected my application to write for their blog, so I’m not even being paid to say this). It’s obvious that they care about their students and get to know each of them on an individual level. They’ve provided support through the good and bad times. When I was sick and in and out of the hospital they always offered to send someone with me and checked in on me after my visit and every time afterward. They perform the role of both a moral support to students unfamiliar with a foreign land and a source for fun events and experiences. IES offers several free or discounted events for students to take part in on the weekends. Some of my best memories yet have been made through these experiences. Below are three of the can’t-miss experiences I shared with my IES program!
Walking tour of San Telmo – San Telmo is a barrio in Buenos Aires known for quirky street art, historical architecture, and its weekly feria which runs from 10 AM to 5 PM on Sundays. Our walking tour of San Telmo began with a tour of Casa Rosada – the Pink House – which serves as the hub of nation’s government and of the adjoining museum. We then passed through the market where vendors were selling everything from apples covered with candy coating and popcorn to leather goods to decorative Argentine license plates. The feria is definitely somewhere I plan to return – there were so many vendors that it was easy to become overwhelmed.
Tango show and dinner in Puerto Madero – This one is a bit of a cheat because it wasn’t free, but it was offered through my study abroad program at an incredible discount. The show was at Madero Tango in Puerto Madero. Puerto Madero is a portion of the city situation on the port – as the name would imply – and is host to some of the most expensive restaurants and stunning waterside views. My classmates and I were fed three courses – an appetizer, a main dish and a dessert – all of which were exquisite and hands down the best food I’ve eaten since arriving in Buenos Aires. Though it was difficult for me to understand the dialogue throughout the performance with my limited Spanish, I was able to discern that the show was following the history of the tango as it progressed in time from a gritty street dance associated with the lower class to a loved expression of art that permeated all layers of Argentine culture. It didn’t matter much that I couldn’t understand what the actors were saying – their bodies did most of the talking. I have a newfound respect for tango dancers and admiration for this dynamic art form.
Fuerza Bruta – There’s little I can tell you about this amazing show without ruining the hour and a half long sequence of surprises that it is but I will tell you that it is absolutely worth seeing, especially if you can see it for free! I came in with very few expectations and left confused, impressed and a little wet (you’ll understand if you go).
If your study abroad in Buenos Aires with a program that does not offer free or discounted programs, I still highly recommend all three of the above experiences. If your program does offer free and discounted programs SIGN UP! I cannot stress this enough – if you are like the average study abroad student, you will only have this experience once so take full advantage of it!
Keep an eye out for a second installment of this post as I plan on attending more of these events in the near future!
Please note that none of the pictures used in this, or any post are my property and were found on Google Images.