Hola! Sorry for the lack of posting this week. I brought the wrong adapter for my laptop and it died Monday morning!! Thankfully one of the girls on the trip had an extra so we are all good now! This week we had orientation at the University and got to meet our ambassadors! They are a group of students here at UCEL (my school) who have studied abroad as well and they are here to help us and show us around the city. Unfortunately due to the economy there haven't been as many of them studying abroad so there aren't as many to help us as we had in 2012. We are also here during their exam period. The schools here don't have final exams like we do in the states. Here, what you do during the semester does not really matter. At the end of your class you take an exam and you either pass or fail, simple as that. We spent the week in classes, exploring Rosario, and getting to know our host families and new friends at school. On Friday, 9 of us from West Chester and my friend Shelby (she was from Simpson college and studied here with me in 2012, she is now back for vacation for 2 weeks) decided to take the 7 hour bus ride to Cordoba, the second largest city in Argentina! There is an Argument if it really is the second largest or if Rosario is. Cordoba has Argentina's first University, created by the Jesuits, who then created Loyola University in the US. This university is larger than Penn State, so is it just the college students that make it's population, or is it really the second largest city? We stayed in a fantastic hostel. If you're looking for places to stay while studying abroad or traveling, I highly recommend staying in a hostel. Check out hostelworld.com for reviews and suggestions for wherever you are traveling. If you're ever in Cordoba, check out Turning Point Hostel. Everyone was friendly, it was super clean, there were tons of activities, and it was only 90 pesos a night (~9 US dollars). Six of us stayed in a 8 person room, we had one roommate from Italy who left home 2 years ago and is just going wherever the world takes him. Our other roommate was from London and he left home a year and a half ago, started in Mexico, and has been making his way through Latin America and is now in Argentina! I think that would be so cool to do someday. There is something so freeing about the thought of just leaving home and see where the world takes you. Friday we went to a restaurant/bar when we got to Cordoba and hung out. Saturday morning we woke up and went to check out the historical district of Cordoba. We went into their Cathedral and then continued on to tour the National University of Cordoba and hear all about the history of the Jesuits and the creation of the university. Valentina, one of our school international relations people, said people in Cordoba are hard to understand and she sure was right! I think I understood a lot more than I was expecting, but it was still difficult. After the tour we were all starving so we found a place for lunch, I got gnocchis that were delicious! After lunch we took a siesta and woke up for the hostel's happy hour! Everyone was in the common areas for this! We made friends with a couple from Ireland, a girl from Sweeden, two more guys from Italy, a guy from Poland, a guy from Israel, and a girl from France! It was cool to see how English really is the universal language, there were no problems with communication. It was weird not speaking Spanish all weekend but I did get to use some Italian with the guys from Italy. I'm not very good at Italian, I always add Spanish, but I was able to communicate! Today we woke up and got on a bus home. I started to not feel so good, I think I'm getting a cold. The weather is weird here. It's winter but in the morning when I walk to school its in the 50's. Then by noon it's anywhere between 65-70 and back down in the 50-60's at night. Then in Cordoba it was cold, in the 40's, because it's closer to the mountains. I told my host mom that I wasn't feeling very well and thought I was getting a cold so she made me soup for dinner! It was so thoughtful. Stay tuned for my next post. We have some girls in our group who are having a hard time adjusting to life here, I'll be giving you some do's and don'ts and suggestions for how to adapt to life in a foreign country!
Plaza de Mayo with the Casa Rosada, President's House/Office, in the background