Travel, Teaching and Tango: Study Abroad in Argentina
You may think the only thing you know about Argentina is that it shouldn't cry for some woman named Evita, but you'd be...well...you'd be wrong. Take for instance, your political friend and his Che Guevara T-shirt. Ernesto Che Guevara was a doctor and poet in Argentina whose philosophies made him not only a revolutionary in Cuba, but in the world at-large in the 1960s. Don't know Che? Okay, then how about the term carne asado? You'll eat plenty of that delicious barbeque, and learn a thing or two about Che, if you choose to study abroad in Argentina.
Students who study abroad in Argentina not only get an excellent education, but they also have an enormous amount of fun living among the kind, enthusiastic natives. The blend of Latin and European influences keep international students coming to Argentina in large numbers each year:
- According to the Education Ministry of Argentina, the number or international students in the country doubled between 2004 and 2007-from 6,800 to 14,000 students;
- Many students choose to study in Argentina in order to join the country's respected research community, which is a huge focus at Argentina universities;
- The Nobel Prize was awarded to Argentine natives several times throughout history- the Prize for Peace was won in 1936 and 1980, and the country has won Prizes in the sciences as well.
Argentina, which has the highest literacy rate in South America, has an extremely educated workforce that continues to make strides that will distinguish the country in the global arenas of business and research. Many of the professionals in Argentina are bilingual, which makes learning Spanish abroad in Argentina much easier for foreign students, especially those who speak English.
The Total Package
Argentina's physical beauty is known the world-over. Because of its size and the diversity of its regions, Argentina is known as the "land of six continents," which is something that you ecology and environmental science lovers will truly appreciate. If ecology or environmental science is your major, a study abroad program in Argentina will simply amaze you:
- You can't miss the mountains and glacial lakes that formed thousands of years ago at Los Glaciares National Park, which is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site;
- Iguazú National Park is home to more than 2,000 species of plants, as well as a rainforest and a waterfall that is shaped in a semicircle;
- You'll be able to explore several different ecosystems at Lihué Calel National Park.
Argentina study abroad programs also draw many students of anthropology and archaeology, especially since some of the world's oldest dinosaur fossils have been unearthed there:
- It might have taken Magellan until 1520 to discover the land, but some people believe that humans have lived in Argentina for 13,000 years;
- Prehistoric and historic times can be studied in the amazing Lower Rio Manso Valley, where you'll get an idea of what life was like in Argentina long ago;
- The Patagonia region of the country is full of anthropological and archaeological wonders to discover-including ancient rock carvings.
And speaking of Patagonia, its great splendor won't be lost on students in Argentina study abroad programs, no matter what they're studying. The Andes Mountains provide an impressive backdrop and a prime spot for outdoor recreation, including some awesome skiing. But, if man-made wonders are more your style, the architecture you'll find while studying abroad in Argentina will not disappoint:
- Check out the town of Cordoba, at the foot of the Andes, where you'll see colonial architecture such as El Cabildo (Town Hall), the Iglesia Cathedral and the Iglesia de la Compania;
- The Mendoza area is known best for its wine vineyards, but you'll also see some great examples of the fusion of European and Latin architectural influences;
- The capital city of Buenos Aires is full of amazing architecture, not the least of which being the famous La Casa Rosada, which was built back in 1580 and where the president now lives.
Students studying just about anything as part of an Argentina study abroad program will find many museums of interest in the country. But a study abroad in Argentina has a lot more to offer you than just learning.
A South American Playground
Argentina is a spirited nation full of things for students to do outside of the classroom. The country is so large and diverse that many students take advantage of the affordable travel opportunities. Buenos Aires is probably the best-known destination in Argentina, and for good reason. The city is bustling with life and its history is as impressive as any more expensive study abroad destination in Europe. For example, you may meet up with friends at the historical Plaza de Mayo city center. However, you'll also be standing in the legendary spot where the country planned its independence from Spain!
Besides great architecture and a rich history, in Buenos Aires, you'll discover:
- The birthplace of the tango! A study abroad experience in Argentina wouldn't be complete without giving the famous dance a shot;
- La Recoleta, the location of the renowned balcony where the previously referenced Evita Peron addressed her adoring public (sorry Madonna, but this is the real thing!);
- Absolutely delicious cuisine, particularly the "parrillada," which is a steak dish cooked on wood fire and served with salad and fried potatoes.
The nightlife in Buenos Aires isn't too shabby either, and you'll find tons of fellow international students to dance the night away with. While you're studying abroad in Argentina you should also try to catch a soccer, or "futbol," game-you'll have a hard time not getting swept up in the excitement. Or, relax on the beaches of Pampas or swim with seals near Mar del Plata. The possibilities when you study abroad in Argentina are limitless.
Between the travel, studying and recreation, don't be afraid to take a little rest-siestas are still very much a part of the Argentine culture. But, with all a study abroad program in Argentina offers you, it's not likely that you'll want to spend much time unconscious.