Yes. I would absolutely recommend studying in Buenos Aires. It’s definitely not for everyone, but by the end of my second semester here I can honestly say that I’ve loved my time here.
While I can think of many tips to give to students prior to coming to Buenos Aires, a lot of them would be good tips for any study abroad site. For example:
- Pack layers. The weather is unpredictable, dress like an onion.
- Bring all your over the counter medications with you. I like to be over-prepared always, but going to the pharmacy may be difficult if your Spanish is not that great.
- Bring side bags with zippers! There is a lot of petty theft.
- Don’t bring all the technology you own, if it’s not absolutely necessary then don’t way yourself down.
- The more on top of your school work you are, the more time you have to experience and enjoy the city.
However, these tips alone would be a huge injustice to the students coming to Buenos Aires as there are things that are way more specific and unique to only Buenos Aires. Therefore, I took to the NYU Buenos Aires Spring 2017 Facebook page for some help!!! Here is some more advice from my fellow compañeros/as!
Tip from I.N.: No, the weather is not tropical so bring clothes for every season. There is sushi but its lleno de cream cheese. The term “allergy” is understood as a dislike, not a health risk. Napping and relaxing before your night out is a must given that it won’t start until at least midnight. Dadá wine is the wine to buy at the “chinos” and if you pay more than 90 pesos for it, its too much. Mm, bring spices!!
—>You need a real jacket and real shoes and even a scarf!!!! First semester I only had a denim jacket and nearly froze. I suggest investing in a Uniqlo puffer jacket because they’re small to fit under whatever you’re wearing and easy to pack, but keep you super warm. Dress for every season because within one semester I’ve found myself in the city, on the beach, and on a glacier. Sushi is popular here as Peruvian/Japanese fusion is delicious. Lleno means filled or stuffed. Sushi and cream cheese is weird to me, but others may like it! I am deathly allergic to nuts and while I have been very adamant and overdramatic about it with waiters and they’ve guaranteed me that the dish has no nuts, I’ve inevitably had to go to the emergency room because there were definitely nuts. BRING YOUR EPI-PEN WITH YOU ALWAYS!!! Night life in Buenos Aires does not begin until midnight at the minimum. You have NO reason to go to a night club before 2:30 AM, so definitely take a nap before you leave. DADA is really good, cheap Malbec. The chino is the corner-grocery store usually run by Asian families (Argentines are kind of racist). Argentines do not know what spices are. They over salt everything and think that black pepper is “spicy.” Bring your favorite spices with you.
Tip from J.T.: You don’t have do to things every single weekend!! Sometimes it’s OK to take days to yourself for your mental health.
—>Study abroad is sometimes over whelming. Students are constantly out and about, whether it’s traveling or going out to meet people within our program or friends. After a while it is exhausting and sometimes FOMO kills. Take some time to yourself and most importantly, take care of yourself.
Tip from M.R.: It’s not impossible to be vegetarian in Argentina, just get comfortable with a heightened carb consumption.
—>I think the heightened carb consumption is safe to say regardless of all dietary needs, there’s a ton of carbs here. However, there is a huge myth that it is impossible to be a vegetarian in Argentina. While the meat here is excellent, you can absolutely survive and even thrive as a vegetarian. Sometimes it is a little difficult, but host parents are usually very good about it, the school always has vegetarian options, and there are always vegetarian options on restaurant menus and even vegetarian/vegan restaurants. Do your research!
Tip from N.V.: Buy hiking shoes/gear before you come! It’s actually ridiculously expensive here…remember you can’t get things shipped aka bring that extra jacket.
—>If you plan on going on hikes in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru or anywhere really, even if it’s only for one week during Fall or Spring break, definitely bring your gear with you. It’s heavy and sad that you’d only use it for a week, but even rentals here are so extremely expensive. Also, again, BRING that jacket for Patagonia!!
Tip from C.V.: Don’t overpack clothes & don’t bring high heels because you’ll probs not wear them as platforms are all the rage.
—>This tip is hilarious and probably my favorite. The sidewalks of Buenos Aires are TERRIBLE and you may even roll and ankle wearing plain old sneakers. Leave the heels at home. If it’s really important to you, then I guess bring wedges OR wait until you get here and buy a pair of 6 inch platforms like every other Argentina woman! (Buenos Aires is super casual, you can go out in sandals, sneakers, or boots).
Tip from Z.C.: Don’t do so much traveling you miss out on Buenos Aires. Find at least one local activity that does not involve other NYU students if you really want to practice your Spanish. Don’t waste your money on international data because wifi is never too far away. Find a study spot that isn’t the AC for when you actually need to get work done.
—>The first part really is essential for students that are only here for one semester. Buenos Aires is massive and there’s so much to do, don’t miss out! If you’re really ambitious, meet Argentines to practice your Spanish. International data is only worth it if you do anticipate leaving Argentina and traveling a lot. The Academic Center is beautiful and great for studying but also terrible for studying because everyone is there studying and then it becomes a social event.
While all of these tips are central and important, the three very last and very important things that I would say are…
- Practice and use your Spanish. The more you know, the better off you are.
- Be extremely honest with your host parents from the very beginning. It could potentially save you from awkward conversations later on.
- Take advantage of the student life staff. They are lovely and funny and extremely helpful!
Suerte to all who end up coming to study and enjoy this beautiful, weird, buena onda filled country!