I can hardly believe that I have been abroad for a little over a month now. I arrived on June 22 in Buenos Aires to take a month of Intensive Spanish.
I would definitely recommend taking this course because it puts the language into context in Argentina. If you ask a local, they would tell you that they speak Castellano rather than Spanish. At first, the differences made it very hard to understand, but I have gotten used to the speech patterns of Buenos Aires.
One of my main goals from my experience is to refine my Spanish skills. The best practice possible is to practice with native speakers of the language! About half of my friends here speak little or no English. We solely communicate in Spanish. The most challenging aspect for me has been understanding jokes. I can understand the literal translation, but it is hard to pick up on connotation and some forms of humor.
The city is beautiful, and each neighborhood has a unique feel. I live in Belgrano, which is filled with parks and Cafes. I am also conveniently located a five minute walk away from the Universidad de Belgrano. Recoleta, a subte (subway) ride away is a great place to shop, with a 5 story mall and other smaller stores. It also is a beautiful placed to take a walk. I spend a lot of time in Palermo, which is always filled with people late into the night. Puerto Madero is a more modern part of Buenos Aires with great dining options.
Buenos Aires has been a fun experience so far. Night life is more vibrant here, and hours are extended far into the night. I have had to get used to a different schedule here.
Dining and food is very different here. Breakfast is non-existent, or when it is, is limited to a pastry and coffee. I never really ate breakfast at home, but in Buenos Aires I have found myself hungry almost every morning. Luckily, home-stays provide students with some sort of breakfast. For me, my options are cereal, toast, or a banana.
On-the-go food isn’t too common. I have earned a few stairs by eating while walking. It is more common to sit down and spend time on meals, even lunch and snacks. When eating out, I have learned that I should allot about 1.5 hours to do so.
I eat about 4 meals a day here, but the first 3 are fairly small. Breakfast is usually toast, Lunch may be an empanada or salad, a small snack around 5 may be tea with a sandwich. Dinner is set around 9 pm, and may be later depending on the family. I have friends who eat dinner at 11pm.