After three months in Buenos Aires, honors international business/marketing major Lauren Davenport is finding fluency in Spanish – and taking time to check out one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
I am currently studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of the largest
cities in the world. It is a beautiful Latin city with a lot of
Italian and European influence. Three months have passed out of the
ten I will be here for. The time has flown by! I am currently wrapping
up the intensive Spanish class I have been taking all semester. Let me
just say that learning a language in another country makes a world of
difference. Being able to leave the class room and actually start
applying what you are learning right then and there is the best way to
learn a language.
I arrived having taking years of Spanish but it wasn’t until arriving
here and being forced to use it that I really started learning
Spanish. I am living with an older woman who dosen’t know a lick of
English. I am proud to say that after only two months we communicate
wonderfully! We spend many nights around the dinner table talking for
hours. It is so exciting to see yourself growing and communicating in
As I said, it has only been three months but already I have learned a
ton! Being abroad is truly a blessing and an experience everyone
should take advantage of. I have been challenged and stretched in my
beliefs, ways I view the world and the people around me. I would
recommend that if you have the chance to go abroad, even if it is only
for a summer program, that you don’t pass up the opportunity.
Every person’s experience is different but I think everyone can agree
that no matter where you go, you will be challenged and pushed outside
of your comfort zone. I arrived not knowing anyone but the friends I
have made through my program have truly opened my eyes to the way I
see life here in Argentina and back in the states as well. When you
study abroad you not only learn about the culture of the country you
are in, but also about the different cultures back in the states and
around the world.
I am studying with International Studies Abroad (ISA) and I absolutely
love it! I would highly recommend them no matter what country you are
going to! They provide so many extras that most other programs do not
offer. They take incredible care of their students and have helped
make my transition to Argentine culture much easier. As a program we
have taken four different excursions and all of them have been wonderful!
The last excursion we went on was to Iguazu Falls, which shares the
border between Argentina and Brazil. There are around 257 waterfalls
and it was recently voted one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
It is extremely impressive! There are catwalks that allow you to walk
right onto and even on the edge of the falls. Argentina has a little
bit of every climate and none of it will disappoint! From the north in
the mountains of Salta, to the glaciers down in the Patagonia,
Argentina is a beautiful country!
One of the things I am learning is that here in Argentina it is easier
than I thought it would be to use English. I am definitely growing in
my Spanish but I also have gotten involved with various activities
that force me to use it. Although it is easier to stick with the other
American students you meet, I would recommend to those who are going
abroad to learn the language, find something that interests you or a
hobby you did in the States and do it in that country. For example, I
was really involved with CRU on our campus so I joined up with their
international team that is here working in the city. Twice a week I go
to one of the other universities here and meet with Argentine students
doing surveys and just hanging out. This has been such a great way for
me to learn the language, the culture, all while doing something I love.
I am excited to see how I will continue to grow and the person I will
be when I return to the states! As for now, I have reached a routine
here in Buenos Aires and can happily call it home.