This past spring I spent ten weeks in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the Spanish Department Foreign Study Program (FSP) with fifteen other Dartmouth students. The experience was absolutely amazing! While there, we took three classes at an Argentine university (UADE), lived with host families, and experienced culture events every week ranging from tango class to riding horses in the countryside to learning about Borges. One of my favorite parts of the program was a week long vacation in the middle to travel wherever we wanted in the gorgeous country. I was lucky enough to see Iguazu Falls (waterfalls that are more than three times the size of Niagara!), the glaciers down in the southern Patagonia region, and even to travel to “the end of the world” to the southern most city of Ushuaia.
While in Argentina, we tasted many new foods and all fell in love with empanadas. If you haven’t ever had an empanada, I highly recommend it! Imagine a small-scale calzone filled with ham, cheese, beef, chicken or vegetables but with a flakier crust. This past week, my group got back together for a reunion and cooking lesson with the professor that traveled with us in the spring. While we are all willing to admit our empanadas were not quite as delicious as what we remembered, it was such a nice evening to catch up with friends, freshen up our Spanish speaking skills (as to not let it get too rusty) and learn to make something that will always remind us of our time in Argentina.
I am a huge supporter of studying abroad in college and think it really helped me to mature and become more independent. I learned so much about myself while abroad and have a slightly better appreciation for other cultures after immersing myself for ten weeks. Dartmouth makes it so easy to study abroad and my own experience and those of friends all have been fabulous.