Maddie Callis

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Majors: Latin American Studies and Spanish
Studied in Buenos Aires, Argentina for Junior Year

I spent from July 2008 - July 2009 living and studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina through the CIEE-FLACSO program.  I took classes at FLACSO, The Faculty of Latin American Social Sciences, with other exchange students, and directly enrolled at the University of Buenos Aires.  All of my courses were taught in Spanish.  The complete language immersion in the classroom paired with a homestay allowed me to greatly develop my Spanish skills.  I came to Buenos Aires to learn Spanish, and I learned how to live. Not that I had not been living before; I had, but certainly not to the fullest extent. This city has so much to offer, especially if you search for the opportunities. It is the perfect mix of convenience, comfort, and challenge.

When I first arrived in Buenos Aires, I didn’t take any bondís (buses) for 2 weeks. I didn’t know how to ask the tachero (driver) how much my ticket was or when I wanted to get off. (And yes, I did pay attention during orientation!) Finally I rode it with a friend to UCA, and I was nervous the entire time I was going to miss my stop and end up in Barracas or La Boca or someplace off the Guia T grid.  However, we arrived safely with no problems, and then I took the bondí almost every day at all hours of the day. Looking back my fear of the bondí not only seems silly, but it makes me realize how far I have come. It’s easy to spend your time abroad being complacent—going to places you are familiar with or the guidebook tells you and hanging out with people you know from the program, but pushing your limits pays off tenfold. Living in Buenos Aires has made me long to be abroad again.