Tips for Studying Abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Liberal Arts

By: Lauren Jablon


Studying abroad, while it sounds amazing, has its ups and downs. Feelings of homesickness are completely normal and everyone experiences them at one point or another. Find people you can confide in when feeling down, whether it be a friend, advisor, or host parent. It’ll make the tough times feel like a blink of an eye. You don’t have to experience these feelings alone, and don’t worry; they’ll pass eventually. You’re living through a big life change and it’s okay to not always be 100%. Just don’t let the sadness or negativity consume you. You have so much to look forward to, I promise!  

Read more: Challenges of Studying Abroad You May Face (And How to Overcome Them)


It’s easy to cling to other Americans on your program or in your classes while abroad. That said, if you’re looking for a more authentic experience, branch out. Make an effort to talk to locals in your classes or whom you meet out. Every day after my International Relations course at the University of Buenos Aires, I rode the subte (metro essentially) home with local Argentinians. They’re so warm and interested in hearing about foreigners’ experiences. Also, your Spanish will become significantly better in doing so and you’ll be introduced to people and places you may never meet otherwise. I had the privilege of meeting various Argentinian locals while abroad and many of whom were the same age as me. They made my experience nothing short of extraordinary and I now have a home a way from home to go back to when able. I actually am returning this summer for a friend I met abroad’s wedding and I could not be more excited to return!

Read more: The 6 Best Places to Learn Spanish Abroad


Leading up to my semester abroad, I had taken 10 years of Spanish courses. I began in 6th grade and continued all throughout college, eventually deciding to double major in Spanish and Professional Writing. While I felt comfortable with my Spanish proficiency and speaking abilities going into the program, I was only accustomed to a Mexican, Spanish, and Cuban accent prior to studying abroad in Argentina. I was able to communicate just fine arriving, but it took some time to adjust to the Argentinian way of speaking and the slang that was used there. In just five months alone, my vocabulary multiplied. That said, I made an effort to speak like a local and to learn from the people I had met during my journey. Argentina is one of the only Spanish-speaking countries that pronounces “ll” like a “j” or that uses “vos” instead of “tú”. Likewise, there are about a million words for things that I had never learned prior to studying abroad. Be patient with yourself if these words are unfamiliar to you upon arrival; it is a learning experience and you could live there for years and still not know all the local slang. That said, do a bit of research prior to arriving to familiarize yourself with Argentine slang and linguistics. It’ll make a difference!


Like any major cosmopolitan city, you have to be aware of your surroundings in Buenos Aires. Pick-pocketing is most likely going to be the main form of crime you may encounter while abroad, but it happens so often. Pick-pocketers are trained professionals, and they can steal your belongings without you even feeling a thing. I made it four months abroad iwthout any issues and right when I finally let my guard down, my phone was stolen from me by two thieves on a “colectivo” or bus. Robberies can happen at any moment, and while they’re usually not violent, they can be. Be conscious of where you are at all times and memorize your way home or address so you are not stuck in a tricky situation if you are robbed. That said, your time abroad is going to be amazing and don’t let this one bad experience dull it all.