Exploring City and Country

It’s eight in the morning and we are waking up, preparing ourselves for our six hour school day. We take a quick shower and rush downstairs to grab a couple slices of toast before heading out the door for our brisk thirty minute walk to campus. We follow this interval five days per week for four weeks, sometimes skipping breakfast to grab extra sleep and other times waking up early to finish homework or a project. Each day in class is intensive, requiring me to focus and participate without a single word in English. We finish class after two in the afternoon and have just over an hour to grab a bite to eat and head to our UMKC class specifically designed for our time in Argentina. After this two hour class, we head back to our host families to start our homework before eating dinner around nine at night. Dinner lasts until eleven, and we head up to our rooms to finish our homework or meet up with friends to hang out. This is a day of my life in Argentina–every moment filled with something to do or somewhere to go.

My experience in Buenos Aires has been amazing, I have tried to take every opportunity to explore the city and make memories with study abroad friends. Since my time at the University of Belgrano, I have made friends with other students from the United States, and we are sharing the Buenos Aires experience. Naturally, a study abroad student wants to have fun, experience a new city and culture, but unfortunately there is one catch with being a study abroad student–you have to study. Thankfully, our UMKC program has incorporated a week before classes to explore the different neighborhoods and districts in Buenos Aires. Ideally one can continue to experience the city after classes, but what about the rest of the country?

During a long holiday weekend I had the opportunity to take a trip to Iguazu falls in northern Argentina with my friends from UMKC and the University of Belgrano. This trip was amazing! We were able to see one of the natural wonders of South America and experience the tropical nature firsthand. While we had lots of fun at the university, our best memories were made at Iguazu and during the eighteen hour bus ride. We want to experience more, but as deadlines approach for final exams and projects we have come to the realization that this was the only trip outside of Buenos Aires that we would be able to take. As the last week of classes come to a close, I am looking forward to heading north again to the provinces of Salta and Jujuy with my UMKC class. While I am excited for Salta and Northern Argentina, my friends from Belgrano are sad to fly back to the United States without being able to experience more of Argentina.

Study abroad has provided me with a motive to advance my Spanish proficiency and cultural competency, and explore South America. I am grateful that my experience incorporates time to explore the city and country before and after classes begin and end. As I prepare for this twenty-two hour bus ride to Salta, I am excited to explore the Andes mountains and spend time with rural Argentines in a rural province without the pressure of school!

Felix Amparano is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Chemistry, Spanish, and Biology. Felix is excited to spend six-weeks of his summer studying Spanish in Buenos Aires, Argentina with the UMKC Spanish Program. During his time abroad, Felix hopes to gain a better understanding of Argentine culture and health care with the hopes of becoming more culturally competent in his approaches to patient treatment.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.