First Intensive: Complete!

It’s been four weeks since I arrived in Buenos Aires. My first Spanish intensive course is over. I had a great teacher that helped me solidify my understanding of how the language works, as well as taught me a lot about how people actually speak. I also have gone on a couple trips outside the city. The first trip was to a place called Tigre, which is just outside of Buenos Aires. It’s on a river and has absolutely no streets or cars. Everyone travels by boat. There are tours on boats, public transit on boats, and even the grocery store is on a boat that travels from house to house so that the people who live there can buy what they need. My study abroad program, ISA, took us to a resort with a small beach on the river where we could swim and lay out on the sand. It was a fun day trip that got me out of the city.

That same Saturday night, I went out to a dance club called Bayside. What you have to understand is that in Buenos Aires, the nightlife is not like that of the United States. Most bars or clubs I’ve been to in the U.S. close between 1:30 and 3 am. Here in BA, many clubs don’t even open until 1 or 2 am. It’s normal to go to a club at around 3 and then party until 7 or 8 in the morning. I arrived at Bayside at about 1:45 am. The girls I went with knew a guy that had some kind of password that got us all in for free, otherwise, I would have had to pay about $15. When we got inside, there was barely anyone there. This place was enormous. There was an outside area with a concert sized stage that had a large screen behind it. Also outside, there were several other sections, including a VIP lounge. The inside was just as large as the outside, also with a separate VIP lounge and an indoor stage. I mainly stayed inside because that’s where they were playing music I like such as reggaetón and cumbia. The club started to get crowded by about 3 am, by which time I had lost my friends and there was no chance of finding them. Just to be sure, I took one turn around the entire club to see if I would run into them. This took me about 30 minutes, and by that time, I had lost all of my energy and given up hope of finding the people I came with. I decided to take a taxi home. When I left the club, I would guess there were about 500-600 people there. When I came outside, there were at least another 500 people waiting to get in. Remember, this is 3:30 in the morning and the night was just getting started. I had never seen anything like it before. I was exhausted, so I hailed a taxi and went home.

That week, some classmates and threw together a trip at the last minute for the following long weekend for the famous holiday Carnaval. I didn’t know what to expect, but I figured I’d rather be in a place where they were really celebrating than in Buenos Aires where there were surprisingly few activities. I’ll talk about that trip in my next post.

Here is a picture I took in Tigre! (The water is dirty from soil but not from pollution)

Michael Panelas is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Spanish and Jazz music. Michael will spend the spring semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina with the ISA Spanish Intensive Program.

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.