Dan in Argentina: Getting Ready!

Hey everyone!  I’m Dan.  As a junior at the University of Richmond, I am majoring in International Economics and minoring in Spanish. At UR, I am on the Mock Trial team, am an RA and participate in Greek life. This semester I will be attending the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The school recently moved its campus to an amazing new building. It is right across the street from a major football stadium for one of the most popular teams, River Plate! The university is about 5,000 students, among which about 80% are graduate students. Their main areas of study include business and economics, political science and architecture. While I am there, I plan to take political science courses about Latin American and Argentine politics. For nearly six months, I will live in the northern neighborhood of Palermo. Palermo borders the neighborhoods of Belgrano (where my university is) and Recoleta. I have already mapped my travel plans from my homestay to my school. The porteños (people from Buenos Aires) call their subway, “el subte.” So, on “el subte,” I will take the D line for about 30 minutes!

gifts for my host family

Lipton Tea Bags, BBQ Sause and Dijon Mustard were the requests of my host family. These items are not imported by Argentina so buried under sweaters and shoes, I’m sneaking them in! Well, not exactly… the law is that foreign merchandise totaling less than $1,000 is fine. But still, I feel like Mark Wahlberg in Contraband.

Everyone keeps asking me if I am nervous to go. I can’t say “no” completely, but I almost want to. I really don’t feel worried about getting down there, assimilating and excelling. I am very adaptable and feel I will truly thrive in this new place. While I wish I were more confident with my Spanish, I think I will be okay and can only improve from here! I am so much more excited than I am nervous.

Dan's tickets

Here we go! Got my boarding passes, pesos and Passport and I’m ready for a 22 hour travel day! After flying to Miami in the afternoon, I’m on the redeye straight to Buenos Aires! I’ll arrive at 10AM their time (1 hour ahead of Richmond) and go meet my host family! I have been Facebook messaging them a lot so I can’t wait to meet them!

I cannot wait for all that I will experience while abroad, and to document it for you this semester as a photo blogger. The new foods, drinks, customs, activities, tourist attractions, travel destinations, etc. will undoubtedly be amazing.

suitcase packed and underweight

Saying goodbye is tough. Missing my dog will be ‘ruff.’ But packing! Packing is by far the hardest part of leaving. Two checked bags (under 50 lbs each) and a backpack is not nearly enough room for 6 months of necessities. That being said, I’m not trying to pay a $100 fee for a bag a pound too heavy!

I am going to travel to Iguazu Falls, northwest of Buenos Aires. Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed “Poor Niagra” when she visited this massive group of natural waterfalls.

I want so badly to ski in Patagonia. I promise to show amazing pictures of this. The clothing brand logo does not do the Andes justice.

I will definitely be hitting up a vineyard or two in the Mendoza province. Argentina is the sixth largest exporter of wine in the world and the first largest in Latin America.

I am so excited to take a Tango lesson, go to a street Tango performance and learn everything about Tango. Tango, Tango, Tango.

While many of my friends hit the beach or complain about their summer internships, I get to go back to school! Of course, I can’t exactly be upset because my school is in a different country where filet mignon is eaten daily and the coffee is freshly imported from Brazil. Plus, with flip-flopped season in December in Buenos Aires, I will leave the 90-degree palm tree climate for a snowy mid-winter Boston making me the tannest guest at the Christmas dinner table; sure to be envied from all my relatives. Could this get any better!?

While I will be learning everyday, the way I see it, it’s more of an adventure than an academic semester. I will be learning so much more than just political theory or economic equations. My Spanish skills will grow exponentially. I am ready for a semester of learning, new experiences, difficult communication problems and excitement!

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: