Commonly known as the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires is a multicultural city that has been influenced by the many immigrants who moved to the city in droves since the 19th century. Today, the city is home to around 13 million people and is a great cultural hub, making it a fantastic place for study abroad students.
Have you decided to study abroad in Buenos Aires? Here are some of our tips for really immersing yourself in the culture and making the most of your study abroad experience.
1. Cheer for La Boca. As it is in most Spanish-speaking countries, soccer is a pretty big deal in Argentina. In Buenos Aires, La Boca is the team to follow. So, embrace the culture and go see a game! Make sure you wear blue and yellow (the team colors) and get ready for a really great experience. This is also a great place to practice speaking Spanish – if you are study abroad to learn a foreign language – because sports fans will be willing to talk about the game with you, especially if La Boca is winning.
2. Dance the night away at a milonga. Milongas are “tango nights.” Unless you already know how to tango, I would recommend watching others before trying to join in on a milonga at la Calesita, a posh venue when men and women sit on opposite sides of the room. If a man wants to dance with a woman, he must ask her by using nods, eyebrow raises, and other subtle movements. However, if you would rather dance than watch, you can check out a more model venue, such as La Marshall or Tango Cool.
3. Spend some time with a good book at El Ateno Grand Splendid. I know you are studying abroad, so you will probably already be doing quite a bit of reading for your classes. However, you have got to visit El Ateneo Grand Splendid, which was originally built as a theatre in 1919. Today, the building is a bookstore. You can sit in the theatre boxes and read books before you buy them or enjoy a coffee on the former stage. The interior architecture is absolutely beautiful, but be warned: after visiting this bookstore, you will never be satisfied with a Barnes & Noble again because B&N just can’t compare.
4. View the Latin American Masters at MALBA. The Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) is recognized as the best collection of artwork from Latin American artists. Opened in 2001, MALBA contains works that were created from the 20th century to present day. The museum also has a cultural center, where you can see new exhibits on a regular basis.
5. Get creeped out at La Recoleta Cemetery. This famous cemetery is beautiful, but let’s face it, all cemetery are just creepy, and this one is no exception. It was the first public cemetery in Buenos Aires, which means you can look for graces from the early 19th century. Many famous and wealthy people, including Eva Perón, José Clemente Paz, and several former presidents, have been laid to rest here. There are many mausoleums in this cemetery in various architectural styles. One of the most famous is the tomb of Liliana Crociati de Szaszak, who was killed during her honeymoon in Austria in 1970. This tomb features a life-size statue of Liliana with her dog. Personally, I find it very unnerving to spend too much time near this tomb because Liliana is portrayed in her wedding dress and died just days after she wore it while still alive.
Have you studied abroad in Buenos Aires? Do you have any tips for other students who are planning on studying there? Share them with us in the comments section below.
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