Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Release- "A Student's Guide to Being Happy in Argentina"

Instead of just suggesting helpful tips about traveling to Buenos Aires, I have some even more useful information. I have turned these tips, along with other helpful information about how to be happy studying abroad in Argentina, into a travel guide!

The book entitled "A Student's Guide to Being Happy in Argentina" is available both on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Since the book has now been published, I will be giving sneak peeks of the book in the upcoming weeks.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How to Eat Out in Buenos Aires


One of the many delights of traveling to Buenos Aires is the food! I have to admit not all Argentine is great. For a country known for it's beef, I had some pretty crappy burgers there. Since Argentina, in general, is a place for meat, those of you who are vegetarians or vegans will have trouble finding savory food options in the city. Here are some tips to eating out like an Argentine!

1. When eating pizza, all Argentines eat pizza with a fork and knife. If you eat it with your hands, people will stare at you!
2. Not all beef is created equal. Eating an expensive steak dinner (by Argentine standards) will give you better steak than paying for a cheaper option.
3. Do not eat the hamburgers at the carts on the street (no matter how hungry you are). As someone who has tried them, the meat was not good and very unsanitary.
4. Order some Argentine wine- Malbec red wine or Torrontes white wine- with a meal. You won't regret it!
5. Try a different restaurant each week. That way, you won't get bored with the same place or same food for the semester. You never who you're are going to meet if you try a new place!

Next time: How to Choose Your Classes during Study Abroad

Friday, August 28, 2009

How to Meet Locals Abroad


When I studied abroad, I met the man pictured above. I met him when I was walking around San Telmo on a sunny Sunday afternoon with a couple of friends from my program. Of all the locals I met, he was by far the most memorable, mostly because of his sign and his ability to put a big smile on my face.

When I was in Argentina, I met many local Argentines, mostly from local stores near my home abroad. If you want to mingle with the locals in Argentina, here are a few tips that can help you:
1. Talk to someone in a store near your home. This way, you will not only make a new friend but you will have something to show for it!
2. Go out to bars and clubs if you enjoy that scene. Talking to someone in a bar is usually pretty easy in Buenos Aires especially since many have couches and comfy chairs that welcome conversation. The same goes for clubs.
3. Talk to your local laundry person. In my experience, I had to take my clothes to the laundry mat when I wanted them washed. So, I became close friends with my laundry lady.
4. Talk to people in your classes with Argentines. If you talk to them in a friendly and open manner, you are bound to make a friend or two even if it is only in a class setting.
5. Talk to your cab driver or someone on your daily bus commute.

These are just a few tips on how to meet locals. If you talk to a few, you will be happy you did! You will not only improve your Spanish language skills, but you will have a new friend to talk to!

Have you met any locals while you've been in Argentina?? If not, have you used any of these techniques and have they worked if you have??

Next time: How to Eat Out in Buenos Aires

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Get to Know Your Neighborhood Abroad

Cathedral photo
Tension photo
In my first four weeks in Buenos Aires, I was given an assignment by my study abroad program: Take a photo montage of your neighborhood. I did just that. Here is what I came up with (See above).

In your first month of studying abroad:
1. Decide to take five pictures you feel represent your neighborhood. (In the process of taking these pictures, you will get to know your neighborhood so much better!)
2. Explore your neighborhood with two new friends.
3. Choose to talk to two or three new people who live in your neighborhood who are non-Americans. This way you can practice a new language or if they speak the same language as your native tongue, you will have made a couple new friends!
4. Choose to walk a different path every day for a week.
5. Visit five different stores in your neighborhood in a week.

What have you been doing in your first month studying abroad??

Next time: How to Meet Locals Abroad

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How to Make Friends While Abroad

In my first two weeks in Argentina, I met a lot of people through my program. I did not feel an overwhelming strong connection with anyone until the end of my first month in Buenos Aires. I met a group of girls (mostly from the schools in the Boston area) that I felt I clicked with. I finally realized I had a group of friends I could hang out with on a regular basis until the end of my five month stay.

I never felt uncomfortable with them. With this group of girls, I felt like I could be myself.

Here is a list of sure fire ways to make friends in your program while abroad:
1. Strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you during orientation (every study abroad program has an orientation).
2. Ask people what school they go to (maybe they go to yours and then bingo! instant friends...If not, ask around to find people from your school's area).
3. Comment on someone's appearance i.e. "I really like your shirt! I have one just like it!" Or "Oh, Are those Kanye West glasses? Did you get to see him in concert??"
4. Comment on how lame the orientation week is or how awesome it is..either one can get someone talking!
5. Ask someone if they live in your neighborhood near your host house, this way, you can meet people who you can hang out with after orientation week is over!

Anyone have more suggestions on how to make friends while studying abroad??

Next time: How to Get to Know Your Neighborhood when Abroad

Monday, August 24, 2009

How to Talk to Argentine Men

In those beginning two weeks of my time abroad, I met an Argentine boy (neither of the guys pictured above, I unfortunately could not get a picture of him). Not just any Argentine guy, a guy that worked at my local grocery market. He asked me out when I was ordering cheese and ham. He was persistent, so I let in and gave him my number. Then, as I was leaving the supermarket, I could not find my way home despite the fact I was literally blocks away from my house.

This guy got me so flustered I went around in circles for an hour. That's what Argentine boys do to you, they make you flustered.

Here are five tips when dealing with Argentine men:
1. They are all forward!! I mean all.
2. They tend to catcall on the street, ignore it unless you think the guy is worth your time.
3. They will think that you are more likely to go back home with them because you are American.
4. They will try to sound sexy and seductive in Spanish by using phrases like: "Que hermosa sos!" and "Ay mami, eres tan linda!"
5. If you have a boyfriend and you tell an Argentine guy this, they will probably respond with (in Spanish): "Oh, you have a boyfriend? But he's not here right?"

Next time: How to Make Friends While Abroad

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How to Go Out in Buenos Aires


I remember my first night out in Buenos Aires as one of the most uncomfortable situations I have ever been in. It was two days after I arrived in Buenos Aires. I had met a group of four nice and out-going girls. They invited me to get a drink with them in a bar in Palermo Soho.

In the time I waited for them, I kept thinking that they would not show. In the beginning of friendships, I always fear that things would not work out or that a proposed meeting was just a trick. Luckily, this meeting was not a trick. It worked out. They all showed up.

We talked about our first reactions to the city and how we all wanted to become good friends over the course of our time there. I liked all these girls. They were fun, sweet, and eager to become good friends with me (who isn't when you are abroad in a foreign place where you know no one?).

I left that evening certain that I would become good friends with those girls even though we had just met.