True Life: Is This Real Life?

Callan Swaim
March 8, 2015

Well, last Friday marked the first week of completed classes for 60 American students in Buenos Aires. It may not sound like a huge feat, but let me tell ya, its something to put in the books for us. It's one thing to be taking new classes at a new school with new people, but to navigate around a completely new "campus" (you know, the whole city of Buenos Aires) is pretty cool, don’t ya think? 

My morning usually starts off with a 45-minute walk though the streets of downtown Buenos Aires to school. Granted, I am able to take the colectivo (bus), which is a good 20 minutes shorter, but it is so much more fun to walk. Starting out walking by the Botanical Gardens, I continue to school past hundreds of beautiful stores and cafes. It's not uncommon in the mornings to walk by bakeries and cafes and be hypnotized by the smell of freshly baked pastries, which usually pushes the ETA back a few minutes. Finally getting past all of the distractions, I arrive at the IES building, which sits on one of the most iconic streets of Buenos Aires, Ave 9 de Julio (you know, the huge street with the obelisk). It is beautiful. 

After class, it's exploring time. This is when we all go and find different places to do our homework. Some go to different cafes, others go to parks or ice cream shops, I like to go to different landmarks. Buenos Aires has so many amazing parks and landmarks that makes doing homework not so bad! After homework, on my journey back home, I like to stop at my favorite fruit stand and pick up the most amazing peaches and apples that I have ever had, it's one of my favorite things of the day. Until dinner, which is usually at 10 pm we like to explore a little more. Sometimes we have IES activities where we go to Tango shows or cooking classes, which are always so fun, but if we hvae a free night, we like to do things around the city. Visiting the Buenos Aires Zoo, going to the Botanical Gardens and sitting around and having Matte have been some of my favorite activities so far.

Around 9 or 10pm, it’s dinnertime with Mamucha. This is another one of my favorite parts of the day. Dinner time is when I tell Mamucha about my day, tell her what I learned in class and ask her questions about pretty much everything all in Spanish. Lemme tell you- there is no better Spanish immersion than that! After dinner, it’s time to start the night as an Argentine. One word-Boliches. Boliches are the kings of all dance clubs, numerous floors with numerous rooms with a different style of music in each room. Yeah- it's a real thing. Now, if you want to be a real Argentine, on a Friday night you would come home, have dinner, go to bed until 2 am then wake up and go to a boliche until breakfast at 7am. A lot of us haven't quite been able to pull this off yet, but we are in training. 

Now that I have completed my first week of IES classes, I am excited to start my first week at one of the local universities UCA, Universidad Católica Argentina on Monday. Taking classes at a partner university is another great opportunity that IES gives all the students who are studying abroad in Buenos Aires. Although I am a bit nervous to be taking a Business class in Spanish with natives, I am really interested to see what life will be like as "that foreign kid" in class for the first time in my life. Just another experience to check off my list! 

First week of classes in Buenos Aires: Check. 


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Callan Swaim

<p>Hola! My name is Callan Swaim and I am a junior currently studying Business and Spanish. In the United States you can find me either frolicking in the cornfields of Indiana or perhaps strutting to class at Wittenberg University in Ohio, but in Argentina I will experiencing a whole new world. Stay tuned and I will take you on my adventures exploring though the life, streets, and culture of the magical city of Buenos Aires.&nbsp;</p>

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