Toward the end of the IES program, my friends and I took a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I LOVED it. I had never been to such a tropical, beachy city before where people quite literally roam the streets barefoot and in bathing suits, often holding a surfboard, too. We stayed in the Ipanema neighborhood, one of the “nicer” ones since Rio is known to be somewhat dangerous, especially for tourists. Despite the threat of pickpocketing and mugging and whatnot, we were lucky and got to enjoy a wonderful vacation, our hostel being only one block from the beach!
We went to the Botanical Gardens of the city and climbed up to Sugar Loaf, both of which were incredibly impressie. Another very cool thing we did was take a “Favela Tour” which essentially is a guided tour through one of the slums of the city. Though I questioned how ethical this was, I was reassured a little when we found out that 70% of the price we paid to take the tour was donated to a children’s education foundation within the favela. The tour was also fascinating. We were driven around a little bit, but many times we got to walk around within the main roads of the favela along with our guide. We learned a lot about the history of the favelas and the many issues within them. A truly eye-opening and extremely intriguing experience.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I’m Margot Kempczynski, a junior at Brown University majoring in French Studies. However, my passion for languages and different cultures has driven me to study Spanish as well, and I am thrilled to be studying in Buenos Aires. Having never been to South America, I cannot wait to explore a new place and improve my Spanish skills while being immersed in a completely new environment. I’ve read so much about Argentina’s rich culture, from the striking landscape of Patagonia to the vibrant music and dance that is tango, that I’m now ready and eager to discover it all for myself. I love traveling, I’m a huge foodie, and I love taking pictures, so I am very excited to capture my abroad experiences through photography and share them with you!</span></p>