Kayla Rivers

I loved studying abroad at the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina because of theRivers_large wide range of students. Most of the students were Argentinians; however, most of the classes I took were with international students. In one of my classes, there were students who spoke Portuguese, German, English Japanese and French as a first language but we were all communicating in Spanish. Classes helped develop my Spanish tremendously. Professors were friendly and very open to chat or answer any questions we had.

From my host family to the university was a half an hour walk along a lively street past cafes and bakeries. I enjoyed this part of my day immensely, strolling past the flower stands on every corner, people watching, stopping at fruit stands, dodging taxi drivers. The university itself was a tall high-rise set back in a residential tree-lined neighborhood of Belgrano. From my classes on the tenth or eleventh floor I could look out across the skyline of terraces and rooftops and be distracted in my classes by the evening sun setting over the city.

Although I was fascinated with the excitement of Buenos Aires, a city that truly never sleeps, escaping the city to the rugged terrain of Patagonia was the highlight of my trip. I learned to ice climb and went on a breathtakingly beautiful backpacking trip along the border of Chile and Argentina. Another trip was to the north, to the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay where the Iguazu waterfalls blew me away with their impressive power.

The warmth of the people is what endeared me the most to Argentina. There were passionate discussions, kisses on the cheek when you leave and return, and genuine kindness in the way people treated me wherever I went. I will forever remember the people I met, the places I traveled and the feeling the moment I realized I was truly at home in Argentina.