My study abroad experience has finally come to an end. Even though the last 4 months have flown by so quickly I have learned a lot from this experience. I have had the opportunity to explore a new country, learn a new language, meet new people and try different foods. I am so thankful that I was able to spend four months here and gain a new outlook on a different culture. Since this is my final blog I am going to take the time to talk about a few things that did not make it into my previous blogs.
It has been interesting to live in a nation with a government very different from that of the US. The president of Argentina is both head of state and head of government, giving her substantial power. The government has a lot of involvement in the daily lives of its citizens…for example, television, radio and press are censored and many commodities like public transportation are subsidized. All citizens between the ages of 18 and 70 are obliged to vote in all elections or they face a large fine. The government provides free healthcare to everyone and free schooling…even college, grad school, law school and medical school are free. The country suffers from corruption within the government and legal system, making Argentines very distrusting of their leaders. Millions of people lost their homes and life savings in the 2001 market crash. The effects of this are still seen today in the large number of entire families sleeping on the streets – fathers, mothers and children, but the government does nothing to help these people. In my short time here I have seen dozens of protests and rallies asking the government to help the people and change its policies. Even with a lack of trust in government, Argentines have a sense national pride and love for their country and traditions. Argentines are some of the friendliest people I have ever met; they are very giving and always willing to help you out. They lead a laid back, slower-paced lifestyle and unite around traditions like Mate, soccer, and Asado.
The architecture here is absolutely beautiful…unlike anything in the United States. Here are some cool places that got left out of my previous blogs!
Even though Buenos Aires is known for its classical architecture, the city also has very colorful elements.
I have loved my time here, and I hope to come back to Argentina someday soon. I will greatly miss my wonderful host mother and all my friends here, but I am excited to go home to my family. I am so thankful to my parents for giving me this opportunity to study abroad!
Classmates Connecting Cultures
Buenos Aires, Argentina