Nilusha Jayasinghe is a student at University of Maryland, Baltimore County and an ISA Featured Blogger. Nilusha is currently studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the ISA Summer 2 program.
It has only been 2 weeks since my arrival in beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina for my summer study abroad experience, and boy have I done and learned SO much already! Argentina has not failed me by any means (well maybe except for the constant dog poop on the sidewalks!) in making my first taste of South America as satisfying as I had imagined. From scheduled group outings to independent escapades, I’ve had quite an adventure so far.. and this is only the beginning!
The first couple of weeks have been hectic, with so many things on my to-do list: get to know the others in the program, get to know my way around this new place, become accustomed to the new culture, figure out all the must-see places, and still attend class 5 hours a week, M-F, responsibly. I barely had time to breathe. However, now that things have calmed down, I can sit back and fill you all in on the highlights.
I have experienced the empanadas, alfajores (chocolate pastry with caramel-like dulce de leche inside), wine, submarinos (hot milk into which a piece of chocolate is dropped and stirred; basically hot chocolate… only fancier), boliches (night clubs), and other tourist attractions like museums, Teatro Colon, and San Telmo, el Tigre, and Plaza De Mayo so far.
However, the most unique experience that I’ve had was my first ever futbol game: River Plate vs. Boca Unidos last night at the River Plate Stadium! These 2 teams are both Argentinian teams, and this was the next best thing after the Argentina vs Ecuador game which sold out almost instantly. This game was nothing less than AWESOME though; we came in wearing our red, white, and black River Plate colors and felt the spirit and passion of the spectators instantly. The entire stadium was filled with River Plate colors, signs and posters, people cheering and singing known chants and songs in unison, fireworks going off, yelling curse words, kissing and hugging each other for every goal, and just having a great time. This was a close, heated, and frustrating game, but the River Plate team won, 2-1! It was amazing.
The next big thing on my to-do list is either to take a 3 hour ferry ride to Argentina’s neighbor, Uruguay or to go northwest to the Mendoza Wine Country, depending on my budget. These are common excursions among international students, and I will keep you posted on my travels! See you then, chau!