Study Abroad in Argentina

  In August/September of 2005, Professor Rita Wirkala led a group of students from Shoreline Community College on a study trip to Buenos Aires.


Students spent their mornings in an accredited academy of language where they had four hours of intense study in the Spanish language. In the afternoon, they visited the unique sights of the city and the Argentinian culture.

Students were impressed by the seductive, cosmopolitan quality of the city, also known as "Southern Paris, for its cultural life and intensive nightlife, and by the presence of Parisian architecture in the striking buildings, monuments and wide avenues. In La Boca, the picturesque Italian neighborhood, they watched the tango being performed in the streets and restaurants. Many of the students also tried their own first tango steps in this bohemian neighborhood.

In the Palermo, area, they visited the famous cemetery La Chacarita, home of Eva Peron’s tomb, as well as the grand Museo de Bellas Arte, and its’ adjacent gardens.

In the evening, students took tango lessons, or visited the great tiendas of leather articles, or shopped to drop in the many inexpensive, for our standards, galerias of downtown and Palermo.

The Argentinian experience also opened doors to many new ways of thinking, living and acting for these students. Although it is the most European country of Latin American, there are considerable cultural differences. In addition, things that are unthinkable in other places have happened or are happening there. For example, the students visited businesses of a kind that were new to their experience.  During the economical crisis of 2000, workers took over factories that went bankrupt. Now those workers are running the same businesses as cooperatives. There are two hundred of these cooperatives, in the city of Buenos Aires alone.
The students also observed a gathering of La Madres de La Plaza de Mayo, a group of mothers and grandmothers seeking justice for their “disappeared” children, those abducted during the military repression of the seventies.

During their first weekend, the students traveled north to visit the magnificent Iguazú Fall. During the second week, they crossed the wide Rio de la Plata towards the neighboring country of Uruguay, and visited the old city of Colonia.

Many of the students plan to come back to Argentina. It was, for them, an unforgettable experience.


Updated 12/1/06
Contact: Rita Wirkala
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