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10 Things to Know About Buenos Aires Before Going Abroad

by Hanna LeBuhn
Aerial view of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Want to study abroad in Buenos Aires? Set whatever assumptions you may have about this South American capital city aside.

Here are the 10 top things I believe anyone embarking on this journey should know about Buenos Aires before going abroad:

  1. Buenos Aires is the birthplace of the tango, and therefore it’s necessary to see at least one show while you’re studying there. If you want the full experience, stop by Café Tortoni, Buenos Aires’s most iconic French-style café.
  2. Checking out the Sunday markets in Buenos Aires is a must-do. My personal favorite is the Feria de San Telmo, located in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. The cobblestone streets consist of unique artisans, warehouses full of antiques, handcrafted jewelry and the occasional outdoor tango show.
  3. Empanadas are a staple in Argentina and make a great, inexpensive lunch! The most popular type of empanada is jamón y queso (ham and cheese), but there are many varieties to try. Almost every restaurant and street corner will sell them, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find your favorite spot.
  4. The Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, where AIFS students study, gives international students Fridays off, which means each week you will only attend classes Monday-Thursday. Having Fridays free allows more time to explore and take short trips!
  5. The city of Buenos Aires is divided into very distinct neighborhoods, each boasting its own flavor and culture. The most popular neighborhoods are Palermo, Recolleta, San Telmo, and Belgrano.
  6. The subway (aka the Subte) is the easiest way the get from place to place. Buenos Aires is huge but the public transportation makes the city more accessible. Buses are also an option, too, and they run constantly. The best thing to do is download the transportation app Cómo Llego so you’re able to track the schedules.
  7. Parks are the best way to enjoy the city. People are always sitting outside, drinking mate, chatting with friends, and enjoying the sunshine. Parks are the perfect place to meet friends, get some schoolwork done, and people-watch.
  8. Soccer (aka fútbol) is taken very seriously in Buenos Aires. There are two main teams and when either of them plays, the streets may seem empty because everyone is watching the game. It’s definitely worth going to see a game yourself and touring the famous stadiums.
  9. Argentinians eat much later than most people in the United States. Dinner usually starts around 9:30 or 10:00 PM, and most people sit for very long periods of times at meals.
  10. Sundays are often spent with family and many restaurants and shops are closed down. There are limited places open but many outdoor activities to enjoy instead!

This post was contributed by Hanna LeBuhn, a student from the University of Connecticut and an AIFS Alumni Ambassador who studied abroad with AIFS in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Pin image: 10 Things to Know About Buenos Aires Before Going Abroad | AIFS Study Abroad | AIFS in Buenos Aires, Argentina
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