Natalie Davis-Porada, CC'19

Natalie Davis-Porada in front of buildings

"A Day in the Life" of a Buenos Aires Study Abroad Student

Natalie Davis-Porada CC'19

"My day-to-day experience was vibrant. I would share each breakfast and dinner chatting with my host mom about politics, the city, and new art installations at museums—she was my biggest resource in terms of connecting to the culture."

I had my hopes set on studying abroad in Latin America since I was early in my high school years. Not only was I intrigued by the idea of solidifying foreign language skills through first hand interactions, but I also felt inspired by the prospect of meeting new people, and exploring a new culture. Fortunately, this is exactly what characterized by time abroad in Buenos Aires.

My day-to-day experience was vibrant. I would share each breakfast and dinner chatting with my host mom about politics, the city, and new art installations at museums—she was my biggest resource in terms of connecting to the culture. I would spend my time during the day taking classes at the local, and completely government funded university, where I was exposed to a new system of free education in which most students are studying part-time and taking up to eight years to finish an undergraduate degree, alongside their working career. At other free moments, I explored museums, parks, cafes, theaters, river deltas, sports events, and other regions of the country with my friends on my program.

While these activities all shaped my understanding of Argentine culture, the one thing that really enhanced my global awareness and communication skills (deeper than just in terms of language but on the level of human connection) was interacting with, and more specifically listening to, locals. Whether it be an informal chat about politics or a long conversation about one of Borges’ short stories with a new friend, my understanding of the differences and similarities between people most touched me. I now approach every new interaction with curiosity to learn someone else’s story. Studying abroad made me a more responsible and interested global citizen, and I am most grateful that I got to take advantage of such a unique opportunity.