Future Study Abroader
Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Dear future study abroad student,
You are about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime, one that you will cherish and remember for the rest of your life--are you ready? I am currently in
One of the reasons that I signed up for this particular study abroad program was because it was recommended to me by a good friend. When packing and preparing for my trip I always consulted her for advice and recommendations. Although in general I did feel relatively prepared I hope that this particular letter prepares you more than me. First I will start by outlining what you should do to prepare yourself BEFORE you leave, then I will outline what you should expect when you are in
I flew with Delta which allows 2 suitcases and 2 carry-ons. Each suitcase has a limit of 50lbs (total 100lbs), and no limit on carry-ons. Two particular things of importance that come to mind are: 1. Fines for being overweight are hefty, typically a flat charge of $50US or $100US depending on the amount, and 2. There is a size limit for the bags (one particular student got a hefty charge because his suitcase was too big). Be sure to always check the specifics out on your airlines website, or call!
So what would I recommend? Always try to pack light, but rather than one large bring, bring two mobile (maybe on wheels) bags. Also if you don’t need 2 carry-ons you may want to pack them, especially if you plan on buying souvenirs. This way rather than having one bag weighing 80 lbs and getting charge--you can have 2 bags with 40lbs each and be fine! :)
II. What to pack
This is probably the biggest issue that you will cross and depends on how high maintenance you are, and most likely if you are male r female. My suggestion is to simply make note of everything you use in a one week span.
This is a tricky issue, especially when trying to pack light. I would say that the temperature range was from 40-70 F, so you essentially need to be ready for all kinds of weather. I would recommend layers. Bring a swim suit for
A camera is a must, computers are a nice and convenient addition but it is not absolutely necessary. Wireless cafes are abundant, and to use computers at the locotorio (computer and phone place) costs roughly $0.30/hour. Cell phones are not necessary, but I recommend buying a phone card (ex: AT&T) that can be used in
To say it quickly: females need to bring plenty of feminine hygiene products because there are no tampons with applicators. :-) They obviously have shampoo, conditioner (suave, loreal, etc), toothpaste, and toothbrushes (crest, colgate, etc), but if you are brand specific be sure to bring your own. If you are not brand specific you can purchase everything here at the same price, if not cheaper than the
- Locks for luggage and book bags are a must as pick pocketing is a huge problem here.
- Also, especially for females I would recommend bringing mase (be sure to not carry it on the plane•put it in your luggage). Many of the girls on the trip have mase and although none of us have used it, it is better safe than sorry.
- As recommended in your study abroad meetings make photocopies of all important documents and keep them in a separate place.
- Inform your bank you are going out of the country so they won’t think someone is stealing from your account. Also get one extra credit and/or debit card incase yours gets stolen•just call, it is usually free.
III. Brazilian Visa
I would recommend getting this in the
IV. Travelers Guide, etc.
Buy a travelers guide for
Everything above was a general guideline on what to bring to
I. Habla Ingles?
Do not expect everyone to speak English. Aside from the fact tha tit is rude, very little do speak English. I know there is not much time due to finals, but do yourself a favor and brush up on Spanish as much as you can before you come. Maybe go to the local library and pick up a Spanish cassette or CD?
There are laundry mats everywhere here. It costs on average 5-10 pesos per load to wash, dry, and fold.
How much money to bring depends on how much you like to drink and dine-out. Eating is a hobby of mine, and I ate out a lot here. I went out drinking maybe 3-4 times. I managed with roughly $100/week. Obviously taking trips, say to Mendoza (the Nappa Valley of Argentina), or
Please Please PLEASE always be on guard. This cannot be said enough. On the bus back from
VI. Getting ripped off
Being a “rich, spoiled American” that we ‘all’ are comes with many ramifications. When traveling to any country you will inevitably get ripped off. This comes from buying things at markets, eating out at restaurants, and even sketchy taxi drivers that will take you on an unwanted tour of the city. To avoid this always do your best at speaking in Spanish (rather than assuming that people speak English). Also do not eat at places, or even buy from places that don’t have prices marked. When entering into a taxi, always have a map out and follow the route to your destination.
I am a very tall girl•5’10 and with light hair. No matter what I did it was very hard for me to blend in with everyone. I would walk into a store, and the salesclerk would automatically talk to me in English. For some this may be more difficult than others, but always shop around.
VII. The cheap city
Everything here is so cheap, and honestly I would take advantage of it. That means going out to a “very upscale restaurant”, and eating like a king or queen for less than $20US which would be comparable to a $100 meal in the
All public transportation is very cheap, and I would recommend taking advantage of it. Clothes, food, drinks•all cheap. And for all you drinkers out there: beer comes in the LITER here, and at the supermarket you can buy a beer for roughly $1US!
Take advantage of the great exchange rate, because trust me when you get to
VIII. Final word
Embrace every moment that you have, and take advantage of the free days that you have off. Plan a trip to
Feel free to email me if you have any questions, concerns, etc: firstname.lastname@example.org
I promise, you will love it! J