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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Argentina Experience

This summer I spent a month in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was an extremely cool experience, and I don’t just mean the weather, although it was winter over there. I lived with a host family, sharing a room with another UTD student. We had classes four days a week (Monday-Thursday) with the weekend open for travel and exploring the city.
I had the best host family anyone could hope for. Susana, her husband Martín, and her kids Rosario, Dolores and Agustín were all so friendly and helpful with anything. They took really great care of my roommate and me, which made the whole experience just that much better. I lived in a neighborhood near Alto Palermo, in a nice part of town with lots of food, shopping and even a nice park nearby. I found a cute little café near my house to do homework and drink delicious coffee most afternoons.
My classes were Español Coloquial (colloquial Spanish) and a culture class. My Spanish class was a lot of fun, and it taught us the intricacies of the way people speak in Argentina, especially in Buenos Aires. I also got to watch some great Argentine films in class. The culture class taught us about various aspects of the Argentine culture, focusing mainly on the ramifications of the dictatorship from 1976-1983 and on group culture projects. I did my project on Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most influential writers from Latin America of all time. Of course, I also took a tango class at foundation where we took classes, and visited the famous Caminito of La Boca where I saw live tango performances.
While my host family and classes were really fun, the best part was travel. The first weekend we were there we had a long weekend, and a group of us took a bus up to Puerto Iguazú to see Iguazú falls. While the bus ride was an experience in itself (especially when armed border guards came on twice looking for stolen electronics), the falls were spectacular. The wildlife and amazing natural beauty of the falls was the highlight of my trip.
Argentina is a great country that I thoroughly enjoyed spending a month in. I hope to go back as soon as I can, and definitely encourage anyone else to visit. Buenos Aires is an exciting, fast paced city commonly known as “the Paris of South America.” I loved the bustle, the energy and the life that filled the city and its inhabitants. I agree with famous tango singer Carlos Guardel—the city is “Mi Buenos Aires Querido,” my beloved Buenos Aires.

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