Thomas: 1st week of class

September 2, 2011

Today ends the first week of class and nearly the first week of my time here in Argentina. Tomorrow, my class will take a tour of the city of Buenos Aires and spend time in the barrios (neighborhoods) not frequented by us students on a daily basis. This will provide a great opportunity for us to see the rest of the city, which consists of about 13 million people, and for me to take photos of the city, which will be shared with you.

This week, as one can imagine, has been tiring and slightly overwhelming, however, I have already noticed an improvement in my Spanish and my abilities to commute within the city, which happens to have about 10,000 times as many people as my hometown. My class schedule consists of Spanish for two hours every morning, except Friday, a three hour Latin American politics class on Tuesday afternoons, and a Buenos Aires art class on Thursday afternoons, also lasting three hours. A manageable schedule. The art class includes traveling to museums and monuments throughout the city. It will be a nice way to view and explore the significant aspects of the city with classmates and a professor who is very knowledgeable.

All of my classes are taught in English, expect of course for Spanish. It was quite a surprise to discover that I was the only student in my Spanish class. My own personal tutor, I thought. However, I learned quickly that each class requires an enormous amount of attention and energy. Following those two hours in the morning, most of the energy I came to school with is nearly gone. It happens to be incredibly draining, but should be extremely beneficial in improving my Spanish over the next several weeks.

I’m sure all of my classes will go well, and will be enjoyable. One nice thing about the classes here in Buenos Aires, the books required are very reasonably priced. At the U of M, one can pay anywhere between $300-$500 on textbooks per semester. All of my books required for my semester abroad will hover around $150. A welcomed change. Another nice change from the U of M is that all of my classes are in one section of a floor, in a building, which happens to also be connected to an upscale shopping mall and an art museum. Quite an interesting educational environment.

Up Next: Argentinean culture and more on food (something porteños take very seriously)!

All classes are in this building

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