So we’ve been here in Rosario for about 2 months now. Living in another country is definitely a shock, but we have gotten the hang of things now and time is just flying by! Some people may think that people who study abroad don’t actually study and pretty much just spend their time exploring, traveling to other countries, and trying new food. We can’t really deny the fact that we’re having fun, but, Mom, Dad, and President Simmons, I promise we’re still studying down here!!
Monday through Friday we have classes at our university UCEL. Most of them start at 8:30 am, which I promise you are no easier to get to than an 8:00 am class at Simpson. The biggest adjustment with classes has been how long they are. Our grammar classes are 2 hours long, the history class is 3 hours and 45 minutes long, and the oral and written communication class is 3 hours long. Luckily we usually only have 2 classes a day, but sitting through a grammar class at 8:30 in the morning for 2 hours was definitely an adjustment!
Since our classes start so early, they also end in the early afternoon, which means that we have the rest of the afternoon to ourselves. After we first arrived, we obviously went to all of the must see sites like the National Flag Monument and drank mate near the Riverwalk. When the weather was really hot we went to the beach or to the park to soak up the sun, but now that things are starting to cool down, we’ve visited museums and explored many of the boutiques Rosario has to offer. There are also cool events going on in Rosario that we’ve been to like the Saint Patty’s Day festival, a tango class, and a Food Truck festival. Even though we are in a different country, we are still college students who enjoy a good nap and the occasional Netflix movie.
Evenings usually consist of finishing up homework for the next day and dinner time. Saying dinner is in the evening might be a lie though because most of our families don’t eat dinner until about 8:00 or even 10:00 at night, yet another cultural adjustment. My favorite time of the day is actually right after dinner because I get to talk to my host mom and see how her day was. These after dinner conversations are called sobremesas and are really important in the Argentine culture. It’s a time to be with friends or family and to just talk and have time together.
After the sobremesas the nightlife of Argentina officially begins! Most college-aged people here in Rosario head to the local bars or boliches (clubs) on Friday and Saturday nights. Since dinner typically starts later, people will be out until 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning either bar-hopping or dancing cumbia at a boliche. Overall, the day-to-day life here in Argentina is very different than good ol’ Indianola, Iowa. Regardless, we are all having a blast – enjoying every moment of this truly life-changing experience.