If you are attending a language school in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, congratulations, you have made a great selection for a total immersion foreign language study experience. Buenos Aires is a large modern city of approximately 3 million people and is known as the “Paris of South America” for its intimate elegance and European architectural influences. One of the top destinations for foreign students studying abroad internationally, Buenos Aires is a city of great sights and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Learning about the culture of this beautiful and graceful city is a key part of understanding some of the more intimate nuances present in Argentine Spanish. For the first-time foreign study student, the list of activities and historic sites to see can seem overwhelming at first. The following seven activities will go a long way to ensuring that your first visit to the Federal capital it is a truly satisfying experience that touches on the best of what Buenos Aires and Argentine culture have to offer.
one. LEARN TO DANCE TANGO – Argentina and Buenos Aires are famous for being the home of the sensual dance known as tango. There are daily tango performances in town, tango themed restaurants, even private or group tango classes so you can experience this special Latin folk dance for yourself. Every year on December 11, the city celebrates its annual Tango Day when residents celebrate the roots of the dance. Tango is intimately Buenos Aires and its cadence is worth experiencing during any next visit.
two. TO VISIT MUSEUMS – Many fine museums are located in the city. The National Museum of Argentine History celebrates the history of Argentina, in particular the elements related to the May Revolution and the Argentine War of Independence. The Metropolitan National Cathedral is the main Catholic church in the city, originally built in 1753. A separate mausoleum contains the tomb of José de San Martín, Argentina’s greatest hero. The National Museum of Fine Arts contains one of the most important art collections in the entire continent. The renowned sample of Latin American Art of the 20th Century, the Malba-Costantini Collection, is currently on display.
3. BOTANICAL AND ZOO GARDEN – It contains more than 5,500 species of plants and almost 70,000 square meters of vegetation designed by the French landscaper Carlos Thays. Various styles of gardens, including a recreation of Pliny the Younger’s garden, a Japanese garden, and a symmetrical garden of French design, are available for viewing. The nearby Buenos Aires Zoo contains more than 2,500 species of animals. The mission statement of the Buenos Aires Zoo is to encourage users not only to learn about the specific species represented in the enclave, but also to see and understand the broader role of man as custodian of the environment.
Four. FOOD AND NIGHTLIFE – The Plaza de Mayo is an ideal place to start a gastronomic tour of Buenos Aires. Situated amongst the old trees and architecture of May’s Avendina, many bars, cafes and restaurants lie to the west of the square waiting to be explored. Dozens of excellent restaurants allow for dining equivalent to the atmosphere you’d see in most European capitals. Among them, Cabaña Las Lilas, a first-rate Argentine steakhouse located in the Puerto Madero neighborhood. Its cuisine includes the presence of tender and succulent Argentine meats, as well as a variety of indigenous and ethnic dishes available on request. Like Paris, Buenos Aires has a big and thriving nightlife. The Casablanca, within the San Telmo neighborhood, is a great tango night spot and should not be missed.
5. VISIT THE OPERA – The Opera of Buenos Aires, the Colon TheaterIt is one of the most famous in the world. The performances of the singers are second to none. Be sure to schedule time to spend an evening watching one of their performances. The opera house was built in 1908 after twenty years of construction by the famous architect Francesco Tamburini, and has provided music like no other ever since. The quality of the music and performances here compare favorably with that of the best European opera houses.
6. ENJOY AN AFTERNOON OF SPORTS – Argentines take their sport very seriously. Soccer is a sport played by children and adults alike and by all segments of society. While no one pretends to think that playing soccer will teach you the Spanish language, spending a Sunday afternoon with a group of friends playing an impromptu game will certainly give you a better understanding of Argentine culture, as well as an understanding of more tasty treats. ” Words that make up the Argentine dialect.
Traveling to Buenos Aires is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Good food, intoxicating sights and sounds, and a vibrant nightlife are just a few of the many benefits that await the foreign student of Spanish in Argentina. With an extremely favorable exchange rate of 3:1 between the US dollar and the Argentine peso, there has never been a more favorable time for foreign students to take the trip, so what are you waiting for?