Paris of the South

Paris of the South

Aug 14
Meredith Blumthal, Director of ACES Education Abroad Program

They say that Buenos Aires is often considered the Paris of the South. I can't say that I disagree after my recent visit.

BA (as those in the know refer to Argentina's capital city) is full of interesting neighborhoods filled with cafes serving alfajores and espressos or cafe con leche. Standard breakfast fare is a croissant known as a medialuna often smothered with dulce de leche and for dinner, it's beef de chorizo, a truly mouthwatering experience. Besides eating my way through Argentina, I recently had the pleasure of visiting three universities – two of which will be new partners for ACES.

Next summer students can study at the University of Buenos Aires in a program which combines beginning Spanish and courses in agribusiness, crop sciences, and natural resources in English. Another exciting new program will launch for the 2014 spring semester in Mendoza, Argentina, where students will study wine production, water resource management, population ecology, agribusiness and more (in English) while taking Spanish language courses. Mendoza is home to the famous Malbec wine production region and opportunities for non-paid internships on wineries is an optional program extra.

 Wine production in Mendoza
Wine production in Mendoza.

To cross from Mendoza, Argentina, into Chile, you fly over the Andes Mountains which are the longest continental mountain range in the world. The Andes form the spine of Latin America, connecting and separating countries (running through a total of seven) and in particular, the two I was visiting. Coming from the flatlands of Illinois, this was an amazing experience to see via plane (and because it was winter in the Southern Hemisphere I nearly missed my plane from Mendoza to Concepcion, Chile due to snow!). For me, there is something intoxicating about the Andes. My first encounter with these mountains was during field research in Ecuador during graduate school. As we flew over the mountains, I could not help but keep my eyes glued to the window.

The next stop was Universidad del Bio Bio in Concepcion, Chile. This was my first time in Chile and I was not disappointed. ACES students will have opportunities to study the Spanish language and take a course on LEAN manufacturing systems this summer at Universidad del Bio Bio.

With more than 400 programs in more than 60 countries, it's hard to know where the right place to study abroad might be. But, one thing is for certain, everyone in ACES has the opportunity to study abroad. The right place may just not be what you were expecting.

View of the Andes Mountain Crossing
View of the Andes Mountains Crossing