Why should I choose Buenos Aires for my year abroad?
Buenos Aires literally and metaphorically shares its good airs/vibes with you, if you’re planning on coming here for your year abroad. It’s got so much crammed within its perimeter, you’ll never be at a loss of things to do or see here. From its world-renowned universities, like the UBA or the prestigious design university Universidad de Palermo, you can rub shoulders with the academics as well as the stylish students; work here, and you’ll be living the dream - with chances to bag a job at the end of your internship. Moreover, with such a buzzing arts scene, you can easily blag your way to an internship or assistant’s role, just through using your contacts. Whether you’re sitting at a desk or writing on one, a year abroad in perhaps THE capital city of South America is going to involve fun, food and lots of culture. The streets are lined up in a grid shape, however, you’ll stand amazed and pleasantly surprised to discover the somewhat familiar architecture - a mixture of Parisian chic meets London splendour meets South American boho. Buenos Aires mixes it all up and makes it work. The same goes for the art, theatre, cinema and nights out here. The city is roughly divided up into about 7 neighbourhoods, all with different personalities and attributes. Trendy students will make their way to Palermo, with its eclectic bars, alternative shops and relaxed cafés. You can’t afford to miss out on the bagel sandwiches at Mark’s Deli, pre or post-shopping around the area.
Microcrentro is where it supposedly all began - round here, you’ll spot the Obelisco, slap bang in the centre of the Avenida de Mayo, a tall column presiding over the city. Round the back streets, towards San Telmo and you’ll spot the Art Deco architecture, with popular cafés, like Café Tortoni, famous for its churros and chocolate. The Teatro Colón, recently renovated and open to the public, is a sight for sore eyes. The imposing building is just one of many scattered around the city. If you’re into parks and greenery, walking around Palermo’s botanical gardens is an absolute must - you’ll spot loads of people jogging around the perimeters, and it might even inspire you to take up the sport. You may also be surprised to see a few people with a cluster of dogs on leashes walking around - these are the famous pasaperros; people who get paid to take dogs out! Walking round San Telmo on a Sunday is well worthwhile, as is the posher neighbourhood of Recoleta, as arts and crafts markets abound with local goods, funky clothing and cheap jewellery. San Telmo, as well as La Boca, are renowned for their vibrant Tango scene, with many disused old buildings lending themselves to impromptu milongas. Recoleta is probably most famous for its worldly cemetery, home to the deceased rich and aristocratic people of Buenos Aires. Evita Perón’s tomb is covered in letters and red roses, though according to popular belief, despite having an aristocratic background and having been the first lady, she is considered to be too common to rest here, beside other great figures of the past...
Make of that what you will, but one thing has to be said of porteños - they are passionate about their culture. From football (and regardless of what you think of the sport, you absolutely MUST go see a match, just for the theatricality of it all), to women, to design, to origins, Argentinians are loud and proud about their roots. If you’re into culture, Buenos Aires will ticks the right boxes, with hundreds of museums and galleries to tempt your fancy, from the modern to the baroque to the plain bizarre (see Palermo’s streets for reference). As for eating out, you’ll be spoilt for choice here, with French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and a plethora of other cuisines available to even the most empoverished of students, seeing as the Argentinian peso is such good value for Europeans and Americans alike. If we’re talking parillas (pronounced pa-ri-shas), your best bet is to head to Desnivel, in colourful San Telmo, for the best steak of your life. Don’t turn your nose up at some of the cuts, as our Moles are in the know, and they recommend you try out all sorts of bife de lomo, chorizo and such like!
Partying can warm up around Palermo for great cocktail bars - we’d especially recommend Mundo Bizarro for some kitsch décor and strong beverages - where you can carry on partying where the mood (or your feet) take you, be it nearby or a short taxi ride away. If you’re looking for cheese and lots of it, head to one of the super clubs around Puerto Madeiro. Some clubs express a strict no-trainers policy, others are more relaxed; make sure you check the dress code before going, just in case. You should also note that the parties really get started round 1AM for pre-club drinks; things on the other side of the hemisphere have a tendency to get warmed up a lot later than the tranquil UK. Now all you’re left to do is check what season you’ll be in when you’re planning to go, and voilà, you’ve got yourself a sort-of European/South American experience on your hands, for a quarter of the price, and more partying to boot...Who could resist?