Montevideo, Uruguay - colonial, charming, relaxed, exotic, travel
I wish I was still there! I struggled with language when I arrived, as Uruguayans have a different accent and different vocabulary to Castillian Spanish, but I overcame the problems fairly quickly. I experienced a whole other way of life and culture and I loved it. I travelled in the country itself quite quickly as it's quite small and carried through to southern Brazil and Argentina. It's really cheap to travel so you really should make the most of it - you might not come back for quite a while! Inbound flights are worth it, especially with Gol or Aerolíneas Argentinas.
Useful local words: 'Qué onda?', 'boludo'.
What not to pack: Too many clothes! You can get some really cool stuff in Buenos Aires in one of their markets.
What to pack: A couple of hoodies for chilly nights in the winter.
Couldn't have done without: An i-pod for the travelling, a dictionary and an organiser!
Word of advice: Leave your comfort zone and surround yourself with locals as much as you can; it really is the best way to make the most of it.
Josh, German and Spanish, Newcastle University