Amazing Photo Essay by Study Abroad Students in Buenos Aires

Check out this site for amazing travel tips and this sweet photo essay of studying abroad in Buenos Aires!

Matador Travel:

Study abroad confessions: PACKING for Buenos Aires

My program advised that I “pack lightly,” but for me, the words “packing” and “lightly” don’t fit in the same sentence. “How will I know exactly what shoes I will want to wear with each outfit when I go out? I’ll just bring a few heels to choose from.” “Wow! I love this shirt that I just discovered in the back of my closet. I know I’ve never worn it, but maybe I’ll wear it while I’m abroad? Packed.” “Even though I haven’t worn this in over a year, it’s so cute; I just can’t leave it behind!” If any of those thoughts sounds familiar, keep reading.

Bring about half of what you think you need. If you don’t wear it in the states, you won’t wear it here. Bring things that are versatile, comfortable, and easy to match. You definitely want to bring some cute dresses, but focus on bringing the more basic pieces from your wardrobe. Although 5 months is a long time, you don’t need more than 2-3 sets of pajamas (laundry machines exist in South America) . Bring one or two swimsuits, not more. Although Buenos Aires is on the coast, the nearest swimmable beach is a 4-5 hour bus ride away. If you have clothing which is on the verge of its last season (from being too worn out), bring that so you can throw it out at the end of the trip and carry less home. If you will be in Argentina for February, bring enough shorts; it gets HOT. If you plan on arriving at the end of February, you have skipped most of the hot summer season and only need a few things for hot weather. I recommend bringing one large duffle and one large backpacker bag, which will come in handy when traveling through South America. If you think you have too much stuff to fit in just a duffel-bag and a large backpack, then you’re right—you have too much stuff, so take less.

There are certain things from the United States that you will probably miss abroad, and might want to bring with you. The first is pretty well known: peanut butter. It’s hard to find here, and quite expensive. The pens here are very expensive for their poor quality—if you love pilot pens, bring them. Tampons with applicators are scarce and expensive, so unless you really want to get to know yourself better, pack tampons with applicators. Some other missed-items are Reeses peanut butter cups, tootsie pops, microwave popcorn, maple syrup, bagels, and brownies (however your parents can surprise you with a CAREPACKAGE which includes many of those items!).

The glory of a Buenos Aires Winter


Facturas: pastries
Vaca: cow
Merienda: afternoon snack
Olla: bowl
“Buen Provecho!”: Bon Apetit

It’s all sun and fun until May rolls around, right? There are less and less of those long sunny “hot-child-in-the-city” days and the girls trade in their mini-skirts for tapered jeans. The locals get back to work and the tourists run for warmer pastures. Well, don’t run so fast dear travelers- Buenos Aires has much to offer during those chilly winter months.

So maybe you believe that winter is not the best season for a first-time short visit to Buenos Aires, but for ex-pats, back-packers and those on “sabbatical” it can be quite charming; warm snacks meet off-season prices to create a delicious equation for anyone with enough courage to stay or insufficient funds to travel elsewhere.

Here is a list of local treats that are invariably better when it’s cold out:

1. Coffee!

Having coffee in Buenos Aires is a long-standing tradition that is popular among all generations. While some travelers are more beer oriented, sitting down in one of BA’s million coffee houses is a much better way to experience the local lifestyle. Order a café con leche y dos medialunas, read a book (preferably one by Borges or Cortázar) and people-watch the day away.

Slip into “La Puerto Rico” café at Adolfo Alsina 416 (Downtown) on a cold winter day and take a seat in their warm dining room. This is a historical location in Downtown's Monserrat neighborhood where the original revolutionaries met to discuss the country’s future during colonial times. The café is located by the infamous Colégio Nacional de Buenos Aires and was frequented by passionate students studying and debating politics.

TIP: Keep an eye out for people walking down the street with push-carts full of stainless steel thermoses. These saints are selling coffee (and usually facturas) for about $2 pesos or $0.50 cents. You can ask for you coffee exactly how you like it- and in my opinion, it’s the best cup around.

2. Shopping!

Who comes to buy leather in the summer? If you’re like me, you don’t think getting stuck in a pair of sweaty leather pants or arm-coverings on a hot summer day sounds like fun. Winter is the ideal season to buy leather in Buenos Aires- the prices go down due to fewer tourists (less demand) and nothing keeps your warm like a jacket made from a delicious Argentine vaca.

There are multiple trustworthy leather stores in Palermo (Villa Crespo) on Calle Murillo by the Malabia subte station. Las Pepas is a high-end girly leather shop that also has excellent quality in clothes and accessories. For a less trendy spot, visit the Feria de Mataderos where local and provincial artisans sell leather goods and other regional arts and crafts.

3. Chocolate con churros!

What’s better than a cafe on a chilly winter day? A traditional merienda option known as chocolate con churros. Pronounced, cha-co-la-tay, this hot chocolate is best taken with two or three (or 10) crunchy golden brown dulce-de-leche-filled tubes of pastry goodness pronounced “choo-RRos.” Practice the rolling R and then you will have earned this high calorie snack.

The best place for this warm treat is Confiteria Ideal on Suipacha 380 downtown. This beautiful old tearoom dates back to 1912 and takes you back in time with antique (original) stained glass, marble staircases and waiters in formalwear. Check out the schedule on their website to find out about their tango shows, classes and live music events.

4. Very cool festivals!

Four super important, educational and exciting festivals take place during winter in Buenos Aires: ArteBa, the International Human Rights Film Festival, Ciudad Emergente and the Festival Buenos Aires Tango and Mundial de Tango.

ArteBa 2009 takes place in late May at La Rural. La Sociedad Rural Argentina, or La Rural for short, is both a society and an exhibition center. The society was founded in 1866 under the motto, ‘To cultivate the soil is to serve the country.’ The original members were wealthy landowners who started the tradition of holding agricultural exhibitions in La Rural’s belle époque stadium.

This year will be ArteBa’s 18th annual contemporary art fair and is a great way to spend time indoors learning about Argentina’s hot art scene. Check out this video for a sneak peek,

The 10th annual Festival Internacional de Cine de Derechos Humanos, is a very important film festival focused on human rights. Taking place in June at the Centro Cultural Recoleta, this event aims to show social realities that allow for personal reflection on human rights issues.

Ciudad Emergente is a high-energy music festival, ideal for lovers of rock, indie pop and local beats. It may be cold in June, but there’s no better place to warm up during a wild week of concerts.

The best Tango shows of the year take place during this festival which in 2009 falls between the 14th and 31st of August. During the BA Tango Festival, followed by the World Tango Championship, visitors can take part in various classes, shows, fairs and finally an open-air milonga as a closing ceremony.

5. Guiso, locro, puchero! Oh my!

First, lets set the scene; the weather outside is frightful but inside you, your housemates and friends have congregated around a large witches brew. Looking inside the giant olla you spot veggies, meat, pork, beans, rice and pretty much anything that hadn’t already spoiled in the fridge. Guiso, locro and puchero are all names of traditional Argentine stews. Each differs slightly, for example guiso often has rice and lentils while locro generally has beans, which are not common in the Argentine diet. These delicious dishes are steaming hot and unimaginable during sweltering summer months. Dig in with a fresh baguette, have a glass of malbec on the side and don’t forget your manners, “Buen Provecho!”

Study abroad confessions: What I wish I'd known before coming to Buenos Aires

Send Love BA is proud to announce our new series: Buenos Aires Study Abroad Confessions

Native Marylander and 2010 Buenos Aires study abroad student Rachel tells it like it is.

Entry 1: The Truth about Home Stays in Buenos Aires

Most programs offer a “home-stay” with an Argentine “family” to experience the culture. Often a residencia (dorm) is available for an additional cost. The “home-stay” is a great experience—for about one month, and then it gets old. Some get lucky and live with a great family with host-siblings, and other students have less luck. Many of the home-stay “families” consist of a single old lady or a married old lady who needs the income. You probably won’t be permitted to invite guests or use the kitchen (though you are expected to provide your own lunch, which get’s expensive when you have to go out nearly every day). But the residencia has its drawbacks as well; there are many rules (no guests after 10pm, for example), the food is not great, it’s expensive, most residents are Americans, and you won’t have as many opportunities to practice your Spanish.

This is what I wholeheartedly recommend: If your program offers an intensive month, DO IT. Only pay your program for the home-stay for that one month (they will refund your housing money if you declare independent housing before the payment deadline), and use that month to find an apartment. That way, you will still get the “home-stay experience,” but won’t have to sacrifice your independence while living abroad. You can practice your Spanish with roommates your age rather than with an old couple. There are plenty of ways to become “immersed” in the culture here—It doesn’t have to be with a family. Obviously you can still end up in an American-culture bubble if you live with other students from your program, but if you look, you can also find some cool Argentine of South American kids your age to share an apartment with.

There are websites to help you find the right living arrangement; the one I used was . Unlike in the US where most apartment leases are year long, apartments in Buenos Aires are frequently rented on a month-to-month basis. I had 3 roommates from Spain and one from France, and my Spanish improved so much just from living with them (and I obtained more of a ‘hip’ vocabulary). I was also able to invite my friends over to have dinner, or to crash after a night of going out, but I hadn’t been able to do any of that while living in my home-stay (I moved out of after three months).

Summer Semester & Winter months in Buenos Aires

Coming to Buenos Aires for your "summer semester?" Pack some heavy clothes! This is a special note for gap year and college students who are preparing for a summer in Buenos Aires.

June, July and August are chilly months in Argentina. It's super important to pack layers, stockings, turtle necks, long johns, a snug hat, hoodies, thick socks and a big coat/fleece. Snow isn't an issue, but Buenos Aires is specifically humid year round and the cold can really settle in.

Also important to note is that dinner and night time festivities will be indoors as opposed to the usual outdoor hanging out that takes place in popular locations like Plaza Serrano (Cortazar) and Plaza Armenia. Don't be shy to stick your head into smaller joints and peñas to join in on the fun.

Food from the north of Argentina is specifically great for the winter with steamy empanadas and stews called "guisos." Locro is a specific stew that has white beans (very rare in BA!) but is also packed with gross animal parts that are not part of a healthy human diet.

The best way to keep warm this winter semester is by enjoy Send Love BA's home made chicken soup. We make it fresh to order and deliver 6 servings right to your door. Cold and flu season is here and we're here with our Get Well Soon package to sooth your sniffles.

Need help on planning your (or your child's) stay in Buenos Aires this winter? Contact us at or