Studying abroad is an amazing experience for so many reasons. You get the opportunity to explore places you never thought you would see off television, experience new cultures, grasp new languages, and (most importantly) connect with new people. It seemed to be decently common for other students in my program to know some others within the program already -- maybe they traveled together, maybe they were from the same town, or maybe they went to the same school. I was one of the minorities in my program by having come alone. Nobody else was from New Hampshire, and nobody else went to Ithaca College. This gave me a great chance to get to know everybody for the first time at the same time as I was meeting locals while studying abroad in Buenos Aires.
It is super easy to get sucked into the comfort of spending all your time with the other students in your program, and never branching out further. This is especially true if you already knew some people in the program before arrival or if you tend to be a homebody or introvert. I was never planning on going out to clubs or bars or experiencing much of the typical social night life of the city, but I am so glad for the social things I did find. The best event my friends and I ever went to which was very good for meeting locals was called Bombas del Tiempo. Bombas del Tiempo is the name of a drumming group, so that event involves buying refreshments, listening to a bunch of music, and also playing some games like ping pong or foosball. Everyone around is looking to make friends and have a relaxed and fun time.
This picture was taken the first time we went to Bombas del Tiempo and posted by the local who became a great friend of ours.
Meeting locals is beneficial for your language skills, knowledge of the environment/area where you live, and it leaves you with a connection in a whole other country! You never know what might happen if you just try something new once in a while. You could easily end up with lifelong friends.
Ellie Pomer is a CEA Alumni Insider who studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the Spring 2019 semester. She is currently a student at Ithaca College.
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