In Buenos Aires, there are three types of housing for abroad students – apartments, homestays, and residencia. I live in a residencia, so my opinion regarding apartments and homestays is only what I hear secondhand. Moreover, I don’t know anyone well that lives in an apartment; the thought of living in an apartment never crossed my mind as I wanted to be able to practice Spanish as much as possible.
From what I’ve heard from friends, experiences in homestays vary. Some live in homestays where the families speak English well, so practicing Spanish isn’t very easy. Others live with a professional chef, making dinners a favorite part of the day. Despite differences in homestays, all homestay families seem to be welcoming, but it is tough for me to say.
As for the residencia, I believe I made the right housing decision. The residencia is best described as an all-inclusive dorm. Laundry is on-site, and because they have a few laundry machines and many residents, the maids here wash, dry, and fold your clothes for you. In addition, your sheets are changed once a week. Meals are cooked for breakfast, lunch, and dinner by an excellent chef. When I first arrived, I didn’t know what to expect regarding meals. However, as I ate more and more meals at the residencia, there were few meals I didn’t like (I can only remember one). For dinner, on Mondays, we eat milanesa, a fried, breaded beef that is only best understood by enjoying it yourself. Wi-Fi is better in the residencia than it is in any homestay that I’ve heard of, making homework assignments much easier to complete. Somewhere between 40 and 50 people live in the residencia, creating a social environment. When deciding where to live, this was a selling point as it allowed meeting new people that only speak Spanish. However, when Spanish isn’t agreeing with me in a given day, about a dozen residents speak very good English. During the evenings, residents play games and go out together. While some of my friends pass the time on their own, I always have someone to interact with. In the residencia, there are also cameras to prevent any thefts, ensuring confidence.
|The kitchen at the residencia.|
In terms of complaints in the residencia, the main one I have is regarding space. I live in a room with three other people, and the room is not very large. However, because of all the connections and the social aspect of the residencia, this complaint is largely suppressed.
|My dorm room at the residencia.|
Eric Straka is the Fall 2015 MOJO Blogger in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is currently a Junior at the University of San Diego.
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