Some CEA Study Abroad programs give students the chance to enroll in an Early Start option. These programs typically occur two weeks before the initial program start date of your semester abroad and CEA says this option "allows you to arrive early and hone your language skills before the program begins."
As someone who had taken Spanish courses in high school and middle school, but not college, I thought the Early Start program would be the perfect way to refresh my foreign language skills. I had an incredibly positive experience with my Early Start program and I would recommend it for any student that wants to improve their language skills or spend more time in their host city.
For the spring of 2018, seven students enrolled in the Early Start for the CEA Buenos program. We had class Monday through Thursday and our professor was a native Spanish speaker. Typically her course schedule consisted of morning lectures and afternoon field trips. The lectures informed me about the similarities and differences in Argentine Spanish versus Spanish from Spain and Mexico. The field trips taught me about the city's layout and history. Rather than quickly starting new courses and a new life in a foreign country, these two weeks enabled me to gradually adapt to the Argentine lifestyle. The field trips were one of my favorite parts of Early Start program. Since our Spanish professor at the Buenos Aires program has a background in the arts, she took my course to various art museums and centers. From visiting photography exhibits to local markets, my professor's guidance gave me an incredible insight on the history and culture of Buenos Aires.
Had I not opted to travel to Buenos Aires two weeks early, I would not have had these same chances to learn about Argentina and to explore the city. If a student has the opportunity to do so, I would highly suggest attending the Early Start program.
You can view photos from my early start experience below.
| One student bought freshly squeezed orange juice
during our field trip to San Telmo.
| A giant Mafalda in San Telmo. Mafalda is a popular
Argentine character that was created
By Joaquin Salvador Lavado in 1964.
| Another bright side about the filed trip involved
eating lunch in unique areas of Buenos Aires.
|Look Familiar? We saw this Frida Kahlo portrait
during our trip to the Museo de Arte
Lationamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA).
|Two students pause to admire a
unique piece of artwork at MALBA.
|One exhibit at MALBA was made entirely by spiderwebs.|
|A series of rings at the Centro Cultural Recoleta.|
|A quick drawing break during the
field trip to the Centro Cultural Recoleta.
Elena P. is the Spring 2018 MOJO Photographer in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is currently a Junior studying Media Production at Ithaca College.
Elena Piech is the Spring 2018 CEA MOJO Photographer in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is currently studying at Ithaca College.