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Latin American metropolis an unexpected hub for Americans

Zac Wilkins

Issue date: 9/4/09 Section: Opinion
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Buenos Aires: population, 3,000,000. Argentina's largest city and capital is increasingly popular with Americans and Britains.
Media Credit: siemens.com
Buenos Aires: population, 3,000,000. Argentina's largest city and capital is increasingly popular with Americans and Britains.
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Buenos Aires, Argentina. Where is it located - Africa, Asia? What language do they speak there - Portuguese, Italian? Why not Spain? Why a year? These questions, among others, were quite common when I began informing my friends at Case of my plan to spend my junior year abroad in the largest Spanish-speaking city in South America.

The length of time is easily explained by the fact that, as a Spanish major, I would be most productive by spending the longest amount of time possible in the country to attain true fluency in the language. Buenos Aires as a city very much interested me by the fact that, as a Latin American studies major, I would be provided with a much clearer view of the Latin American identity and society from the inside, while still retaining a distinct European aura. But what gives Argentina an edge over Spain?

I chose Buenos Aires over Madrid or Barcelona under the preconception that it would be sparsely populated by Americans. Unlike Spain, where American students tend to remain in American circles, traveling the continent speaking English instead of making any effort to familiarize themselves with the language and the culture, Buenos Aires seemed a more remote, undiscovered destination where I could more intimately mingle with a Spanish-speaking populace.

However, my arrival in Buenos Aires thus far has provided me with a notion to the contrary. This semester, there are 130 students studying with Butler University's Institute for Study Abroad in Buenos Aires, which is only one of many programs guiding students through the 10 million-strong greater Buenos Aires area. It is not uncommon to encounter an American family confusedly boarding the colectivos (city buses) or a group of American students loudly (and/or drunkenly) exiting boliches (nightclubs).

A memorable presentation to the students in our program by the US embassy in Buenos Aires left us many impressive statistics - for example, in any given year, the embassy deals with 100,000 Americans coming in and out of Buenos Aires. Yet, after being here for a month, it is not surprising to me that the Argentine capital provides such a popular destination for Americans abroad. Anyone and everyone who is at all familiar with Buenos Aires knows that there is an inexplicable magnificence to the city which so fluidly combines Latin American spice and tango with European charm and elegance. A confluence of Parisian fashion, Italian twists to both food and language, and a style of partying rivaled only by Madrid, its unique identity lends to a palpable pride of country and sentiment of identity. You just can't help but love Buenos Aires. It's as simple as that.
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In This Issue

News

  • A conversation with Major Jason Winterle
  • Budgeting 101 for college students
  • Can you name this place?
  • Case holds first annual Campus Security Fair
  • Case Western prepares to serve community
  • Have you heard about ACM?
  • Nursing "freshmen stimulus" provides support for incoming students, provokes unease
  • USG Briefs

Sports

  • Club sports & news
  • Fantasy Football
  • Gameday
  • Volleyball goes 3-1 at Wooster
  • Women's soccer takes two at JCU

Fun Page

  • Crossword Solution
  • Maze Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions

Opinion

  • "You lie:" an old-fashioned outburst
  • Buenos Aires: most romantic city?
  • Editorial: Student groups deserve credit for programming
  • Learning to be responsible
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Letters to the Editor
  • State your case photos: What would you do with an Inamori Ethics Prize?

Focus

  • All's Well in CWRU MFA/Cleveland Playhouse production of overlooked Shakespeare classic
  • Dittrick Medical History Center reopens exhibit on history of contraception
  • Fashion for the frugal: look stylish on a budget
  • Hitting the Spot: The Antlers
  • Making breakfast work for you: getting a grip on granola
  • Nintendo DS game mixes strategy and traditional RPG elements for unique, timesaving gameplay
  • The Buzz
  • The Worst Case Scenario
  • Trail of Dead coming to Cleveland

Football

  • Whalen becomes all-time passing leader in win over Rochester

Sex and Dating

  • Executing the first date

Soccer

  • Stopped at nothing: Spartans shut out No. 21 Ohio Northern

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Andrea Wojtowicz
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