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Putting the STUDY in Studying Abroad

by Jen Wagman Monday, April 23, 2018

School is officially up and started for me, but we also just had five days off for Holy Week.

I have opted not to travel anywhere (because prices are nearly double during our days off) and because I need to catch up on homework. This semester, I am taking four classes.Two are Spanish language classes that are taught only to other students from the US. These classes focus on fine tuning grammar in my Spanish writing and Spanish speaking and are taught at a local institute.

My other two are direct enrollment courses in the University of Buenos Aires. On Monday and Thursday nights from 9pm until 11pm, I have International Commercialisation. Up until the first midterm, we are focusing exclusively on international marketing, but afterward we will switch to more concepts regarding shipping logistics, customs and migrations and how to actually conduct international business with Argentina and the rest of the world.

 The inside of a school building
This is the main entrance of UBA-FCE

We have 3-4 different instructors ranging from TA to head professor who teach us and they go very fast in Spanish covering lots of technical terms. Typically, when I get home I type up my notes and compare them with some of the friends I made in the class during the first week. My friends are from both Argentina and other countries in South America. There is only one other non-native Spanish speaker in the class and he’s from Switzerland, so we instantly became friends, but have added the rest to our little group.

For my other class, I am taking a course called Administrative Systems. This class is a required second year course for people majoring in business administration. Because it’s a class that a lot of students need to take, there’s multiple different professors and time slots when it is offered. Each variation is called a catedral and students often pick different catedrals depending on the perspective the professor offers the class in. So my catedral for Administrative Systems puts a focus on gender.

A courtyard with chairs
This is a photo of one of the three courtyards inside the school, UBA-FCE.

When we talk about the different ways in which a business is organized, we talk about how a woman would organize it versus a male. We also talk a lot about the difference between how business are organized in the United States versus in Argentina. However, my favorite part about Administrative Systems is our term project. We were paired off into partner groups with a male and a female student (because each gender has different observations) and we were tasked with learning about a local business that has less than 30 employees.A lot of what we do is talk to our selected business and figure out how the theory is being applied in the real world, as the term comes to a close, we will present to the class what we found and offer suggestions to improve the efficiency of the organization.

A courtyard
This is the coffee shop and the Argentine version of student printing