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What to Expect When You Study Abroad: Part 6

Updated on November 9, 2015

Study Abroad Experience

Today was spent in the city of Mendoza. This meant shopping time, which in turn meant time to be broke! The thing that dumbfounded me was, as I walked down the streets at 3:40 in the afternoon, no stores were open. I later found our stores do not open until 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (sign me up for a job there). It was definitely a change to stores in the states on Saturdays. Luckily, I found enough stores to be satisfied in my purchases.

In an attempt to save a few pesos, I ate a cheap lunch. But It was the best lunch I have had in Argentina. The restaurant was rather obscure, it was this little joint called SUBWAY! Yeah, eat fresh!

It was so nice to have a meal that reminded me of home! A 30 cm (1 foot) sub (tuna) and a large coke and child was $23.50 (about $6.00 USD) which is still cheaper than the combos in South Carolina, and I’m sure than big cities that cost even more. It was amazing!

WINE!

Where I went

My journal follows my travels from March 1, 2009 to June 27, 2009. This may seem years ago, but emotions never change when you leave the country as a wide-eyed 20 year old in a country where you don’t speak the language.

Places I visited in this Journal:

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Iguazu Fall (Puerto Iguazu), Argentina
  • Mendoza, Argentina
  • Tigre, Argentina
  • Colonia, Uruguay
  • Santiago, Chile
  • Valparaiso, Chile
  • Vina del Mar, Chile
  • Bariloche, Argentina

These journal entries occurred for the Spring 2009 semester with IES: Buenos Aires. I studied through Wofford College. Tip to studying abroad: Make sure your credits are all transferable! Luckily, Wofford College accepted all of the credits through my program that I had chosen, IES.

Gorgeous Andes

Journal 14: May 4, 2009 BODEGA, BODEGA, BODGA!

I thought she was my friend, but in reality she was an underground assassin out for revenge. Ok, let me explain. First, she jumps on my bed causing a plank to break, thus causing me to sink into my bed. Then, in an attempt to laugh, she throws her sweat pants at my face. This causes me to bite my tongue. Yeah, a bleeding tongue is not that great when you have lemonade to drink. A part from attempts at taking my life, our wine tour was spectacular. We started out at a small, family ran vineyard in which I learned how wine was made and we even got to experience a true wine tasting (though I secretly wished it was a wine chugging).

Journal 15: May 4, 2009 “La Calle- San Martin”

Today was spent in the city of Mendoza. This meant shopping time, which in turn meant time to be broke! The thing that dumbfounded me was, as I walked down the streets at 3:40 in the afternoon, no stores were open. I later found our stores do not open until 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (sign me up for a job there). It was definitely a change to stores in the states on Saturdays. Luckily, I found enough stores to be satisfied in my purchases.

In an attempt to save a few pesos, I ate a cheap lunch. But It was the best lunch I have had in Argentina. The restaurant was rather obscure, it was this little joint called SUBWAY! Yeah, eat fresh!

It was so nice to have a meal that reminded me of home! A 30 cm (1 foot) sub (tuna) and a large coke and child was $23.50 (about $6.00 USD) which is still cheaper than the combos in South Carolina, and I’m sure than big cities that cost even more. It was amazing!

Journal 16: May 5, 2009 “Learning Life Lessons” (Lessons Learned on a Long Bus trip into Chile)

Learning is a life-long journey whether it is quantum physics or learning new technology. It is an ever changing, multi-faceted device used every second of every day. Our minds process what it wants, and throws out what is ‘useless’ information. All of my life, I have molded myself to others' ideas. My ex-boyfriends’, my friends’, my family’s. But I’m learning now who I am. No, Shaun, I am not mean to the world, and want to live in darkness. No, Mom, I am not a sweet, innocent girl-next-door who is smarter than everyone and no Amber, I do not like to party and stay unfaithful to what I told my mom. I am an intelligent, in my own right, outgoing, small group of friends girl, who would rather sit at home on a Thursday night studying for a test than enjoying the two for one deal at the local pub. Do that answer ho I am well enough?

Winding Roads

Journal 17: May 6, 2009 “Andes” (Driving through the Andes Mountains on a Double Decker Bus at the top with winding roads)

Never in my life did I expect to get to see the Andes Mountains. I always thought it was a mountain range beyond my means of ability to travel. But yet again, I have proven new and exciting things to myself. As we drove into Mendoza, I looked into the distance as the snow-capped mountains lined the horizon. Of a semi-deserted wine country. The beauty was overwhelming. Tomorrow, I will be traveling over those mountains on a bus to enter Santiago Childe. The great thing about Chile is that you cannot go anywhere in the country without seeing the Andes in the distance, because the country is only 110 miles wide at it’s widest. You cannot get far enough away not to get a glimpse of these mountains. I cannot wait to see what this new country has to offer this culture seeking traveler.

Journal 18: May 7, 2009 “The Epidemic: Swine Flu while traveling over into Chile”

So, there is a serious concern within the travel sector at the moment. The past week has proved detrimental to the United States and Mexico. There has been a deadly virus outbreak. This virus is known as the “Swine Flu” or translated as the “Pork Flu.” This flu has claimed lives in the United States, as well as Mexico. The problem is that there has been reported cases in Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. Everyone is getting scared. There are tons of people being forced to wear masks while traveling in close quarters, such as planes and buses. This flue has been established as a phase 5, which means an outbreak is imminent. Uh oh, what does this mean for me? What will happen>

The health care in Argentina is so bad that I would need to go home to receive the proper healthcare, but I could not fly home to receive proper healthcare anyways. So year, I am a little on edge at the moment.

The Boarder of Chile, When the Bus Broke Down

Sunset over the Andes Mountains

Journal 19: May 8, 2009 “Santiago, Chile”

Getting there – AndesMar 7:30 a.m.

We ventured off from Mendoza to Santiago at 7:30 a.m. We started in a typical semi-cama bus with two stoner hippies in front of us. One, in which, who looked like he had not showered in days, nor did he smell any better. But once we got over his incredible stench, and his snoring, we watched Knotting Hill and chilled out. We made our climb up the Andes. They stretched out as far as the eye could see from North to south.

We went through tunnel after tunnel and hill after hill. Slowly, we made our way to Chile. Then… POP! Our tire decided to blow out as soon as we crossed the Chile boarder. There we were a group of foreigners stuck in the middle of the Andes with no cell service or transportation! It was a scene straight out of the Hills Have Eyes or Turistas. As we walked to the Immigrations office, the driver started making jokes that we were Mexicans. I said, “No, we’re Bolivians, because we aren’t sick (i.e. with Swine flu). Year it was a cheap, poorly place joke, but everyone laughed at it.

We finally made it to immigrations where we had to check out of Argentina and into Childe. Well, with the Swine Flu going around, those of us with American passports we were interrogated about our travels. They wanted to take our temperature to ensure we do not have Swine Flu, which was going around, those of use with American passports were interrogates about our travels. They wanted to take our temperature to ensure we do not have Swine Flu.

We argued our way out of it, because we left the United States because the outbreak. It was so weird to be treated as if we were infected in South America from the United States, not in the United States from South America. We got through immigrations and had all of our baggage x-rayed. Then we had to get on a ‘school bus’ type of bus for another three hours. It was a miserable journey down the steepest most winding and dangerous mountain roads.

Mendoza to Santiago

show route and directions
A markermendoza -
Mendoza, Capital Department, Mendoza Province, Argentina
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B markerSantiago -
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
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