Some of the more interesting activities in Buenos Aires, Argentina are the country celebrations that take place in the center of the city every weekend. A few weeks ago, I went to the Bolivian festival, and this weekend (Sept. 7-9) I had the opportunity to take part in the Independence Day celebration of Brazil.
The entire center avenue is closed off to vehicles for these events, and the street is flooded with people. You can barely move and are shoved around a lot from the crowd, but you just have to push past that annoyance and enjoy the experience. It makes it so much better.
As a parade of dancers and musicians wearing cultural costumes move through the middle of the street, you can enjoy authentic food from side booths and buy souvenirs for yourself or friends and family.
I find these festivals humbling of the country. A majority of the people in Buenos Aires are foreigners from countries all over the world. The diversity of these people forms the culture of the city. So why not celebrate it and join in to celebrate them and their culture?
Also, September happens to be “International Month.” Throughout the entire month, the city is putting on international events for everyone to enjoy. These events include: German and Japanese film festivals, international art fairs, an international book sale, the celebration of France and so much more.
One event happens to be for all of the international students. Thousands of local and international students take part in sports, learn how to dance the tango (native to Buenos Aires) and meet other students from all around the world. This brought a mixture of cultures all in one place.
There are so many universities in Buenos Aires, about one for every suburb. Plus, the University of Buenos Aires is the largest in Latin America with over 300,000 students. Also, tuition is free in Argentina, so that is an incentive for students from neighboring countries such as Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay to move to the city.
Even though there are always fun things to do while studying abroad, it makes it harder to concentrate on schoolwork. Midterms are starting this week and catching an illness doesn’t help with studying. It’s a good thing the cultural festivals are happening all month. Then I still have time to study and enjoy what I can learn from Buenos Aires outside of class. Studying abroad is more than just studying in a classroom — you are able to learn more by exploring a new city.