Studying, studying!


This semester at Universidad de Buenos Aires, I am taking Economic Growth, Development Economics, and International Economics .  As you can see from the bibliographies –which contain some English article titles or at least some authors that should be known to folks with a cursory interest in economics – they are definitely challenging!  There is definitely a TREND in every course toward lots of reading and exploring the evolution of economic thought; I started the semester in every class reading about Ricardo, Smith, Hume, or all of the above.  THIS is why I haven’t been posting so much.

There is so much happening in the Economics College here of 40,000 students; it is an exciting place to study.  Because the public university here is considered dog eat dog and overall harder and more prestigious than the private universities by the Argentinean students, students seem really engaged in economics.  One of our professors organized international trade seminars hosting economists from all over the world, including the United States, as well as functionaries from the Argentina government that make day-to-day economic decisions, that he invited us to today.  I will see if I can at least attend part of one. 

The level of my Spanish language ability has certainly grown – that specifically is my ability to follow two hour long Economic Growth lectures explaining the various variables that made up Solow’s growth model and differentiating it from Harrod’s entirely in Spanish – calculus definitely not optional.  At least I don’t have to translate the math symbols!  Also, one of our readings for this part of the unit are two of Solow’s original paper published in 1956 “A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth” and “Technical Change and the Aggregate Production Function,” as well as Harrod and Domar’s original papers from the 30s and 40s, which are harder to follow than your average textbook to be sure.  Of course, some of the required readings are classic economic texts in English for which there are no translations; students graduating in this career are expected to know it.  This certainly serves me, though. This all may sound kind of boring to an outsider, but it’s really very exciting –and overwhelming – to be challenged at this level with my language as a barrier.  It’s one thing to go to a country and engage it at the level of turismo, but quite another to learn and go through a similar process of formation alongside young people from this country in one of its top universities.  I have never had an experience like this in my life.  It has been a challenge just learning how to study under a new and different academic system.  Being challenged like this, stepping into a native language classroom with some of the hardest classes I’ve taken in my life in any language, has already forced me to learn so much.  I am just taking it all paso a paso, step by step.  Of course, all those steps lead right to the library! – where I read alongside pigeons that enter through open windows and students drinking mate tea for hours while studying.

Hello Again From Holland…. and London!

Hey everyone, I hope all of you at home are doing well. Things have been great here in Den Haag. School seems to be making more sense now, they have a very different program; however, I do like it. I am also learning more Dutch, which I really enjoy.

This past weekend four of us took a trip to London, and it was amazing. Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, The British Museum, and The Eye of London were all unbelievable. Certainly an experience I will remember forever. The British Museum was my favorite, Matt Strehl and I spent about five hours there, and believe me we could have spent about five days in there and still missed something… No words can do justice to what that place has to offer.

Lastly, I would just like to thank all of those at the University of Louisville who are responsible for making this trip possible for all of us. It is nowhere close to over, but I can tell you I am having the time of my life. I would also like to thank David and Betty Jones for your support of our Study Abroad Program. We would not be here if it wasn’t for all of you.

Jimmie Guilfoyle

I have made another video for everyone to see. It can be seen by clicking on the link below.

London Video

Hello From Holland!

Hoy! My name is Jimmie Guilfoyle and I am one of the five lucky students from the University of Louisville studying in Den Haag, which in English is pronounced The Hague. The Hague is located in South Holland, a province of the Netherlands.

I arrived later than the other four guys, but I am glad to finally be here. I have been here for about a week now and am enjoying every bit of it. Classes at The Hague University are quite different than at home. Your schedule may change times, rooms, or days each week, so we have to stay on top of that.

So far the people here have been very friendly. Most everyone has been eager to help us figure things out. I kind of lucked out arriving late because the other four guys had already figured most everything out for me!

The apartment I am staying in is MUCH better than what I had expected, a very pleasant surprise.

Den Haag is a beautiful city, or if you prefer Dutch… Den Haag is een mooie stad! They have a beach here which is surrounded by the North Sea… And believe me, the word “north” IS an indication of the temperature of the water.

I will have more to tell very soon; however, for now you will just have to watch a video I have made. There will also be more additions to the video, but this is what I have so far. You will see the outside of my apartment, some of the city, the train station, and The Hague University.

Tot ziens! “See you later!”


EBS Classes have started!

This past week was the first week of actual school at EBS.  The classes are generally the same as U of L.  You go to lectures and take lots of notes, but the difference is that your grade is based solely on one final exam rather than homework and lots of little tests.  Another difference is the class scheduling.  All the classes are on different days and different times, so make sure you always check your schedule.  Other than crazy schedules, the classes are very well organized and all of them have ended exactly on time.  The professors are also very interesting.  The provide point of views that differ from the views in North America.  The one problem with some of the teachers is that it is difficult sometimes to cope with the different accents.  But overall, I rate EBS as a great school with interesting classes!!

España #1…

Pues…¡estoy muy bien!  Como se puede ver, a veces voy a escribir en español.  Claro yo lo traduciré a inglés también.  ¿Quién sabe?  Quizás que yo vaya a escribir en alemán. jeje  ¡Estoy gozando la experiencia de estar en Madrid!  Pero no he viajado desde el último blog.  Sólo me he quedado en Madrid a causa del comienzo de las clases.  Y me gustan mucho las clases; sin embargo, requieren mucho trabajo y tiempo para estudiar.  Claro que he sacado provecho de la capacidad de divertirme.  Yo he ido al Parque Retiro (la equivalente de Central Park en Madrid), un club de jazz, muchas restaurantes, las plazas, muchas bares de tapas, y todo eso.  He conocido mucha gente increíble de todas las partes del mundo.  Estoy trabajando muy duro ahora para terminar las tareas para la próxima semana para que puede pasar el fin de semana que viene sin estudiar.  Vamos a ver si mi plan funciona.  Pronto, yo les voy a poner al día a ustedes unas fotos y el proceso loco de preparar para este viaje.  Hasta luego.


So…I´m very well!  As you can see, sometimes I will write in Spanish.  Of course I will translate it into English too.  Who knows?  Perhaps I will write in German. haha  I am enjoying being in Madrid!  But I have not traveled since the last blog.  I have just stayed here in Madrid due to the beginning of classes.  And I like my classes a lot; however, they require a lot of work and study time.  Of course I have capitalized on the ability to have some fun.  I have gone to Retiro Park (Madrid´s equivalent to Central Park), a jazz bar, many restaurants, the plazas, many “tapas” bars, and the like.  I have met many incredible people from all parts of the world.  Now, I am working very hard to finish my homework, which is due next week, so that I can spend the coming weekend without having to study.  We will see if my plan works.  Soon, I will update you all with some pics and the crazy process of preparing for this trip.  See you later.


Buenas de Madrid: Introduction

Buenas de Madrid:

My name is Alex Riedinger, and I am studying this semester in Madrid, Spain, at Saint Louis University Madrid Campus.  I am a third year student at UofL and feel so blessed to have this awesome opportunity.  I have been here for one week, but already so much has happened.  I am living with a host family, so my Spanish is becoming more natural and fluid.  I am trying so many new foods…all of which I’ve liked so far- especially Paella (a mixture of rice and mariscos- shrimp, crap, clams, etc.).  The food here is very healthy and filling.  Moreover, we walk everywhere, so it is constant exercise and I’ll probably come home in good form.

I love Madrid!  Plaza Mayor, the main plaza in the city, is gorgeous and so relaxing.  The weather is amazing here.  It only gets hot around the noon hour, and there is never any humidity.  I have also visited two towns so far: Segovia and Toledo.  Segovia is popular because of the aqueduct, which was built by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago.  Toledo was the former capital of Spain and boasts a beautiful castle & Gothic cathedral.

It has been a blast meeting incredible people from all over the world- Germany, Turkey, Morocco, Spain, Switzerland, Bulgaria, the States (of course), and so on.  I have enjoyed hanging out with all of them- traveling, going out to “Tapas” Bars (Tapas- are basically Spanish appetizers, and very popular during the dinner hour- which is 22:00 here!), and just hanging out in general.

This semester, I will be taking International Finance, German I, Honors Great Books (we’re studying Homer, Virgil, and Dante), International Business, and Business & Professional Speaking in Spanish.  I am very excited to see what this semester holds for me!  I start class here at 10:00, so I must get some sleep, but I will be updating you all soon!

I also will update you on what it was like to prepare for this trip at some point…it is most certainly an interesting story to tell!

Hasta luego,