I hopped a plane from Michelle to Cristina.Â (Michelle Bachelet is the president of Chile; Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is the president of Argentina.)Â I figured that was a good sign for a solo female traveler.Â In Chile, I picked up an Economist in English for a full $10!Â Still, I needed some familiar reading and to get back into current events.
Four things I LOVE: maps, navigating public transportation systems (here I bought a GuÃa T in a local kiosko for about USD $2), speaking Spanish, and urban centers.Â Using the combination of the three to navigate myself around the latter has been quite an enjoyable adventure.
FOR THE RECORD, a little myth-busting: I want to comment on the EXCELLENT service I have received so far as an international student at Argentinaâ€™s public university.Â Everyone told me that I should try to enroll in a private university because surely there, I would find much better assistance and services.Â I was told that the public system and bureaucracy would be a nightmare to navigate.Â So far, so good.Â I have found the class lists online with little difficulty and have navigated their website easily.Â I was given a list of requirements to apply, which I fulfilled, and when I arrived, there were no surprises about some form they needed.Â I showed up to my Facultad (college) yesterday my first day; I thought class enrollment could be a potential nightmare.Â I was given one, (again, thatâ€™s ONE) sheet of paper to fill out with my desired classes, which it seems Iâ€™m guaranteed as part of the services and courtesy I receive being a visiting student.Â Â¡Que gentileza!Â True, finding the office of International Services on the 2 Â½ floor above the graduate school offices was tricky, but it was a pleasant adventure wandering the halls of the lovely, old colonial building.Â At every step along the way, I encountered kind people willing to help direct me and/or chat.Â La Secretaria directed me to the foreign language school, and I am enrolled in an intensive Spanish class for a month until the beginning of September in Level 7 of 8.Â So far, Universidad de Buenos Airesâ€¦.te amo.Early on in January, I attempted to contact the Universidad de Palermo, a private university.Â I got bounced emails and unhelpful responses, sometimes no responses.Â I got responses that the woman in charge was on vacation.Â Apparently, she was on vacation for months.Â I tried to get help from their MBA offices, explaining I was still an undergraduate.Â All I got was their newsletter â€“ which I still get.Â I STILL have not heard back from them. Â In short, a private university, UP, whose MBA program costs maybe $15,000 a year has â€“ terrible service.