Office of International Programs
Thank you for your interest in our study abroad exchange programs! The goal of this page is to help you better understand the Buenos Aires semester study abroad exchange and highlight distinguishing features and components that will interest you as a parent. More detailed and updated information is given to your son or daughter in information sessions, academic reviews, workshops, and pre-departure orientations. Once you read this information, we strongly encourage you to discuss this with your son/daughter first. Please know all information is given to the students and we ask students to share all of this with you.
Sending students abroad is a partnership with students, parents, university, and program officials. We realize that you will have questions and if our website or son/daughter cannot answer those questions, we will be happy to discuss the study abroad process and program information with you. However, due to the FERPA federal regulation, we will not be able to discuss specific information regarding your son/daughter; however, if your son/daughter is willing to sign a waiver form indicating the specific information to be shared with you, we will be more than happy to discuss specific matters regarding your son/daughter.
We hope you find this information helpful in assisting your son/daughter to accomplish his or her goal of learning, living, and serving abroad. We look forward to working with you and your son/daughter.
Loyola’s exchange program in Buenos Aires, Argentina is one of the most intensive Spanish-language immersion programs Loyola has to offer, and is also one of the most successful in terms of returning fluency. Students study at the Universidad del Salvador (USAL) which is a large Catholic university in the heart of Buenos Aires. USAL is a private university founded in 1946; it has grown to become the largest private university in the city and one of the most important universities in South America.
Buenos Aires is a large and vibrant city located on the Rio de la Plata. The city of Buenos Aires plus its surroundings has a population of 12.6 million people. The city itself holds roughly 1/3 of the country’s population. Buenos Aires is often referred to as the “Paris of the Southern Hemisphere.”
Exchange programs are different from Loyola programs in a few important ways. Students partaking in a Loyola exchange are looking for a more independent abroad experience. Loyola students, like other international students, are looked after and supported by the international office at Universidad del Salvador. The last important difference to note is billing and benefits differ from Loyola programs.
Travel/Arriving to Buenos Aires
Students are responsible for arranging their own flight to and from Argentina and for paying for their airfare. We encourage students to review the airline carrier’s website information on a monthly basis due to the many changes airlines make. In addition, students will have to inform Loyola and Universidad de Salvador’s office of international programs of their departure and return dates.
Loyola recommends to students to purchase their airline ticket through a reputable travel agent or agency. We do know that on-line sites do offer less expensive tickets, but in the event there is a crisis that affects air travel, like snow storms, on-line sites may not be able to address your questions in a timely fashion, or it could shut down completely due to high volume requests. Travel agents may have inside information to help you make ticket changes quicker and can provide you with the most up to date airline and travel information.
Students will fly into Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza (EZE). This airport is 30 kilometers outside of the city, but is where all international flights arrive. If your student arrives the official arrival day set by the university, someone from the university will pick them up in a bus and transport them back to campus/their set housing option. Students must reserve this option with USAL beforehand during the application process. If not, students must get to campus on their own using public transportation by themselves with their luggage.
In terms of international travel, we highly encourage you to be checking the airline’s website for their luggage restrictions as you pack your son/daughter to go. It is subject to change and can be very expensive if students do not follow their restrictions/requirements.
Our students, as well as all other international students, are supported by an on-site international student’s office. The staff in the office is bilingual, and we have been partnering with them to aid our students while abroad. This office conducts the international orientation and plays an important role in acclimating Loyola students to the various parts of campus and the city.
Our students should go to this office for all issues that they might encounter: academic, health and illness, housing, travel, administrative issues, etc.
The program is primarily designed for Spanish majors and minors, and students in this program must have completed Spanish Conversation and Composition I and II (SN 201 and SN203) before they can even qualify for this exchange. All courses are taught in Spanish and are offered in a lecture format, so it is important that students have a good level of Spanish.
Students attend a three week Intensive Course prior to beginning of the semester. It is not mandatory but highly recommended. This course transfers back to Loyola as one 200-level Spanish course. Then, during the semester, the students will take 4-5 courses. Spanish courses are offered as well as upper level history core, upper level theology core, upper level philosophy core and upper level English core. It is possible for one or two courses to double count for Spanish credit.
It is important that students understand that the grades they receive in each class is based heavily on the midterm and final evaluations. Each course is structured a bit differently than students are used to at Loyola.
For more information, please take a look at Universidad del Salvador's website.
During the first month with the intensive course, students will be living in student housing (cost covered by Loyola). Once the semester begins, students have two options, residences (student living) and living with a host family.
In terms of the residences, female students have two options: La Residencia Misericordia (all female dorm, on the smaller side, within walking distance of USAL’s campus) and Alfa 2000 (a large coed student living facility also walking distance from campus.) Female Loyola students usually choose La Residencia Misericordia for its size and its facilities. Alfa 2000 is a great dorm for male students, they can live in a single, double or triple room with shared living space. Each floor has a eating hall, there is no space for individual cooking. Both dorms house a mixture of International students, so Loyola students get the opportunity of living students from all over the world.
For more information:
The second option for all students is living with a host family. These families are carefully chosen, interviewed and have been housing international students for years. Our students have been with a wide range of families (small, large, older couple, family with young children). Students interested in this option will be sent a list of families to choose from and have an opportunity to meet them before moving in. Students are responsible for contacting the families, setting up a time to talk and determining if the family is where they want to live.
Campus/Student Life/City Life
Universidad del Salvador provides our students with a challenging academic program, but also offers many extracurricular activities that our students can partake in. International students are encouraged to get involved on campus and interact with all students.
First time visitors to the city of Buenos Aires are usually surprised by the resemblance between Buenos Aires and European cities. Buenos Aires offers broad avenues lined by shops, parks and cafes. The city is home to many international people making it a melting pot. In terms of cultural activities, it offers more than 100 museums that open every day, theatres offering various plays, art galleries, cinemas and outdoor shows. Our students come back raving about the Buenos Aires well known music, tango.
USAL is located in the center of the city, so our students are able to easily partake in all of the culture that Buenos Aires has to offer.
Loyola has also arranged emergency travel assistance/evacuation and repatriation coverage for each student through Chartis. In addition, it is required that students have an active domestic health care policy that will cover them internationally. Each student should check with their current health care provider to ensure they will provide coverage while abroad-most will do so on a reimbursement basis. We keep proof of this in the student’s file just in case, the proof usually is a letter from the insurance company or a print out of the international policy description from one’s policy.
Because this is a Loyola exchange, all financial aid remains the same except for federal work study. Students pay Loyola tuition, and will be billed by Loyola as if they were staying on campus. Housing, however, is paid directly to the option chosen by the student (host family or residence) when students arrive. When Loyola students apply, they will have to designate which housing option they will choose.
As mentioned above, students are responsible for airfare. In addition, students will also be responsible for fees incurred to acquire the Japanese visa. In preparing their paperwork to study abroad, the Office of International Programs will help students to apply to Universidad del Salvador. Once accepted, students will work directly with USAL to facilitate the rest of the documents. Upon arrival, USAL will also help students fill out paperwork for the Visa and instruct them where to go to get it. The visa is all taken care of once the students arrive.
Student’s expenses in Buenos Aires will vary greatly depending on how much they travel, shop and go out at night. The range for how much students spent in the past semesters is between $3500.00 and $7,000.00. It is a very large range, but again, will depend on how much your student travels, drinks, and eats in a restaurant.
Money/Banking in Argentina
You and your family will soon become experts at international banking transactions. You will want quick access to your funds, and you will also want to protect your money against loss.
It is very important that students contact their banks and major credit cards before going abroad to let them know that they will be in Argentina and their dates. If not, most banks and major credit cards will freeze their accounts once they see abroad transactions because they will assume that the card was stolen.
Our students most often opt to draw from their American bank account while abroad, and they must educate themselves on the fees for withdrawing money and using their credit card outside of the US. Fees and taxes tend to be expensive. If your student is looking to open a bank account while over there, I suggest they confer with the International students office at USAL so they can better understand the process and what it entails.
You can use credit cards in Argentina for everything from drawing cash to buying dinner or shopping. While Visa and MasterCard are more widely accepted than American Express for purchases, American Express offers its card holders some very useful financial services. Check with each company before you depart.
Drawbacks to Plastic
Even with careful planning and strict adherence to a budget, it is frighteningly easy to overspend. Finance charges can add up quickly if you extend payment on goods or take out cash advances. It is a good idea to establish an online banking account with your bank at home, so that you can monitor your spending in U.S. dollars.
Criteria for Acceptance and Application Requirements
For the Buenos Aires program, students must have (and maintain) a minimum of 3.0 CQPA. They should apply to Loyola’s international programs office by Dec. 1, of their sophomore year, in order to be considered for fall or spring semester spots in their junior year. Disciplinary records from Loyola’s office of student life are taken into consideration when reviewing applications. Students should mark down second and third choices in the event that we cannot offer them a spot in the Buenos Aires program. There are 30 available spots each semester.