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9 Reasons Not to Study Abroad in Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires is a melting pot of cultures, known for its festive-spirit, titillating nightlife, multitude of theaters and historic cafés where porteños (locals) drop in for a breakfast medialuna (croissant). Sounds pretty awful, doesn’t it? Read on to discover why booking the first one-way flight to the best city for students in the Spanish speaking world, according to QS Best Student Cities 2018, would be such a bad idea.

1. Porteños love good music, good food and fashion - and that sounds awful

The residents of Buenos Aires are known colloquially as porteños, which is Spanish for “people who live in port cities”. The term Porteños carries all sorts of connotations - some good, some bad, depending on your point of view - and it all harks back to the city’s long history of immigration, particularly in the 20th century when Spanish and Italian immigrants arrived at the city, flooding Buenos Aires with new flavours and new ideas decades before “cosmopolitan” became a buzzword.

2. Speaking of music, Buenos Aires nights are too distracting - you wouldn’t get any work done

It’s not for nothing that Buenos Aires is known around the world for its nightlife. Nights out in the Argentine capital begin at dusk and end at dawn, and the city boasts a myriad of craft breweries, bars and clubs open virtually every day of the year. This may sound ideal, but it’s not great if you are susceptible to procrastination.

3. You wouldn’t be able to attend every asado you get invited to

Buenos Aires enjoys good weather year-round. Summers and springs are balmy, and winters are your equivalent of a British spring. The coldest months are between June and August when average temperatures range between 8.1 and 16.3 °C. But rain or shine, you’ll usually find the residents of Buenos Aires at an asado (barbecues)  any day of the week, particularly on Sundays.  So, needless to say, you’ll get so many Facebook invites to asados that some will inevitably clash and you’ll have to actually click “decline” at some point. Will you even be able to live with yourself after being so rude?

4. You’re too awkward to share a straw when drinking mate with your friends

Mate is a type of tea - a herbal infusion with lots of caffeine in it, prepared by packing a few spoonful of herbs in a gourd with hot water and sugar. It’s hot but you can also have it cold like an iced coffee by adding juice. Mate is believed to bring many nutritional benefits and is rich in antioxidants. It can also help you concentrate (for example if you’ve had a little too much fun at one of those craft breweries we mentioned earlier).

Argentina has a huge mate drinking culture - and the introverts among you will be terrified to learn that mateada (the practice of sharing mate by passing a gourd with a straw around a group of friends) is sacrosanct.  Drinking mate is a communal activity in Buenos Aires - it’s all about sharing and bonding with other people. So, you might feel a little shy at first, but you’ll make so many friends around a gourd of mate, we bet you’ll grow to love it.

5. Football fans in Argentina make the Premier League look like a dance recital

Football culture in Argentina is just as sacred as the mateada (if not more), and there are deep Shakespeare-esque rivalries between clubs. Boca Juniors and River Plate, for example, are sworn enemies -  the Argentine equivalent of Spurs vs Arsenal or Capulets vs the Montagues. They both come from the same working class neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, and they can’t stand the sight of each other.

6. Universities in Buenos Aires are far too impressive - you’d feel like an imposter

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the city which has produced two Nobel Peace Prize winners offers a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees taught in Spanish or English, many exchange programs and personalized short courses.

Home to 40 universities and 28 language centers, it boasts nine internationally ranked universities, including Universidad de Buenos Aires, , the Universidad Austral and Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina Santa María de los Buenos Aires (UCA).

7. Argentine cuisine is too delicious -  you’d put on weight

Argentine beef is among the best in the world, but Buenos Aires eateries have many more treats to offer. Inspired by Italian and Spanish cuisines, local dishes take inspiration from different influences.

A particularly delicious treat, you must try Argentine pizza, which bears some resemblance to the Chicagoan deep dish. With Argentine mozzarella cheese dripping down its inch-high crusts, it usually comes garnished with green olives, dried chili flakes and a touch of tomato. It’s very cheesy. Some pizzerias sell it by the slice to eat on the go  - which definitely hits the spot on a night out.

8. You have two left feet - moving to the birthplace of tango could be risky

If, like many people, you’re not in touch with your feelings and can’t dance to save your life, moving to the birthplace of tango might be dangerous. Tango is one of those dances you really have to pour your heart into, and no talented tango dancer can ever make up for their partner’s chaotic or clumsy footwork.

9. Buenos Aires’ beautiful sprawling ecological reserve is too green

The Costanera Sur on the coast of the River Plate is Buenos Aires’s answer to Central Park and a godsend for exhausted porteños. Its enormous 350 acres of green are open every day except Monday - which is ideal when you fancy a break or a jog.

It’s home to three lagoons, 300 species of native and exotic birds, as well as mammals, reptiles and amphibians, plus 500 species of native plants and trees. Entrance and guided tours are free and bikes are available for hire. It’s almost too much nature for one person to experience.

OK, so maybe Buenos Aires is actually pretty great. Find out more about studying here.

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