Region: Córdoba Province
Famous for: Universities, Tango, Las estancias jesuitas, Mate
As the capital of Córdoba Province and the seat of Argentina's second largest metropolitan area, the city of Córdoba is a bustling educational and commercial center set at the foothills of the Sierra Chica mountain range in northern Argentina. Founded by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera in 1573, Córdoba today is recognized as a center for arts and learning in Argentina with its many universities, theatres, and museums.
Argentine Daily Routine:
Breakfast (Desayuno) is not a major meal, consisting of small amount of food and is generally eaten early in the morning.
Lunch (Almuerzo) is the biggest and most important meal of the day and is generally eaten between 12:00 and 2:00PM.
Dinner (Cena) is a smaller meal than almuerzo and is generally eaten after 8:00 PM and possibly as late as 11:00 PM.
Siesta is a time to rest. It starts around 1:00 PM when all the shops begin to close, and lasts until 5:00 PM. Almost all shops are closed during siesta while Argentines eat with their families, sleep, or watch TV, leaving you no choice but to also relax.
Traditional Argentine Dishes:
Empanadas are dough turnovers, either baked, fried, filled with ground beef, ham and cheese, chicken, spinach, and all sorts of other things.
Yerba Mate is a tea made from the leaves of a plant native to the tropical Litoral region of Northeastern Argentina. The tea is served in a mate and passed around for everyone to sip from the same bombilla (metallic tube or straw).
There are relatively few vegans and vegetarians in Argentina. In addition to a variety of salads available at most restaurants, Argentina offers some delicious bread and cheeses, and a number of great pasta dishes. There are also some vegan and vegetarian cafes around Córdoba and in other Argentine cities.
How to Dress in Argentina:
Like in Spain, Argentines tend to dress up more than the average American. Young men wear jeans and t-shirts or soccer jerseys, but you’ll also see men wearing nice pants and shoes. Women generally wear very feminine clothing.
To fit in with your surroundings, avoid wearing grubby jeans, sweatshirts, and sneakers. Nice, fitted clothing is what most people wear.
Since Argentina is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are the exact opposite of those we experience here in the Northern Hemisphere. Overall, Córdoba’s climate is temperate, with distinct dry and rainy seasons.
Life Outside the Classroom:
Argentines tend to be very friendly and open. However, you will need to make an effort to introduce yourself to new Argentine friends. You may choose to have a local speaking partner at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC) who will help to orient you to the university and daily life. Spanish Studies and UNC's Programa de Español y Cultura Latinoamericana (PECLA) also offer several cultural activities designed to help you integrate with your Argentine classmates.
With seven public and private universities, students make up a substantial percentage of Córdoba’s population. Not surprisingly, there are lots of options for students’ free time including cafes, pubs, and clubs. Spanish Studies wants you to have fun while studying abroad; however, you are expected to meet all of your academic responsibilities. Argentine nightlife is probably unlike the social scene you have experienced in the U.S. Argentines often plan to go out at midnight or later, which is just the start of the evening. Check out La Voz, a popular website that lists music, theater, and other events currently happening in Córdoba.
To enhance your cultural experience in Argentina, Spanish Studies Abroad organizes various excursions, study visits and other activities throughout the semester. These activities include local day trips as well as overnight excursions to Rosario, Santa Fe, and Parana. They are coordinated to enhance your class studies and designed to expand your vision of Argentine arts and culture.
Local Study visits include:
- The Iglesia de la Compañía, a historic Jesuit church in downtown Córdoba
- The old rectorado building and the rare book collection of Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
- Art exhibits, concerts, and evenings at the theater
- City tour
Day and overnight excursions include:
- Las estancias jesuitas
- San Luis, Mendoza or Entre Rios
Cross-Cultural Learning – seeing the world as others see it – begins with life outside school. During the one-month intensive language and culture course and the regular semester, you live with a local family near Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. This early immersion in Argentine language will help you gain an understanding of daily life and customs in Córdoba. There too, sharing in family conversations, you begin to learn "unspoken language" – the family values and subtle beliefs that underlie actions.
Your homestay includes full room and board as well as laundry and the cleaning of your room. Special dietary or housing accommodations may be made, but may require an additional fee. To ensure that your home will provide a warm and tranquil atmosphere, one conducive to learning, Spanish Studies staff discusses norms and policies with hosts and regularly inspects the homes.
Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
Spanish Studies Abroad Students in Córdoba study on-site at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC) and benefit from a guided direct enrollment program.
Founded by the Jesuits in 1613, the UNC's history is closely intertwined with the city of Córdoba. Located in the center of historic downtown, it is home to rich historical sites, architecture and resources, such as the old rectorado building and a rare book collection unique in the Americas. Students also have easy access to museums, theatre, nightlife, shopping, and public transportation.
Because of UNC's central role in the development of Córdoba, the city is popularly known as la Docta (the Scholar). Its prestige attracts about 100,000 students from all over Argentina and South America to study at the institution. By studying at UNC, you have the opportunity to meet a variety of Argentine and South American students in the classroom and through daily interaction. Each year, UNC also welcomes approximately 300 study abroad students to its campus who come to Córdoba for semester, academic year or summer programs. The great majority of these students are from Western Europe and Asia. With a small English-speaking presence in the university and the city, Spanish is generally the prime language of communication for everyday life, which gives you a great opportunity to build your language and cultural skills.
At UNC, Spanish Studies Abroad works in cooperation with the Programa de Español y Cultura Latinoamericana (PECLA), which offers a broad variety of courses in language, literature, history, and culture. PECLA's courses are designed to serve the needs of the international students who come to UNC to study.
While you will select a number of courses from the curriculum offered by PECLA, all Spanish Studies students enroll in one regularly-scheduled course at UNC. As you share the classroom and interchange ideas with your Argentine peers, you will find yourself immersed in both academic and cultural learning.
Spanish Studies Abroad
Your learning and immersion experience in the communities of UNC is supported by the presence of the Resident Director, who will be both guide and teacher as you make your cross-cultural journey. The Resident Director helps you to synthesize your experience through the special Cultural Realities course, and through personal contact and cultural activities throughout your stay.