New York University offers its students countless opportunities to experience learning and culture abroad, with three degree-granting campuses and 12 additional global locations in major intellectual hubs across the world. Together, these 15 locations serve every school and discipline at NYU. Students can seamlessly study away while taking credits toward their majors, choosing from more than 400 courses in 90 subjects.
At NYU Buenos Aires, students can pursue a variety of disciplines, from cultural studies or political economy to epidemiology or film and photography. Furthermore, they can embed themselves in the language, culture, and politics of their temporary home through welcoming homestays, life-changing cultural experiences, internship opportunities, and awe-inspiring travel. This site offers a lively and enriching academic experience in a warm and inviting city, as well as professors who serve in community or public sector roles or have influence in industrial or cultural contexts. It also provides access to over 600 bookstores, 300 theatres, and 130 museums.
Spotlight on Social Justice
As the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires is the seat of the national government and a nexus of the country’s politics. Citizens are passionate about democracy, pursuing grassroots community action, civil rights efforts, and human rights advocacy.
“Democratic processes are quite tangible here,” says Anna Kazumi Stahl, director of the site. “That’s why a lot of students who are interested in political science and international relations choose to come here. Many students in the arts also choose Buenos Aires—the idea of art and social movements, of art and public expression, are both very vibrant as well.”
All students enroll in a Spanish language course at their appropriate skill level, while other courses are taught in either English or Spanish. Students are instructed by some of the country’s most respected academics and writers, top journalists, distinguished filmmakers, and dynamic musicians.
Most students at NYU Buenos Aires live as guests in an Argentine household—sometimes with a family with children, individuals or couples, and even other NYU students. These homestays are an excellent way to be fully immersed in Argentine culture. Students tend to learn Spanish very quickly and experience Buenos Aires in more meaningful ways.
“My homestay apartment was a five-minute walk from the NYU academic center, so I could come back and rest between classes whenever I wanted,” Kate Melville-Rea, a Social Research and Public Policy major, explains. Host families also provide students with a much-needed support system away from home. According to Kate, “I knew I’d have a home-cooked meal waiting for me every night, and for my birthday, my Argentine mother and sister went out of their way to make it special, surprising me with a dinner feast and the best chocolate cheesecake ever!”
Opportunities to interact with Argentine cultural figures often present themselves right in class. That’s how Stjepan Klinar, a Political Science major, connected with part of Argentina’s musical history. “My music professor organized a charla, or informal lecture, that featured two musicians from the band Almendra, which had pioneered Argentine rock music in the 1960s,” says Stjepan. “The musicians continued talking to me afterward, taking an interest not only in my profound understanding of Argentine rock but also my level of fluency in Spanish. It was wonderful to swap stories with such music legends in their own language.”
Beyond the Classroom
Other students venture out into the city for cultural lessons. Excursions in the city, like visits to museums, galleries, concerts, and theatres, are regular components of coursework. For example, art history courses go behind the scenes with curators and artists at galleries, global public health classes visit clinics to meet with physicians, and journalism students experience the editorial offices of Argentina’s largest daily newspaper, Clarín.
For a writing assignment in the Reporting Buenos Aires course, Maureen Zeufack, a Media, Culture, and Communication major, was tasked with writing a restaurant review. The daughter of Cameroonian immigrants, Maureen wanted to explore her family’s culture abroad, finding that there was only one African restaurant in Buenos Aires—and that the owner and head chef was also from Cameroon. “For something like this to happen while I was there, in a place where sometimes you don’t see a lot of people who look like you, it was necessary and refreshing,” she says. “It was nice to see a familiar face and know that someone there had a similar background as me.”
Students can also apply for internships while studying at the site, working alongside professionals in everything from policy to health and arts to education. Some internships require fluent Spanish, but others can be completed almost entirely in English.
A New World
Another opportunity available to NYU Buenos Aires students is the chance to travel in the region. “Buenos Aires is an incredibly vibrant cosmopolitan city, with over 30% of the national population,” Stahl says. “But when students travel outside the capital, they find a vast, natural environment—tropical jungles to the north, arctic glaciers to the south, the Atlantic coast to the east, and the Andes Mountains to the west.”
For Richa Lagu, a Metropolitan Studies major with minors in Spanish and Urban Education Studies, the impact of this stunning natural environment emphasized the breadth of her experience abroad. “The last weekend of the semester my friends and I traveled to Iguazú Falls. As we navigated our way around the waterfalls, I realized how much knowledge I’d gained, not just of the Spanish language but also of the whole country,” she explains. “My adventures around Buenos Aires, my classes, my homestay family, everything from the past four months had led up to this moment: standing with some of my closest friends gazing at miles and miles of waterfalls before us.” •
About the authors
Sarah Elizabeth Bender is a writer and artist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, where she currently works as a Communications Coordinator for the University Libraries. She has been highlighting exciting programs and opportunities at NYU since 2019.
Anna Kazumi Stahl is the Site Director of NYU Buenos Aires and is Associated Faculty of the Gallatin School. Her PhD in Comparative Literature (UC Berkeley) focused on minority voices. Dr. Stahl is a published fiction writer in Spanish and a Board Member of the Fulbright Commission in Argentina.