I have now been in Argentina for two weeks and it feels like two months. During this time I have already experienced so much and got to know so many people. In Argentina pretty much everything is different, but I am super happy here and feel totally comfortable.
Unfortunately, a lot went wrong on our journey. Actually, my plane was supposed to leave on August 22nd at just before 10:00 p.m. and we were supposed to arrive in Buenos Aires at 7:00 a.m. local time. At first everything went well, the farewell was relatively easy and the security wasn’t a big problem either.
At the gate our group of German exchange students was joined by Danes, Belgians, an Austrian and a Russian. Our flight was accompanied by an AFS volunteer and in addition an AFS Argentina employee flew with us, who happened to be on his way back to Argentina. We were a very merry group and had a lot of fun.
But then our flight was cancelled for safety reasons and postponed to the next day. So we all slept one night in the hotel at the airport and departed the next day around 2:00 p.m. The 14 hour flight was quite exhausting because I could hardly sleep.
Around 11:00 o’clock at night we landed in Buenos Aires. There we first had to go through the Migraciones (visa controls), which also took longer, as our visas were not correctly registered and all had to be checked individually. Then we got our luggage and had to go through customs, which consisted of only one luggage scan.
At the airport we were welcomed by AFS staff, who had to take care of some paperwork and then we drove by bus for 1 hour to our accommodation, where we finally arrived around 2 o’clock at night. The next morning we had to leave very early so that all of us had only about 3 hours sleep. Consequently, we were exhausted the next day.
The exchange students, who were supposed to travel to their host families by plane, were taken to another airport. There we waited until our departure, the flights left between about 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. I was very lucky not to have to fly alone, but together with two other exchange students, one from Belgium and one from Hong Kong. We arrived at the airport in Neuquén at about 7:00 p.m. There the host families waited for us.
My first two weeks
I get along very well with my host family. You sometimes notice the language barrier, but my host family is really super nice. I get along especially well with my host sisters. I do a lot with my same-age host sister and also with her friends, who are also really nice. I also get along very well with my classmates, but I will go into more detail about the school in another blog article.
My Spanish has also improved a lot during these two weeks. When I arrived, I hardly understood anything and could hardly speak. Meanwhile I understand quite a lot (my classmates talk to me in Spanish unless I don’t understand it at all) and the talking slowly gets better. I also get along better and better in class.
On the first weekend we had our Survival Orientation from AFS on Saturday. There I got to know the other exchange students who are in the same committee with me. In our chapter there are 13 exchange students from Italy, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Hong Kong, USA, Turkey, and Thailand. At the orientation we mainly talked about security issues and the structure of AFS and got to know each other. Two of the exchange students go to school with me, but we are not in the same class.
I also have the opportunity to play the clarinet in an orchestra in Argentina. I have lessons once a week and rehearsals once a week. In the second week I went to both for the first time and I really had a lot of fun. Here, too, you notice the language barrier a little, but many musical terms are the same internationally.
All in all, I really feel at home here and experience a lot. The Argentinians are all super nice and open-minded and are all really happy to have exchange students here. Even though almost everything is different here, I had no culture shock at all and have already got used to a lot of things.