SPAN 399A: Buenos Aires Interterm Travel Course 

Hey! My name is Emerson Ellis and I am a sophomore Applied Human Physiology Major, and Spanish Minor here at Chapman. I am from Kenmore, Washington and grew up very active and academically driven. I stumbled upon Chapman for softball, but quickly fell in love with what else the school had to offer. Chapman does an amazing job tailoring their academics to best suit each student and provide students with ample opportunities to grow academically and individually. This travel course did just that.  

While I love how tight nit our Orange campus is, I quickly grew antsy and looked at abroad programs. I grew up traveling and love adventure, but with my rigorous major I knew it was going to be difficult to study abroad for an entire semester. One of my older friends had mentioned a travel course option that took place over interterm for about a month. While I’ve studied Spanish for years, I have only ever been truly immersed in the language for about a week in Costa Rica. Obviously, Argentina piqued my interest.  


The trip was incredible. I quickly fell in love with the city and community of Argentina. While I was nervous going into the trip, having little or no knowledge of what to expect, the group of Chapman students/professors on the course were beyond welcoming. I took Spanish 399A while abroad (the highest division offered) so my class was limited to three other Chapman students, but several of my friends were in classes with both Chapman students and other international travelers. They loved getting to know individuals of all ages and backgrounds and met some very interesting people haha

For some guidance on what to expect…almost the entire trip is planned out for you. You stay in a host house with a family who has housed several students before you. The majority of them speak English and love helping practice your spanish! My host was a lovely woman whom’s son had moved out and needed to fill her empty nest. Her house was in the heart of the city and only a 15 min bus ride away from Academia (the school). Chapman students stay in houses scattered ALL over Buenos Aires, so it’s super cool to visit one another’s neighborhoods. Academia was more-or-less in the center of everyone, right beside Plaza de Mayo, a historic landmark of Buenos Aires. In Plaza de Mayo, there are countless museums, statues, shops, cathedrals, markets, restaurants and even the infamous Casa Rosada (Argentina’s presidential house). Plaza de Mayo was the perfect gathering place for everyone, whether you wanted to meet up before our scheduled tours, grab a bite to eat during lunch hours, or before heading into town for the night. If you want any recommendations, reach out!  


The food was definitely a shock. I was expecting more Hispanic style food, but they actually use very little spice in their dishes. They eat A LOT of carbs…oh, and meat. In my house, there was a rotation of pasta or chicken for dinner every night. And whenever you go out to a restaurant, the whole menu consists of different variations of steak. On that note, all the food was delicious and a fun change of pace from my normal diet. Even my roommate, who is a notorious picky eater, had no problem trying different foods.  

The whole itinerary is planned out for you. You go on several tours around the city, visiting historic museums, theaters, graveyards, and infamous locations such as the town Boca, a beautiful estancia, and even a weekend in Uruguay. The\ Chapman professors accompanying you on the trip are incredibly friendly and there for you along the way. The Academia professors are some of the coolest and most casual teachers you will probably ever have, making the experience that much more fun and unique. The trip was truly incredible and I couldn’t recommend it more. If you have time to stay an extra few days after the trip, try and visit Patagonia! TRUST ME.  

If you haven’t fallen in love with the city enough, the community around you is even better. Everyone is so friendly and loves to test your Spanish speaking skills. Not only that, but you become super close to the individuals on the trip with you. Had I not gone on the trip, I would never have met the students I did. It feels surreal seeing them back on our Orange campus, having shared our Argentina experience together.


Emerson Ellis

Spanish Travel Course

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Interterm 2023