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Programs and Deadlines
About Penn Abroad
IFSA-Butler Argentine Universities Program (BAR)
Buenos Aires, Argentina (Fall Spring Academic Year Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall,
Budget Sheets Fall,
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
Language Prerequisite:
6 or more semesters of college level language
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0
Credit Available For:
College, Huntsman
Other Eligibility Requirements: Grades of B or better in Spanish, See Program Description
Type of Program:
Direct Enrollment
Application Deadline:
Fall/Year: February 15, Spring: October 1
Program Description:
Photo Credit: S.Goldberg

Program Snapshot

(click on the links highlighted in blue below to learn more)
The Academic Program
  • Direct Enrollment at a choice of four local universities
  • Mandatory Advanced Spanish & Argentine Culture course
  • Fall Semester: mid-July to mid-December
  • Spring Semester: mid-February to mid-July
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Completion of Spanish 219 or Spanish 223 or equivalent course
  • Grades of B or better in all Spanish courses at Penn
  • Enrollment in Spanish course in the semester prior to departure
  • Homestays in local Argentine households
The City of Buenos Aires
  • Called "the Paris of the Americas", the capital city of Argentina is one of the largest cities in the world with an estimated 11 million people living in the city and surrounding areas.
  • Buenos Aires consists of 46 barrios, or neighborhoods, each with its own history and character.
  • In addition to the Spanish settlers, there are large Italian, German, Jewish, and Asian populations in Buenos Aires.
Special Features
  • Field trips are offered both in the city and in the surrounding areas.
  • Opportunities are available to take overnight excursions (past destinations have included San Martin de los Andes and Colonia, Uruguay).
The Application Process
The Penn Abroad application requires applicants to submit one academic recommendation. The one recommendation must be from a Spanish language professor that taught and graded the applicant at Penn.
Financial Matters
Penn Resources

This program requires an advising session with a Program Manager prior to opening an application. To view the schedule for upcoming group advising sessions, or to schedule an individual appointment, select the ‘Schedule an Advising Appointment’ button on the Penn Abroad homepage.  

The Academic Program

The Argentine Universities Program is operated by the Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University (IFSA-Butler).

Following a 4-day orientation program, Penn students can enroll in classes at four Argentine universities, and may also choose from among three program courses to complement the university courses. Penn students enroll in four to five courses, including the required Advanced Spanish and Argentine Culture course, for a total of 15-18 Argentine credits. Penn Abroad participants must maintain a full course load for their period of study abroad.

Registration in more than one university offers students access to a wider range of courses, computer labs and libraries.  The Center staff advises students about the appropriateness of courses for their level of Spanish proficiency and their preparation in different areas of study. Final university course selection takes place at the beginning of the term, as course availability and scheduling are not known fully in advance. Students may request tutors in particular fields to provide additional assistance.

The four host universities are:

Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA): Some of the greatest thinkers and writers in the country have taught and studied at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Courses at UBA can be an outstanding academic experience, but they are demanding and assume an extensive background in the subject area. Program students enroll in courses in the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras or the Facultad de Ciencias Sociales. Filosofia y Letras offers courses in history, philosophy, humanities, geography, anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, Latin American studies, psychology and sociology. Ciencias Sociales offers courses in communication, journalism, social work, labor relations, political science, international relations, and sociology. UBA schools are scattered throughout Buenos Aires.

Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (UTDT): Located in the residential neighborhood of Belgrano, the young UTDT is rapidly gaining a reputation as the most prestigious private university in Buenos Aires. The university has been developed by faculty and administrators of the Instituto Di Tella, long considered the best-known research institute in the social sciences in Argentina. The University looks to provide a complete undergraduate education to top Argentine students in the fields of economics, political science, international relations, law, business and history. Unlike faculty at most Argentine institutions, faculty at UTDT tend to make a full-time commitment to this school.

Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA): A private university, the Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA) is known for its small classes and personalized attention. The campus is located in the center of Buenos Aires, along the wharf at Puerto Madero. UCA offers courses in business, communication, economics, education, history, journalism, Latin American studies, literature, music, and political science.

Universidad del Salvador (USAL): Located just north of downtown Buenos Aires, USAL was founded by Jesuits in 1956 as a private Catholic university. Twenty years ago management of the university shifted to private civilian control, but the Jesuit reputation for quality academics still prevails among the faculty. The university is divided into nine faculties of which five are open to IFSA-Butler students (Historia, Filosofía y Letras; Ciencias Sociales; Ciencias de la Administración; Artes de Teatro; and Psicología) and two colleges of which one is open to IFSA-Butler students (Escuela de Estudios Orientales). USAL is also known for its large international community.
*Students should note that Penn's Hispanic Studies department does not approve credit for courses taken at USAL. Hispanic Studies may approve credit for courses taken at other universities, and other Penn departments may approve credit for courses taken at USAL.*

Required Courses

Students are required to enroll in the required IFSA-Butler course, Advanced Spanish & Argentine Culture (which will transfer back as SPAN 216), which begins during orientation and extends throughout the semester. In addition to the Advanced Spanish & Argentine Culture course, students should expect to enroll in four additional courses (unless they take an UBA course).  This will be explained in greater detail during the initial advising session.

Grading Scale

Argentine university grades are awarded on a ten point scale (including decimal points, e.g. 7.5). The scale is not based on an equal distribution of points nor on a percentage. In the Argentine system, a perfect exam or paper may not always be awarded a grade of 10 depending on individual professors' practices. Students are frequently assessed on solely on the results of a final and/or midterm exam. As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school.

Learn More About IFSA-Butler's Argentine Universities Program

Information on Universities:

Argentine Universities Program > Academics > University Info / University Courses

Online Course Catalogs for Universities:

Argentine Universities Program > Academics > Online Course Catalogs

Program Courses offered by IFSA-Butler:

Argentine Universities Program > Academics > Program Courses


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Students live in homestays in local Argentine households. Meals are included but laundry is not. Living in a private home is the best way to learn the language, customs and culture of Argentina, and participants have found this arrangement to be invaluable in terms of cultural insight and understanding. Host families live throughout Buenos Aires, and students commute to classes by bus or subway. The homestay option provides students with two meals a day Sunday through Friday and one meal on Saturdays. The IFSA-Butler staff assists the students in obtaining housing appropriate to their needs. Students may not make their own housing arrangements.

Special Features

The program offers students a wide variety of field trips both in the city and in the surrounding areas. Trips to cultural events in the city include football matches, nights at the theatre, beginning tango classes, polo lessons, and several others. Students also have the opportunity to take a 3-day excursion with the program; past destinations have included San Martín de los Andes as well as a one day trip to Colonia, Uruguay. In addition, specific classes organize various activities, such as a tour of Teatro Colón, a visit to Museo Eva Perón, a visit to national Congreso and CGT, and tickets to the Latin American Cinema Festival. The program also organizes special meals for exchange students, such as Thanksgiving and a farewell dinner.

The Application Process

Please review the Getting Started Guide. Additional details will be provided by the Penn Abroad Program Manager for Argentina.

Financial Matters

Students are charged Penn tuition and student fee (called study abroad fee the semester abroad) for all Penn programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, meals, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheet to determine other costs. 

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. The IFSA-Butler First Generation Scholar Program awards up to $2,500 for study abroad-related expenses who are first generation college students. Financial, academic and pre-professional support are all offered through this program.

Penn Resources

Students who study abroad are encouraged to take advantage of Penn's many resources for students, even if you haven't used them before going abroad.  There is an extensive list of resources on the Penn Abroad website that can help you to explore issues that might pertain to you and to help you prepare for a term abroad. 

In addition to these resources, we encourage you to reach out to a past program participant or ambassador to learn more about the program from a student perspective.

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