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.*
For additional information, visit the IFSA-Butler Argentine Universities Program website.
The City of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is known as "the Paris of the Americas," and is the capital city of Argentina, one of the largest cities in the world with an estimated 11 million people living in the city and surrounding areas. In addition to the Spanish settlers, there are large Italian, German, Jewish, and Asian populations in Buenos Aires.
Did you know…?
Buenos Aires consists of 46 barrios, or neighborhoods, each with its own history and character.
The IFSA-Butler Argentine Universities Program is for College and Huntsman students for College credit only.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0
Language Prerequisite: Successful completion of SPAN 219 or 223 with a grade of B or better in all Spanish courses at Penn required by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure. Students must be enrolled in a Spanish course during the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure.
Language of Instruction
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. For more information regarding academics, visit here.
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. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.
Grades are reported to Penn on the IFSA-Butler Argentine Universities Program and then converted to Penn grades.
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by IFSA-Butler Argentine Universities Program when they arrive at the start of the semester.
More information regarding courses can be found here under the “Academics” tab.
More information regarding volunteering can be found here under the “Volunteer” tab.
More information to connect with IFSA-Butler alumni can be found here under the “Get Connected” tab.
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 theater, 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 and concentrations 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.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
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.
Cost and Finance
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
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. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.