Why Study Spanish in Buenos Aires with Mente Argentina – Alexis, USA | Mente Argentina Blog
Alexis from the U.S. joined us in 2019 for our University Spanish Program. Here is his story…
I wanted to participate in this program, Mente Argentina’s University Spanish Program, because of the new cultural perspective it would be able to provide me on Latin America, for a voyage as far beyond my cultural and linguistic comfort zone as I can get in a Spanish-speaking setting, and the comprehensiveness and rigor of the different levels of Spanish I could take.
The first two reasons listed go hand in hand. By going past my comfort zone and what I know well, I could gain a valuable new perspective that would only increase my understanding of Latin America as a whole but also as an assortment of incredibly dynamic and diverse individuals and institutions. Currently, I have a limited cultural understanding of Latin America through my Mexican identity and a small foray into the field of Latin American Studies, and although that understanding can never truly be “complete”, it can increase with experiences like this one.
This would take me out of my comfort zone because of the cultural and linguistic differences between my current Mexico-heavy view of Latin America and Argentina, a country heavily influenced by parts of Europe other than Spain and with different internal dynamics than Mexico (and fairly unique ones for all of Latin America), particularly in regard to indigenous populations. Because of Argentina’s uniqueness in this sense, it gives a critical view of Latin America because that view is so unique, and it could not be experienced in any other Latin American country. At the same time, it is a cultural lens that could absolutely not exist outside of Latin America.
Complementary to this uniqueness, of course, is how Argentina does still fit in with the wider notion of Latin America, in terms of the pressures it has faced from other parts of the world, patterns of social, political, and cultural change (and unrest) that mark Latin America, and of course, the Spanish language. And fully immersing myself in the language is essential as I move from a clunky native fluency weighed down by years of no formal Spanish education to the ability to truly navigate the language in a nuanced manner.
The various levels that Mente Argentina provides give me an opportunity to choose what fits best for me and to dive into that fully, particularly with their Advanced Special Projects in Spanish. All of these reasons made this program the right one for me.
This content was originally published here.