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Here are some tips to help you save money while studying abroad in Buenos Aires:

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Studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is an exciting experience! It can also be inexpensive if you’re wise with your money. As a low-income, first-generation college student, allow me to share some tips I have learned along the way to save money while having a high-quality experience. 

Here are some tips to help you save money while studying abroad in Buenos Aires:

  • Accommodation: While studying abroad here, you will be living with a host family; no need to worry about managing monthly rent! They provide all of the necessities you may need during your stay. A private room, desk to study at, plenty of closet space, and one load of laundry per week. In addition, hosts provide all meals during the week if you prefer to eat in. That way, you can save your money for going out and experiencing the city with its many sights, attractions, and wonderful restaurants and cafes. Take advantage of this built-in money-saving opportunity.
  • Transportation: Public transportation is affordable and reliable in Buenos Aires. Use the subway (SUBTE), buses, or even bikes (which can be rented through various bike rental services for a reasonable price) to move around the city. Avoid taking taxis or ride-hailing services such as Uber or Cabify unless it is necessary. In my experience, I have enjoyed walking to my destination when it is an hour or less away. This has allowed me to save money, exercise, and get to know the city in a way that always relying on public transportation may not do in the same way.
  • Food: Eating out can be expensive in Buenos Aires, depending on where you go! Ask your host or argentinos/as for recommendations around the city. You will find great local gems, often cheaper and more authentic than the “top restaurants/cafes” listed on popular tourist sites. Keep your eyes peeled and take notes of the different pricing around the city or even located on the same street – the price for an empanada, for example, can fluctuate greatly!
  • Entertainment: Buenos Aires is a city with a lot to offer regarding cultural activities and entertainment. Take advantage of free events and tours, such as those provided by Study Buenos Aires and Free Walks, explore the city on foot or by bike, and use student discounts at museums and other attractions. There are markets on the weekends, such as the San Telmo fair on Sundays, where you can simply walk for miles and enjoy seeing the various items and crafts for sale, as well as dancing and music. In addition, IFSA provides a few outings each semester that are included in the program so you don’t have to book tickets yourself. These include day trips and overnight stays, where you are sure to see and learn new things.
  • Language exchange: Find a language exchange partner to practice your Spanish with. You can do so using Facebook groups or simply when socializing out and about with friends you’ll meet in the program. For me, it has been great to meet locals, make friends, and learn about the culture without spending too much money. And, of course, practicing your Spanish skills is a must!
  • Banking: Open a local bank account to avoid high transaction fees when using your home country’s bank. Look for a bank that offers free ATM withdrawals or low international transfer fees. Additionally, setting up a Western Union account and learning how to navigate the app is another great way to get the best exchange rates in the city.
  • Travel: Argentina has a lot of beautiful places to visit, but traveling can be expensive. Look for student discounts on flights and buses, travel off-season, and stay in budget accommodations with friends to split costs and save money. Don’t forget to take advantage of the trips provided by IFSA.

By following these tips, you are sure to save money while studying abroad in Buenos Aires without sacrificing your experience in this amazing city.

Britt Christensen is a student who studied abroad with IFSA through the IFSA Study in Buenos Aires Plus: Psychology and Neuroscience Program in the Spring 2023 semester.