Though CAPA International Education strongly encourages our students to experience as much of the local culture as possible while studying abroad, we also know that sometimes it’s necessary to seek out a few comforts of home. Here are 10 tips for our students in Buenos Aires looking for a taste of home.
1. ENGLISH LANGUAGE COMEDY. It's true that it can be tiring to be immersed in a city where the primary language is not your first. If you need a small break from Spanish, there are a few key places to relax and be entertained in English. If you're looking for a laugh, try GrinGo Standup, the city's first English-language comedy club. The performers are a great mix of locals and expats and the events take place at Café Rivas every Tuesday at 9 pm. Head to Estados Unidos 302 and admission is about $5. There is a restaurant downstairs with great ambiance and affordable food.
Photo: Cafe Rivas where GingGo Standup is held by Fernando Martinez
2. ENGLISH LANGUAGE STORYTELLING. One of the regular performers at GrinGo StandUp also runs a storytelling event for grown-ups called Second Story the last Sunday of every month which is also in English. It's held at Senior Duncan at Rivadavia 3832 in Almagro.
3. PALERMO SOHO NEIGHBORHOOD. Palermo is a very large neighborhood in the Northeast part of Buenos Aires. It's divided into Palermo Viejo, Palermo Soho, Palermo Hollywood and Palermo Chico and Las Cañitas. Palermo Soho is small area around Plaza Serrano where many Americans set up homes in their adopted city. It's a place where plenty of expats gather to stroll around the many shops and restaurants in the area or sit down for coffee somewhere like the American style Mark's Deli and Coffee House or Muma's Cupcakes.
Photo: The colors of Palermo Soho by paula soler-moya
4. BOSQUES DE PALERMO. Many expats head to Bosques de Palermo to spread picnic blankets on the grass and enjoy an afternoon of sun and friends. It's one of the city's largest parks with three lakes. It's a great place to escape the city if you're missing the great outdoors. Join in on the energetic vibe that flows through the space and go for a run, a bike ride or rollerblading. If you're in the mood for a good workout, challenge yourself with one of the many outdoor gym classes - boot camp, dance class or stretch and tone sessions.
Photo: Bosques de Palermo by Daniel J. Builes G.
5. ECOLOGICAL RESERVE. Another great green oasis outside of the inner-city chaos is the Reserva Ecologica. You'll find it in the city at Av. Tristán Achával Rodríguez 1550 in the Puerto Madero neighborhood, not far from the CAPA center. Again, bring a picnic and a group of friends or shoes to run or hike. It's the largest ecological reserve in the city with a great view of the skyscrapers in the distance. The diversity of flora and fauna is impressive. A camera won't go amiss!
Photo: Reserva Ecological by SimonPo
6. CHIPPER FISH AND CHIPS. This one may seem aimed more at the British expats than Americans, but those who come from the coast will full appreciate finding fish and chips in Buenos Aires as well! You'll definitely run into some of BA's expat community here. A new establishment, Chipper is located at Humboldt 1893 in Palermo Hollywood. The reviews are coming back strong so far. Fish that doesn't leave a greasy feeling, cheese chips, curry chips, garlic chips...
Photo: Grilled fish at Chipper Fish and Chips from their website
7. LA VIRUTA. Hidden under the Armenian Cultural Centre, this little gem can be found on Armenia 1366 in Buenos Aires. Though it's Argentinean culture you'll be enjoying rather than American in La Viruta, it's a very popular place for expats to go to watch locals dance or join in. You're bound to bump into other Americans here and if you're interested in improving your tango skills, you're in the right place. Admission is less than $10 and includes a tango lesson. If you're having fun, stick around; it's open all night long.
Photo: Dancing lessons at La Viruta from the La Viruta website
8. ORGANIC FOOD. Though it's tempting to stop eating the same healthy foods you eat back home in the States when you study abroad, it's important to continue aiming for your five a day while you're in Argentina. The Buenos Aires Organic Market is a great place to stock up. It's the largest and most organized of all the organic markets in the city. They carry fresh fruit and vegetables for one full weekend each month in a different location in the city. More than 60 producers display over 400 products during the year and they often have promotional prices. Be sure to stop by and try the cheese. There's claims it's some of the best in the world!
Video: Buenos Aires Organic Market from organizers Planeta Joy
9. EXPAT GROUPS. There are specific groups set up for those seeking out the comforts of home through connection with the expat community. Get involved by volunteering in Buenos Aires with Expats Solidarios and give back to your adopted community. (Note that it's important to be aware that nobody should pay for any volunteer activities. All volunteer organizations need to be registered and have a public official website. Always go with a group. Be sure the local contact person meets you there and is aware of your participation). CAPA Buenos Aires Resident Director Dr. Monica Pagano is very active in volunteer work and would be happy to help you get involved or give you some pointers. Also look into the BA Expats group and Buenos Aires Connection, both meet up groups that organize regular events for expats from all over the world who live in BA.
Photo: Buenos Aires Connection Group Meet Up by Gonzalo Martinez Luchinetti
10. AMERICAN SPORTS. A key feature of American culture, students from the States tend to miss their sports! Looking for a place to catch the NFL, NBA or NHL while you're studying abroad in Buenos Aires? One of our favorites is Casa Bar at Rodriguez Peña 1150 which is run by an American ex-pilot. While you cheer on your team on the big screen TVs, you can feast on chicken wings which have been said to compare to those originals of Buffalo, New York. Staff are very friendly and will welcome you in to enjoy a bit of home culture in your host country. They even serve pumpkin pie and turkey sandwiches on Thanksgiving Day.
Photo: Watching the game at Casa Bar from the Casa Bar blog
Have any more recommendations? Leave us a comment!