About Buenos Aires
Living in Buenos Aires
Casa Holden and Casa Olleros
Students in the Buenos Aires program reside with carefully selected homestay families. Pepperdine owns facilities located in the upper-middle class Belgrano neighborhood. Casa Holden serves as a central location for students to meet for convocation, house church, and other events. The facility houses a student center, an auditorium, a computer lab, the visiting faculty apartment, and the program office. There is also a swimming pool and BBQ in the backyard. The Casa is near public transportation including bus stops and a subway station. Adjacent to Casa Holden is the other Pepperdine facility, Casa Olleros, where students take their classes. Casa Olleros features the Patagonia Library, four classrooms (Pampa, Cuyo, Noroeste, and Mesopotamia), and a large study area.
Arriving in Argentina
Argentina group flight participants arrive at the Ezeiza Airport (EZE) in Buenos Aires. Flight exemption students should follow the instructions that follow at their point of entry into Argentina. When you arrive, you will have to pass through Immigration or Passport Control before leaving the airport. You will be asked to show your passport.
It is important for Pepperdine students to identify themselves as visitors and students in an American university program because Argentine laws restrict visitation periods and immigration that take jobs and/or positions in Argentina universities.
Transportation to Your Facility
Students can take a taxi from the Ezeiza airport to Casa Holden. As soon as you go through customs, you exit the glass doors and you will see a travel kiosk named "Taxi Ezeiza." The address for Casa Holden is 11 de Septiembre 955. It will cost around US$40.
Students can take a bus from the airport into Buenos Aires. Tickets may be purchased at the booth just outside of customs. The name of the bus is Manuel Tienda Leon.
Take the Richieri Freeway until you see the General Paz sign. Take the General Paz freeway towards Rio de la Plata (there are signs). Exit at Libertador Avenue. Go straight on Libertador Avenue and turn right on Olleros Street. Go straight for 5 blocks and turn left on 11 de Septiembre. Casa Holden is on the left, halfway down the block.
Many students prefer to use Skype as an inexpensive and efficient method for communicating with friends and family.
The address to send mail is listed under "Contact". Student mailboxes are located on the second floor in Casa Holden.
We strongly recommend that you acknowledge the risk in sending packages by mail to Argentina because of the problems they have getting through Argentine customs. If your family or friends must send you a package, it is best to use a private carrier such as UPS or FedEx – although, this can be quite expensive. Please note that students in the past have experienced difficulties, incurring unexpected fees or having to make inconvenient retrievals at the airport. Electronics, medicines and food experience the most difficulty clearing customs, and usually incur high customs fees even for small items like calculators.
Classes are conducted at the Pepperdine facility, Casa Olleros, adjacent to Casa Holden. Students enter the facility through Casa Holden. Casa Olleros houses the Patagonia Library, three classrooms: Pampa, Cuyo, Noroeste, and a large study area on the bottom floor.
Casa Holden, the University-owned facility in Buenos Aires, is located in the embassy district of the city. It houses a student center with sofas and cable television, an auditorium, and a computer lab connected to the Internet. This facility also contains the visiting faculty's living quarters as well as the program office. There is a swimming pool and BBQ in the backyard. The Casa is near public transportation including bus and subway.
The Student Center, TV Room and Music Rooms are for the enjoyment of all students. Be respectful of people in surrounding rooms and monitor noise levels so they can have a peaceful environment. Noise from the Student Center can bother neighbors so be aware of loud music in the late evening hours. Students are requested to take care of televisions, DVD players and all other items in the student areas.
The Student kitchen is for communal use. There are utensils, crockery and cutlery available. Please wash and put these away after use and do not take them out of the kitchen.
Students live in the homes of carefully chosen families, many of whom have successfully housed Pepperdine students in previous years. The experience of a "homestay" is like no other. The student will be able to embrace the culture, customs and language of the Argentine people within the comfort of a family unit.
The homestay family will provide the students clean towels and linens. The laundry is done outside the house in "Lavaderos". Your family will indicate to you the location of closest one in the neighborhood.
The main entrance has a passcode, which is known only to staff and students. Casa Holden is open for students from 8:00am until 11:00pm. Outside of this time, the house is locked. Only the visiting faculty members, who live in the house, along with Claudio and Lili, the housekeepers, have the keys.
If any of the students want to invite someone to Casa Holden, they will have to be authorized by someone on the staff.
Breakfast and dinner is available seven days a week at the student's homestay. Most Argentines do not eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, but you can ask your homestay to cook it for you, or prepare it for yourself at the kitchen in Casa Holden. Punctuality is always appreciated for dinner, since this is the time of day when the whole family gathers. If you are planning on eating out for dinner or will not be home in time, it is important to notify your family beforehand to avoid any inconveniences. Dinner time generally starts around 9:00pm. Students will have funds Digitally Disbursed to a Debit Card account of their choosing for lunch and transportation during school days. Once a week on Mondays, after Convocation, the group meets together for dinner at a restaurant in town.
Buenos Aires is famous for its good restaurants, and people dine out often. Most people dine around 9:00pm so most restaurants are not open before 8:00pm. There are many restaurants to choose from, from typical Argentinean style food to ethnic foods from around the world. BA staff will be willing to help you choose restaurants according to your interests. There is a very good restaurant guide online: Guia Oleo (www.guiaoleo.com.ar) where you can check out restaurants and read reviews. Only top scale restaurants require reservations on a regular day, or if you are going with a very large group, you should make reservations prior to arrival.
What do you need? What should you leave behind? How will you ever get all of your things into the suitcases the airline will let you check? The answer to all three of these very valid questions is "Less is definitely more!" Do not take too much and choose carefully what you do take.
Referring to choice, that should be determined by two factors: climate and cultural differences. As to quantity, that will be determined by airline luggage restrictions. Airlines have strict luggage allowances, and they will charge you a costly excess baggage fee for exceeding the maximum weight or size allowed. In some cases they may refuse to allow luggage on the airplane.
Typical Luggage Allowance
Policies on maximum number of checked luggage, dimension and weight restrictions, and checked luggage fees vary from airline to airline. It is the student's responsibility to check with his or her airline for these luggage restrictions. Most airline carriers charge a fee for each piece of checked luggage. Fees vary by airline, and it is the student's responsibility to be prepared to pay these fees at the airport.
What to Take
During the week, students have a schedule much like in Malibu. Classes and meals will take up most of the day, but evening activities may vary. The most common student dress is casual – jeans or khakis, shorts, short-sleeved shirts, and sweaters. Spring and summer (remember September in Argentina is the beginning of spring) are warm and often humid. However, at the beginning of the program and at higher elevations evenings may be cool. Spring and summer weather in Argentina is warm and often humid. Rain showers are far more frequent than in Southern California. While many of the buildings are now air conditioned, some rooms in the facilities are not.
Comfort in these conditions calls for light, washable, wrinkle-resistant, clothing. Fabrics that breathe like cotton and washable silk are probably best. Even though the weather will be warm, remember that some of the places you will want to see have dress codes that prohibit shorts, bare shoulders, and bare midriffs. Some of the most important items to bring are a light, waterproof jacket and comfortable, waterproof shoes (canvas-sided athletic shoes are miserable when wet). International Program students walk a lot on uneven, hard surfaces, so shoes must be up to the task.
One of the most obvious cultural differences between Argentines and Americans is the way they dress. Argentines tend to be more stylish and fashion conscious. When they go out at night, even to a local restaurant, they tend to dress up. You should too, even in the cities you visit when traveling – especially if you plan to go to nicer restaurants or the theatre.
While traveling on weekends, you want to take as little as possible, but be prepared for rain and possibly cool evenings. Wear comfortable clothes in layers that you can take off if it warms up. Your destination and what you plan to do there will determine whether you take along a dressier outfit or not. Keep in mind that it is better to be prepared. Do take jeans, a t-shirt, a warm, long-sleeved shirt, a sweater, a lightweight waterproof coat/jacket, socks and waterproof shoes.
Suggestions from Program Alumni
- Practical clothes that are dark-colored, machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, and colorfast will last longer and be more comfortable.
- Don't take too many shoes. You'll be much happier with a few pairs of versatile, comfortable walking shoes than a suitcase of shoes to match every outfit.
- You can find personal products like toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc. overseas – often even the same brands. However, bring your favorite product if you can't live without it. It is suggested that girls bring their preferred brand of tampons with them. If you wear contact lenses, you may want to take along a supply of lens solution. The brands overseas may differ slightly from those in the U.S.
- Cathedrals and other religious sites often require modest attire, which is defined both for men and women as covered shoulders and long pants (or skirts). Women may wish to carry a large, lightweight scarf during warm weather so they can quickly cover their shoulders.
- If you are on prescription medication, bring a supply from home. U.S. Prescriptions will not be filled overseas. When traveling with a medication, keep it in its regular prescription container and keep a copy of your doctor's prescription with you. If you must take medication by injection (i.e. insulin) please carry your doctor's letter describing your condition and inform Pepperdine's staff overseas immediately upon arrival.
- Generic brands of aspirin, cough syrup, etc., may be found locally, but specific U.S. brands may be hard to come by. It is suggested that you bring a basic supply of medication (aspirin, cold medication, cough medication) overseas with you. Program staff will not provide medicine.
- Bring your own deodorant if you have a preferred brand; availability of some brands is limited overseas.
- Bed linens and towels are provided at your homestay. When you travel, you will find that many hotels/hostels do not provide towels or washcloths. You can, however, easily find these things in BA.
- Bring a padlock when traveling so that you can lock your suitcase or locker when staying at a hostel.
- Put your textbooks in your carry on luggage, so that you will have more space in your checked luggage.
- If you are arriving in September, make sure to bring warm clothes for the first couple of weeks. Keep in mind, however, that you will be there during the summer which gets very warm so come prepared with shorts and T-shirts.
- Slacks or jeans
- Skirts/dresses (appropriate for local culture)
- Light, waterproof coat or jacket
- Walking shoes
- Pajamas and a lightweight robe
- Slippers or sandals
- Some special occasion wear (theatre, opera, banquet, a date?)
Other Essential Items
- Textbooks must be purchased before the start of the program. Books may be purchased in the Seaver Campus Bookstore or online at www.efollett.com. It is crucial to bring your own textbooks with you to Buenos Aires because it is very difficult and sometimes impossible to receive packages. You will get an email about 1 month before arrival from Program Assistant, Tati Guerrini, listing textbooks that are available to be borrowed in BA. Keep in mind that there are a limited number of textbooks so it is not guaranteed that you will be able to borrow one from Pepperdine. All Spanish workbooks must be purchased beforehand.
- Emergency envelope (see Student Handbook)
- Travel alarm clock
- Lightweight towel and washcloth (at least one of each; more can be purchased locally)
- Backpack for weekend travel
- Money belt or passport pouch (to store valuables under your clothes)
- Thumb drive to store word documents/pictures
- Spare contacts or glasses
- Chargers for personal electronics
A Few Tips
- Avoid over-packing your bag so that the airport security screener will be able to easily reseal your bag if it is opened for inspection.
- Avoid packing food and drink items in checked baggage.
- Place identification tags with your name and phone number on all of your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well.
- Pack one change of clothing and necessary toiletries in your carry on luggage. Suitcases do not always arrive when you do.
- Roll your clothes instead of folding them. This saves space and leaves room for overseas purchases.
- Wear your bulkiest, heaviest shoes and your coat or jacket on the plane so you won't have to pack them.
- Use the space inside your shoes for small items (socks, toiletries, etc.)
- Don't forget to save space for your books!
- DO NOT pack money, travelers' checks, or credit cards in your checked luggage.
- Save space for your return trip – luggage restrictions can be even more strict flying from Argentina to the United States.
Do Not Bring
- Linens or Towels
- Expensive jewelry or other valuables
- Too many shoes
- Sophisticated electronic equipment
- Things on the list above that you'd rather buy overseas
- Anything you don't absolutely need
Voltage in Argentina is different than in the U.S. Essentially, using an American appliance (110 volts) on Argentine electricity (220 volts) "fries" the appliance. Voltage converters that are sold widely with plug converters do not work very well – in spite of manufacturers' claims. Using them for such things as curling irons, hair dryers, radios and stereos may mean damage to the unit. When you arrive in Argentina, you can buy adaptors for your electronic equipment that are reasonably inexpensive.
Mobile telephone use is widespread in Argentina, using several different systems, but they are all different from the system used in the U.S.. If you want to use your regular phone from the states with an Argentine SIM card, make sure that you contact your telephone provided and figure out the details of how to unlock your phone before arriving in BA. Also, make sure to keep your American SIM card if you want to continue using the same phone when you go back to the U.S. Upon arrival, you will find that it is not super difficult to find an Argentine SIM card and phone plan to put in your unlocked phone. Another option is to buy an Argentine pre-paid phone. This type of phone can be purchased at any of the local phone company stores. You can add minutes to the phone by buying pre-paid minutes cards which are available at many of the local kiosks.
The Colon Theatre is one of the main lyrical theatres of the world. During the 20th Century, the most important directors, singers, and dancers from the period performed here. In 1857 the first Teatro Colón was opened, in front of Plaza de Mayo. In 1888 it was closed to become the head office of the National Bank and the authorities from Buenos Aires invited tenders to build the new theatre. The government pretended to open it in 1892, but, although the workers started in 1889, they did not finish until the year 1908. Tamburini died and he was replaced by his collaborator Víctor Meano, who directed the building until his death, in 1904. Belgian Jules Dormal finished the building. The main hall, horseshoe shaped, is considered as one of the best acoustics halls in the world. The dome is decorated by painter Raúl Soldi. The theatre has a stable cast, a corps de ballet, orchestras, set design and costumes workshops, a library and a museum. Seating capacity is 3542, with room for 700 people standing.
This is the oldest café in the city. The marble and wooden tables, the old pictures on its walls, the traditional menu, the waiters, and the customers turned it into the archetype of bar in Buenos Aires. A French immigrant called Touan founded it in 1858. The name was one of a trendy café at the Boulevard des Italiens in Paris. The Tortoni established in its current location in 1880 (until then it was around the corner, where Roberto Arlt square is currently located). At the end of the 19th Century, another Frenchman, called Celestino Curutchet, bought the café. In 1898 he asked architect Alejandro Christophersen to build the entrance on the Avenida de Mayo, where it actually remains. Since the beginning of the 20th Century, the Tortoni is visited by artists, politicians, and office workers from downtown. Jorge Luis Borges, Luigi Pirandello, García Lorca, Julio Cortázar, Arturo Rubinstein, and Carlos Gardel used to visit it, among other people. Pictures, poems, and busts in the interior tell the story of this bar. Jazz and Tango shows are performed at the Tortoni. There are some typical dishes and desserts on the menu, such as the "leche merengada," that can only be bought here.
The Malba Museum or Museo de Alrte Ltinoamericano de Buenos Aires, is one of the most modern museums in Buenos Aires. It hosts the Constantini collection: more than 200 pieces (paintings, sculptures, engravings, pictures, and objects) by Latin American artists from the 20th Century. The complete collection of Eduardo Constantini was exhibited at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1995; three years later, the business man called for international bidders to design a museum for the collection. The building is covered with limestone and has great glass and steel surfaces. Among many others, the museum hosts works by Frida Kahlo, Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, Diego Rivera, Joaquín Torres-García, Antonio Berni, Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, Jorge de la Vega, Tarsila do Amaral, Pedro Figari, Lygia Clark, Helio Oiticica, Liliana Porter, Guillermo Kuitca, and José Bedia Valdés. The museum has a cinema, a café, a gift store, and a bookstore.
Campo Argentino de Polo
These polo horses and players are considered the best ones in the world. This stadium is known as "the Cathedral of Polo." The stadium, opened in 1928, holds 30,000 visitors and it is used for musical events, pato (sport played with a horse) and field hockey matches. Among the most significant clubs of the country, we can enumerate "La Dolfina", "Indios Chapaleufú", "Ellerstina" and "La Aguada." The Argentine Open Championship begins at the end of November. This tournament is the most important at the international level.
Cementerio de la Recoleta
It was the first public cemetery in the city and today is the most elegant and aristocratic. In its almost six hectares, national heroes, presidents, politicians, military men, scientists, artists, and celebrities are buried here. At the beginning of the 18th Century, the "recoletos" monks settled in the land, where in 1732 the "Iglesia del Pilar" was raised, one of the oldest churches in Buenos Aires. In 1822, after the monk's expulsion – as a consequence of the general reform of the ecclesiastic order – the vegetable garden of the convent became into a public cemetery. Its layout by French engineer Próspero Catelin was redesigned in 1881, when Torcuato de Alvear was the mayor, by architect Juan Antonio Buschiazzo. Italian sculpture Giulio Monteverde made the Christ that dominates the chapel. The mortal remains of the leaders and political enemies of the 19th Century Rosas and Quiroga; presidents Sarmiento, Mitre, and Yrigoyen; the First Lady and political leader Eva Perón; writers José Hernández, Bioy Casares, Silvina Ocampo, Girondo, and Mallea; Nobel prizewinners Federico Leloir (chemistry) and Saavedra Lamas (peace), among others, are in this cemetery.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
This museum is the most important fine-arts museum of the country, and it is among the main museums of the world. Its collection of Argentine art is the biggest existing. Plastic arts in Argentina were developed gradually during the 19th Century and showed great advancement toward the end of the century. The Argentine artists educated in Europe (especially in Italy, France, and Spain) who came back to the country started to exhibit their works and organize shows by other artists. In 1885 the first one-person show by a national artist was held in Buenos Aires, with 29 pieces by Cándido López. In 1893 the first national painting hall was established. No statue was made in Argentina until the creation of the "Falucho" monument, by Correa Morales, in 1897, located in the intersection of Santa Fé Avenue and Luis María Campos Street. The MNBA was inaugurated in July 1896, and opened for the public on Christmas day the same year. The director was painter and art critic Eduardo Schiaffino, in a rental space in a building constructed for the French store Au Bon Marché (today "Galerías Pacífico," in Córdoba Avenue and Florida Street.) The museum's assets, made of donations and acquisitions by Schiaffino himself in Europe, had grown 20 times over in 1909. The MNBA moved to the "Pabellón Argentino," an iron and glass building which represents the country at the "Exposición Universal de París" of 1889. Finally, in 1993, the current site was opened, in the old building of the "Casa de Bombas," built in 1870. Architect Alejandro Bustillo was in charge of restoration, he designed spacious rooms, well illuminated, and simple. During the 60s and the 80s, several rooms and halls were added to the building. The MNBA collection is the largest in the country and one of the most remarkable in Latin America. The most important international pieces in the museum include works by El Greco, Rodin, Goya, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, and Picasso, among others. Argentine artists include Cándido López, Spilimbergo, Pueyrredón, Fader, Quinquela Martín, Xul Solar, Berni, Alonso, de la Vega, Gorriarena, Seguí, and many more. The museum has a photography hall, a Pre-Columbian Andean art hall, two sculpture terraces, and a library holding over 150,000 items.
Bosques de Palermo
With more than 80 hectares (about 200 acres), it is one of the biggest green areas in Buenos Aires. The "porteños" visit the park to have picnics or to practice sports. The park was started to be built in 1874 by the initiative of President Domingo F. Sarmiento. The original design was in charge of architects Oldendorf, Mauduit, and Wysocky; Belgian architect Jules Dormal (one of the architects of the "Teatro Colón" and the "Congreso") participated in the buildings too. It was inaugurated in 1875. Since 1892, Carlos Thays was in charge of the many changes and extensions. Thays was the main landscape gardener who worked in Argentina at the end of the 19th Century and at the beginning of the 20th Century. The park has two artificial lakes which can be travelled by boat or by water-bicycles. The park has around 12,000 trees; many of them are yellow-flowered hardwood trees, eucalyptus, "talas", and ombus. Inside the park, at the Plaza Holanda, "El Roseda" there is a garden with more than 12,000 rosebushes.
Plaza de Mayo
It is the oldest square in Buenos Aires. Its location was determined in the 2nd foundation of the city, in 1580. It is surrounded by historical and governmental buildings, such as the Cabildo, the Casa Rosada (National Government seat,) the Palace of the Government of Buenos Aires, banks, and ministries. On June 11, 1580, Spanish Juan de Garay did the foundation ceremony of the "Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad" and "Puerto de Santa María del Buen Ayre" in the lands that nowadays Plaza de Mayo is located. The village was raised around it. Until the middle of the 17th Century, the surface was the half of the current; in 1884 an arcade that divided in two was demolished and it received its modern name. The name is homage to the revolution of May 25, 1810, when the neighbours from Buenos Aires gathered at the square to expel the viceroy and name the first government of the creoles. Six years later, the National independence was sworn at the square, and 1860, the constitution. Since half of the 20th Century the square is the place of big social demonstrations, and since 1977, it is the meeting point of the "Madres de Plaza de Mayo," who claim the apparition of their kidnapped sons and daughters during the military dictatorship. The "Pirámide de Mayo" is on the center of the square, it is a monument that has the shape of an obelisk, and it was built in 1811 to celebrate the first anniversary of the revolution. In 1856 it was completely refurbished by artist and architect Prilidiano Pueyrredón. Its height is of 19 meters.
Feria de Mataderos
It is a fair of production and diffusion of the Argentine popular traditions. It is located in front of the "Mercado Nacional de Hacienda," a National historical monument. The many sale stands surround the monument to the cowhand. (the one who did the old trade of leading the cattle on foot in long distances.) The walk has three areas: traditional handicrafts ("mates," hats, leather items, musical instruments, etc.), artistic festivals, and "gaucho" skills. This last one includes rides, breaking-in, and ring races. There are also exhibitions, chats, traditional games for children and adults, folklore and tango dance classes, and regional food is sold. The fair is visited by 5,000 people each Sunday.
Argentina is a Catholic country and you will find Catholic Churches in every neighborhood. There is a Catholic Church in the Retiro neighborhood that offers mass in English every Sunday at 10:00am. (www.madreadmirable.com.ar) The Church of Christ in Caballito offers Sunday service at 10:45am. They also have many activities, especially for young people. People from these churches usually come to the first convo to introduce themselves and invite students to their activities. For more information you can go to www.iglesiadecristo.org.ar. The BA staff can help you locate a church or temple of the religion you desire in your neighborhood.
How are homestay locations are chosen?
- Homestay locations are individually selected by the Homestay Coordinator in Buenos Aires, together with the Buenos Aires Staff. Every family is recommended by someone that the program has trust in. The Homestay Coordinator has an interview with the new family, with a specific questionnaire that has been utilized to ensure proper examination. In this interview do they not only get to know the family, but they also inspect the house for proper and adequate living spaces, in compliance with the high standard that Pepperdine expects. If the family matches Pepperdine requirements, the Homestay Coordinator will accept them into the homestay system, in turn gathering more details as well.
How close to the Casa are the homestays?
- 80% of the houses are less than 10 blocks from Casa Holden. The other 20% have public transportation which takes between 15 and 20 minutes to get to the Casa. Female students will share homestays if their location is further than 8 blocks away from the Casa.
What do the Homestays include for the students? (Living space, WiFi, Meals, etc)
- Students will be provided with a private room; depending on the house the students bathroom could be private or shared with some members of the homestay. Students are provided WiFi. For meals, students are given breakfast and dinner everyday. The homestays provide linen and towels for the students, and their room will be cleaned once a week.
- Breakfast in Argentina is lighter. You can expect fruit, yogurt, cereals, toast, biscuits, tea, coffee, milk/chocolate milk.
- The homestays are located in an area of Buenos Aires called Belgrano; it is city living, but in the nicest area of the city.
Visiting Buenos Aires
Housing and Residence Life
We have a couple of rooms available for guests or parents visiting students. Contact Maria.Schwartz@pepperdine.edu for more information and availability.
Though alumni are not permitted to stay in Pepperdine's International Program facilities, tours may be requested and are dependent upon the availability of the International Program staff. If you are interested in attending an alumni trip held at your International Program site, please contact the Seaver College Alumni Relations Office to find out about upcoming Pepperdine Alumni Travel trips.