Posts Tagged ‘learning spanish in argentina’

Going out as a woman in Buenos Aires: How to handle the machistas

Monday, January 16, 2012 15:08

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture - 0 Comments

Argentina may have elected a female president in 2007, but the inauguration of Christina Fernandez de Kirchner into Argentina’s highest office didn’t exactly ring the death toll for Latin machismo within the country. While we’re not exactly living in the dark ages here, machismo is still alive and well.

My good friend Merriam Webster defines machismo as a strong sense of masculine pride, or an exaggerated masculitiny. However, this is one of those words that carries a much heavier load than its literal meaning, and it can even mean different things to different people and within different regional contexts. Personally, when I think of machismo, I think of the prideful male ego that should never be bruised and a stubborn and unbending insistence on traditional gender roles.

One of the most prominent ways that machismo manifests itself in everyday life is through the piropo, which is actually a pretty difficult term to define. Depending on who you are talking to, a piropo can be a compliment directed at a charming young lady on the streets or it can be a direct form of street harrasment. While I’m not going to wax poetic on the political implications of this form of “flirtation”, I would like to offer some advice and experience on how to survive on the streets to my fellow females who plan on spending some time in Buenos Aires.

Piropo1 Going out as a woman in Buenos Aires: How to handle the machistas

 1.     Don’t take it personally: The piropo is not about you! If some wannabe alpha male decides to affirm his masculinity by throwing out some idiotic comment about your appearance, it does not mean that you have done something wrong! Don’t think that you dressed too provocatively or walked in a way that invited the comment, because you didn’t. I was once walking down the street in winter, minding my own business, when a man decided to yell out “Ay, mami, ¿cuánto cuesta?” which basically translates to, “Hey babe, how much?”. Was I wearing a mini skirt, tank top and stripper heels when he decided to inquire about my hourly price? Not even close, it was cold outside! I was bundled up in jeans, flat boots, a sweater, scarf and a winter coat. I even had my school books in my hand. I looked more like Laura Ingall than Jessica Rabbit. The bottom line is, the kind of man that catcalls at a random woman will catcall at any random woman so don’t blame yourself.

2.     Don’t make eye contact: The machista has a big ego, so if you look him in the eye after he just told you that you he wants marry you and build you a castle to live in together, his exaggerated sense of male confidence is going to take that gesture as an invitation. It is best to simply ignore the comment and keep on walking as if his existence doesn’t even register on your radar.

3.     Remember you are in a foreign country: In your home country, this kind of behavior might warrant physical retaliation or, at the very least, a verbal confrontation. In Argentina, however, catcalling is simply accepted and is not generally considered a very negative thing. Although I will never understand, many Argentine women even take piropos as a compliment and get distressed if they haven’t received one in a while.

4.     Know how to retaliate if it crosses a line: While the occasional light-hearted piropo is nothing to worry about, if someone is excessively harassing you while you are minding your own business and you did not make the accidental eye contact mistake, that is definitely crossing a line, and you can feel free to unleash a short scathing comment. He should get the message. Remember that is not culturally accepted for a man to touch you or make any kind of physical contact on the street, and you should definitely react and defend yourself if that line is crossed.

When the sun goes down and the city starts preparing to dance the night away in a boliche, the Argentino’s inner machista seems to shine a little brighter. Speaking from experience as a foreign woman on the Buenos Aires night scene, Argentine men are a little more persistent than what I’m used to back home in the US of A. A simple ‘no’ is generally not enough to deter the average Argentino, because, again, his inflated sense of male ego tells him that no woman could ever possibly reject his amorous advances. Obviously, if a woman says she’s not interested, he just needs to try a different approach. So what is a girl to do when she just wants to dance with the ladies, but an Argentino refuses to acknowledge that she is just not feeling it.

 1.     Be persistent: If he doesn’t listen the first time, try, try again. You may have to say no 3 or 4 times before a guy will understand that you mean business. Even then, he might try to act like there’s something wrong with you for rejecting him, but at least he’ll be off your case.

2.     Get back-up from a friend: If a guy really won’t leave you alone, it’s always good to have another friend back you up. Have your girlfriend say no, too, that you don’t want to chat, dance, or make out on the dance floor with this guy. For some reason, a little noise from the peanut gallery usually makes a guy back off sooner.

3.     Go out in a large group: The more people you go out with, the less likely it is that a guy will bother you, so sometimes it is nice to go out with a large group of amigos. If there are guys included in the group, even better. Very few Argentinos will approach you while you’re hanging out with another man, and a back-up ‘no’ from a male friend is almost a guaranteed free pass to dance the night away unbothered.

4.      Have fun: Don’t let the overly excited Argentinos ruin your fun. You can still have a great night with just the ladies or even meet a guy you actually do want to dance with. So if you have to say no to the first few frogs that come along, don’t despair. There are plenty of princes in the city, and you might just find one to teach you a little more about the local lifestyle.

machistas en da club 150x150 Going out as a woman in Buenos Aires: How to handle the machistas

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Top 10 iPhone Apps for Learning Spanish

Friday, April 29, 2011 13:48

Categories - Spanish, Student Stories - 6 Comments

Imagen 033 200x300 Top 10 iPhone Apps for Learning Spanish

As I stated in last week´s blog, very rarely do I leave my house without my handy iPhone to help me navigate around the amazing city of Buenos Aires. In addition of finding great apps for the city, I have also found some wonderful apps to help me study Spanish… Here are my top 10 Spanish learning apps (including a couple of podcasts)!

1)      Basic Spanish for Dummies ($.99) – I think we are all familiar with this series of books that always simplify our lives by starting with the basics!  Its goal is to give you the essential vocabulary you´ll need to get around – greetings, expressions, directions, time, etc. I would strongly suggest to download this app a week or two before leaving, to get you started – your Expanish teachers will take it from there!

Imagen 023 200x300 Top 10 iPhone Apps for Learning Spanish

2)      El Mejor Ahorcado ($.99) – We all get bored and like to play games on our phones as we are waiting in an airport or traveling on a bus, but now you can make it educational too! El Mejor AhorcadoThe Best Hangman,” will keep you entertained while also teaching you new Spanish words on the go.

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3)      BA Cast w/ Dan and Fernando Podcast – My newest found addiction that keeps me laughing as I walk through the streets of Buenos Aires and even on crowded subways!! Dan & Fernando (the expat & the local), give their own perspective of porteño culture and life on varied topics about fútbol, the Dirty War, rules of maté, fernet, and more! (While also schooling you on local lunfardoslang.”) This duo has just completed their first season, and I am anxiously awaiting more!!

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4)      Wordpower Spanish Lite (free) – Allows you to master Spanish one word at a time! Each day you are given a new word, with pronunciation by a native Speaker and the option to record yourself before moving onto the next word. Although this may seem like a slow process, it actually will help you build and retain your vocabulary “wordbank,” by reinforcing daily with practice flashcards!

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5)      Spanish Touch Trainer ($1.99) – This app will help you get accustomed to Spanish sentence structure, conjugation, and grammar in relation to English. Starting at a beginner or advanced level, you will be able to construct proper phrases one word at a time and earning points to make it more of a game! You will learn how to switch between tenses when telling a story about the past, present, and future, thus providing you with a greater proficiency in your conversations.

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6)      Gengo Quiz – Spanish ($4.99) – As you advance, you may want to quiz yourself so you can see just how far you have come! This app starts at a beginner´s level –Upper Intermediate, allowing you to gauge your progress. You may even surprise yourself how much you are learning.

Imagen 027 200x300 Top 10 iPhone Apps for Learning Spanish

7)      Tune-in Radio ($.99) – Continue to embed yourself local porteño culture by tuning into local stations! Whether you are listening to talk radio, pop, or tango – you´ll pick up local expressions and the local beat of the city. And if you find a favorite radio show that you don´t want to miss, it even allows you to record stations to listen to later!

Imagen 025 200x300 Top 10 iPhone Apps for Learning Spanish

8)      Gengo Grammar – Spanish ($9.99) – One of the hardest things about learning Spanish as an English speaker is learning a variety of grammar rules. Therefore this app is great in supporting your grammar at all levels while also aiding in a more extensive explanation. Along with your daily classes at Expanish – this is the perfect way to review and support your studies of adverbs, commands, passive voice, verb formation, etc…

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9)      Notes in Spanish Podcast – This podcast offers three different levels of oral conversation: Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced. The couple Ben (England) & Marina (Spain) discuss common topics such as music, social situations, holidays, etc. Although their accent is a very distinct Spanish accent, you can train you ear by listening to normal conversations on a variety of topics. It´s a great way to improve your audio skills and you can even follow up on their website for worksheets about each podcast!

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10)   Porteño Spanish ($.99) – One more fun thing about learning Spanish is learning the local slang or as the porteños would call “lunfardo.” This fun app is meant to help you understand and possibly incorporate some local jargon into your conversation! However keep in mind that some of the terms should not be used on a daily basis!

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Remember that we all have different ways of learning, so see which apps work best for you and your level! As well, let me know if you have any favorites not listed here!!



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Che, do you know the real story about ‘El Che’?

Thursday, April 28, 2011 13:38

Categories - Argentina News, Argentine Customs and Culture, Spanish - 0 Comments

The Expanish Spanish School blog today is brought to you by Analia Imparato, one of the Expanish Spanish teachers,  about the infamous Argentine  – Che Guevara.

che guevara 1 241x300 Che, do you know the real story about El Che?

Hay hombres que luchan un día, y son buenos.
Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores.
Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos.
Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida: ésos son los imprescindibles.
Bertolt Brecht

Silvio Rodríguez, un cantautor cubano famoso en toda América Latina desde los años ’70 hasta hoy, inicia una de sus canciones, Sueño con serpientes, recitando estas palabras del autor alemán Bertolt Brecht. Es frecuente encontrarlas también en muchos de los numerosos “pósters” (y hasta en algunas remeras) que han multiplicado la imagen del Comandante Ernesto “Che” Guevara tomada por el fotógrafo Alberto Korda a lo largo y a lo ancho del mundo (la misma que ilustra este texto). Las “serpientes” de la canción se parecen mucho a las que este imprescindible luchador tuvo que combatir durante su lamentablemente corta vida (39 años). Y aunque Bertolt Brecht no pronunció esas palabras pensando en el “Che”, ellas lo pintan en cuerpo y alma.

Pocos hombres, vivos o muertos, han suscitado tanta admiración, fascinación, confusión, crítica y desprecio al mismo tiempo, o han llegado a convertirse en verdaderos íconos universales de la publicidad. Curiosamente, el espíritu del “Che” estaría horrorizado si viera que la explotación de su imagen genera miles de dólares por año que no precisamente caen en manos de las personas más necesitadas ni hambrientas.

Este símbolo juvenil de la lucha y de la rebelión es, además, uno de los argentinos más famosos del mundo (junto con Evita, Diego Armando Maradona, Carlos Gardel y Jorge Luis Borges). Además de argentino, se trata de uno de los varios rosarinos célebres (acaso el más célebre de todos), como decía la profesora Clara en De bares y amigos recientemente. Argentino de nacimiento, pero cubano “por adopción”: los mismos cubanos, quienes lo consideraban un compatriota y un hermano después de tanta lucha conjunta, le otorgaron la nacionalidad tan pronto como el nuevo Estado empezó a funcionar.

che joven 150x150 Che, do you know the real story about El Che?

Así, pues, nacido en Rosario, provincia de Santa Fe, el 14 de junio de 1928, murió asesinado clandestinamente por el Ejército Boliviano con la colaboración de la C.I.A estadounidense en La Higuera (Bolivia), el 9 de octubre de 1967. Médico de profesión, y también político, revolucionario (“guerrillero” para algunos, “asesino” para otros), soldado, escritor, periodista, fotógrafo aficionado, idealista, humanista… Su biografía, gracias a la abundante bibliografía y filmografía existente sobre él, es casi tan conocida como su imagen: desde el joven viajero soñador en busca de un destino y de una utopía interpretado por el mexicano Gael García Bernal en Diarios de motocicleta de Walter Salles (2004), hasta el reflexivo y humanitario combatiente y luego líder de la Revolución Cubana, mano derecha de Fidel Castro, en la piel de Benicio del Toro en Che, el argentinoy Guerrilla de Steven Soderbergh (2008).

che guevara fidel castro 289x300 Che, do you know the real story about El Che?

Efectivamente, dedicó toda su vida al combate por aquello en lo que creía: primero como líder del movimiento revolucionario cubano junto a Fidel, luego como colaborador en la organización del nuevo estado cubano posterior a la victoria de la Revolución, más tarde como soldado en el Congo y finalmente combatiendo en Bolivia. El Che era un hombre inquieto y de acción: una vez que el nuevo gobierno cubano estuvo estable y bien administrado, renunció a las tareas burocráticas que le ofrecían permanente y que habrían facilitado su vida y la de su familia (numerosa, ya que se casó dos veces y tuvo seis hijos). Él creía firmemente que era posible extender el éxito de la Revolución cubana al resto de América Latina y al Tercer Mundo en general; en consecuencia, puso manos a la obra y se fue de Cuba con el sueño de ayudar a otros pobres olvidados u oprimidos. Desafortunadamente, estaba equivocado. Las “serpientes” eran más y más fuertes de lo que él pensaba; terminaron por rodearlo y vencerlo a fuerza de confabulaciones y presiones. Pero no por completo… Las “serpientes” habrán vencido al hombre, pero no a su espíritu, ni al símbolo: el recuerdo y la imagen del “Che”, en consecuencia, sus ideales y la historia de su lucha, han sobrevivido y continúan inspirando a muchos jóvenes del mundo que siguen escribiendo en las paredes de las prisiones y de las ciudades Hasta la victoria siempre.”

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Spanish Student´s Blog: Leaps & Bounds – What to expect out of your Expanish Spanish Classes in Buenos Aires

Thursday, February 3, 2011 8:11

Categories - Expanish News, Spanish, Student Stories - 0 Comments

la foto 4 300x224 Spanish Student´s Blog: Leaps & Bounds   What to expect out of your Expanish Spanish Classes in Buenos Aires

I am only in my third week here at Expanish and I can already tell that my Spanish has been improving by leaps and bounds! So what should you expect out of your classes…

Well, the morning bell rings at 9 am and classes begin. My professor Eduardo usually has us turn in our homework which could be a variety of exercises. One of my favorites is our vocabulary research – it´s not as boring as it sounds either. For example – words that end in “ero”: matadero, frutero, granjero, vinatero, etc… It’s a light way to start the morning and learn a ton of new words! The rest of the day is spent learning verb tenses and grammar – but in a fun and exciting way. We read about local history or the daily news, and discuss current events or attractions. Plus, I get to hear the adventurous things my classmates have done in the city. I get a daily tour guide to the city as an added bonus! Throughout my lessons, not only am I learning to sound porteño, but also learning common Spanish words and phrases used throughout Latin America.

Every day I feel more at ease in communicating with my classmates and expressing myself clearly.   I currently have 7 students in my class all of different nationalities: Brazilian, Slovakian, Swiss, and German. But throughout the school there are also people from France, Holland, Canada, England, Australian, and the list goes on! Since we are encouraged to speak in our classes, I am not only learning about Argentina, but also about countries from across the world.  I never imagined that I would become more worldly through my studies at Expanish in Buenos Aires!


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Expanish Student´s Blog: The Life of a New Spanish Student in Buenos Aires e

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 14:40

Categories - Argentina Travel Info, Buenos Aires City Attractions, Expanish News, Spanish, Student Stories - 2 Comments

DSC058491 300x225 Expanish Student´s Blog: The Life of a New Spanish Student in Buenos Aires e

A little about me… I am 29 years old and from New Orleans, Louisiana USA. I have been working as a professional since I graduated, but was looking for a change and a chance to vastly improve my Spanish over the next 3 months. I have briefly visited Buenos Aires or “BsAs” before and desperately wanted to return to the porteño lifestyle. A city so full of life, with a passion for music, art, dance, and great food.  Who wouldn´t?!

As a new student here at Expanish, I also have an opportunity to share all of my new experiences as they happen; to help others that may be interested in making their way to “Paris of the South.” There are so many new sounds, smells, and sights to take in, that the adventure has only begun.

My first day of class at Expanish was of course filled with anticipation, but the friendly staff here welcomed me as soon as I walked in the door! I took my placement test, apologized for my Spanish, and was told not to worry! That´s why you are here – to learn, and to improve. I was given my room number and off to class I went. The first couple of hours went rather smoothly, except for my timidness in speaking… but I know that will quickly change. And the short breaks gave me an opportunity to rest my mind… and check my email. To finish the day, all new students were given a nice orientation about the city, the school, and the staff. Overall, it was a complete success! First day jitters are normal at any school, especially when you are in a new country. But all fears were quelled from Murphy in the admissions department, to Paula with my curriculum, Marina at the front desk, and of course my professor Eduardo. With the support of the staff here I know that I will attain my goals over the next 3 months.

Ill be blogging each week about my experience so make sure you re-visit!


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Trying to Understand Argentine News? Help at Hand with the Argentina Independent

Monday, December 6, 2010 13:50

Categories - Argentina News, Argentina Travel Info, Concerts, Events, Festivals and Holidays, Spanish - 0 Comments

Imagen 006 300x225 Trying to Understand Argentine News? Help at Hand with the Argentina Independent

Until you are a few weeks into your Spanish classes and the Spanish written and spoken world becomes clearer, you may have 1001 questions about current affairs in Argentina and Buenos Aires. You may catch a glimpse of something on a news channel and wonder what it is all about or see things on the streets and want to know more, and even though your Spanish is improving (thanks to Expanish) it’s difficult to find the answers in basic Spanish from the Argentine media to such mysteries as:

Why is Argentina fighting with Uruguay over a paper mill?

What is the controversy of Macri’s metropolitan police (and who is Macri?)

Is there really a Dengue Fever Crisis?

    Well we have the answer for you, the Argentina Independent. The Argentina Independent is an online English language newspaper that reports on Argentine and Latin American news and current affairs from its base in Buenos Aires. A team of talented and passionate ex-pats who all live in Buenos Aires explain even the most complicated Argentine stories in layman terms which is such a gift for those Spanish students in Argentina who have a thirst to understand this country that they are studying / travelling or living in. Even if you have lived in Buenos Aires for 4 years like me, the Argentine Independent really is a useful source of information as there is always something that you don’t understand, and we’re not talking just the language!

    logo 2 Trying to Understand Argentine News? Help at Hand with the Argentina Independent

    Along with local news it also publishes articles on Social Issues, Culture & Travel as well as having a classified section, reviews and information on events that may be happening in Buenos Aires. Whatever you need to know, there will more than likely be an article if you use their search tool to find historic information.

    So we do recommend that to improve your Spanish you should start reading some of the local newspapers in Spanish, such as La Nacion & Clarin, but we also recommend that you read the Argentina Independent to gain a greater understanding of life in Argentina or simply to find the next event that you want to attend in the city.

    Imagen 007 300x225 Trying to Understand Argentine News? Help at Hand with the Argentina Independent

    You can read the Argentina Independent here, or visit their facebook page


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    What to do in December as a Spanish Student in Buenos Aires

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010 8:21

    Categories - Argentina News, Argentina Travel Info, Argentine Customs and Culture, Art, Museums, Theatre & Cinema, Buenos Aires City Attractions, Concerts, Events, Festivals and Holidays, Expanish News, Spanish - 1 Comment

    Spanish Students on a Night Out 300x225 What to do in December as a Spanish Student in Buenos Aires

    As the end of the year and the holidays approach, Buenos Aires will be getting warmer, which means more outdoor activities.  If you are staying here through Christmas and New Years, these events will really help you experience everything that is going on for the rest of 2010.


    Buenos Aires International Jazz Festival (Dec. 3 – Dec -8 )

    Location: Eight different locations in the city

    Cost – Varies (some events are free and some concerts have a small cost)

    International Tango Day (Dec. 11)
    Location – Various (Gran Milonga Nacional – Ave. De Mayo)

    With shows and concerts throughout the city, one of the most exciting is the Gran Milonga Nacional where the street of Avenida de Mayo in downtown Buenos Aires gets turned into one big tango dance hall.

    Fiesta Nacional del Gaucho (Dec. 11 – Dec. 13)

    Location – General Madariaga (in the Province of Buenos Aires). Celebrate everything there is about the traditional Argentine Gaucho just south of Buenos Aires for this annual festival. Horse shows, hand-made crafts and great food accompany all the exciting customs and traditions that is the world of a gaucho.

    Cost – Free


    Argentine Polo Open (Nov. 13 – Dec. 4 Only on weekends)

    Location – Hipodromo (corner of Avenida Libertador and Avenida Dorrego)

    Haven´t seen a polo game yet?  Make sure to head over to the Hipodromo to get a first-hand experience before the Argentine Polo Opens ends.

    Cost: Varies depending on seat

    Casa Vela HIV/AIDS Fundraiser (Dec. 5 @ 4pm)

    Location – Parque Patricios (Ave. Casero and La Rioja)

    Come support Casa Vela, a non-profit organization focused on promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and education, at their annual 2K walk.

    Cost: A t-shirt is $35 pesos

    Feria de Artesanías (Dec. 7 – Dec. 12 @ 3pm – 10pm)

    Location: La Rural (Av. Sarmiento 2704)

    This is the largest artisan fair in the country where the over 50,000 visitors can browse (and buy) hand-made goods by over 500 artists.  If you enjoy the regular ferias in the plazas of the city, this is the mother-load.

    Cost – $15 pesos to enter

    Nuestra Feria de Diseño (Dec. 17 and Dec. 18 @ 2pm – 9pm)

    Location: Universidad de Palermo (Ecuador 933)

    Design students from the Universidad de Palermo will be showing off their collections and everything will be for sale!  This is a chance to get one-of-a-kind pieces and support local students.

    Cost: Free entrance

    10 Años 10 Cortos. Una década de gran cine (Dec. 7 @6:30pm)

    Location: Biblioteca Nacional (Aguero 2502)

    Organized by the magazine Babia, the Biblioteca Nacional will present the 10 best Argentine short films of the last 10 years.  Plus, you can check out the Biblioteca Nacional, which is a sight in itself.

    Cost: Free

    Marta Minujín Exposition (Nov. 26 – Feb. 7)

    Location – MALBA (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires) – Avda. Figueroa Alcorta 3415

    The MALBA is finishing 2010 with an exposition of Marta Minujín, an Argentine pop artist.  It will show over 100 pieces of her work from the 60s, 70s, and 80s – a must see.

    Cost – $20 pesos to enter ($8 on Wednesdays)

    Buenos Aires Philharmonic (Dec. 2 @8:30pm)

    Location – Teatro Colón (Cerrito 628)

    See the last performance of the year of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic.  Seats go quickly, so buy yours now!

    Cost – Varies depending on seats


    Here are just some of the artists who will be playing in Buenos Aires during this month:

    The Wailers – 1/12

    Yes – 3/12

    Daddy Yankee – 4/12

    Panic at the Disco! – 8/12

    Stone Temple Pilots – 9/12

    Armin van Buuren – 10/12 & 11/12

    *For purchasing tickets, check out TicketPortal or Ticketek

    For things to do during Christmas and New Years, we will be exploring that in depth later on in the month, so check back soon!

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    The Expanish New School Building Inauguration – The Big Party in Buenos Aires

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 13:18

    Categories - Argentina News, Buenos Aires City Attractions, Concerts, Events, Festivals and Holidays, Expanish News, Spanish - 0 Comments

    Inauguracion Expanish 4 300x200 The Expanish New School Building Inauguration   The Big Party in Buenos Aires

    On Thursday, November 11 Expanish celebrated the opening of the new Spanish school, with its inauguration event and cocktail reception.  Even though Expanish moved to its custom-made building in July, the official ceremony was held on the perfect spring night where we invited friends, family, and community members to come together and enjoy excellent food, music and good company – to thank all those who worked hard in supporting Expanish over the years.

    Behind the scenes, the day was filled with preparations to put together all the finishing touches to the building.  The Expanish team anxiously finished all the day’s work just in time before the guests began to arrive.  It was important for us to give each person visiting the school, a personalized tour of the facilities as it was the first time many have seen the new school.

    Inauguracion Expanish 7 300x200 The Expanish New School Building Inauguration   The Big Party in Buenos Aires

    Many people who have been long time supporters of Expanish, had never seen our new building, so it was quite fun (and a bit of a workout climbing all the stairs) being able to show all six floors to those who have witnessed the growth of the school, and remembers Expanish beginnings in a tiny office in Recoleta.    Many do not know but Expanish originally started in that small office in 2006, working with partner language schools across Latin America.  Then, in 2008 we opened the Expanish Spanish Institute, on Viamonte 927, offering cultural language immersion programs to foreigners from all over the world.  Although the building on Viamonte had a lot of character, the new building has been custom-made to cater to learning Spanish, something that is a rarity to find in South America as it has been modeled after many English language institutes worldwide.  It was exciting to hear feedback from first-time visitors as the school and facilities had brought them back to their years living or studying in Europe or the USA, reminding them of their secondary schools and universities.

    Inauguracion Expanish 3 300x200 The Expanish New School Building Inauguration   The Big Party in Buenos Aires

    In addition to family, friends, professors, staff, accommodation hosts, activity providers, and students, we were thrilled to have in attendance journalists and reporters from both local and foreign news sources, representatives from the travel and education industry, and leaders in the Buenos Aires community such as Hernán Lombardi who is the Secretary of Culture and Tourism of the city of Buenos Aires, Oscar Castillo, a National Senator, and Marcelo Garcia, the Presidente of SEA (Association of Centers and Teaching of Languages).

    Inauguracion Expanish 300x200 The Expanish New School Building Inauguration   The Big Party in Buenos Aires

    The rest of the night was filled with tasty appetizers, wine, a music show, mingling and a presentation from the co-founders Agustin Vignale and Alejandro Rched – who gave a brief overview of the history of Expanish and the types of language and immersion programs that are offered.  What a great night for everyone to celebrate the growth and success of Expanish!

    Come and visit or see a slide show of our new school building here.


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    The Sound of Yet More Music in Buenos Aires.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010 7:41

    Categories - Argentina News, Argentina Travel Info, Argentine Customs and Culture, Art, Museums, Theatre & Cinema, Concerts, Events, Festivals and Holidays, Health & Safety, Spanish, Student Stories - 0 Comments

    Ultra Music Festival 300x200 The Sound of Yet More Music in Buenos Aires.

    Although the world-renowned electronica festival Creamfields came and went last weekend, there’s still plenty of cutting edge music to be had during the spring month of November in Buenos Aires.  Kicking off on November 18th in Luna Park with Smashing Pumpkins and continuing on the 19th and 20th in Costanera Sur, Hot Festival boasts an impressive line-up of artists with styles ranging from alternative rock to synthpop to electronica.

    Although the headliners (below) don’t hit the stage each day until about 7 at night, you might want to arrive early to get a good spot to see the bands.  The venue is located at the Ex Ciudad Deportiva de Boca Juniors which is directly south of the Ecological Reserve in Puerto Madero.  To get there, simply take the same route you would to arrive to the entrance of the Eco Reserve (located right off of Padre M L. Migone and Av. Rodriguez) and go south down Av. España (the entrance to the festival is located on this street).

    As is recommended at all music festivals and concerts, be aware of your surroundings and try to take it easy on the alcoholic beverages.  Although there will be a ton of people enjoying the music, there’s always those undesirable types who try to take advantage of people who are having a good time and throwing caution to the wind.  Make sure your valuables (camera, wallet, etc.) are close to you at all times and NEVER accept a drink from a stranger.  When the concert ends, be aware that the area where this concert is held isn’t the safest of places so make sure that you travel with a group of friends on your way back.

    Key Details about the Festival


    November 18th

    Smashing Pumpkins

    November 19th

    Scissor Sisters



    Hot Chip

    Girl Talk

    November 20th

    Massive Attack

    Thievery Corporation


    Catupecu Machu

    Benjamin Biolay

    Cobra Starship

    November 22nd



    Prices range from AR$250 (Campo) to AR$350 (Super Pullman) and can be purchased on the internet (, by telephone ((011) 5353-0606) or at ticketbooths:


    Palermo – Vidt 2084
    Monday to Saturday from 10 to 14 and from 15 to 18hs.
    Purchases can only be made with Credit Card

    Microcentro – Florida 313
    Monday to Saturday from 10 to 14 and from 15 to 19hs.

    Extra cost per ticket of AR$3

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    Food Shopping on a Budget – The Street Market Way

    Friday, November 12, 2010 12:16

    Categories - Argentina News, Argentina Travel Info, Argentine Customs and Culture, Argentine Recipes, Buenos Aires City Attractions, Shopping, Spanish - 0 Comments

    061120100121 1024x768 Food Shopping on a Budget – The Street Market Way

    For those Spanish students in Buenos Aires who enjoy trying fresh produce, and are tired of the big supermarket chains or higher prices in some of the tourist barrios, we have the perfect solution for you.

    Ferias itinerantes (travelling fairs) can be found all across the city selling fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and cold meats with cheese at inflation busting prices.

    We visited the feria in San Telmo, open from 8am – 2pm on Saturdays, that is situated on the corners of Mexico, Chile & Balcarce. We bought 8 bags of groceries, enough produce to cook dinner all week. Our bags were filled with vegetables, fruit, dried beans and pulses, olives and peanuts, fish and chicken all for $90 pesos.

    06112010011 300x225 Food Shopping on a Budget – The Street Market Way

    Not only do you get food for cheap, but it’s a great way to get to know different areas of Buenos Aires while also practicing Spanish at the same time.  With this hidden secret, you will be surrounded by locals, without a tourist in sight. To find out where the feria is in the city, you can check out the schedule here. Here is a quick guide to some common fruits and vegetables names so you can be sure you get the food that you want!

    • Apple – Manzana
    • Strawberry’s – Frutillas
    • Blueberry’s – Arándanos
    • Onion – Cebolla
    • Carrots – Zanahorias
    • Aubergine (UK) / Eggplant (US) – Berenjena
    • Celery – Apio
    • Lettuce – Lechuga
    • Cucumber – Pepino
    • Cougette (UK) / Zucchini – Zapallitos
    • Squash – Zapallo

    Ask any of the Expanish staff for more food names if it doesn’t appear on this list.

    Enjoy and let us know if you visit or find any good markets yourself!

    More information can be found here about the ferias itinerantes


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