Posts Tagged ‘spanish students in buenos aires’

An Outdoor Stage & World Class Dancers – This is Ballet in Buenos Aires.

Monday, November 29, 2010 11:19

Categories - Argentina News, Argentina Travel Info, Argentine Customs and Culture, Art, Museums, Theatre & Cinema, Buenos Aires City Attractions, Concerts, Events, Festivals and Holidays, Spanish - 0 Comments

228 Image1 300x174 An Outdoor Stage & World Class Dancers   This is Ballet in Buenos Aires.

On Saturday evening Spanish students in Buenos Aires were invited to join locals and attend a free ballet that was hosted by the Buenos Aires City Government.

Avenida 9 de Julio, known as the widest street in the world, was closed to cars right up until the obelisco monument, situated in the centre of the avenida, in order to place a huge stage created especially for the ballet. This avenida is usually full of cars jostling to reach the lights quicker than the other; this had been quickly replaced by ballet fans attempting to find one of the 8000 seats that were available.

27112010020 300x225 An Outdoor Stage & World Class Dancers   This is Ballet in Buenos Aires.

For those that weren’t lucky enough (or organized enough to arrive early… to find a seat, there was plenty of standing room available with two huge screens displaying the ballet so that nobody, of the estimated 20 000 people that attended, missed any of the action, even at the back.

The chosen ballet was La Traviata which is a based on the opera by Giuseppe Verdi and which stared Argentina’s very own Iñaki Urlezega alongside 84 other dancers and 70 musicians from the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra.

I was standing in the crowd with young and old, men and women of many different backgrounds who had come together to have the opportunity to watch these fine dancers put on a captivating performance. Considering it took place in what is usually considered be a bustling, fairly noisy area, you could hear a pin drop as everybody was entranced by the show. Two of the security men did make the mistake of having a conversation until the crowd politely but assertively told them to shut up – which they did!

After the show had finished I made many friends in the crowd who couldn’t wait to talk about their opinion of the ballet, all of it positive and of course in Spanish…what better excuse to practice my Spanish and learn some dance vocabulary!

27112010018 300x225 An Outdoor Stage & World Class Dancers   This is Ballet in Buenos Aires.

The ballet was a complete success and was a great hit with the crowd. It was my first ballet and I have to say I’m now dying to see another one.


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Dale Bo! – Learn Spanish in Buenos Aires The Juancho FĂştbol Way

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 12:07

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

Imagen 031 1024x576 Dale Bo!   Learn Spanish in Buenos Aires The Juancho FĂştbol Way

After living in Buenos Aires and working at Expanish for a number of years I finally had the opportunity to take part in our FĂştbol activity with Juancho Football. After three years of seeing the photos and listening to our students accounts of how much fun they had, I decided my visit was long overdue! This past Saturday I went to see La Boca Juniors at their home stadium, la Bombonera (the chocolate box) and now I can see why our students rave about this unforgettable activity.

Fútbol in Argentina is a very passionate affair, with fans who like to sing, jump and shout throughout the match. Whilst most tours take tourists to the platea, where they get to watch the crazy fan action, seated from above (and of course the actual football), our Spanish students always ask us for a real Argentine fan experience…enter Juancho the master of all that is Boca fútbol.

The musical bouncing bus

My trip started with a Juancho football bus pick up in San Telmo, there are also pickups in Palermo for anybody is living on the other side of the city. Juancho and his team joined us on the buses, teaching us the obligatory hand movement of all fans as well as some of the songs, in Spanish, and of course the jumping. Next, the serious part – safety instructions, what to do and what not to do in the popular stand(the stand with no seats), not a place usually recommended for tourists, although Juancho and his guides enable anybody to have that real Argentine Futbol experience safely.

Imagen 0022 300x168 Dale Bo!   Learn Spanish in Buenos Aires The Juancho FĂştbol Way

The free flowing beer and pizza in a blue and yellow bar

First stop – pizza and beer in a bar in La Boca. We managed to consume 165 bottles of beer, 55 pizzas, 9 bottles of Coca Cola and a bottle of water! There were a lot of new La Boca fans on Saturday! Although I do have a small tip, you may have to spend a couple of hours without being able to fight the crowd to go to the toilet, so be easy on your bladder.

Imagen 008 300x168 Dale Bo!   Learn Spanish in Buenos Aires The Juancho FĂştbol Way

Inside the chocolate box

Next stop stadium, Juancho got us in early so that we would miss the last minute crush and organize our places before the big hordes entered. All of his team was dotted around us making sure we kept together and were safe. The Juancho team were on hand with song sheets so even those who have only started learning Spanish with Expanish could sing along with the chanting fans that were already pumping up for the match. I’m not sure you´ll find the vocabulary in a DELE exam, but it does make it a fun way to learn.

Next the actual game, well for me the fans. I do have to admit, I was more fascinated by watching the crowd than the game.  I became so captivated by the constant jumping and singing (even in the face of defeat) that I missed a lot of the football action.  Imagine a whole side of a stadium singing and jumping as one movement, a sight and an atmosphere really difficult to put into words, or even capture in photo or film – a must see to really get a feel for Argentine culture.  I managed to keep up with the songs, thanks to Juancho and staff showing us how to wave our hands in the air and partake in the fun. It was obvious that these people weren’t for show and are die-hard boca fans, the infamous 12th player:

Y dale alergia, alegria a mi corazon,

lo unico que te pido al menos hoy

el campeonato local es mi obsession

tenes que dejar al alma y el corazĂłn

y vas a ver no somos como los putos de river plate

IMGP0178 Dale Bo!   Learn Spanish in Buenos Aires The Juancho FĂştbol Way

Unfortunately Boca lost, although I think whoever worked the scores in the stadium didn’t want to admit to that and didn’t put any scores up that were scored against Boca who ended up with a big fat 0 of goals.

After an exhilarating Argentine football match, and a one of a kind Boca Juniors Bombonera experience, we were escorted out of the stadium onto to the bus and taken to the perfect place to end the day – a bar in San Telmo with all of the Juancho team.

If you are looking for the opportunity to witness Argentine fútbol, where you can really observe the passion of Argentine fans, then look no further as Juancho offers one of the only authentic experiences available. If you’re an Expanish student, just ask one of us staff members for more information. Even if you do not study with Expanish, you can still participate in Juancho football and contact Juancho  Next week is the big one, the super clásico, Boca Juniors vs River Plate.

See more photos and a video on our facebook page


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Night and day as a Spanish student in Buenos Aires

Monday, November 1, 2010 14:05

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture, Concerts, Events, Festivals and Holidays, Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Clubs, Student Stories - 0 Comments

La Bomba Del Tiempo Music Show1 Night and day as a Spanish student in Buenos Aires

La Bomba del Tiempo in full swing

In a cruel twist of fate, last Wednesday played host yet another feriado or public holiday in the form of the “Censo”(see last week’s blog for details). For those of you unfamiliar with my adverse reaction to these days of freedom and frivolity, such holidays mark the beginning of the week’s Spanish lessons an hour earlier than usual at 8 am. Thus, so also begins the exacerbated feud between myself and alarm clock; it taking continuous pleasure in disturbing my peaceful slumber, I taking even greater pleasure in throwing headlong into the wall. Having made it into school with my t-shirt on back-to-front and shaking like a leaf after being a little too liberal with the coffee granules, I began to wonder how anyone can make it through a day of Spanish lessons if they wish to sample the delights of the Buenos Aires nightlife at the same time.

Going out is essential when you’re studying Spanish in Buenos Aires. Of course it’s nice to let your hair down at the end of the day, but other than that, it’s the best way to meet some real Argentines and get practicing your Spanish. Here are one or two pointers to help you get the most out of a night.

Don’t drink too much! Apart from the obvious reason of avoiding a hangover, the Argentines just don’t seem to feel the need to drink in excess. If you’re the person bouncing off the walls, clothes making a bid for freedom and confessing your undying love to anyone who’ll listen, you may start to accumulate a following of the less tasteful partygoers, so be careful.

Don’t be afraid to give out your number. Obviously don’t stick it on your forehead, but often if you get talking to someone you get on well with, they may ask you for your number, and they will ALWAYS message you the following day. This may seem forward but it seems to be just a friendly gesture. This is also where not being too drunk becomes helpful. There have been one or two occasions when my housemate has stumbled out of bed, hair standing on end, asking “Who the hell are Afredo, Juan and Fransisco?” after being a little too laissez-faire with both the sauce and her phone number…

Finally don’t always feel you have to go to late night events. Generally most things do start late out here in Buenos Aires, but there are events such as Monday night’s “La Bomba del Tiempo” (the time bomb) which is great fun and is finished by 10 pm. This is a percussion show with a vibrant feel, energetic music and in my case, an opportunity for moronic dancing. It’s a weekly activity offered by Expanish so it’s easy to go along and enjoy with your fellow classmates. You can buy beer in cups big enough to swim in so be careful, though should you wish to go easy on the drink, you can do what most other people seem to do, and just pour it all over everyone else.

 Check my blog this time next week to see what else I’ve got up to with Expanish

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A grey day for Argentina

Friday, October 29, 2010 14:22

Categories - Argentina News - 0 Comments

DSC01175 A grey day for Argentina

People came in their thousands to leave messages of respect

El 27 de Octubre, Latinoamérica amaneció con una noticia triste e inesperada: Nestor Kirchner había fallecido en su casa de El Calafate a causa de un infarto fulminante. Para entender lo que significa su muerte para los argentinos es necesario conocer el contexto histórico en el que asumió su cargo y las medidas que tomó durante su mandato.

El 20 de diciembre de 2001 Fernando de la Rúa renunció a la presidencia dejando al país en medio de una terrible crisis económica y un estallido social. El cargo quedó acéfalo y en pocos días pasaron por la Casa Rosada Ramón Puerta, Adolfo Rodríguez Saá, Eduardo Camaño y finalmente Eduardo Duhalde.

Aunque Kirchner tenía una larga carrera política en el peronismo de la provincia de Santa Cruz, no era conocido en el ámbito nacional; fue Duhalde quién lo respaldó como candidato a presidente en las elecciones de 2003 en las que se impuso en segunda vuelta tras la renuncia de su contrincante Carlos Saúl Menem.

El 25 de mayo de 2003 tomó el mando de un país en crisis, con niveles de pobreza que alcanzaban al 57,5% de la población, la indigencia al 27,5% y la desocupación al 21,5%; todos niveles récord en la historia nacional.

Los desafíos eran muchos pero Kirchner tomó medidas importantes y postergadas que lo hicieron ganar tantos amigos como enemigos. Renovó la Corte Suprema de Justicia hasta entonces considerada corrupta, cambió la política de derechos humanos y logró el enjuiciamiento de militares que seguían impunes después de haber cometido crímenes de lesa humanidad durante la dictadura de 1976, recuperó el control público de varias empresas que habían sido privatizadas por Menem, renegoció la deuda externa e instauró una política económica que logró record de divisas en el Banco Central.

 La presidenta Cristina Fernandez asumió la continuidad del gobierno profundizando los cambios con el respaldo de su marido, quién de no ser por este lamentable desenlace, seguramente hubiera sido el candidato del “Frente para la Victoria” en las próximas elecciones.


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Boredom’s impossible when studying Spanish in Buenos Aires

Monday, October 18, 2010 15:16

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture, Buenos Aires City Attractions, Concerts, Events, Festivals and Holidays, Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Clubs, Student Stories - 0 Comments

new Boredoms impossible when studying Spanish in Buenos Aires

A hearty breakfast before our last class of the week

Having settled comfortably into my daily routine of studying Spanish in Buenos Aires, this week saw a spanner of abnormally large proportions thrown headlong into my highly polished works, and in quite the sneakiest of fashions. This was because last Monday played host to the national holiday El Día de la Raza or Columbus Day, which is a celebration of the day that Christopher Columbus himself arrived in the Americas. This meant that all of Argentina, including us at Expanish, had an extra long weekend to relax or in some cases, party that little bit harder. However, this meant that for the following days of the week, classes began at 8 o’clock in the morning to compensate for the hours of time we had missed on Monday. Undeniably a sensible idea, but when you have as turbulent a relationship with your alarm clock as I do, I began to wonder how many days it would be before I lost the plot and it ticked it’s last subsequent to my sending it sailing firmly out of the 8th floor window . I did however manage to make it into “nearly” on time to “most” classes and actually once at school, all began to get better very quickly. The earlier start also meant that getting into school was made more pleasant due to the moderately less intense Subte crush… when I say that of course, I mean that I was actually able to bang shoulders with those next to me as opposed to just being shrink wrapped into the carriage.

A huge highlight this week was an evening trip with some friends from Expanish to the show Fuerza Bruta (Brute Force). I’m not entirely sure the best way to describe this spectacle without either ruining the surprise of or just sounding like I can’t speak English, as it is impossible to describe. Think Cirque du Soleil meets interactive cinema meets euphoric rave and that might well be as close as you get. I would say it’s an absolute must to see if you’re fortunate enough to be here when it’s on. It will blow you away… quite literally, and be prepared to get wet!

Having had an early start every morning this week our teacher decided to treat us on Friday morning by taking us on a trip to the famous Café Tortoni for breakfast. This café is the oldest in Buenos Aires with a wonderful Parisian feel, waiters dressed in bow ties and cakes not even Bruce Bogtrotter could handle. My personal recommendation would be the submarino, hot chocolate made with an actual chocolate that you stir into hot milk. If you really do want a heart attack, there are also churros (The Spanish doughnut) and medialunas with dulce de leche amongst other treats. Should you manage to pay it a visit and leave without having to be carried off to hospital in a hyperglycemic coma, I recommend going early like we did to avoid the ever present queue and also other tourists as, as is the case with any place of notoriety, it has become a bit of a haven for them.

To see more at what you can get up to with Expanish, check my blog this time next week,


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There´s no such phrase as “I can´t play football” in Argentina.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 14:22

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture, Expanish News, Student Stories - 0 Comments

DSC00927 There´s no such phrase as I can´t play football in Argentina.

No Maradonas but we gave it a good shot.


Having recovered from last week´s disagreement with my mate, I returned to my Spanish lessons in Buenos Aires with a rekindled enthusiasm, and in equal volume, a newly acquired caution with regards to jumping headlong into any untested Argentine traditions my teacher might care to mention… (see Friday the 8th Oct blog for details).

Being a new week, we had a few new faces thrown into the mix not to mention a few new accents; German Spanish being my personal favorite. The constant flow of students in and out of Expanish, though sometimes sad as old friends must leave, is also great because it means that the class dynamic is constantly changing and new people bring new ideas and opinions.  Equally, as I’ve progressed through the course, I’ve found the Spanish classroom conversation becoming continuously more interesting and amusing. A friend of mine once said to me, “you know you’re becoming good at a foreign language when you’re able to joke using it”. I do believe there to be an element of truth in that, disheartening though it is knowing that my occasional attempted witty quips continue to be met with the proverbial tumbleweed moving painfully slowly across the classroom. But maybe that’s just my sense of humor.

Having embarrassed myself enough in the classroom, I thought it might be an idea to venture out to Expanish´s Friday afternoon football activity and embarrass myself there instead.  On activities notice board in school, it states any ability, any experience, boys, girls and the lack of any other sort of criteria you might be able to think of. This was actually rather fortunate considering that the only criteria I fit with regards to football is “extra special”. However it was an afternoon very well spent with plenty of opportunity to get to know a whole load more Expanish students along with a chance to practice some (not always very polite) Spanish with the Argentines on the opposite team. 

Tired and a determined to get better at football after an action packed day of Spanish lessons, sport and more Spanish, we headed of for a quiet beer to wind down for the evening (the local Quilmes is the one to go for). Salud!  


To find out more about what it´s like to be a student with Expanish check out the webstite

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Living with a family whilst studying in Buenos Aires

Friday, October 1, 2010 14:09

Categories - Accommodation in Buenos Aires, Argentine Recipes - 0 Comments

expanish activities03 211 Living with a family whilst studying in Buenos AiresSoy parte del Equipo de Expanish y me desempeño como Coordinadora de Alojamientos.

Dentro de mis actividades más desafiantes en el área, es buscar y conocer hosts que se encuentran interesados en recibir a nuestros estudiantes.

Consideramos que  nuestras casas de familia deberán tener calidad por su ubicación, su cercanía, su limpieza, sus comodidades, pero nos involucramos mucho en encontrar Familias que disfruten del estudiante y que se pueda sentir parte de la casa como si fuera de él o ella.

Todas nuestras casas de familia comparten nuestros valores y creencias, sin embargo rescato una casa en especial, que más allá de su ubicación, su limpieza y sus  comodidades,  los hosts han hecho de varios alumnos, una experiencia excepcional.

El departamento se encuentra ubicado en Palermo Viejo, una de las mejores zonas de Buenos Aires. En ella, vive en matrimonio que comenzaron a alojar estudiantes cuando sus hijas empezaron a casarse e independizarse.

Hoy por hoy, tienen mucha experiencia con los chicos que reciben y tratan siempre de hacer algo diferente con cada uno de ellos.

Disfrutan mucho con el estudiante durante las comidas, especialmente en las cenas, intentan que los mismos, prueben comidas variadas al estilo Argentino y además  aprovechan este tiempo para  generar un ambiente social más profundo que el del día a día, con el fin de que el estudiante tenga la oportunidad de profundizar la práctica del español.

Durante los fines de semana,  si el tiempo, el clima y entre otras cosas, los ayuda un poco, salen a pasear para tomar un café, un helado o para que conozcan algún lugar típico.

Tuve la oportunidad de compartir con esta familia en uno de los cumpleaños que festejaron  a uno de los estudiantes que se estaba hospedando en su casa y la verdad es que no había pasado ni hora y yo me sentía parte de ellos.

VeĂ­a como los chicos se sentĂ­an en casa, ayudaban a traer cosas, lavar la vajilla, servir bebidas, mientras otros ayudaban a prender la brasa para el asado.

Fue ahí cuando no sólo afirmé los comentarios y los testimonios de los alumnos, sino que también pude tener la experiencia con ellos.

To find out more about accommodation and homestays click on Accommodation with Expanish

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The Argentine Food Guide for Spanish students in Buenos Aires. Part 6

Thursday, September 24, 2009 7:45

Categories - Argentine Recipes - 0 Comments

pasta flora 300x199 The Argentine Food Guide for Spanish students in Buenos Aires. Part 6
Argentina is known for its fabulous foods, especially for all the delicious sweets and baked goods that are found in the countless deli’s located on almost every block throughout the city.   One of the most famous baked goods that you will find is called Pasta Flora, a traditional pastry filled with different flavors of jam and a definite favorite among Argentine’s looking for something sweet.

Pasta Flora


2 eggs
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp milk
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup jam/marmalade/mambrillo

  • Mix the eggs, the sugar, the butter, and shortening until smooth. Add vanilla, milk, and salt, adding the flour, baking powder mix, and roll the mixture until it becomes a dough ball.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Press half of the dough in the pan, spreading it evenly and covering with the jam. Take the other half of the dough and roll it out on a non-stick surface, and cut it into 14-18 strips.  Once you have all the strips, cross them over the pan with the dough and the jam, creating a top surface that looks like a graph.
  • Place the pastry in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, waiting until the dough is a golden brown color.


Looking more Argentine recipes?

Living Abroad in Buenos Aires? Learn more About Argentine Culture with our Expanish Activities in Buenos Aires!

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The Argentine Food Guide for Spanish students in Buenos Aires. Part 7

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 8:19

Categories - Argentine Recipes - 0 Comments

402706313 cd6c631f9b 300x225 The Argentine Food Guide for Spanish students in Buenos Aires. Part 7
For any Spanish student in Buenos Aires this winter, we encourage you to spend at least one day/night a week preparing an Argentine dish, drink, or treat.  We know it is easy to go out to eat but creating your own argentine recipe and then bringing home that recipe will put a little bit of Argentina back in your home country.

The Alfajor is a famous treat found throughout Argentina and the locals and foreigners alike love this deliciously sweet cookie. Originating in Spain and then making its way to Argentina, along with its Spanish immigrant makers, the Alfajor became popular in the late early 1900’s for its sweet taste, easy recipe, and of course Spanish tradition. Argentina added its own unique flavour to the cookie by adding a middle of dulce de leche, the reason why Argentines love this cookie today.

Alfajor Recipe

1 3/4 cup of flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 pound butter (1 stick) (soft)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dulce de Leche (pot)


  • Start by combining the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda in a bowl; cut the butter, and then mix everything together by hand. Mix in the lemon, egg yolks, and vanilla.
  • Shape the dough into 2 balls and let chill for 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Flour your work surface, and roll out each dough ball into a thickness of ÂĽ inch. Cut into 2 inch rounds, and place on baking sheet.  Bake until dry (not brown) (15min).
  • Let the cookies cool and then spread a thick layer of dulce de leche on one half and place another cookie on top.

And you are done!

Check out more of our Argentine Recipes here!

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The Argentine Food Guide for Spanish students in Buenos Aires. Part 5

Thursday, July 16, 2009 11:59

Categories - Argentine Recipes - 0 Comments

1077353 spaghetti The Argentine Food Guide for Spanish students in Buenos Aires. Part 5
For any Spanish students in Buenos Aires this winter, we encourage you to spend at least one night at home in order to cook a traditional Argentine meal.  We know it is easy to go out to the many trendy and delicious restaurants in the city but creating your own argentine meal and then bringing home the recipe will put a little bit of Argentina back in your home country.

Argentina, and more specifically, Buenos Aires, is largely influenced by Italian culture going back to when thousands of Italians immigrated to Argentina in the early and mid 1900’s. Along with a myriad of other things, the Italians also brought with them their delicious cuisine and for decades Argentines have enjoyed eating like the Italians eat.  Remember, Argentines don’t only bring the ingredients for the food to the table, but they bring the Italian style of dining with friends and family, meaning lots of food, lots of conversation, lots of wine, and lots of people sitting around the table.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ground beef
Bread crumbs

Spaghetti sauce
Tomato sauce
Parmesan cheese

1.    In a large bowl combined all of the ingredients for the meatballs. Once the mixture is mixed, roll the ingredients into a separate balls, and either fry them (in oil) or bake them in the oven for (at 350F).
2.    Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a pan, and slowly warm.
3.    Cook noodles and set aside.
4.    Put it altogether to enjoy a fantastic Italian dish!


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