Monday, June 1, 2009

Orientation & Good News

Querido Chicago,

On Monday we had an orientation session for the GIC program hosting us. I was calm as I had a private orientation the week before. It was shocking to realize how much I'd learned in only 6 days - how to use an Argentinian cell phone, how to take a subway, what to do at an ATM. It was nice to get a boost of confidence after such a hard time in the new house. From the center, we walked to the University of Buenos Aires language building to see where we would be studying and to take our language placement exams. The walk was lovely, as I met the other students in the program and got to know my fellow GIC'ers a little bit. Students are from all over the country, public and private universities, all ages.

The building is called the Centro Universitario de Idiomas, or "University Center of Languages". Its a modest facility but the walk there is great - I pass all sorts of shops, cafes and old buildings. Not too convenient from my Subte stop, but I'm still at the point where I find that charming rather than annoying. We were divided into groups based on how well we performed on the written exams (which I took on the plane ride with J to see K in St.Louis - how long ago that feels!). I did well on the oral exam and was placed in the second highest level (which I was unsure of, as its now been a year since I've practiced). After class I grabbed lunch with four other students in the program. We ducked into a cute little pizza place - I had prosciutto, olive and fresh parmesean pizza made to order. This with a soda was 15 pesos, just $4.08 US! That was a big sit-down lunch, too. Eating out for lunch everyday will not be very expensive.

After lunch I joined my new friends to see the student dorm, which is gorgeous. It made me REALLY wish I had different housing, however the students there all speak English to each other all the time, so it really is for the best I live elsewhere. I then headed back to the GIC office to see if anyone was helping me change my housing situation. To my relief and surprise, they were in the process of contact possible matches for me to move into. The ball was rolling! I must also say that the walks I took in between all of these places were delightful, despite my HORRIBLE sense of direction. It was back to the house to hang out with the boys and eat battered, fried steaks for dinner. My mood has improved a million times over as I now know that I'll be getting a new place to live soon!


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