Monday, December 31, 2012

Celebrating My First New Year's Eve Abroad

New Year's Eve was bittersweet this year. It's the first one I've celebrated with my parents in seven years, but it's also the first one I've celebrated without my spouse since we met. Unfortunately, it couldn't be helped. We need to get apostilles on our marriage license, high school and college diplomas and on our transcripts. So, my spouse went back to New York to celebrate the holidays with the family and to take care of the apostilles. 

Over the last few weeks, my homesickness has only gotten worse. Being home alone is tough, and when my spouse sends me photos of what he's up to in New York, I feel happy for him, but I'm also sad.
I wish I could be there with him. I'm not sure if this feeling will go away, and unfortunately, he won't be back for another month and a half.

In the meantime, I celebrated New Year's Eve with my folks privately in their home. Of Course, my dad is a fan of Argentine barbecue, but I'm not.   

My dad barbecued goat, cow brains, and sausages
Thankfully, my parents know how I feel about Argentine barbecues, so my mom was cool enough to create an assortment of other dishes like potato wedges, Armenian empanadas, as well as Argentine empanadas. 
The triangular shaped Empanadas are Armenian. They are very similar to the Arabian empanadas, but the taste of the ground beef, and the shape of the space at the center differs. The Empanadas on the lower right-hand side of the photo are called Empanadas criollas.  
The first plate on the left is a basic salad with lettuce, tomatoes and onions. The potato wedges I mentioned earlier are in the middle plate, and the third plate is chimichurri. Chimichurri is a seasoned sauce that you can pour over any type of meat. 
I tried some of goat meat. It was okay, but I'm not a fan of the texture. I also hate cow brains because of the way it jiggles in my mouth. It tastes like phlegm. 
I decided to go for the safest route and make myself a choripan. A choripan is a sausage sandwiched in a bread, and it's very popular in Argentina. As you can see from the picture above, I added some of the salad along with potato wedges and chimichurri.  
My mom then placed an assortment of peanuts, sugar coated candies, and turron (nougat) for dessert. Turron varies by texture and color. Focus on the big plate. The turron on the upper right-hand side is white and has a tougher texture along with peanuts cut in half. I don't like this type of turron because chewing through it is difficult. I prefer the softer turron which is on the lower left-hand side of the plate. It's brown and soft like peanut butter and easier on the teeth. 
My mom also made a delicious fruit salad for dessert
Later tonight we're going to toast to 2013 with Sidra (or cider) before I head back to the emptiness of my home.

I want to thank all of my readers and followers. In the coming months I'll blog about an upcoming trip to the capital of Buenos Aires, my continued efforts to validate my U.S. diploma and transcripts, plus more amazing photos and videos of Cordoba. Until next time, have a safe and happy New Year! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Attending College in Argentina: What You’ll Need and Which Careers Work Best

One of the wonderful advantages of studying abroad in Argentina is that public universities are free. Textbooks aren't free, but you are given the option of buying photocopied versions of the textbook at a cheaper price. There is a small fee for being enrolled but it’s such a minor amount that it’s laughable. 

A term at a university is broken down by years, (year 1, year 2, year 3, etc.) instead of the 4-month terms per year more commonly seen in the United States. 

Most career programs last five years, and when you are done, you'll have earned the equivalent of a Master’s Degree. 

Here’s the catch! When I went to apply, I provided the registrar with my diploma, college transcripts, and vocational certificates, but she told me they were invalid. Why? Because none of those things had apostilles. I didn't know what this was at the time, much less that I needed it, but hopefully this post can help you avoid some of the headaches I encountered. 
To Enroll In An Argentine University, You'll Need: 

  • Apostilles for your high school diploma and transcripts (do the same for any other degree) 
  • Have your diploma and transcripts translated and legalized 
  • Take your diploma and transcripts to the ministry of education in Buenos Aires to have them validated 
  • Return to the university of your choice with the diploma and transcript apostilled, notarized, translated, and legalized. 
  • If you only have a transcript, then don’t even bother taking these steps. The ministry of education will only validate documents if they come with both the diploma and the transcripts. You can't present one or the other by themselves. 

Choosing The Best Career Program 
There isn’t a high demand for lawyers, psychiatrists, or social workers in Argentina. If you’re interested in these fields, I’d reconsider. Why aren’t these careers very popular in Argentina? I'll break it down for you. 

For starters, the concept of suing someone at the drop of a hat (which is very common in the U.S.) is not a common practice in Argentina. Most issues are solved amicably and diplomatically, so the need for a lawyer is seriously diminished. You won’t find anyone purposely faking a slip and fall at a store in order to collect money either. It’s not to say there aren’t one or two bad apples, but most of these cases get ridiculed and tossed out of court unless death has occurred as a result of an action. 

Immigration Lawyer 
Are there immigration lawyers available in Argentina? Absolutely. Do you need to become one? Probably not, since people don't get deported here unless you commit a crime, and a lawyer won't help you bend the requirements to apply for residency or citizenship. 

Divorce Lawyer 
The divorce rate in Argentina is too small. This is mostly because until recently, it was seen as a social taboo in Argentine society, especially among the older generation. Plus, most Argentinians live by the following motto, “Work things out because things in Argentina must last”. 

Psychologists And Psychiatrists 
If you really love this field then I’d recommend being a child therapist. Mental health problems are not as heavily advertised or as popular here as they are in the United States. Argentines don’t dwell on mental or eating disorders as much. Again, it’s not to say there aren’t people who suffer from it, but it’s not that common. Also, Argentines tend to deal with their own issues privately among family. The thought of going to a therapist to discuss personal issues or going to couple's therapy, or family counseling is considered by some to be an embarrassment to the individual and their family. 

Social Workers 
This is one of the more popular career choices. Unfortunately, there are so many people that have entered into this field that the demand isn’t that great. Therefore, it’s a dead end unless you have pull with a hospital or institution. 

Career recommendations 
Become a national translator!
You can pick German, French, Italian, or English. You can also earn an education degree for these particular languages, which will open doors for you if you want to teach at a primary school, high school, or university. 

Other career options that are in high demand in Argentina are ITbiochemistchemist, architect, and medical doctors. 

Just remember to apostille, notarize, translate, and legalize your diplomas and transcripts before applying to a university here. Then pick the career that best matches your desires and Argentina's needs.