Posts Tagged ‘Patagonia’

An Argentinian odyssey

April 2, 2008

“Where they Went” by Diane Daniel
(Published  March 30, 2008, in the Boston Globe)

From Di’s eyes: In her short time in Argentina, Nicole traveled to almost every region of that vast country. I can’t imagine that many exchange students do the same. Very impressive, Nicole!

WHO: Nicole Falzone, 22, of Stoneham, Mass.

WHERE: Argentina.

WHEN: Six months, July through December.

WHY: “I’d studied abroad in Spain in my sophomore year and didn’t think I was going to go overseas again,” Falzone said. “But in my junior year I switched from Spanish to international relations and I wanted to do a study abroad and focus on Latin America.”

NEW PERSPECTIVE: “I wanted to live in a big city because in Spain I was in a small city,” said Falzone, who is planning to graduate this spring from the University of Connecticut. She stayed with a host family in Buenos Aires and took classes at several schools. “I took one class at the University of Buenos Aires with all Argentine students. That was kind of scary. My other classes were all in Spanish but with students from all over. In the US, maybe they cover like a week of Latin American studies, so it was interesting to see things from Argentina’s point of view.”

Nicole Falzone at Salt flat in Jujuy, ArgentinaFAR-FLUNG: Along with exploring Buenos Aires, Falzone covered much ground away from home, traveling either with friends or on a tour with other US exchange students who were in the same program, the Council on International Educational Exchange. “My host family joked with me, ‘You’ve seen more than we’ve seen.’ The first tour we did was to Jujuy [province], in the northwest. There are several small towns with native people, very different than the city, where it’s very European. All the towns had little markets on the plaza with sweaters and jewelry. The landscape was almost like a desert. We went to the salt flats. You can see them for miles and it’s just flat and white. It’s difficult to get the concept that it’s salt settled there and you’re walking on it.”

Nicole Falzone (left) and Megan Carey at Iguazu Falls, ArgentinaTRIP TO FALLS: With a friend she visited Iguazu Falls, at the Brazilian border. “I didn’t even know they existed, but my host family said I had to go. We took an overnight bus, where the chairs recline. The falls are just incredible. We stayed at a hostel with a big pool. It’s a national park and there are trails that you take all around.”

Nicole Falzone (right) and Michelle Kuecker taste wine in Mendoza, ArgentinaWINE COUNTRY: With three girlfriends, Falzone went to Mendoza, in western Argentina. “It was the end of August so it was still cold. It’s near the mountains, and we did some things from the hostel we stayed at. They took us into the mountains for horseback riding and then we went on four-wheelers all around. The other day we did a wine-tasting tour. A lot of people don’t realize how much wine comes from Mendoza.”

Nicole Falzone in Ushuaia, Argentina in the Beagle CanalSOUTHERNMOST: Falzone even made it to Patagonia. “I went with another girl. We flew to El Calafate, where all the glaciers are, and went to Perito Moreno, the most famous one. I’ve just never seen anything like it. The glaciers look like mountains of ice and are this light-bluish color. Parts will fall off into the water as you’re watching, and it sounds like this huge explosion.” They went as far as Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. “That’s where we saw the penguins,” she said. “A little boat took us to an island and you get off and the whole shore is just lines of penguins.”