Enrolling at University of Buenos Aires

Photo Credit: Mahadeva

I have been very satisfied with the three classes I’ve taken at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), if you are interested in taking spanish classes in BA. If you are self motivated and speak up in class, you should do well. I consider the price to be reasonable, especially because the price lowers for returning students. Eight week or sixteen week classes are offered.

On the day of registration, when you arrive, queue up in a long line starting in the entryway. A professor will give you a form to fill out and send you into a larger room to your right to take a placement test. There is a cafeteria there if you want an espresso or cafe con leche. After you finish the test, you can give it to the instructors at the center table, and one of them will grade the exam and talk to you to measure your proficiency.

For the test, it’s important to understand the use of “vos” rather than “tu,” and “sos” instead of “eres.” Take a primer on Argentinean spanish here.

After the meeting, the professor will recommend your level (nivel) and send you to enroll in a class. You’ll then queue up to sign up for a class time at the table closest to the main marble staircase and the contact should give you a number. Now you’ll need to queue up in order to pay. I would bring a book or magazine because this can take a while. This shouldn’t be too difficult–just time consuming.

You can either pay all of the cost at one time or elect to pay in installments. Just a warning–there are only particular times at the UBA office when you are allowed to use a credit card. I suggest bringing cash if you can. Use a money pouch as mentioned in this post.

I’ve liked most all of my teachers. In order to get the most of the class, I’d suggest talking a lot. It is definitely a group atmosphere and there is no one-on-one treatment. For maximum improvement, you may want to consider hiring a private tutor in conjunction with the UBA classes. Conversation classes in Buenos AIres at the moment run around $30 or $35 pesos an hour.

The UBA site for spanish classes is: http://www.idiomas.filo.uba.ar/mapa/lab/espanol.htm. Inscription times are available on the site. I’d recommend arriving at 9:00 a.m. as a first time student. Return students are allowed to register earlier than new ones. The nearest Subte stops are Cathedral on the green line, Florida on the red line, or Plaza de Mayo on the light blue line.



Filed under Argentina, City Center, How to

10 responses to “Enrolling at University of Buenos Aires

  1. I can’t wait to put you to the test. Three classes, right? So, I’ll call you this afternoon pretending to be someone I’m not and see how you handle it. Then we can add to this post a rating of whether three classes at UBA has made a difference.

    I’m only kidding. Now you’re going to be answering the phone all day wondering if this is the test. Still, we have to meet with Naty one day and just gab in castellano. Lots to catch up on! Beso…

    No promises, chica. 🙂 This week my skills took a downturn. I need to talk to some gente again. Cafe sounds excellent.

  2. Aunt Debbie

    Hmmm…..the description of the subway stops remind me of a scene in the movie “Airplane”:
    Male announcer: “The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a red zone.”
    Female announcer: “The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a red zone.”
    Male announcer:” The red zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a white zone.”
    Female announcer:” No, the white zone is for loading. Now, there is no stopping in a RED zone.”
    Male announcer: “The red zone has always been for loading.”
    Female announcer: “Don’t you tell me which zone is for loading, and which zone is for unloading.”
    Male announcer: “Look Betty, don’t start up with your white zone shit again. There’s just no stopping in a white zone.”

    Well, guess you had to have been there.

  3. Hey speaking of cafe, are you free?

    Definitely–you free next week?

  4. Great stuff.

    For Aunt Debbie: Thanks for the Airplane reference. I’d just like to admit to my drinking problem while I have your attention. Looks like I’ll have to change these pants again…

  5. cdenton

    The UBA sounds so scary. I have a few friends who are studying there…On the first day of one of the classes, the professor said “Ustedes van a odiarme.” Yikes!

  6. Lei

    Hi! I found your blog through google and I want to study Spanish in B.A. this January. I just had a couple of questions for you…I would very much appreciate it if you could help me!

    How do I know what day the registration begins? Is this it? “Pruebas de nivel e inscripción para alumnos nuevos: 4 y 5 de febrero de 9:00 a 12:00 y de 15 a 19:00 hs.” And how about if I want to enroll for the March sessions, where do I find info on this?

    Is it first come first serve? Or can I reserve before getting there? Are there a lot of people who register for these classes?

    Thanks so much in advance!

    Hi Lei–please see my e-mail.

  7. I’m assuming you’re from the US. What happens when you leave Argentina?

    I have participated in a number of Spanish immersion courses and camps in Spain, Mexico and Columbia, but I have always had a problem maintaining and even advancing my fluency afterwards.

    Now, being fairly fluent in Spanish I have found that classes are usually below my mastery level. Movies and novels are OK, but are not as personal and memorable and are easy to forget as they are sort of optional. What has worked well for me recently are online classes in which I can chat to someone to improve my conversational skills. I have been happy with http://personalspanish.net/ which offers classes from a variety of teachers that fit my schedule. I work long hours.

    Do you know of anyone with a similar problem and how have they managed?

    It sounds like a good Web site, particularly if you work long hours and don’t have time to take classes.

  8. Angela

    I just stumbled upon your blog while trying to find info about enrolling in the UBA spanish program… I’m trying to figure out how to go about enrolling. Do you have to enroll in person? Or can you apply beforehand? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!!

  9. You can enroll in person. This is the only method that I used, Angela.

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