Marco Polo, Apolline in Argentina
Determined to improve her Spanish, Apoline, joined a Vatel school in a Hispanic country even before joining Vatel in Bordeaux, She tells us the about the year she sent Vatel in Buenos Aires.
In her search for a unique opportunity, Apolline, a student at Vatel Bordeaux, decided to spend her entire second year in Argentina, thanks to the Marco Polo exchange programme. In fact, this programme was one of the reasons why she initially chose to study at Vatel.
Last year, when she applied for the programme, there were three destinations offering a curriculum in Spanish – Spain, Argentina and Paraguay. Apolline wanted to experience something entirely different so she selected Buenos Aires (Argentina) to find out more about Latin America, an area she knew nothing about up to that point. Our young student told us that spending a year abroad is a very rewarding experience:
“I was able to learn about another language and another culture. The opportunity has helped me to see my professional future differently by adding a Spanish dimension to my ideas. The experience has widened my view of the world and strengthened my ideas of what I want to do in the future.”
Our young student described the warm welcome she received from other students and the teaching staff. She said she integrated easily and quickly into the college and into local life thanks to the many group projects on offer at the college.
Vatel Buenos Aires offers a three-stage curriculum. The year begins with lectures. There is then a 4-month period of work experience in another country before a further set of lectures.
At present, Apolline is doing her work experience at Four Points by Sheraton in Barcelona. She emphasised that the college had offered her a large number of different destinations in Latin America, notably in Uruguay.
At the end of her period in Barcelona, she will return to Buenos Aires to finish her year and will then come back to France for the third year of her Bachelor Vatel course in Bordeaux.
Her impressions of the country
Apolline described Argentina as a friendly country that is a cultural checkerboard. It is full of contrasts in its culture and history. Buenos Aires is a very lively, cosmopolitan city. The kindness and optimism of the Argentineans, despite previous dictatorships and several economic crises, have taught her a great deal about life. The seemingly endless landscapes in Argentina have also made a great impression on her, especially the Iguazu Falls and the 35°C temperatures.
“I strongly recommend this experience, despite the workload and the determination required to integrate into a new life and a new culture.”
She is now trilingual and, thanks to this opportunity, she feels completely capable of working in another country.