25 South American experiences I’ll never forget

Swedish student Mikaela Nikolausson is in her final year of the Bachelor of International Studies with Bachelor of Laws.  She spent 2012 on exchange at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires and the Universidad Especialidades de Espíritu Santo in Ecuador.

“I began planning for my exchange in my very first year at Macquarie, going over the numerous destinations (so many options!) and the University’s generous mobility scholarships that would help get me there.

Little did I know how extraordinary my exchange would actually turn out to be.

My year in South America gave me invaluable experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and that will hopefully set me apart from other candidates in the job market.

Being on exchange is awesome in itself. Add some of coolest things you could ever experience and you will have the year of your lifetime.


  • adding the nightlife of Buenos Aires to your everyday life
  • feeling the presence of Evita long after she is gone
  • adding dulce de leche to almost everything you eat
  • coming up with a own business plan for making and selling empanadas in your home country
  • dancing samba to the beat of drums during Festivale
  • standing at the edge of the Devil’s Throat at Iguazu Falls
  • living a hippie beach life in Punta del Diablo, Uruguay
  • biking through the vineyards of Mendoza, enjoying it’s Malbec and indulging in the finest steaks
  • climbing a glacier
  • trekking through the woods of Patagonia
  • flying (yes, flying!) a four seated plane over Tierra del Fuego
  • visiting the southernmost town in the world – as close to Antarctica as you can get on the mainland
  • watching Messi and Argentina play for the World Cup qualifiers and experiencing the craziness of a local game.

Then add:

  • travelling solo through Bolivia
  • holding a wild anaconda in the Amazon
  • coming down with altitude sickness in La Paz
  • trekking Machu Pichu
  • walking on the equator and being in two hemispheres at the same time
  • being mistaken for an Argentinian because of your use of ‘vos’ / ‘il’
  • whale watching off the coast of Ecuador
  • climbing a volcano
  • witnessing a shaman in action
  • visiting a haunted hacienda
  • spending everyday in average temperatures of 30 degrees
  • swimming with sharks in the Galápagos Islands.

That is how I spent my 2012. You can do it too.”


Students undertaking the Bachelor of International Studies spend one or two semesters overseas, where they study the language, history and culture of their chosen country first-hand.

Languages and cultures available to study include Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Latin American.