Beginner Track Courses

The Trinity in Buenos Aires Area Studies Beginner Track is open to students with 0-3 semesters of prior Spanish language experience. Students enroll in a Trinity-taught core course and community-based independent study/volunteer project taught in an English, a Spanish class and two Area Studies courses taught in English alongside Argentine students. Students chose from specially selected courses with international students at the Universidad del Salvador (USAL).


  • Buenos Aires: Human Rights and Cultural Production (BNAR 300-02)
  • Community-Based Volunteer Placement/Independent Study (BNAR 399)
  • Spanish Course (at appropriate level)      
  • 1-2 Electives taught in English at the Universidad del Salvador

All courses are taught in English ​with the exception of the Spanish class. For course descriptions, please see below.

Course Descriptions ​

Buenos Aires: Human Rights and Cultural Production (BNAR 300-02)
Program Core Course - Required
Prof. Maria Silvina Persino (1 Trinity credit = 3.5 semester hours)
Language of Instruction: English
Prerequisite: None
Fulfills following requirements: Humanities and Global

This course will use the city as springboard and laboratory to explore and test ideas and questions related to urban issues, human rights and artistic production. Human rights should be understood in a wide sense, encompassing problems related to political dissidence, ethnicity, nationality, social and gender inequalities. Together with theoretical readings, the students will analyze cultural products associated with the explored topics. Field trips will complement class materials.

Community-Based Volunteer Placement (BNAR 399)
Independent Study - Required
Prof. Silvina Persino (1 Trinity credit = 3.5 semester hours)
Prerequisite: None
Fulfills following requirements: Humanities and Global

All students enrolled on the Intermediate Track participate in a volunteer placement for which they receive 1.0 Trinity credit. Students work as a volunteer approximately 4 hours per week for 13 week and complete guided readings under the direction of Faculty-in-Residence Silvina Persino.

Beginner to Advanced Spanish

Required for all students
Language of instruction: Spanish
Prof. TBA (1 Trinity credit = 3.5 semester hours)

This course will work on basic common language themes with the following objectives in mind: Auditory comprehension, oral production, reading comprehension and written expression.

USAL Courses

In addition to the courses above, Area Studies students may take 1-2 Universidad del Salvador (USAL) courses taught in English worth 1.0 Trinity credit each. While these courses are open to all USAL students, they are considered the introductory courses to a more specific topic of study. Therefore, they are general in scope and do not require extensive background knowledge in the particular subject:

Argentine and Latin America History of Art
In this course students will understand the complexity of artistic and cultural productions in Argentina and Latin America. It provides insight into different cultures and artistic expressions through the analysis of paintings, sculptures and architecture. This will serve to contextualize and analyze diversity in the search of a Hispanic identity.

Comparative Politics
This course will provide a general introduction to Comparative Politics. Students will analyze different topics that will be divided into six parts: Democracy and Democratization; Presidential and Parliamentary Systems; Legislatures; Political Parties and Party System; Latin American Political Parties, Party Systems and Institutional Change. Course meetings will combine lectures with discussions of assigned articles.

Geography III (Socio-Economic Geography)
This course will demonstrate the relevant contributions of adventure and ecotourism to the environmental, social, cultural and economic well-being of destinations and local communities. It will provide students with the tools to examine the existing relationship between the ecologic systems and the socio-economic configurations. It will compare the local/regional lifestyles to tourist development in order to develop a scale of values to conserve and enhance the Argentinean natural and cultural heritage.

History of American and Argentine Culture
Students taking this course will understand the hallmarks of Argentine cultural identity through the analysis of various historical periods. It will analyze the positioning of Argentina in a changing world during the 20th Century. It will also focus on the historical idea that the founding milestones of Argentine culture were instrumental and an original contributor to what was considered to be the universal culture.

Latin American Political Systems
The context of this course is framed from 1980 to 2009 and starts by analyzing the state building process in Latin America and the differences between the American and European models. A considerable amount of time is devoted to other crucial questions such as the direction and pace of regime change in Latin America, as well as the relationship between democracy and development. The coursework also explores some of the most urgent challenges facing Latin American countries such as neo-populism, market reforms, and democratic consolidation. The course concludes with a discussion on the future of the state, democracy and development in the region, l​ike the assistance of a tutor.

About the University

The Universidad del Salvador (USAL) resembles a U.S. university in the diversity and structure of its curriculum. This private university has a small student body and a commitment to personalized education, so the atmosphere is nurturing. Despite the fact that USAL is a true urban university with faculties spread over a wide area, the university offers a sense of community. Connect with your fellow students by checking into the range of sports teams and activities available. Courses are worth 3 U.S. semester credit hours.