A Day in the life of a PBA student at the Buenos Aires Academy 2023

By Nikos, Polkadot Blockchain Academy Student at Buenos Aires 2023

“The Polkadot Blockchain Academy is an experience you’ve likely never had before in the blockchain world. The content quality is unmatched, and we are learning a lot every single day. Besides, all the logistics and organizational aspects of the Academy are impeccable! In addition to the Academy team and the instructors, we are supported by the local partners UBA and AdLiB, as well as by the local Polkadot Ambassadors. They treat us like family and attend to every single one of our needs. This could NOT have been possible without them, and I feel the need to thank them from the bottom of my heart!”

The start of a typical day at the Academy

My typical day at the Academy usually starts early. I tend to wake up around 6:30am to have some quiet time to look through the day’s schedule. Around 7:30am I head downstairs to the hotel lobby, where I have breakfast with other Academy students. (For early starters there is also the option to have breakfast at the Academy’s campus.)

During breakfast we chat amongst ourselves, exchange our thoughts about the forthcoming day, and then head together towards the Academy facilities. The Academy is hosted at the University of Buenos Aires, and it takes about 20 minutes by foot to reach the University.

These morning walks are an important part of the day, since it gives me a small exercise before the start of an intense day at the Academy. The walk from the hotel to the University building is very pleasant, and I enjoy it a lot. I pass together with other students by the various parks and green spaces, where the hyper energetic dogs run around while their still sleepy owners chat on the sidewalks.

These daily walks also become a small sight-seeing tour: we pass remarkable monuments, such as the well known cemetery of Buenos Aires or the Spanish Church. Even after more than two weeks in Buenos Aires, these sights still amaze me every day.

Our daily schedule

We usually spend the whole day at the University: attending lectures, studying, co-working and socializing. The great facilities of the University of Buenos Aires lend themselves to a productive learning environment. We have the main lecture theatre, the social space, the quiet room and the co-working desks which we use quite a bit.

Normally we start class at 9:00am, and we have two lessons before lunch and two lessons in the afternoon. The students really appreciate the lunch and coffee breaks in between the lessons to chat, rest and re-energize. The academic day typically ends at 4:30pm, but on some days we may have additional optional activities such as fireside chats, presentations, or open Academy nights.

Our newly acquired knowledge is tested on a weekly basis. The assignments are usually hands-on exercises based on the subject that we covered in the past week. For example, last week we were assigned to build a simple blockchain with Substrate.

“The highlight of the day for me is usually when we start a new chapter or when we have hands-on experience.“

Normally, once the lessons finish, I stay behind in the University building to ask for explanations on hard subjects and discuss various questions that may arise. The campus is open until 8:00pm, so we can stay around, and either work in the quiet room or co-working space, or chill out, socialize with other students or play billiards, or ping pong.

On the way back to the hotel, we will stop for dinner and then back at the hotel gather in the common space to talk, work, go for walks, or take care of personal matters (e.g. washing clothes). Most of the time, the students study until late (regardless of whether there is an assignment or not), with the exception when we have side-events which take place once or twice a week.

So far, we have had official group assignments but there are no restrictions for students to work together, discuss the assignments and explore possible solutions. This provides an opportunity for us to see how it feels like working together in an engineering team and gives a glimpse of the actual working environment within the Polkadot ecosystem.

Some final thoughts

In conclusion, the Academy is not for the faint hearted but rather for ambitious and eager individuals who have come to absorb the maximum amount of knowledge to succeed as blockchain developers. If you are considering coming to the Academy, bear in mind that it is a fast-paced environment which requires a lot of work, and leaves very little free time.

What I particularly appreciate is that we are learning from the very best in the industry. Where else is the founder spending their time teaching the next generation of blockchain developers?

All the various instructors that we’ve had so far have been excellent: each is teaching the area they are specializing in. For example, the Module: Blockchain was taught by Joshy Orndoff, the Module: Frame by Shawn Tabrizi, while Module: Substrate by Kian Paimani.

Of course, it was amazing to see Gavin Wood on stage teaching, answering questions and casually interacting with students. But we’ve also had Giulia Vieira and Andrew Martin Burger (next week Bradley Olson will join us) who were students during the first wave of the Academy and are now instructors: helping to prepare the content and teaching.

All in all the Academy is an unmatchable experience!



Estupendo! Great! my favs!! :heart_eyes: