So you’re thinking of spending some time in Argentina but you want to make your experience a meaningful one – have a think about volunteering or studying abroad.
Volunteering abroad, sometimes called voluntourism, is a great way to get ingrained in a culture, live like a local and give back to those who need it.
Argentina is a beautiful country, the home of Iguazu falls, Patagonia and Salta. With the continued growth of Argentina as a global travel destination, the ability to speak English is increasingly important, so projects across the country are in need of people to teach English. There are also plenty of volunteer projects that need help with conservation, building, renovations and child care.
A couple of projects that we love are:
Buenos Aires: Teach English at a bi-lingual school with i-to-i
Community Outreach Program with Volunteer Adventures
Teacher's Assistant in Argentina with Geovisions
Read about Kimberly’s volunteer experience in Argentina, she decided to work on an organic farm:
“The fact that a circle dance was on last week’s agenda made us a bit nervous. What exactly did we sign up for when we volunteered to help out on the farm?
We took a public bus from nearby El Bolson to the tiny town of El Hoyo, then taxied out to Chacra Millalen, the small organic farm in the Patagonia region of Argentina where we’d spend the next 4 days volunteering.
Neither of us had WWOOFed or worked on a farm before so we had no idea what to expect. Would there be other volunteers? What would a typical day be like? Is this farm actually a crazy hippie commune?”
To read more about her experience visit her blog.
If you’re looking to study Spanish, most opportunities are based in Buenos Aires, though larger cities such as Mendoza and Córdoba are also options. Córdoba is a city of students, meaning you will feel right at home going to school, and you will also find plenty of opportunities to set up learning exchanges with local students. Small-group instruction or individual tutoring offer the best opportunities for improving language skills, and are affordable options. Rates average around AR$40 per hour (one-on-one) or AR$300 to AR$400 per week. To learn more visit Lonely Planet’s Argentina page.
Argentina is one of the most rewarding countries in the western hemisphere in which to attend college. Its universities are of a high caliber, its people are famously friendly, and the benefits of living there are immense. If you’re looking for more info on studying in Argentina have a look at StudyAbroad.com.
Have a read of Jeff’s time studying in Argentina:
“I had heard a lot about Argentina through the grapevine, but decided that actually going to Buenos Aires was the only way that I would be able to truly grasp the culture and form my own opinions and understanding of the place. Tufts's Study Abroad Office offers a ton of study abroad programs throughout the world, but I had my heart set on going to Buenos Aires, where Tufts did not have a program at the time. So, I began looking into a bunch of different programs, which had been approved by the Tufts Study Abroad Office.
Ultimately I chose IFSA-Butler because of the opportunities it offered. One of my main study abroad "goals" was to come away with a truly authentic experience, and my program required that all students live with a host family that could only speak Spanish and that all program participants take at least one class at an Argentine university with Argentine professors and students. My program also offered a really exciting list of community-based volunteer opportunities to all program participants. Whether you wanted to teach English to Argentine elementary students, volunteer at a local hospital, immerse yourself in the political sphere, or do direct-service projects like building community infrastructure, there was definitely no shortage of things to get involved in while I was in Buenos Aires.”
Read his full entry and more at PlanetGapYear.com.
Just Have Fun
If you’re just looking to kick back and have some fun with no work or study required have a look at Say Hueque, an awesome local operator that does it all.
Argentina: Studying Spanish and blending into the culture of Buenos Aires
Learn Spanish with World Nomads Spanish language guide
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