Argentina is gaining traction among IGS students. We landed there in 2015 for a site visit and the found a fertile market with companies eager for English-speaking interns. One of our students graduated in hospitality management and requested a boutique hotel to learn the trade. We placed her at a coastal property where she worked directly with the owner. She quickly demonstrated her competence and was given a high level of responsibility within a week of arriving. Buenos Aires is the most popular city for our students and offers the greatest diversity of placements and things to do. Excursions include flying to nearby Peru for a glimpse of the Amazon Rainforest. And for those seeking the bottom of the world, a trip to Ushuaia is in order.

Argentina is the second largest country of South America after Brazil. With a population of 42 million, it is the 32nd most populous country in the world. 

If you’re traveling all that way, you might as well make sure you visit the best spots! Here are our top recommended places for gap year programs in Argentina.

ATTRACTIONS by GoAbroad’s Luciana Dinu

Buenos Aires Considered ‘one of the world’s most addictive cities’, Buenos Aires is the perfect place to start your gap year in Argentina. Spend your days working alongside local teachers to help educate and care for the local children, take tango classes in the evenings, eat delicious steak (you are in Argentina after all!), indulge in local wine and enjoy the amazing nightlife. When you feel like taking a breath of fresh air, take the train to Tigre and explore the delta or relax in the Botanical Gardens, visit the Museum of Fine Arts, the Recoleta Cemetery or the La Casa Rosada for a cultural and historical weekend, or relax and practice your Spanish conversational skills with a coffee and some dulce de leche, while you’re watching the ferocious tango street dancers. 

Cordoba This city, nominated once as the “Cultural Capital of America,” offers a perfect mix of traditional culture and vibrant youthful spirit. Some might dare to say that it gives Paris a run for its romance. Due to its major income differences, Cordoba offers plenty of volunteer opportunities, such as teaching English, helping develop the childcare and health care system, or spending your days coaching football to the local community. You’ll fall in love with history after your visit to the unforgettable Cathedral of Cordoba, the Patio de los Naranjos, and the breath-taking royal Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos—an old visigothic fortress. What does visigothic even mean? You’ll no doubt find out while on gap year programs in Argentina. 

ADVENTURE

The best way to get outside and understand this unique country from your head to your toes is through an adventure travel gap year! Grab your backpack and gear, and start out with the lush jungles and sizzling hot sun, then head down to the great Iguazu Falls and Perito Moreno Glacier. Where else will you see both sneaky monkeys and cute penguins?! Enjoy the fine wine in Mendoza, travel to the colorful canyons of Cafayate, visit the Peninsula of Valdes, practice your Whale à la Dory as you watch the humpbacks, do some ice trekking across the Glacier National Park—the list goes on. Just take your pick.

THE PEOPLE

In the mid-19th century a large wave of immigration started to arrive in Argentina due to new constitutional policies that encouraged immigration. Most Argentines are descended from several European ethnic groups, with more than 55% having Italian origins. The second-most common ethnic origin is Spanish. About 17% have French origins, and about 8% are descended from German immigrants. Argentina today has a large Arab population, most of whom are from Syria or Lebanon.    

 

Transportation
Cost
Visa
Safety
Languages

Budget! Yes, boring, but very necessary. Especially when you’re dealing with different currency. Although it is the most expensive country in South America, the rate exchange makes living in Argentina reasonable and affordable. That being said, you can go out and eat to your heart’s content for $15 or less. Hit the local markets to save up some money and eat better quality food, use more public transportation or maybe share rent and some of the costs with a roommate. Use FundMyTravel to jumpstart your saving now!

To spare yourself the headache of a visa, most gap year programs in Argentina will take care of it for you and the cost is included in the fee. Argentina provides the opportunity for young people to work and travel with a working holiday visa, on a temporary basis. Do your research and start with checking out our Embassy directory to ensure you have all the needed documentation. Who knows, you might only need a tourist visa, after all. 

Argentina is a relatively safe country, but petty theft is the most common thing, especially amongst tourists, who are considered easy prey. Mingle with locals more and you won’t be a tourist for long. Make sure you take precautions like you would in any other country: keep you belongings safe, don’t be rude, embrace the culture, don’t walk alone on dark streets and stay out of trouble. Abide to the rules and regulations of the programs you’re in and you’ll be five by five. If you’re traveling, have your vaccinations up to date, especially for Typhoid and Yellow fever, and pack a LOT of mosquito repellent. 

The de fact  official language is Spanish, spoken by almost all Argentines.  The country is the largest Spanish-speaking society that universally employs voseo, the use of the pronoun vos instead of  (“you”), which imposes the use of alternative verb forms as well. Due to the extensive Argentine geography, Spanish has a strong variation among regions, although the prevalent dialect is Rioplatense, primarily spoken in the La Plata Basin and accented similarly to the Neapolitan languageItalian and other European immigrants influenced Lunfardo—the regional slang—permeating the vernacular vocabulary of other Latin American countries as well.  English, taught since elementary school. 42.3% of Argentines claim to speak it, with 15.4% of them claiming to have a high level of language comprehension.