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The Experiment in International Living participants with a local The Experiment in International Living participants with a local

Argentina Community Service and the Great Outdoors

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Social Life

    9

A fantastic adventure

Overall, my experience in Argentina was both highly rewarding and eye-opening. I met amazing people from all over the U.S. as well as locals in Argentina. We had a busy month, jam-packed with adventures, sight-seeing, tours, and cultural immersion. During our two-week home stay in Salta, we went on a number of outdoor excursions with the group, including an amazing trek up a beautiful mountain and whitewater rafting. The community service portion of our time in Salta was helping to paint the famous San Lorenzo church. Personally, the home stay for me was my favorite part of this trip. I had an absolutely amazing family with two older host sisters. I became close with one of them, Danna, who brought me with her everywhere. We went running together, hung out with her friends, went shopping, and drove around the city of Salta. Camping in rural Chicoana was an entirely different experience, but equally amazing. We rode to the campsite on horseback and slept in tents for two nights at the ranch. We had beautiful, sunny days there, but the nights were the kind of cold that kept you from falling asleep; probably getting down to below freezing. In Cafayate we went bike riding to sand dunes with a beautiful view and we also visited ruins from pre-Inca times. Our group leaders were young and friendly; they helped us all feel comfortable with each other and were able to be our friends but leaders at the same time. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who's considering it; it had a good mix of outdoor trips with community service, as well as more of an urban homestay experience. I can't say how happy I am for deciding to go!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    3

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Social Life

    7

What Makes This Program Stand Out?

The Experiment in International Living did well planning this program, incorporating fun activities, and making sure participants were safe. Argentina is the most enjoyable place that I have visited in Latin America, and while I was on this trip I felt that I really experienced the culture of a variety of populations: the urban metropolis of Buenos Aires, the medium-sized city of Salta, the small town of Cafayate as well as other villages and farms.

I have participated on similar three- and four-week trips to Latin America in the past, and I believe that there are two things that set this program apart from the rest. First, this program is not meant for learning a lot of Spanish, so don’t choose it as a substitute for a Spanish class. The lessons that they have are helpful refreshers, but the focus of your time is cultural immersion. Second, the coordinators an excellent job with the homestay. This two-week experience with a family in Salta was undoubtedly the highlight of my trip. What makes this homestay different than others is the fact that each participant is matched with a different family and gets more time to spend with them than most programs schedule in. While being alone with a family is intimidating at first, it really enhances the connections that you make with your family and ensures that you practice your Spanish. From regular card games to extended family barbeques, my homestay made me feel that I was truly part of a family.

All in all, this was a worthwhile experience for me. I hope that you consider it and best of luck with your application!

(Also, apply for a scholarship if you feel that you need it—don’t let the cost intimidate you!)