Obvious European influences fuse with a vibrant Latin American edge to create the nation of Argentina. With some of the most hospitable people in the world, who take pride in their culture and traditions, Argentina boasts first-rate museums, galleries, theatres, and distinct architecture, as well as bragging rights as the birthplace of the tango. Not to mention its natural wonders, such as Iguazu Falls, the Pampas plains, glacier topped mountains, and in some areas, penguin colonies! High school programs in Argentina will allow students to develop flourishing Spanish skills while taking in all Argentina has to offer.
Argentina makes up most of the southernmost part of South America. Despite being the second-largest country in the continent (with programs scattered throughout), the majority of high school programs in Argentina can be found in the nation’s capital city of Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires. With all the perks of city life complemented by a mild climate year-round and nearby must-see natural wonders, it’s no wonder students with varying interests choose Buenos Aires for their high school program abroad. Students will enjoy the convenience of modern amenities balanced effortlessly with historic structures, and find plenty of opportunities to practice their Spanish, whether browsing an upscale boutique or enjoying a traditional asado (barbecue) with new friends.
Córdoba. Located in the geographical center of the country, Córdoba is the country’s second most important city and an excellent destination for high school programs in Argentina. With a strong colonial history and increasingly relevant economy, Córdoba has much to offer high school students.
Mendoza. High school students who desire a smaller and slightly more laid-back lifestyle will love life in Mendoza. Students may find themselves spending their spare time strolling the city’s five central plazas, exploring the infamous vineyards, or getting their adrenaline fix via rafting or skiing in the nearby Andes.
High School Programs in Argentina
The best program for high school students who want to travel to Argentina will depend on when they’d like to go, for how long, and whether or not they want to receive academic credit. There are a variety of high school programs in Argentina to fit any student’s interests and desires though!
Student Exchange. If you wish to study abroad in Argentina for a semester, trimester, or year, you will generally be part of a student exchange program. Student exchange programs often include Spanish lessons, orientation and cultural adjustment workshops, periodical check-ins, and academic credit. In most cases, students will also be part of a local chapter that organizes get-togethers and excursions with other program participants. Since most high school study abroad programs in Argentina will place students at a local high school or public university, most courses will be taught in Spanish; therefore, requirements to qualify for some high school programs in Argentina may include a minimum GPA (i.e. 2.8) and/or a minimum number of years of Spanish language study.
Summer high school programs in Argentina generally allow students to opt for a two or four week experience abroad, although longer durations do exist. Students will also be able to choose from a range of activities and commitments. While most summer high school programs in Argentina include Spanish language learning, it is up to you to decide what you’d like to spend the majority of your time abroad doing.
Language Immersion. Ambitious, career-centered students may reap the most benefit from intensive language programs in Argentina. Though academic credit may or may not be included, students will gain valuable language skills that will no doubt be great additions to their resume. Students pursuing careers in nearly any field will reap the benefits of language skills. For example, those interested in the medical field can supplement their language courses with the study of medical terminology, or even observe daily procedures in a local hospital, to enhance the value of their experience.
Community Service. Students passionate about serving others will enjoy participating in volunteer programs and community service projects in Argentina. The majority of high school programs in Argentina focused on service learning involve working with local children or youth, however, animal care, ranch work, and construction projects are all additional options students may choose from.
Cultural Exploration. Although nearly all programs include weekend excursions and cultural activities of come sort, those interested in focusing on seeing and doing as much as possible during their high school program in Argentina should opt for a cultural exploration program. Students may travel throughout the country, visiting historical landmarks, staying with host families, helping local communities, and learning about the Argentinean way of life.
Costs & Affordability
The cost of high school programs in Argentina will depend largely on the length, location, and purpose of the trip. Shorter term summer programs may vary from $2,000 to 6,000, while full academic semester, trimester, and year-long programs will generally fall between $7,500 and $11,000. However, the cost of living in Argentina is generally lower than that of the U.S., and several amenities will likely already be included in program fees, such as:
- Pre-departure assistance, orientation, and in-country support
- Cultural activities and weekend excursions
- Tuition (for study abroad programs or program for credit)
- Meals and host family accommodation
- Visa assistance
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
Accommodation & Visas
By far, the most popular and often only available form of accommodation for high school programs in Argentina are homestays, and for good reason. Living with a host family is not only a great opportunity to practice one’s Spanish and enjoy authentic home-cooked meals, but it can provide a home-away-from-home for students who are often venturing far away for the first time. Student’s that are adamant about alternative housing, however, may occasionally be able to find high school programs in Argentina that offer communal housing for participants.
Depending on the academic components of the program, students will need to enter Argentina on either a tourist or student visa. Students should always check with their program provider ahead of time, to be sure they obtain the necessary documents and have enough time for processing. Both types of visas require a passport valid for six months beyond the end of the program date and proof of departure (return plane ticket), but addition requirements will be expected for those applying for student visas, such as: a letter of acceptance from the school you will be attending in Argentina, a criminal record check, proof of financial means, and an application form.
Benefits & Challenges
Learning Curve. Many high school programs in Argentina offer students academic credit for their coursework abroad, but in order to earn credit students are required to meet minimum academic and Spanish language standards. Regardless of what is (or is not) required, a basic understanding of Spanish will be beneficial to all students’ learning during any high school program in Argentina.
Language Acquisition. In today’s increasingly global economy, foreign language skills are extremely beneficial. Immersion in the Spanish-speaking culture of Argentina will fast-track student’s language acquisition, not to mention the small class size of most Spanish classes (less than 10) available during high school programs in Argentina.
Vegetarians Beware. With a largely meat-centered cuisine, vegetarians and vegans alike may need to be extra cautious in seeking out meat-free options during their time in Argentina.