"Argentina, the second largest country in Latin America, is the country of warm, outgoing people and diversity! From the snowy summers in the South to the year-round warmth in the North, you’ll never run out of things to do outside of the classroom. Be sure to grab a drink with your friends and family on Sunday before indulging in a large asado barbeque or pasta. What are you waiting for? Go on exchange to Argentina!"
Did you know...
That Argentina’s name comes from argentum, the Latin word for silver, because the original European settlers thought that the country was full of silver? That there was an own religion made by fans of Argentina’s retired soccer player Diego Maradona? That the world’s widest avenue is located in Argentina? It’s called the ‘9th of July’ and has 14 lanes, along with 4 lanes of parallel streets.
Your host family will be a very important part of your exchange experience. Your home activities with them will take up a lot of your daily life. Argentineans can be best described as affectionate, warm, outgoing people and they are very family-oriented. During your time there, discover that there is more than one way to live and create relationships and emotional bonds with people from another culture. Be fascinated by the cultural differences between your host family and you, and see at the same time how much people have in common.
In Argentina it is quite common that brothers and sisters share a room. Don’t be surprised if you have to share a room in your host family. Remember that family time in Argentina is all about sharing time with the (extended) family in the living room and garden.
In Argentina there are Private and Public Schools. YFU Students might attend either of them. You will attend Secundaria (High school or Secondary level) when you are between 13-17 years old. In high schools, there are from 12 to 15 subjects, all of them compulsory. In the last 3 years of high school, students may be able to choose a more specific field of studies: Social Studies, Science, Business or Technical areas (each one with specific subjects).
In Argentina you will experience that you will have the luxury of many holidays. Besides a 12-week summer holiday (December, January, February) and 2 weeks winter holidays, you will have a dozen of other day off for national celebrations.
"After my exchange year I really felt like I was part of my host family and of the La Quiaca community itself, even though I came as a total stranger ten months earlier!"
Argentinean people love playing sports, going out, visiting relatives, going to the movies and relaxing. Argentinians are also passionate about football: not only their national football team, but also their local football leagues join millions of fans. The best-known clubs are River Plate, Boca Juniors, Independiente, Racing Club and San Lorenzo. If you don’t like football, however, there are many other sports that can be given a shot as well. For boys, rugby is very popular, while girls often spend their time practicing for field hockey. Tennis, basketball, volleyball, paddle, car racing, handball and cycling are also popular. Dancing, from ballet to contemporary, can also be very exciting!. Tango can be learned in almost every city, plus every region has its own typical folk dances, such as Chamamé in the Northeast or Chacarera in the Northwest. Other typical modern music styles are Cuarteto in Córdoba, and Cumbia in all of the country. Think you want to give it a try? Take your skills outside of the classroom and go out to party and have fun with your friends!
You want to see the world, explore and go on an adventure.
An exchange program is the perfect opportunity to discover, while still having a strong organization behind you to provide support whenever you need it. During your exchange you will not only experience a new place, you will also discover new things about yourself; learn a new language, meet the unexpected, and conquer the unknown. Why don’t you start your journey with discovering Argentina? Experience why so many people fall in love with the country: its fun loving warm people, the climate, beautiful nature, and delicious food!
Top 10 things to do in Argentina
1. Go to a football match and experience the cancha fanatism
2. Take part in a local carnival, full of feathers in the Northeast and Basil in the Northwest
3. Take a Tango lesson
4. Eat an asado and try a rare beef steak – Argentineans LOVE their steaks!
5. See the penguins, sea elephants and whales up close in Chubut
6. Play Pato, the national sport of Argentina (similar to polo)
7. Visit the beautiful cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires
8. Walk on top of the Perito Moreno glaciar
9. Boat ride under Iguazu waterfalls and meet the friendly coatis (a kind of raccoon)
10. Discover the most southern part of Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, to enjoy its magnificent view.
In Argentina people speak Spanish. However that doesn’t mean that Spanish is similar in all the countries around the world where it is spoken. You will discover that Spanish in Argentina sounds different from the pronunciation in Spain, but also within Argentina there are many different accents.
In fact, Argentinean Spanish has a strong Italian influence, due to massive Italian immigration in the early 1900s which shaped the country in many ways. This means that while it is indeed Spanish that is spoken, it sounds like Italian, plus it has many loanwords from it.
In the beginning it will be quite overwhelming to focus on the Spanish language all day long. You really have to push yourself to understand little bits of what people are telling you.
But because you are surrounded by the language from dust till dawn, day in day out, you will notice that you understand more and more over the course of time and will even feel more comfortable speaking the language. Our experience is that after 3 months exchange students are really able to speak basic Spanish and some of them even start dreaming about it, since they are so occupied with it during the day
"My host family, classmates, teachers and the rest of the community wanted me to learn Spanish as fast as possible, and they had a lot of patience! I was impressed of the citizens that were so willing to help me."
Language learning tool
The YouTube videos of Pod101 help you the master the basics of Spanish language and teach you words and short sentences that you will actually use in daily life: https://www.youtube.com/channe...
Another useful onIine language learning tool is Duolingo.
Movies and music
Are you a fan of music? Discover Argentinian Tango music, famous around the whole world! One of the most wide-known Tango music is "Caminito" composed by Juan de Dios Filiberto, 1926. Tango goes further than only the music, as dancing it can be a very fun activity too. Tango lessons are available throughout the country at different levels. Did you know Argentinian Tango was originally danced among men? Even if you are not a dancer, leave your comfort zone and take at least one lesson when on exchange in Argentina!
Popular modern music
Some modern music styles have also developed and youngsters dance to it every weekend. The most popular one is called Cumbia, of Colombian origin but with a heavy synthesized influence.
Together with Cumbia, the other strong party dance is “Cuarteto”, originating in the Córdoba province, of Dominican and Italian-Spanish origin.
You might be less familiar with movies from Argentina, while they are definitely worth your time. You definitely want to watch the following movies: El secreto de sus ojos (2009 Oscar), El hijo de la novia (2001 Oscar nominee), and La historia oficial (1980 Oscar).
Another popular activity is to watch telenovelas, Spanish soaps. Many people in Argentina don’t want to miss a single episode. While at first this might seems like a silly hobby, we encourage you to join your host family and friends, because these telenovelas will slowly contribute to your language learning. You will probably understand more and more of the storyline during your exchange. See an overview of the most popular telenovelas here: http://www.todotnv.com/categoria/telenovelas/telenovelas-argentinas-
Most of these telenovelas are also available on YouTube so you can even catch up before going on exchange.