Argentina

Projects Abroad

I spent five weeks in Córdoba, Argentina volunteering in a pediatric hospital where I served a very large, underserved population. I specifically volunteered in a public sector where everyone receives free healthcare. The resources are very limited compared to the U.S. For example, my time serving was spent focusing on newborns and infants with respiratory problems such as bronchitis, bronchospasms, and pneumonia. The U.S. would commonly give the family a nebulizer to take home; where as nebulization in this hospital is done on site with large O2 tanks. Diaphragm vacuums are also used in the same room to remove mucous from the lungs and nasal canal. I was in awe as I saw doctors fight through all of the noise in one small room to hear infants’ respiratory sounds on low quality stethoscopes. Even with the lack of resources, and increased obstacles, the doctors continued to be extremely passionate in providing the best care possible. They would often take time to lecture parents to change their lifestyles for the betterment of their child’s health (ex. quit smoking so they can afford soap). Those five weeks taught me how passionate I want to be as a future healthcare provider. For a better understanding of the situation I need to see the bigger picture. I cannot always rely on the latest technology to diagnose someone, nor can I always expect the perfect environment in order to provide high quality patient-entered primary care.

When my time in Argentina was quickly coming to an end, I became saddened by having to leave my Kinesiology family at the hospital. Till this day I miss the eleven students that became my close friends, who taught me about life in Argentina and life in the health care world. I gained a Mother in the hospital as well, Pato, the head of the Kinesiology department, who took care of me while I was sick and taught me the importance of passion. It is comforting to know I will always have family in Argentina.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Jul 14, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Projects Abroad

I could not have asked for a better experience volunteering in Argentina with Projects Abroad. I have traveled internationally before doing volunteer work and this was by far the most organized company/organization I have ever been with. Everyone at the office is so helpful and will personally assist you with any issues or concerns you may have. For example, I had trouble finding an ATM that would allow me to withdraw money and one of the coordinators walked me from bank to bank to help me solve the problem.

The Law & Human Rights project is awesome! The coordinator, Vicky, is amazing! I spent 3 months working with this office and found my work diversified and challenging. I was able to work with young children and teens who were living in government institutions, along with the homeless, incarcerated youth, and victims of all sorts of human rights abuses. The office staff is great at getting you plugged in, but you also have to be willing to dive in head first! I worked long days, at least 8 hours but the staff is so understanding and easy to communicate with about work and personal issues.

My host mom was great! I must admit I had some concerns regarding a host family but it turned out better than I could have hoped. I was assigned a roommate and I am so grateful! I made friends with other volunteers and was able to see some of their homes as well, and I can say that all of the host homes I saw were very clean and the families were so friendly! The office is great about planning social events so that you can meet other volunteers - one week they do a social and the other they do a community day where volunteers get together and...volunteer! This is an awesome way to meet volunteers from other projects outside of Law & Human Rights.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Jul 4, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
8

Mente Argentina

Hola! I have traveled to 3 different countries before going to Argentina and I can say without a doubt that my time with Mente was one of the best experiences of my life.

I took a 14 weeks Marketing internship program in Buenos Aires and everything worked out great! I stayed in a shared apartment with 3 other girls that were taking different programs. The apartment was located in palermo on las heras avenue which was a great spot for visiting Buenos Aires (only a couple of blocks away from the Subway and walking distance to the main city parks such as "Los Lagos de Palermo" and "Jardin Botanico").

As for the staff, they were extremely nice and helpful by answering all the questions we had with a big smile. They also planned lots of different free activities for us which were great to get to know all the other participants (la bomba del tiempo and mente night out were my favorites).

I would definitely recommend mente to anyone and I cannot wait to come back to Buenos Aires next summer! ;)

Program:
Location: Argentina
Posted: Jun 17, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

IBERO TEFL and Spanish course

This is the best TEFL and Spanish combination program I could find. I could not be happier. The school is very friendly and the program is great. I got a full time job as an English Teacher through Florencia and I am now currently working in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is a dream come true! My 3 week Spanish lessons were great with Federico, who is both fun and funny and made grammar super easy to me. Now, the castellano is not a problem!
Thank you all at Ibero for a great experience!

Program: TEFL
Location: Argentina
Posted: Feb 11, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

IBERO TEFL and Spanish course

I took a 7 week Spanish and TEFL combined course at Ibero TEFL in Buenos Aires. Argentina. It was a great experience. Thank you Florencia for getting me a full time English Teaching job and thank you all at Ibero for being so helpful and friendly. I love the job I got through Ibero teaching Business English. I also spent 3 weeks stuying Spanish with my teacher Rita, who was fantastic. I learnt more in 3 weeks than in one year back at home. Overall, a great experience. Thank you all at Ibero! Gracias!

Program: TEFL
Location: Argentina
Posted: Feb 4, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

GIC Argentina

I have a very large problem here with these "middleman" companies. This is exactly what GIC Argentina is. I recently returned from an 8-month stint living in Argetina, getting certified for TEFL, and teaching English. I became acquainted with this GIC program through an internet search. Knowing what I do now, this was my first mistake. NEVER, EVER go through one of these google internet search sites that advertise setting foreign students up abroad with housing, programs, etc. They charge absolutely ridiculous commission fees (often 100% commission).
When I first registered with GIC, I selected for them to arrange my housing, as well as my TEFL program. For the TEFL program, they wanted to charge me $2000. After searching more about the specific program online, I found that I was able to register DIRECTLY through the company that offered the program (TEFL Buenos Aires) for only $1500. The only thing GIC would have done for me, is make a couple phone calls, and enroll me in this same TEFL program, but charge me $500 more for it. That was their commission fee, $500, just for making a few phone calls and putting my name on a list for this TEFL program. $500! Insane. I registered directly through the company that hosted the TEFL program, (which only had 3 students in it), and saved myself a whopping 25% off the GIC price. It was very easy to do, I just looked up the programs main website, and easily registered through there website. GIC would have made $500 just for making a couple phone calls, something one can easily do themselves, and something I did eventually do for myself. $500 is more than a months rent in Argentina…..to put that into perspective.

Next up, the housing. This was my biggest mistake. Again, NEVER have someone set you up with housing over the internet, without first SEEING through pictures or something, an actual image of the residence where you will be staying. While GIC did put me in a great location for my TEFL class (which was their priority, to put me in housing nearest to my TEFL class), they again charged an absurd commission. They charged me $600 a month, or $175 per week. After arriving in Argentina, and seeing the accommodations, I wasn't too happy- but I figured that this was just Argentina, and to not be too snobby of an American. Then I found out that a few of my roommates- also foreign college students- were paying the landlord directly. Want to guess the price they were paying to the landlord? $300 a month, or more or less $75-80 a week. So again, my other roommates were paying the landlord directly, at $300 a month, while I was paying GIC $600 a month, for the same exact housing. Again, GIC charged me a 100% commission! THAT IS INSANE! And we all know that GIC just pays the landlord the $300 that she asks, and pockets the other $300. So again, all they did, was make a few phone calls, and shake a few hands, and made $300. This was something I again could have easily done on my own. Now what really pissed me off, was when my residence began having cockroach and bug problems, and rats from the meat store on the corner. Disgusting. Plus, the power went out once a week, and the internet rarely worked. Maybe I could handle this if I was paying $300 a month, but at $600 a month, you've got to be kidding me. No one pays double the normal for rent and gets a rat and cockroach infested house. That is just horrible business.

Needless to say, I found an apartment easily on my own after that, in a much much better location in the city, and for a price of $300 a month. I used an Argentine apartment website called compartodepto.com. I asked GIC to immediately refund my last 2 weeks in this residence, which they did so, and refunded me my money without hassle. The guy at GIC (and I say guy, because it is just one person who works for GIC) was compliant and wanted to do what he could to fix the problem. I do not have any complaints about the customer service. I had extremely limited contact with anyone from GIC, and only ever heard from the employee at GIC when I emailed him, extremely upset about my housing. But when I did contact them, they were helpful and compliant.

So overall, never go through any online "middleman" service that is going to put you into a program or find you a residence. They will charge you absolutely absurd commission charges, for simple tasks you could easily do yourself, if you know where to look. Just do some research on how to apply for programs and housing DIRECTLY through the companies offering them, because going through foreign student sites and what not will have you easily flagged as a dumb foreigner, and you will be taken advantage of monetarily. Unfortunately this is quite the common character trait for Argentinians (and they admit it themselves).
Do not use any middleman services, like these study abroad groups, or things like that. While some people may have had good experiences, my housing experience was awful, and even more so, for the price I paid. So if you are looking to study abroad in Argentina, apply to any programs directly through the program. And for housing, first book yourself into a cheap hostel- and then look for your own housing/apartment while in Argentina, so you can see the residence and talk to the people who are directly renting the apartment. This way, you will not be AS easily ripped off. These online websites specifically target foreigners that want to travel to the country alone and without any knowledge- and want to have things settled for them when they arrive and be comfortable, but you are paying an extremely inflated price for this service. I found it very, very easy to do all of these things on my own when I was in Argentina (I had intermediate SPanish speaking abilities then). So overall, do not get lazy and just pay someone to do these simple tasks for you. Do your own research, and apply directly to the companies, because otherwise, middleman services like this will always take you for a ride. At least they took me for one.

Program: TEFL
Location: Argentina
Posted: Nov 28, 2014
Overall:
5
Support:
7
Value:
2

Projects Abroad

My Time in Argentina

This past July to August, I was fortunate enough to travel to Cordoba, Argentina with Projects-Abroad from July 20th - August 16th. I participated in the 4-week high school Medicine and Spanish program, and I am so thankful that I did, as it changed my life.

At 16 years old, I have never travelled much on my own, let alone to a foreign country, with a program that I had never worked with, or a language that I had only learned for a few years prior. I should not have worried. Projects-Abroad was more than I hoped for. This program placed me with a host family who made me feel a part of their own family, and placed me in a Spanish class that helped immerse me in Argentinian culture.

I learned so much from both the medicine and Spanish aspects; information that I never wouldn't have learned any other way. From learning stitching techniques to watching various surgeries in 4 different hospitals around Cordoba, I feel that I am better prepared for my future, as I pursue a medical degree. The Spanish lessons that we received for 2 hours every day not only solidified my basic Spanish skills, but also allowed me to converse effectively with my host mom and host sisters, therefore allowing me to fully become a part of their family for the month that I lived with them. Not only did I communicate with my host family, the lessons allowed me and my group to fully immerse ourselves into Argentinian culture when walking around the city. Not only did I learn while I was in Argentina, I made lifelong friends with the staff of Projects-Abroad, my host family, and other students who participated in the program. I returned from Argentina 4 months ago, and I still communicate with many of these wonderful people on a daily basis. There are helpful, understanding, and some of the kindest people I have ever met. Overall, I I had the trip of a lifetime, and would recommend Projects-Abroad to anyone. Thank you Projects-Abroad!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Nov 9, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Projects Abroad

This summer, I went to Córdoba, Argentina, for a two-week Care and Spanish special with Projects Abroad. I was a little nervous before going just because it was a foreign country and I didn't know what to expect, but the trip was more amazing than I ever could have imagined. The PA staff were super welcoming and kind, and my host family (the Treboux family) made me feel like I was part of the family from the first day. In the mornings, I had a two-hour Spanish class, and would then go home to eat with my family. (The food was absolutely delicious at every meal.) I was really comfortable with my class because we had taken a level test before being placed, and I felt the class was challenging but not too difficult. It was conversation-based and I was learning new things–vocabulary, grammar, and cultural things–every single day.
In the afternoons, my group and I went to a place called El Vagón, which was kind of like a daycare center for kids in the neighborhood, with kids from ages 4 to 14 (while I was there). There were about 20 kids there on any given day. I remember clearly from the first day of volunteering getting off the bus and walking down the street, seeing a bunch of kids running toward us. We were confused until we realized they were the kids from El Vagón, coming to greet us with hugs and kisses. We played games (especially fútbol), did arts and crafts, and ate snacks with them every afternoon. The kids really seemed to appreciate us and I think it was as hard for us to leave at the end as it was for them. Some evenings, Projects Abroad hosted activities for us, like bowling, a bus tour of the city, and even a tango lesson!
The entire experience was the best part of my summer. Although Córdoba is a big city, I never felt scared or in danger because we were almost always with a leader from Projects or with our host mom/dad. Projects was always helpful when we needed something–a call to our parents, help with our flight details, etc. I really couldn't have asked for a better trip. :)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Nov 3, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

I traveled to Argentina this past summer with MyProjectsAbroad’s Care & Spanish program. This program was a High School Special that allowed me to spend two-weeks of studying, volunteering, and traveling in the beautiful country of Argentina. A typical weekday with this program consisted of many fun activities. The other members of my section of the project, my host family sisters, and I would volunteer in an underprivileged kindergarten for about 4 hours each day. After an extremely large feast for lunch every day, we would then head off to our Spanish lessons with the other members of the program. The night was usually ours to do whatever we felt like doing, unless there was a social that MyProjectsAbroad had planned. I always looked forward to these socials because it was a chance to meet people from all over the world. Some socials included touring Che Guevara’s home, zip lining in the mountains, karaoke nights, and even dance lessons!
Overall, I could not have been happier with my experience with ProjectsAbroad. The staff was extremely accommodating and very well-organized. They did a great job of keeping the line between being supervised and independent. I never felt like I was unsafe or coddled, which was a huge fear of mine, pre-departure. I have only good things to say of ProjectsAbroad!
As for my host family, it could not have been a better fit. My host parents were very welcoming and incredibly caring! If I ever had a problem, I knew that I could have come to them for anything. I definitely can say that the food was amazing, as well! Maria Julia, my host mother, always made sure my stomach was full. Overall, my entire experience in Argentina was nothing less than perfect. If you ever get the chance to travel with ProjectsAbroad, I strongly suggest you do it! My trip to Argentina was, hands-down, the best experience of my life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Oct 1, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I recently volunteered with IVHQ in Cordoba Argentina this summer(2014). It was a brand new program thru IVHQ and could not have had a better experience down there. Its was my 3rd stint(Colombia and Brazil) with IVHQ and was without a doubt the best overall experience that i could have had. The house, the staff, and the projects all exceeded my expectations by far. I worked at the daycare center and while only about 3.5 hours/day (plus 1 hour in total travel time there and back) the kids and workers were extremely happy to have the extra help. The morning shifts also gave me time to attend other projects or take spanish lessons in the afternoon which were very helpful and extremely affordable. The cost was only $7.50US/hour and the teacher was dedicated and professional as i received homework after every class.

The 2 months that i spent in Cordoba were 2 of the best months of my life and i would highly recommend it to anyone looking to volunteer abroad.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Sep 12, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hola! Thank you for sharing your experience volunteering abroad in Argentina with IVHQ. It is great to hear that you took advantage of the affordable spanish lessons offered to volunteers in Corboda. We hope to have you volunteer with IVHQ again in the future.
Hello, I am looking at volunteering for 10 weeks this fall and was wondering if you could email me! I have a few questions about Cordoba! Thanks. you can email me at hmkramer1@hotmail.com
Hola! I am looking at going to Cordoba this September and was wondering if you could answer a couple of questions I have! Could you email me at hmkramer1@hotmail.com Thanks!

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