Argentina

Mente Argentina

I had an absolutely HORRIBLE experience with Mente Argentina. It was more expensive than other programs I researched, but I agreed to it because the program sounded amazing. It was almost all lies. I was told I would be building houses with Techo on the weekends and working in their office learning how the organization runs during the week. I was told I would be doing 35-40 hours per week in the office. I was also told that there were fun activities planned by Mente staff "almost every day." None of this was true, not even close!
I didn't even start my project until almost a week after I arrived. And then it turned out to be just computer research that we were mostly meant to do at home, and with little direction or interaction with other staff. And the supervisor was a college student who has very little knowledge of how the organization worked, so I was definitely not learning the management stuff that I was promised. After I complained, I was given the opportunity to go to the barrios to do some organizational work, but I later found out that anyone can sign up to do this, I didn't need to pay Mente a ton of money for it. I was told we would go and build on my last weekend, so I stuck it out even though I was extremely lonely and bored with my project, but this also turned out to be a lie.
Also, I was left by myself with no introduction to other students or volunteers until a week after I arrived. The planned events were more like twice a week, not almost every day. Two weeks into my stay I had to leave my apartment in the middle of the night when another student studying with Mente took drugs and then threatened me and tried to break into my apartment. I ended up wandering around Buenos Aires all day with my stuff in my backpack until they could find me another apartment.
This program was AWFUL and a huge ripoff.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Aug 6, 2012
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Road2Argentina

I had a great time studying abroad with Road2Argentina. The classes were honestly a little too easy for me, but I did learn things and I was truly challenged at times, like when I had to write a 12-page paper in Spanish about Latin American political though. I made some amazing friendships, though mostly with other English speakers who were in also with R2A. I loved the option of the shared apartment, which gave me a lot of freedom and felt like I was truly on my own, but the roommate I was placed with wasn't the most open person and almost never spoke to me in Spanish, which was unfortunate...however, I heard much better things about other people's roommates through the shared apartment option. All in all, it was a very good time, and I'm incredibly glad and thankful that I did it.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Jul 10, 2012
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

GIC Argentina

I am writing to send my personal thanks to GIC for an amazing experience our group had in Buenos Aires because of your hospitality. It was apparent the hard work and dedication that you had to making sure we had the best time. It was very thoughtful of you to provide transportation from the airport to the city. I truly enjoyed our first welcome dinner at Siga la Vaca. We are thankful for all of the information we learned about Buenos Aires' history and culture from the tours you organized for us. The trip to Gaucho Dude Ranch was a pleasurable break from the busy atmosphere of the city for us. I was amazed at the cultural dances performed, and the delicious treats we had at the ranch. Out of all the programs you have created for us, my best memories will come from the volunteering project with children. I truly enjoyed the kid's company, along with their smiles and greeting. You are great hosts, and you showed us your great hospitality by supporting us whenever we needed you. Because of you, we did not feel ourselves as strangers in your country. I am very pleased with the work from GIC and would recommend your organization to anyone wanting to travel to Argentina.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: May 31, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Academic Studies Abroad

I had such an amazing, life changing experience during my semester abroad with ASA in Buenos Aires. The site director, Gabriela was so helpful and supportive throughout the entire program. While abroad one of my peers had lost her passport and Gabriela was kind enough to take her to the US Embassy in Buenos Aires and help her retrieve a new one. Gabriela was also very crucial when it came time for all of us to apply for our student visas. Some programs studying at the University of Belgrano did not provide key information to students on how to properly attain a visa. I was so grateful to our site director for helping us every step of the way. Even on our excursions she was more than helpful. What made ASA such a great experience was knowing that my site director truly cared about us. She took the time to get to know all of us on an individual level and treated us not as a "job", but rather as a family.

Program:
Location: Argentina
Posted: Mar 28, 2012
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

GIC Argentina

I studied with GIC for 2 months and had a great experience. My teachers were excellent and I learned a lot more in those two months than in my two years of studying Spanish in college. I chose to live with a family, which helped me a lot because I was able to practice at home with them. I had a great experience and highly recommend this program.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Mar 17, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

GeoVisions

I volunteered in an orphanage in Villa Allende, Argentina through GeoVisions.

My experience was an awesome one. There's not too much I can complain about. They were really speedy in the first stages of the volunteering process. They called me for an interview right away and were incredibly nice and accommodating. Once I was accepted into their program, they handled basically everything from there. They got me set up with insurance and my itinerary just as soon as I sent them my flight information. Everything went by without a hitch right up until I got off of the plane in Buenos Aires.

As soon as I disembarked I was met by a guy that spoke very broken English. At this point, I realized that my initial confidence in my Spanish skills had been... dumb. The guy (who didn't actually work for GeoVisions) gave me a bunch of papers and told me where the GeoVisions office was in Buenos Aires. Luckily it was only like 10 blocks from my hotel room. I walked there and met with the higher-ups. They were all lovely people and were very very welcoming.

They gave me a rundown of my placement, but here is where I had a bit of a problem. They told me a bunch of vague boiler plate stuff about culture shock, and getting along with my host family, and conflict resolution, and what-have-you. What they left out, however, was what I was supposed to, ya know... do.

They showed me around and bought me my bus ticket to Cordoba. Once I got there I was met by their contact. I had a ton of questions for him, but he couldn't really tell me what I was meant to do either. He drove me to Villa Allende and introduced me to my family. I soon learned that GeoVisions had come to rely on my host family to give volunteers the low-down on what they'd be doing in the orphanage. It turned out fine, but I was anxious about it for a lot longer than I'd wanted to be.

All of the rough patches aside, I had a ton of unforgettable experiences, and I can't even begin to express how grateful I am to GeoVisions for making those all possible.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Mar 12, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
7
Value:
9

GIC Argentina

The GIC program in Buenos Aires exceeded my expectations. It was the best value for the money. GIC was very organized and the staff was amazing! Thank you very much!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Mar 1, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cultural Embrace

I had a horrible experience with cultural embrace.

I applied in advance for an internship in South America, was told I was accepted and was waiting on details.

Only a few weeks before I was scheduled to leave did I get the information for the host family I was staying with but still no information on my internship placement despite contacting the coordinator weekly.

Thank God I hadn't bought my plane ticket yet. It was one week before I was supposed to leave but I was waiting to get an official internship placement before buying the ticket. If I had bought the ticket at this point the price would have been through the roof.

I cancelled my internship at this point because it felt like they had no idea what they were going to do with me once I got there. In the fine print of the papers you sign, it basically says that the entire fee for the program is nonrefundable.... that means that even if they give you no information on you internship until the day before you leave you will get NO REFUND back even though it was their failure to place you or inform you that you had no placement. I stayed home that summer and spent most of it working to try to earn back the money I lost to this awful company. They made no attempt to reconcile with me or admit their fault despite me trying to contact them multiple times.

Overall, I'd look elsewhere for your travel experience.

Program:
Location: Argentina
Posted: Feb 20, 2012
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Comments

If we recall correctly, this was for an applicant in 2009/2010 term. As we explain to all our participants and prospects, placements are based on the availability, needs, and acceptance of the host employer/organization. CE was in regular communication with you and responded to all your emails and phone calls, but unfortunately most of our communication was no exciting new news since no companies were offering you a position. CE always recommends our participants to not purchase flights until we have received a solid lead with a placement offering and/or your visa is approved (if applicable). We were transparent with you that placements were harder to find during that year when the world's economy was down, and informed you that Argentina employers tends to make last minute and spontaneous decisions. We were progressing with your placement as our partner prepared your host family arrangements--which meant an internship placement would soon follow. Unfortunately, this participant chose to cancel her program. We had a refund policy that each participant is required to read and sign, indicating the terms & conditions and refunds of a canceled program. C.E. values our participants' opinions and strives to improve our services based on their feedback. As of Jan., 2012 we have revised our Terms & Conditions to refund 100% of the program fee (including application fee) if we are not capable of confirming your placement with 7 days prior to your schedule departure date.
It was actually in the Summer of 2008. CE responded to my phone calls and emails but with very little detail as to what was actually going on. For months the responses were "maybe next week". I had not purchased my flight. Nothing was said to me about the effect of the economy on my placement. In early 2008, the economy was starting to crash but I don't believe that it had effected the global economy to the extent that it might have in 2009/2010. I understand that I did sign the cancellation agreement, it was partially my fault to be so naiive as to not read between the lines to see that CE could assign me an internship the day before (!) I had to leave and expect me to buy a ridiculously expensive plane ticket then (don't book until you've been assigned). My main issue with CE was that the business practices were simply unethical. Though I signed the papers saying you were legally allowed to, as an honest business there was not a need to keep that much of my money. They seemed to not understand the reality of a college student trying to go travel and learn but not having 1500$ to throw away nor how many thousands of dollars it would have cost to by a plane ticket to South America the day before. I spent the rest of the summer working to earn back the 1500$ I lost at whatever job I could find the week before the summer started. I think there would have been many ways to at least attempt to fix this with me that would have been acceptable. The only attempt I ever got was that they would waive the application fee for me to try and travel the next year. I don't think so. Glad CE finally changed the policy a bit to at least give a week, that would have saved me, but I can't say that I will ever change my mind on my opinion of this company.

GIC Argentina

I participated in a GIC Agentina program for 2 months and I had a great time. I studied Spanish and participated in the volunteer project called "Juegoteca" in Costanera Sur doing after school recreational activities with kids. My time in Argentina was amazing and I highly recommend GIC Argentina to anybody. Honestly, you never know what to expect from these types of programs and everything went beyond all my expectations. GIC was very organized, friendly and helpful throughout my 2 months in Argentina. A big thank you to Miriam who helped me plan my entire program before I arrived, but also Kristin and Marcos who helped me with all my travel arrangements after my program ended.

Recommendations: if you stay with a GIC host family, Monica is a great host mother. Do try to add in a volunteer project if you are there for a month or more - it's a great way to practice your Spanish, not to mention making a small difference in the lives of disadvantaged kids in Argentina. Do try to add in some traveling around Argentina if you can budget it, to Salta/Cafayate/Jujuy or Iguazu or Bariloche etc - see if Aerolineas Argentinas or Lan are having any discounted fares - if not the buses are pretty comfortable, especially "suite" and "cama" seats. And bring your own laptop - though there are a lot of internet places with computers, they have slow computers and there are a lot of cafes (Starbucks etc) where you can connect to free wi-fi if you have a laptop or iPad etc. Have a great time - I loved Argentinaaaaa.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Feb 14, 2012
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Expanish

Hey there!

Ich weiss, dass das eigentlich ein englisches Forum ist, aber ich bin sicher, dass es auch viele Deutschsprachige gibt, die das hier lesen... Ich habe die Bemerkungen unten gelesen und bin absolut nicht einverstanden, mit dem was manche hier schreiben. Ich selbst habe 4 Wochen einen Spanisch Intensivkurs an dieser Sprachschule gemacht und hatte zu keinem Zeitpunkt das Gefuehl, dass sie mich ausnutzen, faul sind oder sonstiges! Ich hatte eine sehr schoene Zeit in Buenos Aires mit Expanish in der ich wirklich viel Spanisch gelernt habe und auch an tollen Aktivitaeten teilnehmen konnte!

Ich kann den Einzelunterricht nur waermstenst empfehlen-man lernt so schnell und so viel dabei! Ich wuerde jederzeit wieder einen Kurs dort belegen!!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Oct 26, 2011
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
8

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Argentina