Argentina

Road2Argentina

I really enjoyed my experience with Road2Argentina. You get exactly what you pay for, and as this is one of the lower-priced programs, fancy and elaborate excursions are not included. However, the Road staff was very quick to help when anything went awry or whenever their customers felt short-changed or confused about the program. While I was in the program, Road staff made many significant changes based on our group's individual and unique needs and expectations. Also, it was a plus working with staff who were all in our age-group. They were on the most part very inviting and user-friendly as well as understanding of each of our personal situations. Basically, whether the program is right for you totally depends on what you want out of your personal experience in Buenos Aires. If you'd like to explore and learn on your own rather than adjust your plans to a rigid or hyper-planned program, then Road2Argentina is a great and affordable option.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Jul 26, 2010
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
9

Expanish

I had a very nasty experience with Exspanish. The sales rep, Michelle, was a pretty 'full-on' sales type of operator. She was very keen to sell me on the full eight week deal and advised that a one week introduction was a waste of time. Trusting her advice, I booked for two weeks with a view to see how things proceeded. She also said I should start immediatly because a weekly class had just started. After a hurried sign off of the form (small print in Spanish) and payement in USD only I was seated into a class that was already half way through. The lecturer spoke, only in Spanish and adhoc sign language. I seriously had no idea what she was saying. The other students were also pulling WTF type faces at each other.
I apologized to the lecturer and explained that I was having difficulty catching up with the lesson. She snapped at me and said that I would just have to take a another lesson another time. I was angered and embarrassed to say the least. I then informed the administrators that I would prefer to cancel my lessons because I was so humiliated by the treatment and needed to start from scratch. They also informed me that some lecturers do speak english and some don't.
I offered to pay a $50 USD penalty for the hour that I was there. The sales ladiy's response was aggressive and sharp.She promptly informed that that they do not give refunds. She informed me that when I signed the personal information form, (that's what it was titled), I had also signed and agreed to their terms and conditions which are posted on their web site. The only option given to me was that I could do some private lessons for equal value or simply lose my $300 US. In other words, too bad, we have your money and there's nothing you can do about it.
After a very heated argument they finally agreed to refund half my money. The hostel that I am staying since told me that Expanish has a reputation of high pressure sales and that they would have advised mt to use a different company.
I went in there trusting good reports from forums and ended up letting my guard down when it came to making an assessment. They even had a Lonely Planet logo in their brochure and guess what? When I got back to my dorm, I checked the Lonely Planet guide and Expanish isn't even listed.
Based on this incident, my advice is to tread very carefully when dealing with the sales representative at Expanish or any english teaching business in BA. Do not let them pressure you into a rushed decision or book more lessons than you originally wanted in the first place. Make sure that they give you a print-out of the terms and conditions (in English). Be sure to make sure that the lecturer assigned to your class actually speaks English rather than pigeon English and sign language - perhaps ask to met the lecturer.
Remember that the English lesson market is very competitive Buenos Aires.
Hope this advice proves useful in some way.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Jul 25, 2010
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Comments

I wish I had done more research before I signed up with Expanish. I might have seen your entry. I had a similar experience with this school except that it had to do with me being sick with the flu, and them not being flexible at all regarding my schedule. I highly recommend people go elsewhere. This school is really awful.
I wish I had done more research before I signed up with Expanish. I might have seen your entry. I had a similar experience with this school except that it had to do with me being sick with the flu, and them not being flexible at all regarding my schedule. I highly recommend people go elsewhere. This school is really awful.

Road2Argentina

R2A is a very specific type of program. if you want to drop a lot of cash and have the program do everythng for you, this is not what you're looking for. Rather, R2A provides a general framework for your trip while you fill in the empty space concerning what exactly you will do. The price of the program is by far the cheapest of any of the study abroad programs, it's not even close, but this also means that no fancy trips or expensive excursions are provided for you. That said, every month there are multiple smaller excursions within the greater Buenos Aires area and as far as big trips go, the staff are more than willing to provide assistance and guidance concerning your desired trip (They helped me out a ton with my trip down south to patagonia).
As far as living arrangements go, it depends on what you want to get out of your trip. If you want to significantly better your spanish skills, a home stay would be preferable (all of which are in the nicest barrios in BA). On the other hand, if you don't need the spanish so much, or dont want it, the roadhouse could be a better option that lets you meet a ton of people and not be quite so isolated.
Basically, the thing to remember if you choose R2A is that you have to take the initiative and make the trip enjoyable for yourself. Though the staff are more than willing to help, the final responsibility rests with the roadie

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Jul 25, 2010
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
10

Road2Argentina

I had a great internship experience; already being confident speaking Spanish really helped, because I do know some other people who did not have a great experience like I did. I would recommend it for someone who is not shy and is self-motivated. I can't speak for the semester abroad or volunteering, because I did not do those!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Jul 22, 2010
Overall:
7
Support:
7
Value:
8

Road2Argentina

The University of Belgrano:
I was very disappointed with the University. I didn't feel like there was much to get involved in, and the classes were a complete joke. The worst thing about them is that you have to attend 80% of them, which sounds normal if you're going to legitimate classes, but you don't really learn anything and the whole program for international students is very disorderly (kind of like the rest of the country). My Spanish grammar class was great, our teacher Eugenia explained concepts to us in ways that made a lot of sense that no one had ever told us before. The other classes (Sociedad Abierta, Historia Economica Argentina, and History of Latin America) were very much a waste of time. I didn't realize until I got here that I would only have class 3 days per week, having a 4 day weekend EVERY weekend, so I didn't take having to entertain myself for all but 10 hours per week into account when budgeting. If improving your Spanish is your primary objective, the money would be better spent travelling. I met so many wonderful people on my sidetrips and that's when I truly improved my Spanish.
The Road House:
The student residence option is the cheapest which is primarily why I chose it, but I'm also a vegetarian and did not want to have to eat meat every night at a home stay. I definitely wouldn't do it again. You won't improve your Spanish living here. It's a fun way to meet people, but there's never any peace. There are FOUR people per room despite what is implied by "student housing" which usually means 2. It's a very similar set up to a hostel. You can ask to live in one of the 2 person rooms or the one single, but it's more expensive. There are 5 quads, 2 doubles, and one single, so that's 25 people in the house, and on occasion when there are overlapping dates, they will cram extra beds into rooms. The bathrooms are co-ed and the showers are disappointing. The upstairs showers have barely any water pressure and the downstairs ones flood all over the floor, except one, which is the one that everyone uses. The kitchen is tiny and not well equipped. There is a really nice outdoor deck, but it is closed at 11 PM (right after dinner, in Argentine time). I might live here for a month to meet people, but then I would definitely move out into a Shared Apartment or even a non-Road option (there are an array of pretty cheap furnished apartments in BA, and that way you don't have to be babysat like at the Road House).
Road 2 Argentina:
Blanca and David work in the house and they are great. I don't really know what to say otherwise. I felt very mislead in a lot of ways, and when I tried to bring it up with the staff they were mostly backpeddling. In my first month or two, a big group of us in the house wrote a letter to the staff talking about all the ways we felt mislead and all of the inadequacies of the Road House. They were quick to give us some kitchen things we asked for and change the visitors time from 10PM to 11PM (which is what is was before and partly when precipitated the letter), but overall I remained frustrated. Also, when people show up, they never know anything about their program until the first day, which may be the day after you arrive, but will very likely be more than a week from when you arrive. A group of Belgrano students were escorted to the University our first day, and then the program coordinator left us there and expected us to figure out the bus, have enough coins, or find the subte without any direction. After the orientation, we were just asking people on the street and followed this nice old lady to the subte (subway) stop. I expected more. Also, the activities are really sub-par, so don't be too excited for them. If you choose to go with this company, ask a lot of questions, because what is implied on the website isn't always how it is. It is cheaper than the established study abroad companies, but you get what you pay for. Another thing that was a royal mess was getting our student visas. For the other programs, all the kids would go at once with an appointment made by their program and they got their visas within the first couple of weeks. We would ask the Road staff to call to make the appointments for us, but their help ended there. We had to be on top of it, and the people who weren't really lost out--you need your visa to receive your transcripts. ALSO, just so you know, Americans, Canadians, Australians and maybe British people have to pay about $131 to get into the country at the airport. No one ever told me about this. So many little things. Just don't expect a lot.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Jun 13, 2010
Overall:
6
Support:
6
Value:
8

Comments

Also, ARGENTINA: Buenos Aires is a big city, and a lot of people speak English. It's probably not the best for immersion. They speak a very distinct dialect of Spanish, which isn't the best for learning. If possible, I would choose to study in Mendoza or some other city. Everything here is very inefficient. Things are often dirty. People eat dinner later, around 9 or 10, and a lot of restaurants aren't open for dinner until 8. There is a large boliche or club scene, and lots of drinking and smoking to go along with it. The city was nice but it was just like any big city, and my best experiences were travelling to Patagonia, Mendoza, and Iguazu Falls. Bring peanut butter, nyquil, and ziploc bags.

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

As a Mother of two young children at home, I wanted to find a company who I trusted and felt good about. I did not want my family to have to worry about me while I was in a foreign country. From the very beginning, A Broader View was very thorough and professional. I was met at the airport upon arrival in Buenos Aires and taken to my placement at the social service center on my first day. I knew I had chosen the right company to volunteer abroad with when the coordinator had to take pictures and videos of me at the center to send back to the office in the States. I always felt like they knew where I was and what I was doing. I had an incredible experience with the local people, got to use my Spanish all week, and gained a new perspective on both the world and my place in it. It was an incredibly rewarding experience and I can't wait to volunteer through ABV again in the near future!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: May 9, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Vision International (GVI)

I participated in the EX74 Patagonia Research and Exploration Expedition and it was truely an experience of a lifetime. I learned more about myself in those 5 weeks than I had in years. I was able to test and discover my limits while bushwhacking,crossing freezing rivers or climbing mountains to get to our wild boar transects. I learned skills that are not only valuable in the field, but in all aspects of life. Dealing with strangers became a necessity when you are sharing a tent with two other EMs. When living in such close quarters with the same people for so long, compromise and responsibility becomes necessary– all things I thought I knew but truely learned on this trip. I was able to discover the Patagonian wildlife beyond the borders I would have had if I had travelled alone. The Expedition opened my eyes to new horizons, new adventures, new ways of living – It really changed me, for the better. I will take all of this with me, and hopefully others will too.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: May 3, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

Travellers Worldwide

I couldn't recommend Travellers highly enough. The pre-departure team were fantastic and open quite late which was great. They were really knowledgeable and if they couldn't answer a question, they called back once they'd found out the answer; the country booklet was really useful (especially since I didn’t realise it would be cold in August). I think it is really important that they have travelled and know the projects well, which everyone I dealt with had. The in country team were actually amazing, they couldn’t do enough to help and even took us out for dinner every time new people arrived. The accommodation was in a good location and overall, it was a bit pricey, but definitely worth the money.
As a side note, I have also travelled with Real Gap (avoid like toxic waste) whose pre-departure team were hopeless and had no idea what they were talking about, their in-country team were hopeless and the project was overpriced and badly organised. So when I recommend Travellers, I do so because they really do look after you and know what they’re doing.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Mar 21, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
7

GIC Argentina

I had a great experience with GIC. A couple of months ago I was in Argentina studying Spanish through GIC. I ended up in the hospital, and their response was nothing less than amazing. They stayed with me in the hospital for the entire time that visitors were allowed in. I ended up needing an operation that cost almost 15000 pesos - I didn't have the money, and my insurance only covers reimbursement. They paid for my operation on the spot without hesitation, and were reimbursed later in the week by my parents. They went far beyond what I could have ever expected and am *very* greatful to them.
Additionally, my Spanish teachers were excellent, my homestay family was wonderful, the overall experience (except my time in the hospital!) was excellent, and I can only give a big Thank You and a big recommendation for them.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Feb 24, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Road2Argentina

I went to Buenos Aires through Road2Argentina to be an exchange student at the University of Belgrano. I stayed for four months and loved every minute of it. I lived in the Student Residence, which was the best decision I made when going abroad. The residence is cleaned daily and is located very centrally to many of the barrios in Buenos Aires, as well as shopping, food, and bars. As I went alone, the student residence was a great way for me to meet new people from around the world. Some of my best friends are now girls from Australia and Ireland. Although the house is not the best place to practice Spanish, as most of the residents speak English, it is a great place to form networks in the city and hear about other great places to travel around the country and find things to do in the city. If you're desperate for Spanish practice, Blanca or David, the live in natives who take care of the residence will be happy to sit down and talk with you any time. Road2Argentina also offers free weekly tours of the city, once a month welcome dinners with free pizza and wine, and other fun activities such as bike riding through the nature reserve in Puerto Madero. Paige, a worker at Road2Argentina was very helpful in assisting me to get my student visa and giving advice on traveling and other accomodations. All of the other staff are very friendly and made sure that my stay was as comfortable as possible. The only other piece of advice I have to offer is that if your spanish is advanced, I would not study at Belgrano. Take your courses and the University of Buenos Aires. Belgrano is not much of a challenge, although you can meet many great international students while studying there. I would highly recommend Road2Argentina and if I had it to do over, I would definitely do it again! Don't be frightened by the wire transfer and the taxi pickup from arrival at the airport is a definite plus. Everything will go smoothly with the wire transfer. I think that they are working on getting PayPal. Buena suerte y disfrutate!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Dec 26, 2009
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Comments

Hi Brittany, my daughter Taylor is planning on attending in the fall and I would like to hear about your experiences. I'm quite nervous to send her so far away(we live in the Atlanta area) and her not being a worldly traveler. My email address is amelchiore@charter.net and my name is Abel Melchiore. I was born in Argentina and my parents moved to the US when I was 7. This has made Taylor want to learn spanish which she has done pretty well and now has desires to attend Belgrano. I would appreciate any advice you can offer. Thanks in advance. Abel

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