Argentina: Community Service & The Great Outdoors

Video and Photos

Community Service at a elementary school in Chicoana
My host family visiting me in Chicoana!
Horse back riding
My sister and I at dinner
From the hike in Salta, and one of the many streams we crossed
The view after white water rafting (that was the river we went down)
Horseback riding in chicoana
Last day in Buenos Aires

About

Experience Argentina through outdoor activities, Spanish language classes, and community service. Begin your Experiment in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, where you will explore the city’s sites and practice Spanish. Travel by boat to the city’s surrounding islands in the Tigre Delta and visit artisan markets.
Your journey continues in the northern region of Salta, where you will live with a host family. You will work on community service projects. You will also hike in the beautiful countryside and ride the rapids during a group white-water rafting adventure. Marvel at the mesmerizing landscape of the shimmering white Salinas Grandes, Argentina’s massive salt flats.
Explore the countryside on horseback as you ride up the Chicoana Mountain and camp under the stars. You will also enjoy traditional barbecue prepared by Argentine cowboys, known as gauchos. Take a bike tour of the city and hike the beautiful surrounding areas before returning to Buenos Aires.

Highlights
  • Community Service
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Water Activity
  • Camping
  • Homestay

Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 24 reviews
  • Growth 9.2
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 8.6
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 16 - 24 of 24
Default avatar
Laura
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Summer To Remember

One 35-pound suitcase, 45-liter backpack, and a one-way ticket to Argentina later, I was on a plane to a country I have never been to before with 12 unknown students and two amazing leaders I would soon get to know. As my group and I landed in Buenos Aires, I could smell the freshly oven-baked empanadas, sweet dulce de leche spread on crackers, and juicy well-done steaks Argentina is known for. I couldn't be more grateful to have spent 4 weeks in a country that is known for their food and culture. From a friendly game of soccer with our host families to finding the restaurant with the best tasting pasta (which was quite impossible), we had the experience to immerse ourselves in more ways than one.

For the first 2 days, our group had the opportunity to explore what Buenos Aires has to offer such as the Tigre delta and practice our Spanish language skills. Over the course of two days, we received the chance to visit significant cafes, theaters, and art galleries that embodied the Argentina culture. One 4-hour local flight later, we were sitting in the Experiment's office in Jujuy, where our home stays would occur. To be completely honest, my family in New York and I have never been close enough to share a memorable encounter as I had when my host sister came to pick me up. She knew who I was, what I did, and why I was in Argentina, but I did not know anything other than her name. It was quite amazing. I could start from scratch in meeting and getting to know new people, in hopes of building long-lasting relationships.

My homestay family consisted of 4 wonderful-beautiful individuals: my mom, dad, and two sisters. At first, it was strange to share the table with people I did not know and sleep in a house I was not familiar with. Nevertheless, we started to warm up to each other, unlike the weather we were in. Their love snuggled the cold out of my body more than a simple sweater could ever have. I felt at home, 4,516 miles away from my house. I will always keep them in my heart, even if we're not together anymore. The long, chatter-filled nights I stayed up with my sister and hearty meals my mother cooked for the family will remain in my heart for the years to come.

Community service was like the icing on the cake; I could not be happier to have helped the local communities of Jujuy and Chicoana. Our community service projects such as gardening, painting, and remodeling a run-down police station and the humble school gave me the chance to learn life lessons I will sincerely hold dear to my heart. Durning the last couple of days, our group and I experienced white-water rafting in the Juramento River, horseback riding up rocky mountains, and camping in cold winter weather. Over the span of 25 days, I learned and experienced a lifetime of adventures. Indeed, it was a summer to remember.

What would you improve about this program?
From the top of my head, I would like for future Experimenters to be aware of the rigor in which the activities will be executed as. Everything else was amazing.
Default avatar
E'Sachi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

What I Learned in Argentina

When I first learned that I would be traveling to Argentina, I didn't know what to expect. I hadn't known much about the country other than the fact that the people speak Spanish. So I think you can tell that I didn't have high expectations for this trip. However, the moment I met my group in the airport, I knew this was going to be a life-changing trip, and it was. Together as a group, we helped communities through community service, navigated the cities without supervision, stayed with host families, and more, all while speaking in a foreign language. This month gave me a new outlook on the world and how I interact with people. Once I returned to the States, I made sure that I treated people with the utmost respect because that is how Argentains treat their fellows. In addition to gaining more social skills, I also gained a family. During this month, I've grown so close to a group of people from different backgrounds and ethnicities and they will forever be apart of my life. So all in all, this trip wasn't what I imagined it to be; it was so much better, and I will forever be thankful for this opportunity that the Experiment has provided me with. I am eternally grateful.

Default avatar
Damilola
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Amazing Experience

This is an amazing program, and I recommend everyone to apply. Being in Argentina helped me improve my spanish and changed my outlook on the world. Meeting people from both different parts of the US and in Argentina opened my eyes to how large our world really is.
Both my group and my leaders were amazing. Our leaders gave us the freedom to explore parts of Buenos Aires, Salta, and Chicoana on our own. This freedom allowed us to see different parts of the cities that wouldn't usually be tourist attractions. Not only that, but it allowed us to truly immerse ourselves in Argentinian culture.
With a combination of the home stay, horseback riding, camping, and community service, how could you not want to go to Argentina? The trip was unforgettable, and I hope more people get to experience it!

What would you improve about this program?
none;)
Default avatar
Weiting
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable Summer Experience in Argentina 2017

The Experiment in International Living grants me special and unique experience in Argentina. It may be uncomfortable to travel to a different country with 14 strangers (2 leaders and 12 other experimenters) at first but everyone feels the same. Every student is really nice and we get along with each other quicker than we thought. I like the feeling of uneasiness and nervous at the beginning of the program become less and less throughout the program. The Experiment did an extremely great job to give experimenters a diverse group. People in the Argentina group are from different racial, economic and geographical background. Because of this, I get to learn the Argentine culture and their culture.

The Experiment is designed to exchange culture which means while I am learning Argentina culture and they are learning from us. Besides exchanging culture, community service is a great experience as well. We try to renew school and the police office that will actually help the community. There is alway activities planned during homestay or outside of it to help us learn about the culture and meet new people.

The program leaders are extremely helpful and answer any question you have during the trip. My leaders are respectful because they alway ask for our opinion whenever they have more than one option. They are also responsible because they alway make sure we are present and checking on us.

I will definitely recommend any programs on The Experiment list. Any of the programs on the list will shapes you to a better individual and gain more knowledge.

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Claire
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Amazing Experience in Argentina

My month in Argentina was hands down the best month of my life. I had such an amazing experience and learned a lot. I met so many new people who are now some of my best friends and family.
I loved the homestay in Salta. My family was very welcoming and excited to have me. They helped me improve my Spanish a lot. My older sister knew some English but she wouldn't use it around me, forcing me to use more Spanish. They'd ask me questions to make me talk more. My younger sister was awesome too - she introduced me to her friends and showed me around the city. She came with our group to do community service and hung out with us at the mall. The hardest part of my trip was saying good bye to my family, especially my younger sister.
After Salta, we stayed in Chicoana and did more community service. That was the most rewarding part for me. I loved working at the school, especially the day the kids were there. I spent over an hour in the garden with three sixth grade girls, talking to them about their life and breaking down large chunks of dirt. They snuck me back into their classroom after and pretended I was a student. They showed me all their books and what they were learning in english. While in Chicoana, my host family surprised me with a visit! They drove the couple hour drive to come see me and my group again and give me some empanadas. It was so nice and unexpected.
From Chicoana, we went to ranch and went horseback riding and camping for three days. That was so much fun and adventurous and slightly out of my comfort zone. We went to the bathroom in the woods and learned how to saddle horses and to gallop. The gauchos told us crazy ghost stories and baked us fresh, delicious bread. It was a memorable couple of days.
I will never forget my amazing month in Argentina. There are so many more things that we did that I want to share because it was all so wonderful. I hope to go back and show my family all of the places we explored and introduce them to my Argentine family. And I plan to stay in touch with the great friends I made too. On the night before we left, our group made a web of string. It represented how we are connected because of this amazing experience. We all went around and talked about what we would take home from this trip. Then we cut the string and we each got to keep a part of our connection. I tied the string around my wrist. It's been over a month since we were in Buenos Aires that last night. I haven't taken it off and I don't plan to :)

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Arianna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Absolutely Amazing

It was my first time leaving the United States this summer, and I can't express just how rewarding of an experience it was. I met incredible people and did incredible things in a different country, making connections with people from all over the U.S. and Argentina. One of my favorite moments was most definitely during the homestay: I had a 21-year-old host sister, Danna, who took me everywhere, (we became pretty darn close) she was super nice and wanted me to have the best time possible. One night we were out eating dinner with a bunch of her friends and one of her friends happened to be hosting someone from Germany at his house. So, try to imagine Danna, who speaks Spanish and a little English, the guy from Germany who speaks German, a little Spanish and little English, and me, who speaks English and a little Spanish, trying to have a conversation. It wasn't easy, but we managed to hold a decent conversation, mostly in English and me occasionally whipping out my phone to look up Spanish or English words in German on Google translate. At one point Danna asked him if he liked it there in Salta, and he just wasn't understanding the word "like"; he kept thinking she was asking how long he'd been there for. After about five minutes of Danna repeating her sentence slower and slower to him, and him answering it the same way, I decided to look up "to like" in German. I eagerly showed him my phone and he went, "Ahhhh, do I LIKE Salta!" and it was the most amazing feelings in the world when I finally got him to understand. I had a lot of moments like this, where the language barrier felt like it was keeping me from socializing and understanding other people, but this moment reminded me that the language barrier is also something you can bond over. I went into the program being extremely nervous about my Spanish but once I got there I realized how understanding people are, and you can almost always get your point across if you really try. That experience reminded me that a little trouble communicating is never a bad thing; but it does make for memorable moments! That dinner with my host sister and her friends was one of my favorite times in Argentina: everyone was so lively and loud, talking over each other and eating fried potatoes until late that night, I felt closer with everyone there even if I spoke one-worded Spanish sentences to them.

Default avatar
Kate
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Argentina

This summer I got to participate in a program to Argentina for one month. At first, I was very nervous about what lay ahead. The first couple days in Buenos Aires were a little awkward, but i also felt that the whole group was bonding, and I knew that I would be okay.
After the first two days in Buenos Aires, we moved on to Salta for our homestay. Arriving at the airport was scary, because as soon as we walked out to baggage claim I could see all of the families waiting for us. The first couple days of my homestay were an adjustment, but once I became accustomed to living in Argentina, and experiencing the daily life of an Argentine, I began to have fun. Each day brought something new to see and experience, and I loved it. About halfway through I felt very close with my homestay family, and I also felt like I had some really good friends in my group as well. Leaving Salta was very hard, but I plan to keep in touch with the friends I made there.
We moved on to Chicoana, and there we completed the majority of our community service. Out community service was at a local school, most of it involving painting. I found it very fun and rewarding to give back to the kids. After we finished the community service we went camping in the mountains. Not only was the camping fun, but the horseback riding up into the mountains was beautiful as well.
The last leg of our trip was a few days back in Buenos Aires, creating a full circle effect. Although our time there was brief, the whole group became even closer, and we all had a really hard time saying goodbye. This month was one of the best of my life, and it is an experience I will never forget.

Maelyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventures in Argentina

This summer, I was able to explore the beautiful country of Argentina, with unfamiliar faces that quickly turned into family. The program revolved around the theme of community service and the great outdoors, so we did activities such as painting at a local church and elementary school, water rafting, horseback riding, and camping. From the day the group met at Miami International Airport, we were all challenged in some way, whether it was the language barrier we would soon run into, fitting in, or being away from home, however, the most challenging part had to be the home stay portion of the program. For myself, it took a couple of days to be able to embrace the opportunity of staying with a host family, but my host family and I both put in the effort needed to make the home stay portion a learning experience for the both of us. Looking back at my time in Argentina, I have noticed a great change in my abilities to open up and embrace the awkwardness and the unknown. I have grown so much as a team member and an individual, all thanks to the members of my group, my two group leaders, and The Experiment. This summer has been an amazing, life changing experience, I will never forget.

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David
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

What Makes This Program Unique

The Experiment in International Living did well planning this program, incorporating fun activities, and making sure participants were safe. Argentina is the most enjoyable place that I have visited in Latin America, and while I was on this trip I felt that I really experienced the culture of a variety of populations: the urban metropolis of Buenos Aires, the medium-sized city of Salta, the small town of Cafayate as well as other villages and farms.

I have participated on similar three- and four-week trips to Latin America in the past, and I believe that there are two things that set this program apart from the rest. First, this program is not meant for learning a lot of Spanish, so don’t choose it as a substitute for a Spanish class. The lessons that they have are helpful refreshers, but the focus of your time is cultural immersion. Second, the coordinators an excellent job with the homestay. This two-week experience with a family in Salta was undoubtedly the highlight of my trip. What makes this homestay different than others is the fact that each participant is matched with a different family and gets more time to spend with them than most programs schedule in. While being alone with a family is intimidating at first, it really enhances the connections that you make with your family and ensures that you practice your Spanish. From regular card games to extended family barbecues, my homestay made me feel that I was truly part of a family.

All in all, this was a worthwhile experience for me. I hope that you consider it and best of luck with your application!

(Also, apply for a scholarship if you feel that you need it—don’t let the cost intimidate you!)