Buenos Aires, Argentina

Spanish Language & Argentinian Culture

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Overview

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Soak up the one-of-a-kind culture in the “Paris of South America”

Get the best of both continents in one of the world’s most beloved cities. What better place to perfect the Spanish language?  

Vibrant. Creative. Intellectual. Intense. These are some of the words used to describe Buenos Aires. There’s no shortage of cultural riches to discover. Go to the theater. Dance the tango. Watch a heated football match. Feast on provoleta (fried cheese) and some of the best steak on the planet. Discover graffiti art off the beaten track.

Expect a complete experience through language learning, meetups with native-speaking peers, or hanging in the city’s bustling cafés. Urban culture is a big component of this program, and you’ll visit with working artists and a diverse cross section of local citizens. On CIEE cultural activities you’ll get a rare insider’s feel for the multicultural identity of Buenos Aires through its food, street art and the stories of its people.

CIEE Gap Year Abroad programs are focused on supporting participants in acquiring knowledge and developing skills to live in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. In addition to developing your language skills and gaining a better understanding of the local culture, you will take part in our Global Competence Course. This online course will allow you to connect and collaborate in real-time with our entire cohort of Gap participants worldwide, through interactive workshops and discussions. Reflect on your own cultural biases, share insights about your experience and learn about topics ranging from cultural identity and leadership styles to how to work and live sustainably or develop communication skills.

Living with a homestay, you’ll quickly get acclimated to the rhythms of Argentinean life. Late afternoon/early evening is time for merienda, a social break with coffee and cakes. Dinnertime, ranging from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., is for the “strong meal” of meats, pastas, cheese, vegetables and fruits. As part of the family, you’ll help prepare meals and enjoy them over a conversation about your day. In evenings and on weekends take a day trip to explore a nearby town or nature reserve, meet up with friends, explore new neighborhoods! Make the most of this amazing opportunity!

The Take-Aways

  • LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

    15-20 hours per week of Spanish language learning designed to improve real world language skills

  • GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

    Build a strong foundation in the core components of intercultural learning. Come home with an improved sense of self and awareness of what shapes others.

  • CERTIFICATE

    Earn a Certificate of Learning in Spanish

  • of alumni said their language skills improved

    96%
  • said they learned to interact with different cultural backgrounds

    94%
  • said their level of independence increased

    89%

Location & Culture

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Writers, artists and international students are drawn to this fascinating melting pot.

Known as the “Paris of South America,” this cosmopolitan city is bursting with bookstores and libraries, music venues and theaters, cinemas and cafés. It’s a lively Latin American center with a fascinating mix of European heritage, old-world charm and radical contemporary art.

With a population of 13 million, Buenos Aires is a diverse melting pot that attracts writers, artists and plenty of international students. While there’s food to suit every taste, it’s mainly European (French, Italian, Spanish) and meat-centric. Grass-fed beef is legendary, and served up in restaurants on every corner. Vegetarians can find many dishes made of cheese or eggs on menus.

Buenos Aires is huge, but easy to navigate. On a bike tour you’ll get a good sense of the different districts and cultural influences. Starting in San Telmo, the oldest neighborhood of the city, you’ll trace the city’s heritage from 1536 until the arrival of the Italian immigrants, then head to the working-class La Boca, the cradle of passions such us tango and football, the colorful houses that give identity to the neighborhood. Along the south coast, you’ll find plenty of green space with a big and beautiful nature reserve surrounded by the vast La Plata River.

Daily Life

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Daily Life

A succesful Gap experience achieves the right balance between structured language instruction, practice in the community and cultural activties to be fully immersed in the local culture.

Here's how a typical week goes on a CIEE Gap Language & Culture program:

  • 15-20 hours of interactive language learning at a language school
  • 1 hour of the CIEE Global Competence Course (online with our global gap community)
  • 2 cultural activities
  • Free time to explore and have fun!

Weekends are for group excursions (two per 6-week block) or personal travel and exploration.


*If Covid-19 homestay requirements cannot be met participants will be placed in a CIEE-vetted dormitory or apartment. Confirmation will be communicated to participants in advance.

  • Carefully Screened Homestay*

  • Local Support

    Local CIEE Center staff available 24/7

Activities

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Sample Activities

  • Trace the city’s fiery political origins through its vibrant graffiti and street art. On guided tours you’ll learn how Buenos Aires became one of the world’s most exciting hubs for this form of creative expression.
  • Learn the tango and the more relaxed moves of the milonga in fun classes for all levels.
  • ttend one of the city's liveliest events that takes place on Monday evenings, when the long-running percussion group La Bomba de Tiempo brings the audience to its feet at Ciudad Cultural Konex. You'll find it impossible not to dance to the rhythm when the drummers hit their stride.
  • Visit the Centro Cultural Recoleta where your senses will be inundated with visual and performing arts, and enjoy a taste of local cuisine at the Club de Milanesa.

Sample Excursions

  • Estancia – Head to the countryside for a slice of daily life, regional food and customs, and beautiful landscapes. 
  • Tigre & Delta: discover this northern area in the outskirts of the city while navigating the River and its Delta.

​​Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

Eligibility & Fees

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Eligibility & Fees

Eligibility

  • High school graduates in good academic standing.
  • Students must demonstrate, through the application and interview process, flexibility and maturity.
  • Students must be 17 years or older at the time of their departure.
  • No previous language experience required.

Fees

$50

Apply for one or two 6-week blocks. Combining blocks in two different locations is not yet available.

Program fee includes iNext travel insurance. Full inclusions are found online.

Ready to change your life?