Argentina is bursting with cultural charm and natural wonders. It is a country of vast beauty including the tropical north, the Andes and deserts of Patagonia in the south. To volunteer in Argentina is to experience the Latin way of life, working with enthusiastic and passionate Argentinians, either teaching English to students in private schools or language institutes or caring for children, or people with disabilities, in children’s homes and residential centres.
Placements are located in Neuquén, San Luis, Buenos Aires and Cordoba. Most placements are on the outskirts of, or a bus ride from, provincial capitals with populations of around 80,000 to 120,000 people except for Buenos Aires, where there are 13 million people, but your placement is in the Northern suburbs. The remaining placements are in smaller towns of some 25,000 inhabitants. Click here to view a map.
Is It For Me?
If you are looking for a new cultural experience and can adapt to the Argentinian pace of life, then a rewarding time awaits. You will need to show flexibility and initiative, and in turn you will have the chance to develop your Spanish and build strong ties with your host family.
Community worker placements are available in children's homes, where volunteers provide support to residents, who range in age from newborns to 16 years old. In the home, volunteers assist with the day-to-day running of the centre. Activities with the residents, such as arts, drama and sport, are also greatly appreciated and enjoyed. Very little English is spoken in these centres, so volunteers need to learn to speak basic Spanish before their placements begin. The working week for placements in Argentina ranges between 15 and 36 hours. Weekends are usually free.
Lattitude Community placements in Argentina also focus on providing support, assistance and companionship for people with disabilities. There are options to work with both children and adults with a range of special needs. These placements are challenging but hugely rewarding, and it is a wonderful privilege to be able to show compassion and offer your time to those who have been dealt a difficult hand in life.
English Teaching placements may be in fee-paying schools for both primary and secondary levels, or at private language institutes for children aged from ten through to adults. English is considered to be a very valuable language to learn and volunteers use their conversational English skills to assist and support both teachers and students in the classroom. The fact that our volunteers are native speakers is highly valued here, and so placements focus on helping students with oral work. You could be helping learners by conducting interviews, conversation classes and debates, or by listening to them talk and giving advice on pronunciation and intonation. Classes at the institutes are run during the day and evening, and often volunteers assist with some evening classes. Some help may be expected with normal school duties like yard duty. These placements are ideal for those interested in working with children or even thinking of pursuing a career in teaching.The average working week for placements in Argentina is between 15 and 35 hours. Weekends are usually free.
Schools Assistant placements are based in top private schools and you will provide support to kindergarten or primary teachers and assist the children with their English schooling. These placements are ideal for those interested in working with children or thinking of pursuing a career in teaching. The specific nature of your role in your placement will largely depend on which institution you are based in. On arrival at your placement, you will be advised on the details of your role and responsibilities and you will have the opportunity to establish exactly what your host expects from you. Typically, volunteers work 8am-4.15pm and duties include assisting teachers in class with written and oral activities, helping to prepare educational materials, replacing the teacher in the event of absence, helping in the organisation of extracurricular activities such as concerts, supervising lunch and break-times and accompanying children on school trips.
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Accomodation And Food
Volunteers are accommodated with a host family or an adult host at teaching and school assistant placements, in the case of community worker placements volunteers board on site. Hosts are always generous but will expect the volunteer to contribute to family life.
Despite the fact that Argentina is a big meat producing country, vegetarian volunteers have always managed without any problems.
Both accommodation and food are provided by the host.
Need To Know
- Pre departure Briefing - all volunteers are invited to a group briefing prior to departure
- On Arrival - volunteers attend a two-day orientation in Buenos Aires
- Language - some placements require a good standard of spoken Spanish (this is essential for community placements) and Lattitude can organise Spanish classes prior to departure
- Teaching skills course – this course is organised by Lattitude and undertaken in Palmerston North at the volunteers’ own expense prior to departure
- We find out about each volunteers strengths, skills and interests through an in-depth interview which helps us select the right people as well as identifying what they are hoping to achieve while away and helps us select the right people to be Lattitude volunteers
- A second interview with our In Country Programme Manager (often via Skype) helps match them to a placement perfect for them.
- Once you have been accepted by the in Country Programme Manager you will be looked after by a specialised Volunteer Coordinator in our NZ office who assists with all preparations, support with logistics such as flights and visas, and are there to answer any questions.
- Everyone attends a predeparture briefing to meet other volunteers, Lattitude staff, other professionals such as our travel agent, travel doctors and insurance company representatives as well as hearing from returned volunteers, learning in person about the expectations and exciting prospects that lie ahead.
- Volunteers are seen off at the airport, where they travel together to their destination countries
- All volunteers sign our Term and Conditions to ensure that Lattitude's expectations of each volunteer are agreed and clear from the outset.
- Volunteers attend a group orientation upon arrival in-country and, where needed, undertake training such as a local language or teaching skills course.
- We have paid staff based in each country. Our Country Managers oversee the program and work with a team of Local Representatives who provide support in the local areas and develop close relationships with placement hosts.
- Each volunteer is visited at their placement soon after arrival by an in-country staff member to check how things are and provide additional support if needed.
- We work with Embassies and High Commissions to ensure we can respond to any situation and provide 24/7 emergency support from the Lattitude office in New Zealand.
- We recognise that coming home can be difficult and provide one-to-one support, with onward referrals for further professional support if needed. Volunteers are invited to debriefing events and become part of our network of alumni.
- Our debriefing session will include discussions from industry professionals regarding the identification and articulation of the new skills the volunteer has invariably acquired during his/her placement, and how to use these new skills to get ahead.
- We are always happy to supply written and verbal references to our successful volunteers upon return home, to aid in applications to higher education or the workforce.
These costs are for Lattitude placements in Argentina in 2017 and a full explanation of costs can be found here
|Lattitude fees (exact costs):|
|Lattitude Application Fee||$150|
|Lattitude Contribution Fee||$3,900|
|Lattitude In-country Orientation||$400|
|Lattitude Teaching Skills Course (if required)||$350|
|You will also need to budget for the following (approx costs):|
|Return Airfares (approx cost of group flight)||$2,400 - $2,800|
|Travel Insurance (6 months)||$950|
|Visa||$50 - $80|
|Travel from orientation to placement||$0 - $200|
|Medical examination||$50 - $200|
|Travel Doctor Consultation & Immunisations||$0 - $750|
|Total cost (approximate)||$8,250 - $9,770|
Population: 38 million
Time Zone: Minus 16 hours from time in Auckland (UTC/GMT -3 hours)
Climate: Argentina has a varied climate from the subtropical northern region, sub-Arctic areas in the south to mild and humid conditions in the country’s centre
Currency: Argentine Peso
“The architecture here is amazing, the cathedrals are unbelievable; centuries old yet like new. My host family is seriously my family and I feel like I’ve known them for years. My Nan gives me hugs and loves to thumb through the dictionary with me so we can put sketchy Spanglish phrases together.”
Rui Chen, English Teacher
"Why did I choose to come to Argentina? Well, back in New Zealand, I learnt Spanish, so I knew that I wanted to go to a Spanish-speaking country. I wanted a new culture; something completely different. I wanted something you just don't get back home, and I got it! It's really exciting here, there is so much to see and do. I love the work, I love the people, I love my (host) family. There is just something about South America that calls to me. It's amazing. If you want to learn about a different culture, and BE A PART of a different culture, then definitely do it. There is no place like it."
Samantha, English Teacher, Neuquén