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Work and study in Argentina

Organized volunteer programs are not particularly thick on the ground in Argentina, though you may have some success by approaching organizations which interest you directly.

There are occasionally opportunities as a paying volunteer with the Earthwatch Institute, 57 Woodstock Rd, Oxford OX2 6HJ ( ) on short environmental and archeological projects in Argentina.

There may also be opportunities for volunteer work (only suitable for those with relevant experience or qualifications such as a degree in biology) within the national parks system: applications should be made, well ahead of time, to the national parks headquarters in Buenos Aires.

Foreign university students may be able to enroll for courses in Argentina on presentation of an official letter from their own university. Academic standards in Argentinean universities are high: at the University of Buenos Aires in particular you will find lectures and courses given by many of the country's most respected writers, historians and analysts.

Be prepared to find your classes taking place at any time between 7am and 11pm, though - the vast majority of Argentinean students work to subsidize their education (though public universities are still free, there are no grants for living expenses) and course timetables are consequently flexible enough to allow people to do this.

The only place where you'll find a significant number of Spanish classes for foreigners is in Buenos Aires. The best-value courses in the city are those at the University of Buenos Aires' Laboratorio de Idiomas, 25 de Mayo 221, but are only really suitable if you're staying in the city for a while, since the courses usually run for several months.

There are classes for learners or all abilities, including advanced and specialized week-long courses focusing on subjects such as pronunciation or current affairs. Other schools in Buenos Aires include Del Sur, at B. de Yrigoyen 668, 1st Floor (tel 011/4334-1487; ), and ILEE (Instituto de Lengua Española para Extranjeros), Av. Callao 339, 3rd Floor (tel 011/4782-7173; ).

Outside the capital, three of the best places to learn Spanish, in terms of quality of instruction and atmosphere, are Córdoba, Mendoza and San Rafael.

Contact the Centro Cultural Anglo-Hispano del Oeste Argentino, Ortíz de Rosas 154, 5600 San Rafael, Prov. de Mendoza (tel 02627/434688; info[at] );
the IAIM, Rondeau 277, Mendoza Capital (tel 0261/429-0269, fax tel 0261/424-8840; info[at] );
or the Escuela Superior de Lenguas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Secretaría de Extensión, ESL, Universidad Nacional, Av. Vélez Sarsfield 187, Córdoba (tel 0351/433-1073; secext[at] ).

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