Quest Exchange in Argentina

Argentina is a vast natural wonderland. From Iguazu Falls in the tropical north to the massive Glacier Perito Moreno in the south, adventure junkies will have no trouble finding things to do in Argentina. Culturally, Argentina is a country defined by a rich history of literature, cinema, music, arts, and dance. Students who study in Argentina can expect the warm hospitality of the Argentine people to translate into delicious traditional meals, pick-up soccer games, and impromptu celebration. Argentina’s European influence gives it a unique profile in South America and the world as a whole.

Experience the unique marvels that Argentina has to offer and make lifelong friends in a land on the other side of the globe!

3 Fun Facts
  • One of the most popular dances in the world, the tango originated in the slaughterhouse district of Buenos Aires around the end of the nineteenth century.
  • Argentina is the third-biggest producer of beef in the world. It produces around 2.8 to 3.5 million tons a year.
  • Argentine Spanish is referred to as Lunfardo, is a type of slang that emerged in Buenos Aires around 1900.
2018-2019 Program Pricing

Year

Mid Feb – Early Dec
$10,800

Semester

Mid Feb – Early July
Mid July – Early Dec

$9,700

Short-Term

Various
3 Months: $9,000

School Life

Education in Argentina is democratic, free and secular. Most of the secondary schools are semi-public or private, with a monthly fee to pay that is not included in the Quest program fee. In most Argentine schools, uniforms are a general standard of dress. Before arrival, students receive detailed information about their school. The code of conduct in Argentine schools is very strict. Teachers are deeply respected and addressed in a formal manner.

Argentinean teenagers get up early in the morning, have a simple breakfast and go to school between 7:30 and 8:30am. Students may get a ride to school, while others take the bus, walk or ride a bike. Classes generally last 45 minutes and are followed by a break. Before starting school in the morning, students participate in the important ritual called “el saludo de la bandera” to raise the Argentinian flag and sing the national anthem.

The high school system in Argentina is divided into two levels: basic level, which is common to all schools, and a specialization or academic focus. Depending on the particular academic focus, the range of subjects may change. When students finish their basic level, they can choose a high school orientation according to the university education they want to pursue.

Some schools hold class from early morning until the afternoon with short breaks, especially the bilingual schools. In these schools,  students eat lunch at school. Other school schedules give longer lunch periods where students typically go home to have lunch. After lunch, students have time for a siesta, study or an extra-curricular activity. Some of the most common activities after school are sports and what is popular is basketball, football, volleyball, hockey, rugby or athletics (working out). Of course dance is also popular, especially the tango!

Family Life

Our host families are located all over Argentina from Jujuy to Tierra del Fuego. The main provinces for placement are Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán, Mendoza, Córdoba, Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Tierra del Fuego. Families may live in villages or small, medium or large cities.

The typical Argentine family consists of the father, mother and two or three children at least. The students will also have quite frequent contact with extended family members, who will be very eager to take good care of the student as well. Family relationships are characterized by visible affection. This may not be something most American students are used to. Affection is shown with kisses and hugs, which students will experience from the moment they arrive in Argentina. The host family genuinely wants to share their culture and will be curious about the student’s culture, so it is important that students are open and communicate as much as possible.

Most host families have a basic level of English and anyone under 30 years of age has had English in a school setting for multiple years. However, learning to speak Spanish is an important part of the study abroad experience, and host families are not expected to speak English with their students. They do expect you to speak with them in Spanish and are there to help you to learn.

Program Extras

Directly upon arrival, the exchange students will gather as a group on the outskirts of Córdoba to attend a six-day preparation course. The students will have Spanish classes for about four hours every day in order to improve their reading comprehension, writing abilities, listening and oral expression. The students will be divided into different levels depending on their Spanish pre-knowledge. The students will also be introduced to Argentine culture, such as food traditions etc. After these days of preparation, the students will go directly to their host families.

Add-on trips will offered throughout the year to give students the chance to learn about the country’s history, flora and fauna, lifestyle and traditions. Each trip has a different theme according to the destination and the activities planned, and it is coordinated by a specialized team with educational experience in different areas. Past trips have been to Patagonia, the Andes, and the capital city Buenos Aires.

Program Requirements

Students are not required to have formal Spanish language experience, but should have at least a beginning level by arrival to Argentina. They will take a Spanish level placement test upon application. Students should also be aware that even though there is no formal language requirement for this program, school, host family and daily life will all be conducted in Spanish. If the student is not making the required effort to learn the language, the student will be required to take language courses at an additional cost while in Argentina.

Visas

For stays over 90 days, students will need a visa. Students and parents should research visa requirements through the Argentinian consulate or embassy nearest to their home as soon as possible, as this is the most time-intensive component of the study abroad application process. It usually takes at least six weeks to obtain an Argentinian visa. As the details of this process vary greatly by location, neither Quest nor our Argentinian partner office can confirm the exact requirements. For this reason, Quest is not able to assist with legal visa documents. It is the student’s responsibility to research the current visa requirements and to obtain and submit the visa application.

Will students have access to Internet/WiFi at their home and school?

Yes, students will have access to WiFi at their home and school.

Can students bring their own cell phones?

Yes, if students have an unlocked cell phone, they could use their personal phone with an Argentinian carrier/SIM card.

Can students travel without an adult chaperone if given permission?

Yes, students can travel outside of the host area as long as the required release form is signed by the natural parents, host family, local school, local partner office and Quest.

How much money should students have for spending money?

Students should budget around $200/month for personal expenses, which include entertainment, personal hygiene items, long-distance calls, etc. An additional $300 should be budgeted for start-up school expenses, such a books, stationary, transportation, and uniforms. These fees are in addition to Quest program fees.

What are some cultural norms that describe a typical host family in Argentina?

Argentinean families typically consist of a father, mother and two to three children. Extended family members, such as uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents, are often involved in family life and meals as well. American students should be prepared for the family to be very warm and affectionate, which is often displayed through hugs and kisses, even at the initial greeting at the airport.

How are host families chosen?

Quest’s in-country partner is responsible for locating, screening and matching host families with our students. Host families go through a careful screening process, which typically involves in-person interviews, home inspections and references.

How do students apply for the visa and how long does it take?

For stays over 90 days, students will need a visa. Students and parents should research visa requirements through the Argentinian consulate or embassy nearest to their home as soon as possible, as this is the most time-intensive component of the study abroad application process. It usually takes at least six weeks to obtain an Argentinian visa. As the details of this process vary greatly by location, neither Quest nor our Argentinian partner office can confirm the exact requirements. For this reason, Quest is not able to assist with legal visa documents. It is the student’s responsibility to research the current visa requirements and to obtain and submit the visa application.

How will the student get to and from school?

This depends upon the particular host family that the student is placed with. Host family parents may drop the student off, or the student may take the bus, walk or bike. If the student takes the bus, the student is responsible for those fees, which are in addition to Quest program fees.

Is it possible for students to get tutors during their program?

Yes, and fees will vary based on the student’s needs.

Can students receive an official document with grades and completed classes after finishing their program?

Students can receive an informal document listing classes, performance, attendance, behavior, etc. But, the student must complete all school assignments and take all exams in order to receive this. They must also communicate with Argentinian school officials about their desire to receive this documentation. Students must be proactive about this, as obtaining this documentation is their responsibility before they leave Argentina.

Do schools offer different sports/activities? 

Physical Education is offered in some schools, but most sports, theatre and music classes happen as extracurricular activities after school.

THINK IT OVER

The rewards of life abroad are amazing and wonderful, but are you up for the unique challenges that come with this experience? You will be away from your friends, family and the lifestyle you are accustomed to. You will have to adapt to a new language, culture, school and family. You will have to make decisions on your own and make new friends. Think about it and do some research on the country you want to study in. There is a wealth of information on the Internet that can better prepare you for your adventure!

GET YOUR PARENT/LEGAL GUARDIAN ON BOARD

Your parent(s) or guardian(s) need to help you make your dream happen. The application process takes time and effort, so it is important, at this stage, to make sure your parents support your decision to study abroad and have given you approval to move forward. If they feel that you are prepared and understand what’s required from them, you are ready to move to the next step.

CHECK IN WITH YOUR SCHOOL

You may receive credit from your program, but it is your responsibility to make this happen. Only your U.S. school can decide which credits you can receive. You must approach your guidance counselor to determine if you can get the credits you are hoping to receive. Bring Quest’s Academic Guide with you, and be certain of what you will be responsible for.

CONTACT QUEST FOR PROGRAM INFORMATION AND PAPERWORK

Fill out our online information request form in order to receive important program information from Quest via email. This email will contain Quest’s Program Agreement and Program Guidelines for your review and signature. Carefully review all of this information with your parents and contact Quest if you have any questions. We are here to help guide you through the process so you can make decisions that fit your needs.

CONFIRM PROGRAM DETAILS

The Quest Program Coordinator will confirm with you the program details submitted on your original request form. If you’re unsure of your destination, we’ll help you narrow down your choices to the country and program season that works for you. We will speak with your parents and make sure that everybody feels informed and ready to proceed with the decisions made.

CONFIRM PAYMENT DETAILS

You and your parents will receive the online Payment Agreement, which states the total program price for your selected destination country and Quest’s payment process. Your parents will receive an invoice for the application deposit, which is due before you submit your student application.

COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION

Quest will send you a full student application for the program you have chosen. This application can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete. Make sure you give yourself ample time prior to the application deadline to complete the application and supplemental documents.

SKYPE INTERVIEW

This is when you get to meet your Quest Program Coordinator and talk face to (virtual) face. During the interview, the Program Coordinator will assess your suitability for the Quest Study Abroad program. This call lasts 30-60 minutes. Parents will speak with us at the end of the call, but the first part of the interview questions must be answered by the student alone. There is no preparation needed other than to talk about yourself, your desire to participate in the program and why you feel you are ready.

WAITING FOR ACCEPTANCE

Your Quest Program Coordinator will review your application and interview documentation to determine acceptance. Our team members put a lot of thought into the decisions they make, and not all students are accepted into the program. In order to make our decision, Quest must review complete and accurate application materials. We choose students who are emotionally, socially and academically prepared for the study abroad program. We look at each student’s level of maturity, independence and ability to adapt to life in a foreign country.

ACCEPTANCE AND INVOICE

You will receive a letter of acceptance from Quest via email. Your parents will receive an invoice outlining the total cost with only the first 50% of the total due within 10 days. The final 50% of the remaining program fees are due within 30 days of the invoice date.

GET LEGAL – VISA AND IMMIGRATION

This is a very important step in the process and can be very time-intensive. We suggest that you get started researching the requirements as soon as possible with the nearest embassy or consulate for your destination country, as requirements vary by location. Because the process does vary considerably, Quest and our foreign partner office are not able to assist with legal visa documents. It is the student’s responsibility to research the current visa requirements and to obtain and submit the visa application. Start filling out all of the paperwork well in advance, as visa approval can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to obtain.

SCHOOL AND HOST FAMILY PLACEMENT

This is the hardest part: waiting for your school and host family placement information! Making quality placements takes time, and we will need your patience during this important step. Quest will notify you and your parents of a confirmed placement in a school and then again when you are placed with your host family. Write to your host family as soon as possible to introduce yourself, and let them know how excited you are to meet them.

BOOK YOUR FLIGHT

Working together with you and your parents, Quest will confirm your arrival date and book your roundtrip international flight to your placement area. We will also book your student travel and medical insurance for your trip, so you can rest easier while abroad!

PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION

Your Quest Program Coordinator will help you get prepped for your trip with a pre-departure orientation prior to your departure. You’ll receive an agenda before the call. We encourage you to write all of your remaining questions down so that we can make you and your parents feel prepared for your trip abroad. We will go over the program rules, what to pack, what to do if you need support once you arrive, and more!

LIVE YOUR STUDY ABROAD DREAM!

Congratulate yourself and your family for making this happen. You are on your way to the study abroad adventure that you’ve earned!

Balance your time abroad — keep in touch with those back home, but remember that the point of studying abroad is to be present and active in your host country. Keep a blog or an online photo album so you can show all of the revelations you have had and the sights you have seen. On a rainy day, you’ll be happy to reflect on your growing experience abroad. Stay in touch with Local Coordinators and with Quest. We’d love to hear how you are doing!

Programs Available
  • Year
  • Semester
  • 3 Months
Application Deadline
  • Year/Fall Semester: April 1st
  • Spring Semester: October 1st
  • Short-Term: Variable
Apply Now

Quest International, a nonprofit organization, promoting international cultural awareness and compassion by providing educational programs for American and International students to live and learn together.