Welcome to Argentina
The Argentina Destination Guide will provide a historical overview, scholarship information, health and safety tips, plus identity-specific resources to ensure students feel prepared with insight and resources for their global experience in Argentina. The information shared below is a bird eye’s view and meant to provide some country-specific context. We encourage students to conduct further research and chat with relevant points of contact including advisors, program leaders, international student services at the host campus, internship coordinators or peers who have traveled to Argentina, to gain a greater understanding of their host country and/or city.
Despite a rough political history and a recent economic downturn, Argentina, once very wealthy, remains an upper-middle-income nation and the most developed in South America. Buenos Aires, the capital and largest city, has been called the “Paris of South America” because of its wealth, architectural sophistication, and the fact that it looks and feels more like a European city than any other city in South America. Anyone longing to explore the lively culture of Latin America, while still enjoying the familiar comforts of the United States or Europe, should head to Argentina to experience the best of both worlds.
With a beautiful metropolitan capital, dramatic geography, and a passionate lifestyle imbued with the wealth and splendor of Old Europe, Argentina has much to offer to students who favor Argentina’s romantic culture and meaty savory (Argentina is a major producer of meat, especially beef) cuisine. The large country boasts many natural landmarks, which are immense in scale, from the towering Andes Mountains to the Perito Moreno Glacier to the awe-inspiring subtropical waterfalls of the Iguaçu River on the border with Brazil. Argentina runs north to south, from deep interior to coast, and so possesses allowing for amazing natural diversity, with— it is inhabited by everything from jaguars to penguins.
Cities & Education
Argentina is divided into 23 provinces and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. The country offers a range of learning opportunities for US students studying abroad. Argentina has some of the best universities in Latin America and is becoming one of the top 10 destinations for U.S. study abroad students.
Most universities are located in the capital city of Buenos Aires, where students can study a variety of disciplines. It is becoming a leading destination for students seeking to learn Spanish, with most of the coursework taught in the Argentine dialect.
Argentina is a great study abroad destination for liberal arts majors. Its culture is a distinctive mix of indigenous African, and European influences that are evident in the literature, language, art, and food of the country. Its political history is equally fascinating. Since its independence, Argentina has witnessed multiple shifts from one political extreme to another. This dynamic political history has birthed famous political figures like José de San Martín, Che Guevara, and Eva Perón.
Events & Tourism
Argentina has a scene for any type of traveler. Argentina does not disappoint when it comes to museums and national monuments. In addition to critically acclaimed art museums like the MALBA, there are also museums and memorials dedicated to influential Argentine figures like Che Guevara and Eva “Evita” Perón. Argentina is also sure to impress students who are awed by nature's wonders. Students can visit the Iguazú Falls, a UNESCO Heritage site comprised of 275 thundering waterfalls and cascades, or Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world.
For a more relaxed trip with a beautiful landscape, a visit to Mendoza, the capital of the Mendoza province, is a must. There you will find the heart of Argentine wine production where the nation’s best red wines are crafted. In addition to its world-renowned red wine, Argentina is also known around the world for producing some of the highest quality steaks. Argentina’s most popular food and beverages will satisfy your inner foodie.
A trip to Buenos Aires, the nation’s capital, is also on the must-see list of many students. Buenos Aires is a multifaceted city, with an eclectic collection of neighborhoods. One of the most popular neighborhoods in the city is Palermo. Palermo is the center for all things trendy in Buenos Aires. It boasts many boutiques and hip eateries. La Boca is another noteworthy neighborhood and is known for its quirky, colorful buildings and striking street art. After a long day of sightseeing, prepare for a long night of socializing with porteños in the streets until sunrise. Buenos Aires’ vibrant nightlife is considered one of the best scenes in Latin America.
Argentina celebrates an assortment of public holidays each year. Some of these holidays are national, and some are regional. Since Argentina is a predominantly Catholic country, most of its holidays are religious, while others may be historical. While not designated an official cultural event, soccer or fútbol is Argentina’s national pastime. It is worth going to the Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti to see the top soccer stars play for the national team. Check out the resources below to learn more about Argentina’s holidays and events that may line up with your visit.
Diversity & Inclusion Climate
Although Argentina is generally considered a welcoming country, depending on your identity, your experience may be affected by the status of Diversity & Inclusion in the country. The majority of the country is of white European descent, so students of color may face slight discrimination. There are small pockets of Afro-Argentine and Asian-Argentine communities throughout Argentina, but they are largely a minority, students of color should be prepared to stand out in Argentina.
While the majority of the country is Roman Catholic, only about 20% are practicing. Argentina is also home to the largest Jewish and Muslim communities in Latin America, students of different faiths should feel safe to practice their religion while studying in Argentina. Women in Argentina also have equal educational and professional opportunities as men, there have even been two female presidents.
Argentina is viewed as one of the most progressive countries in Latin American, especially when it comes to LGBTQIA+ rights. Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2010 and most recently Argentina passed the Gender Identity Law, providing legal gender identity changes to transgender citizens. Overall, Argentina is generally a safe country for different identity groups.
Country Demographics (subheading)
Data acquired via the Cia.gov World Factbook
Population in Argentina
45,479,118 (July 2020 est.)
Noun: Argentine (s)
European (mostly Spanish and Italian descent) and mestizo (mixed European and Amerindian ancestry) 97.2%, Amerindian 2.4%, African 0.4% (2010 est.)
Note: Amerindian- American Indians
Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French, indigenous (Mapudungun, Quechua)
Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%
Staying Healthy & Safe in Argentina
You cannot always predict the hiccups that may occur during your time abroad, but taking the proper measures to ensure your health and safety in Argentina will help you be better prepared to deal with unplanned situations.
Health insurance is mandatory for all international students in Argentina. Students participating in a global program of any duration are required to have international health insurance, usually included in the program costs and provided by your academic institution or program provider. If you are traveling independently, research international options available to you within your current health care provider. You can also look into international health insurance companies that provide various plans and choose one that best suits the type and duration of your travels in Argentina. In the case of an emergency, be sure this information is easily accessible by storing your insurance card in a transportable and secure place, creating a copy of your health insurance card, or storing the information in your phone. It is also helpful to be aware of nearby hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in case you are in need of these services or resources. Here are a few of the emergency numbers in Argentina to keep in mind:
911- Emergency Services
101- Emergency Services (Córdoba, Mendoza, Iguazú, Tucuman and Tierra del Fuego)
No matter where you are in the world, whether it is your hometown or a new city, it is important to be alert and practice awareness of your surroundings. Argentina is a generally safe country, but travelers should still exercise normal safety precautions. While Argentina does not have a high rate of violent crime, the most common crimes are petty theft and tourists scams such as pickpocketing There are many giveaways that can signal someone is a tourist from accent and Spanish language proficiency to something as subtle as mannerisms and the way one walks. The goal is not to mask that you are a visitor, but to protect your belongings and ensure you do not fall victim to these crimes. Here are a few tips:
- Be aware of your surroundings- check local guides about the neighborhoods you plan to stay and visit.
- Leave valuable items at home whenever possible and only travel with your necessities.
- Avoid being flashy or careless with valuable items.
- Ensure your bags and pockets are tight and completely zipped.
- Do not place handbags on the back of your chair or on the floor at a restaurant. Keep them in your lap.
- Do not leave your drink unattended.
- Have a travel partner when possible.
- Do not discuss travel plans, your room number, or any other personal information within earshot of strangers.
Funding & Scholarship Opportunities
There are many scholarships to fund your education abroad experience. Here is a list of Diversity Abroad scholarships available for study in Argentina, some of which can be applied to other types of international experiences:
For more scholarships, visit our Scholarships page.
In addition, many institutions and program providers offer scholarships for students participating in their programs. Be sure to check with your home institution’s