Country Overview

Argentina, a vast South American country, is home to landscapes ranging from the wild and remote Patagonia in the south to the lively, legendary city of Buenos Aires to the north. With such varied landscapes and a plethora of cultural influences, Argentina assures a rich experience for study abroad. Buenos Aires, a thoroughly cosmopolitan city, offers everything the traveler could want. Picture evening tango performances, strolls through colonial streets and picnics in picturesque parks. Savor a cup of yerba maté, the traditional Argentine tea, or enjoy an asado, the barbeque that is the pride of the country. Outside of the capital, one has easy access to some of the world's tallest peaks, most expansive deserts, dense jungles, and the sweeping plains of the Pampas. Here the mythical Gaucho and lovely estancias, or ranches, invite you to another time. The rich history of the indigenous peoples and numerous immigrant groups adds to the intense flavor that defines Argentina. The country is a complete sensory experience; not only an ideal country to learn the Spanish language, but also the ideal site to learn about a truly unique yet diverse culture in some of the most varied landscapes on the planet.

Fast Facts

Population: 39 million

Population of Buenos Aires: 2,776,138

Time Zone: GMT/UTC minus 3 hours. 2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time.

Geographic Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Chile and Uruguay. Buenos Aries is located on the southern shore of the Río de la Plata and is opposite Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay.

Highest Point: Cerro Aconcagua 6,960 meters (22,834 ft.) is located in the northwestern corner of the province of Mendoza and is the largest mountain in the world outside of the Himalayas.

Governmental System: Argentina has a presidential, republican, representative and federal government system. The country is divided into 23 provinces and one federal territory (the city of Buenos Aires) and each of them is self-governed.

People: Most people from Buenos Aires (called porteños) have European ancestry. Spanish and Italian descent is the most common. Other European origins include German, Portuguese, Polish, Irish, French, Croatian and English. In the 1990s there was a small wave of immigration from Romania and Ukraine. There is a small minority of mestizos, that date back to the Spanish colonial days, and has increased mostly as a result of immigration from the other provinces and from nearby countries such as Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay. There are also Arab (mostly Syrian and Lebanese) and Armenian communities in the city. The Jewish community of Buenos Aires numbers around 250,000 and is the largest Jewish community in Latin America. Most are of Eastern European origin. The first East Asian community in the city was the Japanese. Since the 1970s there has been an influx of immigration from China and Korea.
Spanish in Argentina: Spanish is the language that is spoken in almost all of Latin America. The accent in Buenos Aires is very unique and takes a little time to get used to. The two main differences are the use of "vos" to say "you" (normally "tu" in other countries) and the pronunciation of the Spanish "y" and "ll" (both of which are pronounced as the sound "sh" as in shout in English).

Climate: Mostly temperate; arid in southeast, sub Antarctic in southwest. Argentina has the rich plains of the Pampas in the northern half, the flat to rolling plateau of Patagonia in the south, and the rugged Andes Mountains along its western border. The landscape of the city and surrounding province is mainly flat with two low mountain ranges: Sierra de la Ventana and Sierra de Tandil.  The climate in Buenos Aires is strongly influenced by the ocean with hot summers and temperate winters. Humidity is high and precipitations are abundant and distributed over the year. Buenos Aires has a temperate climate and temperatures average around 35°C (94°F) in January to 10°C (50°F) in July. During the Northern Hemisphere summer months it is winter in Argentina. The winter days are normally mild and nice but a cold snap could come so always plan and pack accordingly!

Country Holidays:

Jan 1st

Año Nuevo (New Year's Day)

Floating

Jueves Santo (Holy Thursday). If the date falls on a Tuesday or Wednesday, the holiday is the preceding Monday. If it falls on a Thursday or a Friday then the holiday is the following Monday 

 Floating 

Viernes Santo (Holy Friday). If the date falls on a Tuesday or Wednesday, the holiday is the preceding Monday. If it falls on a Thursday or a Friday then the holiday is the following Monday. 

Mar 24th Memorial Day (Anniversary of the coup d'état that started the dictatorial rule of the Proceso in 1976) 
Apr 2nd Día de las Malvinas (Tribute to the fallen in the Malvinas/Falklands War) 
May 1st Día del Trabajo (Labor Day) 
May 25th Revolución de Mayo (Anniversary of the first independent government) 
Jun 20th Día de la Bandera (National Flag Day) 
Jul 9th Día de la Independencia (Declaration of independence from Spain) 
Aug 17th Día del Libertador José de San Martín (The holiday is always the third Monday of the month) 
Oct 12th Día de la Hispanidad (Columbus Day) 
Dec 8th  Immaculada Concepción (Immaculate Conception) 
Dec 24th Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) 
Dec 25th Navidad (Christmas Day)