Day 1 (Sunday) Arrive to Buenos Aires (either EZE or AEP airport) and say “hola” to the Porteños of Argentina’s capital. After clearing customs and immigration, you’ll be met and taken to your apartment, usually a 40-minute drive, depending on traffic. No matter the time of arrival, the process is the same so no worries regarding your flight time. Meet your local host and other students/volunteers in the apartment (if applicable) and settle in to your new home.
Day 2 (Monday) Have an early breakfast as you will need to be at the Spanish institute bright and early at 8am for a Spanish level test. Then at 9am there is a new student orientation session to explain important aspects of the classes and services of the school. Afterwards, you will head to class, which goes until 1pm.
After lunch with your new classmates we’ll take an orientation tour of the downtown area of the city. Our on-site staff will show you around and point out important sites as well as explain how to use the bus and subway, where to get a cell phone and to exchange money.
Later in the afternoon we’ll meet the volunteer co-ordinator to go over expectations of your work, your schedule, the project rules, regulations and procedures and you’ll be presented with your volunteer t-shirt, which must be worn during volunteer activities.
Days 3 to 6 (Tuesday to Friday) In week 1, you will spend 4 hours each morning in Spanish class developing your language skills. There’s an hour for lunch before the volunteer group meets for transfer to the community centre.
Activities are organised each afternoon at the day-care program, typically between 3pm and 6pm, and often on Saturdays too. Volunteers can select which activities they would like to participate in, so your volunteering can be as intensive as you wish, and there is flexibility for you to take time out to explore the city or take part in the range of activities organised by the school.
Days 7 and 8 (Saturday to Sunday) There are often volunteering opportunities on Saturdays, but otherwise you can spend your weekends as you please. The school has social activities planned like kayaking trips and neighbourhood tours or you can plan your own activities in the city. Take advantage of the many restaurants and cafés in the city as well as the vibrant nightlife. On a Saturday night, Porteños are up until morning dancing the night away at boliches (night clubs).
A popular day trip is also going to Colonia, Uruguay, about an hour from Buenos Aires by boat. You can visit another country and spend the day exploring a UNESCO World Heritage site – away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Weeks 2, 3 and 4 (Monday to Friday) Your mornings in subsequent weeks are free, however if you would like to continue your language development we can arrange another week of daily 4-hour Spanish classes for around AUD$350 – contact us before departure if you would like to do so.
In the afternoons you will continue at the project, further developing the relationships with the children, staff and fellow volunteers.
Your last day (Saturday) – hasta luego! Like all good things, your program has come to an end. The children will be sad to see you go but the short time that you spent with them will have a long-lasting effect on their early development. Our coordinators will be glad to help arrange a transfer back to the airport either with a taxi or a private car, payable locally.
Accommodation Volunteers will live in a shared apartment with a local host in one of the best neighbourhoods of the city with easy access to public transportation (bus and/or subway). Everyone will have a single bedroom and share bathrooms and common spaces. Some apartments just have one room for volunteers while others have multiple rooms. Meals are not included but volunteers have access to a fully-equipped kitchen to cook for themselves. Wi-Fi is guaranteed, there is a weekly cleaning service and sheets and towels are provided - all the hard stuff is done for you!
Meals This trip is self-catering – eat at your apartment or head out to a nearby restaurant. The neighbourhoods of Palermo, Recoleta and San Telmo are full of options from steak houses and pizza to sushi and empanadas (meat-filled pies).
Other Info The school has computers for student use as well as free Wi-Fi. There are two common areas to hang out before and after class time. The school offers a free luggage storage service in case you want to spend a few days or weeks travelling.
Public transportation is extensive in the city and quite cheap. Currently it is about $0.30 for a bus or subway right, making it the go-to choice for most volunteers.
We always recommend to bring clothes for all seasons and to bring layers. In the summer (December to February) it can be quite hot while in the winter (May to July) it is much colder.