Overview of Argentina
For finding a place to live, most universities will offer you help. Options range from students houses, home stays, youth hostels and apartments.
At students houses you will live with students from all over the world, and your room can be shared or not. Home stays are a great opportunity to live with an Argentine family and learn about the culture, but you will have to adjust yourself with the family rules. Youth hostels in Argentina are specially cheap and known for their good quality, and we highly recommend staying at one of them if your exchange program isn’t that long. Last, but not least, apartments already furnished can cost about USD700 per month, with all the utilities included, and you can share with friends, making it one great option for those who are going to stay for a long time.
■ Transportation system
For Buenos Aires, the main destination for international students, the public transportation is well organized. Don’t expect the cleanest subway, but it works on time and is very cheap (around USD 0.30 one way). Taxis are also a good option if want some comfort, but there are many scams such as giving fake bills as change and taking longer ways to reach the destination. City buses are also a cheap and good option.
In major cities, there are plenty supermarkets and shopping malls. For grocery shopping, every neighborhood will have a supermarket where you can buy daily supplies. Many of them have imported goods, so maybe you will find something from back home, especially if you are from Europe.
Argentina has reasonable prices for leather goods, especially if you go to some place not very famous. Some gifts brands from Argentina are also very original and you won’t find the same design back home. Another nice thing to buy there are glasses: there are stores entirely dedicated to them, where you can find brand-new vintage glasses and unique design ones.
Meat, alfajor, milk jam, wine and empanadas are widely well-known in Latin America as Argentine culinary. The meat is one of the best in the world and you will eat a lot of parrilla – the Argentine barbecue. Alfajor is a cook sandwich filled with, generally, milk jam and covered with chocolate or sugar. The wine is produced mainly in Mendoza and exported to many destinations. Do you know what empanadas are? They are a kind of bread, stuffed with meat or cheese. Sometimes you will find other fillings, but it can’t go wrong if it’s meat or cheese. Once you try it for the first time, you can’t stop eating. Since it’s baked, it can be very healthy.
Argentina was an immigration destination from middle XIX century, making the contemporary country a mix of many cultures. There are many European descendants and many Jew descendants – so many that it is not difficult to find kosher food. Buenos Aires has a somewhat European atmosphere, with some old buildings and also some hipster neighborhoods.
The tango is said to be created in Argentina and it’s easy to watch their dance shows in the main cities. They aren’t very cheap, but it’s very interesting and touching.
Also, Buenos Aires is the home of various museums and art and cultural centers, being called as the Latin America capital of culture.