Argentina Immersion

Trip Details

Trip duration: Four weeks
When: March 21 - April 18, 2012 (That's late summer in South America!)
Dates subject to +/- 1 day shift based on airfare availability.
Where: Argentina
Departure/Arrival City: Miami / Buenos Aires
Who: 6-8 students ages 15-20 plus leaders Blake Boles and Ingmar Nilsen. A minimum of six students is required to run this trip.
How Much: $2995 program fee includes accommodations, breakfasts & dinners, and all transportation and group activities within Argentina.
Program fee does not include airfare, lunch money, spending money, and entrance fee. See the FAQ.
Application Status: Full with six students.
Priority Application Deadline: Enrollment closed for this trip at the end of December. (The original priority application deadline was October 11, 2011.)

Former student and staff, Ingmar Nilsen, in Argentina (2011)

Trip Purposes

Each Unschool Adventure trip is created with specific purposes in mind. Here's what the Argentina D.I.Y. Immersion Strike Force (or just Argentina Immersion for short) will set out to accomplish:

Learning Tons of Spanish

This is an immersion trip, which means our goal is to learn as much Spanish as possible. But this is also a D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) trip, which means that we won't do immersion with formal classes and homestays. Instead, we'll learn Spanish by meeting and talking with real-life Argentines!


We'll accomplish this by seeking out local volunteer groups, college groups, Couchsurfing hosts, trip leaders' personal contacts, and other local Argentine college students, teens, and retirees with whom we can practice our Spanish. In exchange for helping us learn, we'll offer to help our "teachers" practice their English, buy them coffee, cook them dinner, or simply bribe them with our kindness. Students on this trip will get the chance to make a TON of new friends, contacts, and acquaintances in a foreign country, while enjoying the supervision and guidance of Unschool Adventures trip leaders. An opportunity like this cannot be easily found elsewhere!

While this trip will emphasize positive interactions with friendly strangers, we will take precautions to ensure that none of our language practice turns into an unsettling or unsafe encounter. Each of our immersion activities will be supervised by an Unschool Adventures staff member and students will never meet with strangers alone or in a non-public place.

To prepare for this kind of immersion learning, students will need to sharpen their Spanish skills prior to departure. In the months leading up to the trip, we'll ask our students to prepare with a Spanish class, instructional software (e.g. Rosetta Stone), one-on-one tutoring, or other form of conversational practice. Previous Spanish language experience will be helpful, but it's not mandatory.

Photo (right): South America student Wyatt enjoys chocolate milk from a bag: a South American speciality!

Traveling Everywhere and Learning How to Run a Trip

View Larger Map

Another great part of this trip is that we won't just stay in one place; we will travel all over Argentina! From the plains of Patagonia to the Andean foothills, nowhere will be off-limits. The trip will begin and end in Buenos Aires, but otherwise we will follow no pre-set itinerary. Students will participate in planning the trip's destinations and activities through group meetings. Each student will bring an Argentina guidebook on the trip with which to research potential destinations, costs, and activities.

We won't be hopping flights to Tierra del Fuego whenever we feel like it, of course. Group travel and activity decisions will need to fall within our budget, and in the case of indecision the staff will hold final decision-making power.

If you're interested in becoming an independent international traveler, this trip is a fantastic opportunity for you to plan, budget, and execute a long-term foreign adventure.

Endless Adventuring

Finally, we'll take time to enjoy ourselves on this trip. Half of our days will be language immersion while the other half will be group-elected activities. Hiking, biking, dancing, bar-be-ques, movies, volunteering, games, chocolate-tasting, and swimming are all on the table--as well as adventures that we haven't yet dreamed up. Based on the group members' interests, energy levels, and budget planning skills, we'll plan a wide variety of fun activities.

Don't worry. We'll sleep sometimes, too.

Hiking trip in Argentina, 2008 Argentina Trip

Accommodations and Food

Our group will stay in Argentine youth hostels, with which our previous groups have had 100% positive experiences. Virtually every hostel will offer hot showers, dorm beds, and secure storage lockers, and many have computer or wi-fi access. Hostels offer a great opportunity to meet other travelers from Europe, Australia, and dozens of other countries. Unschool Adventures groups are often big enough to rent out entire dorm rooms.

A simple breakfast will typically be provided by the hostel, and dinners will be purchased and prepared by staff (with student assistance). Unschool Adventures strives to provide a wide variety of healthy and nutritious food options; we typically offer vegetarian dinners with an occasional meat option. Lunches are the student's responsibility to purchase—your chance to explore Argentina's many cafes, grocery stores, and restaurants with friends!

Please recognize that Argentina is very difficult for vegans and gluten-restricted diets. If you have one of these diets, be prepared to eat simple and repetitious meals.

Students outside a hostel, 2008 Argentina Trip


Everyday Activities

Group meeting, 2011 South America Trip

Argentines tend to eat dinner around 10pm and go sleep at 2am or beyond. If we're hanging out with the locals, be prepared for late summer nights and late morning wake-ups!


Arrival and Departure Logistics

Our meeting location for the trip is Miami International Airport. Students will arrive at Miami airport via individual flights and then fly as a group to Buenos Aires.

At the end of the trip, the group will depart from Buenos Aires and return to Miami International. From Miami, students will take individual flights home.

Students Cooper and Josh in Bariloche, Argentina 2008

That's It!

That's our trip! It's going to be a fantastic adventure in beautiful late summer Argentina. Unschool Adventures doesn't repeat international trips (each one is new), so if you're interested in Argentina Immersion, sign up now! Only a few spaces remain.

Contact us via e-mail or phone and we'll be happy to answer your questions.


Frequently Asked Questions

Please read our general International FAQ for answers to common questions.

Q: How much are the extra costs on this trip?

A: The program fee does not include certain variable costs including: Argentina entrance fee, airfare, lunch money, and personal money.

International airfare from Miami to Buenos Aires varies widely, with a conservative estimate of $1200. Four weeks' lunches at $5/day are $140. The Argentina entrance fee is $140 and lasts for 10 years. We recommend bringing at least $150 for spending money (for snacks, gifts, etc.). In total, the estimated extra costs (without domestic airfare to Miami) are $1630.

Q: How can I keep in touch with my student/family?

A: Students will have internet access opportunities at internet cafes commonly found in most Argentine cities for roughly $1/hr. Skype is an excellent way to keep in touch with people at home. Trip leaders will be available via e-mail for everyday questions and concerns. They will also carry an international cell phone that parents may call in case of emergency.

Q: How will students keep in touch with each other and the trip leaders?

A: Students will have access to our international calling card which they can use to call trip leaders or family in case of emergency. Trip leaders will always carry a Argentina-based cell phone which parents may call in case of emergency.

Q: What's the plan for health safety?

A: Argentina has a large system of public and private hospital. All students are required to have health insurance (available through a traveler's insurance policy). Trip leaders are trained in wilderness medicine in case of emergency away from the city. Unschool Adventures has a perfect safety record and we intend to keep it that way.

Q: What kind of food will there be?

A: Argentine food is similar to Italian food: lots of pasta, bread, vegetables, meat, and fruit. Group breakfasts commonly include cereal, milk (in a bag!), eggs, toast, and fruit. Group dinners commonly include pasta, veggies, stir-fry, salad, "Mexican" (as close as we can get), and burgers.

Q: I have special dietary restrictions. Will I be okay?

A: Omnivores and vegetarians fare fine in Argentina. Vegans struggle. Gluten-free is very challenging.

Q: When is the program fee due?

To secure the student's space on the trip, a $500 deposit is required after interviewing (payable via PayPal). On January 1, 2012, the balance of the program fee is due (payable via check or money order).

Q: How can I afford this trip?

A: Check out our fund raising suggestions for tips on raking up that dough! And don't forget that the program fee is due right after Christmas...a tuition contribution might make a good Christmas present!

2008 students by Lago Nahuel Huapi, Bariloche, Argentina