Working In Buenos Aires On Your Year Abroad
How did you spend your work placement in Buenos Aires?
I spent one year working at BAIS (organising events for students) in the first half. Worked at Nomah Cohub Coliving second half – doing events/social media for entrepreneurs who visit BA for work.
Working worked well for me because people who did uni seemed to only have one or two days of lectures per week. The rest of the time they seemed quite bored and unfulfilled. Working allowed me to do a few hours of work a day, which was perfect as it still but allowed me lots of free time to explore.
Would you recommend BA?
I would 100% recommend Buenos Aires as a city to others. Very friendly people, a lot going on and a lot to see, good nightlife, an extremely relaxed culture, cheap compared to Europe! More westernized than a lot of South America so I found it easy to settle in.
It is an amazing city with a mix of people from many different cultures. It is very easy, however, to stick to a group of English people. Try and find yourself a group of South Americans to live with/socialise with at least some of the time in order to improve your Spanish. Although it’s great to have people from England to help you settle in, it is far too easy to spend all your time with them and end up speaking 0 Spanish.
How did you spend your placement?
I was in Buenos Aires for 5 months working as an English Teaching Assistant at a Language Institute. It was a great place to meet new people and provided the best opportunity to teach students of different ages. The teachers I worked with were very friendly and happy to help you both professionally and personally. As well as discussing the British culture with the students, I in turn had the chance to learn lots about the Argentine culture, which included going on excursions with some of the students.
My only reservation is that, with any english teaching position, it is more difficult to practice Spanish with others, as they are being actively encouraged NOT to speak in Spanish! That being said, I would definitely take the opportunity to go back and do this again!
As a country, it was a fantastic experience that I am very grateful to have done. Thankfully I did not have too many lows throughout my time in Argentina. The support I had from the friends I had with me, the couple I lived with and the staff from the Institute made any obstacle easier to overcome. That being said, it can at time be difficult to be far away from home. As it is that much more expensive to visit, it is also not guaranteed that someone can come to see you. And so maintaining virtual contact, whether this be Facetime, email, text messaging, is essential!
How did you spend your placement?
5 Months working for The Bubble, an online news platform for english-speaking expats. Would definitely recommend if your interested in journalism – working with a start-up and a small team meant I was able to be one of their lifestyle writers, which wouldn’t necessarily be the case in a larger company (had kittle experience in journalism).
Though most of the staff were native Spanish-speakers, you do write in English. If you apply for the job then maybe live with Spanish speakers. I had to make more of a conscious effort to hang out with Spanish speaking people.
Would you recommend it?
I’d recommend it. 100%. Although it was very full on – definitely need weekend breaks away from the city! Accent isn’t as scary as everyone pitches it to be – after a week or two you quickly get accustomed to it.
Why did you choose Buenos Aires?
I chose to move to Buenos Aires on a bit of a whim, enticed by vague ideas of delicious wine, steak and tango. We completed a TEFL course during third year (in hindsight, a mistake on top of the degree), saved a bit of money after graduating, did a bit of Duolingo, and set off. It took a few weeks to find work, there are quite a few agencies that will help you find contacts, such as ‘tuprofedeingles’ and ‘beelingue’ – however, they can also take quite a significant cut of your pay so watch out! Once you establish a good relationship with your students they will recommend you to friends and colleagues and you can build your own network.
We did the TEFL Academy online course which was around £200 and included 148 hours of (quite dry) online learning and a twenty-hour intensive weekend course. It’s not exactly thrilling but it does the job if you just want the basics and the certificate. Another option is the CELTA course, which costs a lot more and is far more intense, but will give you better experience, more confidence and more job opportunities.
Overall, how was it?
Overall, my experience in Buenos Aires was unforgettable: I’d return in a heartbeat and I’d recommend it to anyone. Just remember to go exploring, to make Argentinian friends and, most of all, to be patient – things might not work as smoothly as they do in the UK, but they certainly have some valuable lessons to teach us about slowing down and experiencing everything it has to offer.
This article dates back to pre COVID-19.