MAJOR FAQ-ARGENTINA

Internship in Argentina

INTERNSHIP PROGRAM FEES & DATES:

ABOUT IFRE'S ARGENTINA INTERNSHIP PROGRAM (IN GENERAL)

Important Information

Argentina is a developing country where 36% of the population (13.2 million), including 4.5 million children under 14 years old, cannot meet their basic needs (food, housing, health and education). Of these 4.5 million children, 1.3 million do not receive their daily food needs at all.

Argentina has a larger middle class/educated population than most of South and Central American countries. In addition, Argentineans have very little aboriginal (original natives) features (they look like Europeans), unlike most South and Central American people.

Due to safety reasons, IFRE interns do not access to the places (and social projects) where the poorest people live. Dire circumstances breed desperate measures and we wish to keep our intern travelers safe.

Argentina 's infrastructure within the major cities and various tourism destinations appears to be that of a developed European country for foreign visitors and thus occasionally interns may be led to believe that there is no need for their efforts in the internship projects. But there is a very dire need and it cannot always be perceived visually.

How long has IFRE been organizing internships in Argentina ? With whom do interns work? Where are the projects located? What are IFRE's programs?

IFRE has been running internship projects for since 2005 throughout Latin America . We work with a number of NGOs, governmental organizations, non-profits and communities. IFRE's internship projects in Argentina are located in Córdoba. The city of Córdoba boasts numerous exciting opportunities for interns to see a city with a bright future that maintains echoes of its colonial and culture-rich past. Córdoba's vibrant culture has produced a number of influential writers and its own musical style known as “El Cuarteto” (in addition to classical, jazz, rock, pop and techno). There are also many monuments, lively festivals, pleasant theaters and a pulsing nightlife. Interns reside in accommodations located just minutes from the downtown area. This unique living situation is often conducive to fellow interns getting to know each other. These accommodations also house our local operator's headquarters – ensuring vital and constant contact with our in-country coordinators.

Currently, IFRE offers the following projects in Argentina : Disadvantaged Children/Children At-Risk, English-Teaching, Children with Disabilities, as well as NGO Projects within the fields of Human and Environmental Rights.

ALSO: IFRE offers free Tango lessons to participants interning in Argentina .

APPLYING FOR THE ARGENTINA INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

Please read IFRE's 4-step application process **I believe the steps description in Kenya is best written, it is different than this one. I edited it more.

There are two options for applying to Argentina 's internship programs. You can apply online ( http://www.ifrevolunteers.org/apply-now.php ) or you can simply download an application form, fill it out and mail it into IFRE's offices. Participants are required to submit their application with a $349 application fee plus the program fee for the number of weeks you choose. However to simply start the placement process, all that is needed upfront is a $200 deposit which will be deducted from the final invoice. This non-refundable deposit from you is required to ensure the validity of the application.

Once IFRE receives your application, we immediately forward it to Argentina for processing. The in-country coordinator in Argentina reviews the application carefully to determine the most optimal project possible. Decisions pertaining to room and board are made at this time - depending on the location of the project. The vast majority of participants stay in fully immersed in-home stays.

Once IFRE receives the details of the participants' placements, the information is then passed on to the prospective participants along with a final invoice. Final payment is due six weeks prior to departure and, in expedited cases, as soon as possible. The placement details contain local contact information to be used when applying for a visa and/or to get in touch with the local staff and host family.

Preparation for trips should include reading about Argentina , immunization, acquiring a travel visa and booking airfare. If you face any problems, IFRE's Program Manager is always available for any assistance.

IMPORTANT: Once participants purchase airline tickets, we request flight information be forwarded to IFRE's US office by fax or email. Participants' flight information will then be forwarded to the in-country coordinator in Argentina , who will then arrange an airport pick-up.

VISAS

IFRE requires all interns apply for a tourist visa before leaving for Argentina . Though USA , UK and Canadian citizens are able acquire a visa at the airport, this could be time consuming and approval is not guaranteed. Interns can acquire an Argentinean visa from the Argentinean Embassy or consulate in their home countries.

For more information, please visit: http://www.learn4good.com

For stays exceeding 90 days, travelers must apply for an extension within the first week of arrival with the Argentinean Immigration Department or exit the country for a minimum of 72 hours before re-entering on a new visa.

HEALTH AND SAFETY
Being informed is your first defense against disease and safety risks. We recommend reviewing some of the following websites for health and safety information and follow their instructions:

• World Health Organization website for international travelers ( http://www.who.int )

Centers for Disease C ontrol & Prevention
Health Canada Online
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Travel Report
U.S. State Department & Consular Information Sheets
Travel Health Online
Travelers' Health

HEALTH AND SAFETY IN ARGENTINA
Public water is not considered safe to drink in most of Argentina . When traveling to the beaches or very rural areas, drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or sealed bottles. Tap water should not be considered safe at the beaches nor fountain drinks and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by both filtering through an "absolute 1 micron or less" filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. "Absolute 1 micron filters" can be found in camping/outdoor supply stores.

Buy bottled water from respectable outlets/vendors to guard against digestive or intestinal issues. Ensure that the seal of the bottle is intact as it is not uncommon for local street merchants to sell tap water in resealed bottles.

The most common health complaint in any developing nation is upset stomach or diarrhea/vomiting. In many cases, the illness may be attributed merely to a change in diet, but occasional cases of food poisoning can occur, whereby the symptoms occur very quickly, severely and explosively. These are seldom serious or extended illnesses, but medical treatment should be sought if it occurs. Your local in-country coordinator can assist in an emergency.

Avoid eating food purchased from road side stalls/vendors. Don't eat unpeeled fruits or fruits that have already been cut by unknown handlers on the street. If you are forced to eat food at an unfamiliar location, ensure the food is served hot.

If you require any prescription drugs, bring enough for the duration of your stay in Argentina . They will need to be carried in the original prescription bottle and the prescription must be in your name.

It is advisable that you carry a small health kit which should include remedy for upset stomachs, some antiseptic cream, hydration powder, deer mosquito repellant, sun block, band aids, etc.

VACCINATIONS/IMMUNIZATIONS
We recommend all interns/participants visit the Center for Disease Control's website ( www.cdc.gov ) for traveler's health recommendations. Your health care provider will be knowledgeable about current epidemics and should be consulted.

Recommended Vaccinations and Preventive Medications

The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to South America, including Argentina . Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

  • Hepatitis A  or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.
  • Hepatitis B , especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not receive the series as infants.
  • Malaria: if you are traveling to a malaria-risk area in this region, see your health care provider for a prescription anti-malarial drug. For details concerning risk and preventive medications, see  Malaria Information for Travelers to South America and Mexico .
  • Rabies , if you experience extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities.
  • Typhoi d  vaccine. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors.
  • Yellow fever  , for travelers to endemic areas in Panama .
  • As needed, booster doses for  tetanus-diphtheria  and  measles .
  • Precaution again Malaria.
  • Required Vaccinations.
  • None

The best prevention of mosquito born diseases is long-sleeves and pants (especially in the early evening) in addition to using insect repellants. This area of Argentina has no malaria, but there are other mosquito-carried/transmitted diseases, such as Dengue fever, that are just as severe and there is no vaccine, just prevention through clothing and repellent.

MONEY MATTERS
What is the currency of Argentina ? What is the exchange rate? Where should I change my dollars? Can I use a debit card or credit card? Should I bring travelers checks?

Argentina 's local currency is the Argentina Peso (ARS) (locally known as “Pesos Argentino”). Dollars can be changed at the exchange houses in the airport. Many businesses accept dollars at the current exchange rate. ATM machines are available in various regions throughout Argentina , especially Córdoba and the airport where the option of US dollars or Argentinean Pesos are available.

Do not arrive in Argentina without any cash as ATM machines can be down or fail to accept your card. It is wise to check with your bank ahead of time to confirm that your card will work overseas. It is important to alert your bank that you will be travelling abroad to avoid your credit/debit card being flagged with fraudulent activity and thus requiring international phone calls to your bank. Debit cards and credit cards are becoming more often accepted at major stores; however, they are still not accepted as widely as in your home country. Credit card fraud is a big issue in Argentina . Do not use your cards at any smaller or non-reputable locations. Travelers' checks must be exchanged in a bank as most retail locations will not accept them. Debit cards are the best way of getting money and ATM machines are located in Cordoba . Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in some of the large stores and hotels in larger cities but may not be widely accepted in smaller cities and not at all in the villages.

Find the Exchange Rate for Argentina Pesos (ARS) at  http://www.xe.com/ucc/

How much money you will require will depend on your personal spending habits. Thrifty people can get by on less than $10/day. Your budget should also include money to explore Argentina in your free time as well as for your personal use.

FIELD SUPPORT AND SUPERVISION
How does IFRE support me when I am in the field in Argentina ? How can I maintain communication? Do you visit me?

Once your internship program begins, our local staff members stay in constant touch with you. We visit our interns every 2-4 weeks (if possible) and you are always welcome at the office. We recommend that the interns stop by the office once a week, if they are staying/working in the local area, to give feedback on their home stay and project. Many minor issues can be avoided with a just little extra communication before they develop into major issues. Your project will have local staff members in addition to our in-country coordination staff. If your project is located a great distance from our offices, then our local staff communicates by either email and/or phone.

We are available for you at the local office via email and phone for your entire trip. It's our job to make sure that you are safe and healthy. Interns usually stay in our guesthouse, which also doubles as the headquarters for our Argentinean coordinators, so interns have direct contact with their coordinators.

COMMUNICATION
How do I communicate with my family? With IFRE staff members? Is there internet available?

There are a number of internet cafes located in some of the major cities, like Córdoba, and usually cost about $1/hour. There are also international phone cards available for purchase to make international calls. Also, please use local phone cards for local calls as every minute of local or international use is billed to your host family. If you need to contact the local IFRE staff members, the families will generally allow you to use the phone for short periods.

CLIMATE IN ARGENTINA
Yahoo Weather forecast (  http://weather.yahoo.com  )

Weather channel (  http://www.weather.com  )

Weather Underground (  http://www.wunderground.com  )

Argentina climate is quite diverse and is usually temperate in the central regions.

ITEMS TO BRING
Most items needed for daily use are available in Argentina at a reasonable price. However, we suggest interns pack the following items:
  • Camera
  • Unlocked Mobile phone
  • Sleeping bag
  • Mosquito repellents
  • Insect repellents
  • Sun-block
  • Argentina travel books
  • Map of Argentina
  • Toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Flash light
  • Electricity adapter/converter
  • Sunglasses
  • Shoes/boots (for work and travel)
  • Towel
  • Hot weather clothing, but keep clothing conservative
  • Jeans or pants or skirts
  • Swimsuit
  • Long-sleeve shirt and jacket for cooler areas or evening wear
  • Raingear (especially during the rainy season)
What gifts should I bring for my project and/or host family?
  • It is a common courtesy to bring a small gift for the staff who will be your hosts. You are not required to do so, but if you choose to bring a gift it can simple. We suggest a box of chocolates, a t-shirt with a hometown/country logo, pictures of your family and local post card.
  • If you want to bring gifts for your project and if you are working for an orphanage or a school, please bring pencils, pens and paper, art supplies like markers and construction paper pads, as well as games for the children to enjoy. Remember that every child will need these items so you may wish to bring enough for a number of children.
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