Where to Go - South America
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Population : 36,955,000
Literacy rate : 96.2%
Life expectancy at birth : male 71.67 yrs; female 78.61 yrs
Infant mortality rate : 18.31 deaths/1,000 live births
Population growth rate : 1.16%
GDP growth rate : -3%
GDP per capita : £6,800
Unemployment : 14%
Inflation rate : -2%
TI index : 3.5
Climate : mostly temperate, arid in southeast, subantarctic in southwest
Time : GMT 3
Electricity : 220v AC, 50Hz. Plugs are 2 pin round in older buildings and 3 pin flat in newer ones.
Argentine Embassy in UK has some useful link sites - http://www.argentine-embassy-uk.org/
Buenos Aries is a city with a strong and old cultural tradition. Do not forget that this was once (together with Rio de Janeiro) the place to go in South America. The interior can still be very much on the rustic side, but fascinating all the same. Argentinians are proud but hospitable people and you will find them to be courteous and friendly on the whole. However do remember that the Falklands/Malvinas conflict is still very much in the national memory, as are the unfortunate results of the US/UK inspired military madness it was part of. Stay well away from politics and/or political jokes.
Spanish (essential if you want to make local friends), French (if you want to impress people), Italian (there are many second and third generation Italians in South America) and German (to speak to the older generation) are all languages which will be useful. There is still a certain snob value in being British; after the Second World War, Britain bought a great deal of beef from this country, but had no money to pay. The British paid by installing tramways, waterworks and other utilities. Some of these things are still running well today. On the music front, try to listen to some of Astor Piazzollas records. While he was alive, he made some most haunting tango music that quite transcends its category.
The horrendous inflation of a few years ago has been brought under control and the country seems to be taking the task of solving its problems rigid labour laws and whole provinces deeply in debt very seriously. Other information that may be of use is that the telephone system frequently ceases to function during rainstorms. Take care when walking between parked cars; the handbrake is usually left off and prospective parkers simple push the rank along to insert their car, if you are caught in between cars, you may be injured. Traffic lights have a purely decorative function. There are wonderful beaches to visit, if in or near Buenos Aries, and there is always the beach at Punte del Este in Uruguay, only a short distance away, where the rich and famous cavort. A bridge has been proposed to link the two countries across the River Plate. If it is built will greatly contribute to trade and communication.
To sum up; a nice place to visit,
To get a Business Visa you will need a letter of introduction from your employer. Fee is around £20. It is possible to work on a five-month renewable tourist visa.
You will need malaria shots for some areas (mainly in the interior to the north) but Hepatitis A is a good idea, as is Typhoid and Polio. Conditions of hygiene in the interior may leave something to be desired.
Tax and Insurance
If you register with the tax office you will pay around 15%. Argentinian hospitals are expensive but get good medical insurance.
The British Embassy
Gap Year Programmes
Click here to find gap year programmes and placements in Argentina