Argentina is one of the best places to learn Spanish in South America, as long as you’re prepared to learn the local Castellano instead of the typical Latin American Spanish that is spoken from Mexico to Chile. There is a range of language schools to choose from all over the country, but to help you get a better idea of where best to study, we have rounded up the best places to pick up the lingo in Argentina.
Being the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires is of course the best place to study Spanish. With a huge array of Spanish language courses on offer, the variety ranges from individual classes with private teachers to group classes in Spanish schools to courses run by the University of Buenos Aires. If you are studying in a university abroad, look into exchange programs that are run with sister schools in Buenos Aires, as there is the potential to stay with an Argentine family, something which will fully immerse you in local culture and improve your Spanish much more quickly than staying in a hostel with non-Spanish speaking travelers.
Cordoba is a lively university city in the middle of Argentina, and for people looking to study Spanish, it can be a great place to spend a few weeks or months getting to grips with the nuances of Castellano – which in Cordoba is spoken with an especially strong accent, so if you’re looking for a challenge, this might just be the place for you. The national university also runs Spanish classes for foreigners, but there are other options too if you choose to study in a more flexible manner.
Rosario is a small port city located on the banks of the Parana River, and has much to offer the Spanish student. From lessons in Argentine history, this being the birthplace of the Argentine flag, to heady nights spent by the river, Rosario is a great alternative for people who are perhaps looking for a smaller-scale urban center in which to study Spanish, as Buenos Aires or Cordoba can be overwhelming to people who aren’t used to the big city.
Lovers of wine who want to brush up on their Spanish could do worse than choosing to study in the city of Mendoza. Mendoza city is one of the most beautiful places in Argentina, surrounded by incredible vineyards that benefit from their prime location in the foothills of the Andes. There are plenty of outdoor sports to partake in too, meaning Mendoza is also great for lovers of the outdoors. If you really want to up your Spanish game, try getting a job at one of the vineyards, or in the olive groves, as the restaurants often look for English-speaking staff in high season to serve tourists, so this is a great way to live and earn some money in Argentina while at the same time practicing your Espanol.
If you are involved in the hospitality industry, the small Argentine city of Puerto Iguazu in Misiones could be a great place for you to learn Spanish. The town is so tiny that school options are limited, but there is the opportunity to exchange English classes for Spanish with hotel staff, and similarly to Mendoza, bi-lingual staff are always appreciated in touristic high season in summer. Be warned, Iguazu is located in a jungle, so if you don’t deal well with heat and humidity, this town may not be for you!
Mar del Plata
Argentina’s most popular beach town has the best of both worlds – endless stretches of beaches that draw surfers all year round and holidaymakers in the summer, and a full-on city that has everything you might want from an urban center. There is a language school that offers Spanish courses, and Mar del Plata has far fewer expats and tourists than Buenos Aires, so you are more likely to come across locals, and thus improve your Spanish through experience and local contacts.
Another good option for lovers of the outdoors is the Patagonian city of Bariloche. This beautiful Alpine town might be of particular interest for anyone into winter sports, as it is home to Argentina’s premier ski resort, Cerro Catedral. Seasonaires looking to practice their Spanish can check out the resort from June to September, but if you don’t already have some Spanish, it may prove difficult to get a job. However, there are places to learn Spanish in the center of town, so you could combine skiing with a season of studying to really get the most out of Argentina in winter.