Please complete the following three steps at least two months before your arrival to Argentina. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to us any time by phone or email.
*IMPORTANT NOTE ON YOUR FLIGHT DATES*
As you book your flights, take into consideration that the official Argentina program arrival date is Saturday, February 1, 2020, and you must arrive to the Buenos Aires Ezeiza international airport (airport code EZE) before 12:30pm on this date. Keep in mind that most flights from the U.S. to Argentina are overnight, departing from the U.S. in the evening and arriving to Argentina the next morning, which means that you would look for a flight departing from the U.S. the evening of Friday, January 31. Please note that the beginning of the semester is a pre-semester Spanish course for international students. At the end of the semester your final exam schedule will vary depending on your courses and will be announced mid-way through the semester, but the last possible day for housing check out is July 31, 2020. Most student complete their final exams by the end of June.
1. pre-departure form
To help us prepare for your arrival, please complete the Pre-Departure Information Request Form by clicking the button below. Note that you will do an intensive Spanish course through your local university, so you do not need to sign up on the Puentes pre-departure form for our Spanish Jumpstart classes.
2. Code of Conduct
We believe that some simple rules and guidelines can go a long way to set a great tone for your Puentes experience. Please take a minute to review and agree to the Puentes Participant Code of Conduct.
3. WhatsApp Messenger
In Argentina, everyone uses WhatsApp to communicate, so please set yourself up for communication success by downloading WhatsApp. Then add the Puentes staff as contacts and send us each a WhatsApp test message with your “First Name Last Name PUENTES.” Puentes staff contacts to add: Ann +54 9 11 4196 5400; Alicia +54 9 11 5578 6848; Curt +54 9 11 6152 8134. When adding new WhatsApp contacts, be sure to include the plus sign (+), the country code (54 for Argentina), and the area code (9 11 for Buenos Aires).
Please continue to contact Puentes staff by email or phone for any non-urgent matters as you prepare for your time in Argentina. We will use WhatsApp as a way to connect in the case of urgent matters.
4. Semester Internship (Optional)
You have the unique opportunity to do a part-time internship during your semester in Buenos Aires so that you can gain professional experience, while becoming further immersed in the Argentine culture and language. To learn more about possible internship experiences, to share your internship preferences and objectives with us, and to submit your internship application, please visit the Semester Internship page for more information.
ADDITIONAL STEPS TO TAKE BEFORE TRAVELING
Set up one of the following two cell phone options for your local communication in Buenos Aires.
Unlock your U.S. cell phone and use a local Argentina SIM card. Contact your U.S. cell phone provider before your departure for Argentina and request that your phone be unlocked. In the Puentes Welcome Pack that you receive upon arrival to Argentina, we will give you a local SIM card, which you can use in your unlocked cell phone. With the local SIM card, you can buy cell phone credit to be used as needed for your local calls, texting, and data, and you can also rely on widely available Wi-Fi for free over-the-internet messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and FaceTime.
Set up an international cell phone plan with your U.S. cell provider. Contact your U.S. cell phone provider to check cell service rates for Argentina, and then change your current cell phone plan to one that allows for temporary international service.
Notify your credit and debit card banks about the dates during which you will be out of the country so that you will not be flagged for fraudulent activities. Also ask your bank to waive the ATM withdrawal fee as an exception during the time that you are abroad; some banks will do this and others will not, but it is always worth it to ask.
Make sure that passport is valid for at least six months after your last planned date in Argentina.
For U.S. citizens and nationals, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which is a free service to register your trip with the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires so that you will receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in the city during your stay. The registration is simple and can be done on the STEP website in a few minutes with your passport number, emergency contact information, and flight itinerary.
Leave the Puentes contact information with your family or point of contact.
Your passport and any other important travel documentation (Put these in your carry on bag - not in your checked bag.)
Prescription medication (Bring more than enough for your entire stay in Argentina.)
Preferred toiletries (If you use tampons with applicators, those are hard to find here.)
Debit card, credit card, some U.S. dollars in cash (Perhaps US$400 in US$100 bills; no need to bring Argentine pesos since you can withdraw them from ATMs upon arrival. Do review the Money section of the Living in Argentina page to consider which peso cash access option is best for you.)
Electronics (Argentine electricity is 220 V, 50 Hz, which is different than the 110V in many countries. When using a computer, generally there is a voltage converter on the plug that protects your computer, but with bigger electronics like hairdryers and hair straighteners, you might need a 220 to 110 volt transformer. Argentina uses a mix of European and Australian plugs: either a plug with two circular prongs or one with two flat blades in a V shape with or without a third blade below. You can either bring adaptors or buy them upon arrival in Buenos Aires.)
Medical certificate if you plan to join a gym (This can be a simple note from a doctor stating that you are in good health to undertake physical exercise in a gym.)
Suitcase lock to store any valuables while traveling
Foods you simply cannot live without
No need to pack towels or sheets; your housing provides them. We also recommend that you do not bring any expensive or irreplaceable jewelry or personal items so that you do not have to fret about them while adventuring.
A Note on Reciprocity Entrance Fee and Visas
As of March 2016, the Reciprocity Entrance Fee for US citizens has been suspended. Thus, if you are traveling with your US passport, you can simply enter Argentina at no cost on a 90-day tourist visa. During the first weeks of the semester, the staff at the Universidad Católica Argentina and the Puentes team will assist you in receiving your student visa which will be valid for the remainder of your stay. If you are entering Argentina on a passport from a country other then the US, please contact Boston College staff right away to check on any visa requirements for your time in Argentina.