Posts Tagged ‘Spanish classes in Argentina’

Top 10 iPhone Apps for Learning Spanish

Friday, April 29, 2011 13:48

Categories - Spanish, Student Stories - 6 Comments

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As I stated in last week´s blog, very rarely do I leave my house without my handy iPhone to help me navigate around the amazing city of Buenos Aires. In addition of finding great apps for the city, I have also found some wonderful apps to help me study Spanish… Here are my top 10 Spanish learning apps (including a couple of podcasts)!

1)      Basic Spanish for Dummies ($.99) – I think we are all familiar with this series of books that always simplify our lives by starting with the basics!  Its goal is to give you the essential vocabulary you´ll need to get around – greetings, expressions, directions, time, etc. I would strongly suggest to download this app a week or two before leaving, to get you started – your Expanish teachers will take it from there!

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2)      El Mejor Ahorcado ($.99) – We all get bored and like to play games on our phones as we are waiting in an airport or traveling on a bus, but now you can make it educational too! El Mejor AhorcadoThe Best Hangman,” will keep you entertained while also teaching you new Spanish words on the go.

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3)      BA Cast w/ Dan and Fernando Podcast – My newest found addiction that keeps me laughing as I walk through the streets of Buenos Aires and even on crowded subways!! Dan & Fernando (the expat & the local), give their own perspective of porteño culture and life on varied topics about fútbol, the Dirty War, rules of maté, fernet, and more! (While also schooling you on local lunfardoslang.”) This duo has just completed their first season, and I am anxiously awaiting more!!

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4)      Wordpower Spanish Lite (free) – Allows you to master Spanish one word at a time! Each day you are given a new word, with pronunciation by a native Speaker and the option to record yourself before moving onto the next word. Although this may seem like a slow process, it actually will help you build and retain your vocabulary “wordbank,” by reinforcing daily with practice flashcards!

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5)      Spanish Touch Trainer ($1.99) – This app will help you get accustomed to Spanish sentence structure, conjugation, and grammar in relation to English. Starting at a beginner or advanced level, you will be able to construct proper phrases one word at a time and earning points to make it more of a game! You will learn how to switch between tenses when telling a story about the past, present, and future, thus providing you with a greater proficiency in your conversations.

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6)      Gengo Quiz – Spanish ($4.99) – As you advance, you may want to quiz yourself so you can see just how far you have come! This app starts at a beginner´s level –Upper Intermediate, allowing you to gauge your progress. You may even surprise yourself how much you are learning.

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7)      Tune-in Radio ($.99) – Continue to embed yourself local porteño culture by tuning into local stations! Whether you are listening to talk radio, pop, or tango – you´ll pick up local expressions and the local beat of the city. And if you find a favorite radio show that you don´t want to miss, it even allows you to record stations to listen to later!

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8)      Gengo Grammar – Spanish ($9.99) – One of the hardest things about learning Spanish as an English speaker is learning a variety of grammar rules. Therefore this app is great in supporting your grammar at all levels while also aiding in a more extensive explanation. Along with your daily classes at Expanish – this is the perfect way to review and support your studies of adverbs, commands, passive voice, verb formation, etc…

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9)      Notes in Spanish Podcast – This podcast offers three different levels of oral conversation: Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced. The couple Ben (England) & Marina (Spain) discuss common topics such as music, social situations, holidays, etc. Although their accent is a very distinct Spanish accent, you can train you ear by listening to normal conversations on a variety of topics. It´s a great way to improve your audio skills and you can even follow up on their website for worksheets about each podcast!

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10)   Porteño Spanish ($.99) – One more fun thing about learning Spanish is learning the local slang or as the porteños would call “lunfardo.” This fun app is meant to help you understand and possibly incorporate some local jargon into your conversation! However keep in mind that some of the terms should not be used on a daily basis!

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Remember that we all have different ways of learning, so see which apps work best for you and your level! As well, let me know if you have any favorites not listed here!!

Suerte!

Casie

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Spanish Student´s Blog: Leaps & Bounds – What to expect out of your Expanish Spanish Classes in Buenos Aires

Thursday, February 3, 2011 8:11

Categories - Expanish News, Spanish, Student Stories - 0 Comments

la foto 4 300x224 Spanish Student´s Blog: Leaps & Bounds   What to expect out of your Expanish Spanish Classes in Buenos Aires

I am only in my third week here at Expanish and I can already tell that my Spanish has been improving by leaps and bounds! So what should you expect out of your classes…

Well, the morning bell rings at 9 am and classes begin. My professor Eduardo usually has us turn in our homework which could be a variety of exercises. One of my favorites is our vocabulary research – it´s not as boring as it sounds either. For example – words that end in “ero”: matadero, frutero, granjero, vinatero, etc… It’s a light way to start the morning and learn a ton of new words! The rest of the day is spent learning verb tenses and grammar – but in a fun and exciting way. We read about local history or the daily news, and discuss current events or attractions. Plus, I get to hear the adventurous things my classmates have done in the city. I get a daily tour guide to the city as an added bonus! Throughout my lessons, not only am I learning to sound porteño, but also learning common Spanish words and phrases used throughout Latin America.

Every day I feel more at ease in communicating with my classmates and expressing myself clearly.   I currently have 7 students in my class all of different nationalities: Brazilian, Slovakian, Swiss, and German. But throughout the school there are also people from France, Holland, Canada, England, Australian, and the list goes on! Since we are encouraged to speak in our classes, I am not only learning about Argentina, but also about countries from across the world.  I never imagined that I would become more worldly through my studies at Expanish in Buenos Aires!

Casie

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Expanish Student´s Blog: The Life of a New Spanish Student in Buenos Aires e

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 14:40

Categories - Argentina Travel Info, Buenos Aires City Attractions, Expanish News, Spanish, Student Stories - 2 Comments

DSC058491 300x225 Expanish Student´s Blog: The Life of a New Spanish Student in Buenos Aires e

A little about me… I am 29 years old and from New Orleans, Louisiana USA. I have been working as a professional since I graduated, but was looking for a change and a chance to vastly improve my Spanish over the next 3 months. I have briefly visited Buenos Aires or “BsAs” before and desperately wanted to return to the porteño lifestyle. A city so full of life, with a passion for music, art, dance, and great food.  Who wouldn´t?!

As a new student here at Expanish, I also have an opportunity to share all of my new experiences as they happen; to help others that may be interested in making their way to “Paris of the South.” There are so many new sounds, smells, and sights to take in, that the adventure has only begun.

My first day of class at Expanish was of course filled with anticipation, but the friendly staff here welcomed me as soon as I walked in the door! I took my placement test, apologized for my Spanish, and was told not to worry! That´s why you are here – to learn, and to improve. I was given my room number and off to class I went. The first couple of hours went rather smoothly, except for my timidness in speaking… but I know that will quickly change. And the short breaks gave me an opportunity to rest my mind… and check my email. To finish the day, all new students were given a nice orientation about the city, the school, and the staff. Overall, it was a complete success! First day jitters are normal at any school, especially when you are in a new country. But all fears were quelled from Murphy in the admissions department, to Paula with my curriculum, Marina at the front desk, and of course my professor Eduardo. With the support of the staff here I know that I will attain my goals over the next 3 months.

Ill be blogging each week about my experience so make sure you re-visit!

Casie

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Studying Spanish in Buenos Aires – The Refresher Classes

Thursday, January 20, 2011 15:29

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture, Spanish, Student Stories - 0 Comments

la foto 41 224x300 Studying Spanish in Buenos Aires   The Refresher Classes

Learning another language is very hard.  Even though I have studied Spanish in high school, college, studied abroad in Spain and had lived in Argentina for the past year, my Spanish still wasn’t where I would have liked it to be.  The main problem I had was that, although I could speak quickly and understand almost everything that was said to me, I developed numerous bad habits and misused a number of verbs and phrases that resulted in my Spanish sounding very “rough”.  Fortunately, given the fact that I worked for a Spanish language institute, I had access to some excellent Spanish teachers who could help me break these habits and teach me how to speak more fluidly.

On my first day of class, it was kind of weird getting used to “learning” again as it had been about 3 years since I had stepped foot into a classroom and the idea of doing Spanish exercises and working on pronunciation was a bit foreign.  The one thing that jumped out at me right away was how hard it was for me to talk about things and describe situations that I usually didn’t discuss with my friends, work collegues or during my day-to-day routine.  Like I said, I was stuck in a certain pattern of Spanish where I relied on my “surefire” verbs and vocabulary to communicate myself so to step out of this comfort zone was challenging to say the least.

The one thing that definitely helped me was my teacher’s approach to teaching; she immediately made me feel comfortable and told me to not be embarrassed or upset if I made an error, as this is the number one thing that holds people back from really improving their language skills.  Another thing that really assisted in my learning was trying different types of exercises.  From reading texts and doing a critical analysis on said text to writing essays to watching a movie in Spanish and describing what happened, these were things that I never would have done on my own but that paid immediate dividends as I (as well as my friends and colleagues) noticed that my Spanish really improved within a short amount of time.  Towards the end of my time taking classes (I took 2 months of individual lessons in total) I found myself completely committed to doing my homework, thinking about questions I had about Spanish that I could ask my professor and overall looking forward to each Tuesday when I got to meet with my teacher to improve my Spanish.

After having taken classes in Buenos Aires, I guess one piece of advice I have for those who are planning on taking classes during your time here is that you should really center your trip around your Spanish learning during your stay.  That isn’t to say that you should be studying day and night during your entire stay in Buenos Aires but rather you should take advantage of the fact that you are in a Spanish speaking country where your learning doesn’t have to end once you step out of the classroom.  Pay attention to what people say on the street and never hesitate to ask someone the meaning of a word that you don’t understand as most people are more than willing to correct your Spanish (and even teach you some lunfardo slang).  This way, you not only will have a blast living in a South American city and meeting awesome people but will also improve your Spanish skills; something that could benefit you both professionally and personally down the road.

Mike

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Comida que me gusta en argentina

Friday, December 3, 2010 14:15

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture, Argentine Recipes, Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Clubs - 0 Comments

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En Argentina, la comida siempre es la mejor excusa para reunirse. Pizzas  con amigos, pastas con la familia, ¡asados con todos!

El almuerzo favorito de mi infancia fue la milanesa con papas fritas y huevo frito, y los  asados que hacía mi papá, que por supuesto siempre eran los mejores! Toda la familia se juntaba para compartir ese momento tan especial. Mi mamá nunca logró que tomara sopa, ni aún en los días más fríos del invierno. Mi enemistad con la sopa fue disminuyendo con el tiempo, y ahora,  de vez en cuando, puedo tomar alguna.

En el interior del país, la gente hace una pausa al mediodía y almuerza tranquilamente, siempre comida recién preparada en casa. En cambio en las grandes ciudades, la actividad laboral nos lleva a tener un almuerzo muy breve, que puede ser ensalada, sandwich o las clásicas tartas y empanadas. Dentro del sandwich argentino, uno se puede encontrar con la más variada gama de ingredientes: desde tomate y lechuga, hasta un rico lomito asado. La cena se convierte, entonces, en el plato principal del día.

Personalmente prefiero las comidas simples, sin demasiados condimentos: carne al horno o en milanesa, con alguna guarnición de papas, puré o fideos; pastas con manteca o salsa de crema, y por supuesto todas las variedades de pizza. También me gusta mucho hacer “picada” antes de la cena, que consiste en trozos de quesos varios, salamín, jamón, aceitunas, maní…

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Los postres son, definitivamente, mi debilidad: tortas de chocolate, helados, masas de confitería, alfajores y flanes… todos son bienvenidos! Muchos de estos postres puedo hacerlos yo misma en casa, con lo que el placer es doble: preparlos y luego degustarlos!

En Expanish organizamos una cena todas las semanas para nuestros estudiantes, en la que visitamos restaurantes y probamos comidas deliciosas. Si querés saber de qué se trata, contactanos.

Carina

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The Expanish New School Building Inauguration – The Big Party in Buenos Aires

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 13:18

Categories - Argentina News, Buenos Aires City Attractions, Concerts, Events, Festivals and Holidays, Expanish News, Spanish - 0 Comments

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On Thursday, November 11 Expanish celebrated the opening of the new Spanish school, with its inauguration event and cocktail reception.  Even though Expanish moved to its custom-made building in July, the official ceremony was held on the perfect spring night where we invited friends, family, and community members to come together and enjoy excellent food, music and good company – to thank all those who worked hard in supporting Expanish over the years.

Behind the scenes, the day was filled with preparations to put together all the finishing touches to the building.  The Expanish team anxiously finished all the day’s work just in time before the guests began to arrive.  It was important for us to give each person visiting the school, a personalized tour of the facilities as it was the first time many have seen the new school.

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Many people who have been long time supporters of Expanish, had never seen our new building, so it was quite fun (and a bit of a workout climbing all the stairs) being able to show all six floors to those who have witnessed the growth of the school, and remembers Expanish beginnings in a tiny office in Recoleta.    Many do not know but Expanish originally started in that small office in 2006, working with partner language schools across Latin America.  Then, in 2008 we opened the Expanish Spanish Institute, on Viamonte 927, offering cultural language immersion programs to foreigners from all over the world.  Although the building on Viamonte had a lot of character, the new building has been custom-made to cater to learning Spanish, something that is a rarity to find in South America as it has been modeled after many English language institutes worldwide.  It was exciting to hear feedback from first-time visitors as the school and facilities had brought them back to their years living or studying in Europe or the USA, reminding them of their secondary schools and universities.

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In addition to family, friends, professors, staff, accommodation hosts, activity providers, and students, we were thrilled to have in attendance journalists and reporters from both local and foreign news sources, representatives from the travel and education industry, and leaders in the Buenos Aires community such as Hernán Lombardi who is the Secretary of Culture and Tourism of the city of Buenos Aires, Oscar Castillo, a National Senator, and Marcelo Garcia, the Presidente of SEA (Association of Centers and Teaching of Languages).

Inauguracion Expanish 300x200 The Expanish New School Building Inauguration   The Big Party in Buenos Aires

The rest of the night was filled with tasty appetizers, wine, a music show, mingling and a presentation from the co-founders Agustin Vignale and Alejandro Rched – who gave a brief overview of the history of Expanish and the types of language and immersion programs that are offered.  What a great night for everyone to celebrate the growth and success of Expanish!

Come and visit or see a slide show of our new school building here.

Allie

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Learning Spanish in Argentina – The Porteño Way

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 7:26

Categories - Argentina News, Argentina Travel Info, Argentine Customs and Culture, Spanish, Uncategorized - 2 Comments

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The Spanish spoken in Buenos Aires is unique because of the characteristics of its dialects and slang which have a strong influence from the Italian language.

Argentine Spanish, as in any other language has variations and different dialects according with the country, city or area where it is spoken. The Spanish in Buenos Aires, known as the Rioplatense Spanish which includes Buenos Aires, Montevideo (Uruguay) and Rosario is characterized by the voseo, the use of “vos” instead of “tu” which means “you” and the yeismo, which is different pronunciation of the “ll” like if it was a “y” or a “sh” in English.

The slang spoken in Buenos Aires, the lunfardo, is mainly influenced by the Italian and also by other European languages. This can be explained by the large amount of Italian immigrants that arrived to Argentina and stayed in Buenos Aires at the beginning of 20th century. A great number of porteños have Italian last names and it is common to find lunfardo in Tango Lyrics as well as to hear it used in everyday language in the streets. Some examples of the lunfardo that can be heard in Buenos Aires:

  • Laburar: To work (from Italian lavoro , “work”),
  • Fiaca: laziness (from the Italian fiacco -weak-),
  • Morfar: To eat (from French morfer -to eat-),
  • Cana: lunfardo for policeman, or the jail,
  • Ciruja: Junkman one who collects (to earn a living) empty bottles, metals, cardboard,
  • Mina: lunfardo for woman.
  • Pebeta: lunfardo for young woman or girl.

At Expanish we teach a neutral Spanish alongside Argentine Spanish so that you will be able to understand the people you hear on the street every day, but also, you will be able to talk and understand in other Spanish speaking countries.

Have fun with your new words!

Alejandro

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Getting about between your Spanish lessons in Argentina

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 12:46

Categories - Argentina Travel Info - 3 Comments

cama Getting about between your Spanish lessons in Argentina
Sweet dreams – who needs to fly when you can travel in such style?

It is easy to forget that Argentina has a lot to offer outside of Buenos Aires. Even though there are countless things to do in this city of over 13 million people, there is a vast amount of culture to experience in 23 other provinces (yes, 23!). The easiest way to do this is to go on weekend excursions, which are popular for foreigners new to the country as well as porteños who have lived here their entire lives.  Since flying to different locations can get quite expensive, most people take a long-term bus, called an “omnibus” in Spanish, to travel around the country. The only negative side to this? The length of trips. Going from Buenos Aires to the Iguazú Falls and then to Mendoza, while stopping in Jujuy and Salta, and ending in Patagonia can mean a lot of time on a bus.  Luckily, Argentines have acknowledged this consequently created the best possible option – COCHE CAMA, which literally means “bed car”.  Is there anything in the world that sounds better than that?  This form of travel is as luxurious as first class in an airplane, but with less turbulence and more scenery.
It includes the following: Large, puffy chairs that recline to almost 180º, which allow for sleeping for the entire trip. Snacks to keep your belly from rumbling.
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A hearty meal of pre-packaged, typically Argentine fast food (depending on length of trip).
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With all of this and the showing of a direct-to-DVD movie from the 80s make any 5, 10 or 20-hour ride go by fast.  Plus, there is always the incredible Argentine country side to gaze at.

Tips

Food Tip – Take a thermos and your mate.  This is the easiest way to make friends on the bus.

Safety Tip – Always wear your seatbelt even if you are sleeping.  Some people take it off during the night, but remember you are still in a moving vehicle on the fast highway.

Clothing Tip – Dress warm as sometimes the bus can have the air conditioning blasting.

Get in touch with us here at Expanish to find out more about planning your own trip!

Murphy

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Students studying Spanish in Argentina know that drinking and driving is bad! But what about drinking and shopping…?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 11:41

Categories - Buenos Aires City Attractions - 0 Comments

It is quite apparent that the people of Argentina enjoy drinking wine; most students taking Spanish classes in Argentina begin to notice this after only a few visits to local restaurants or bars, experiencing extensive wine lists and wines bottles occupying most tables. It is also appropriate to say that Argentines enjoy shopping; students taking Spanish classes in Argentina will also notice the amount of shops, boutiques, and malls in the city and the fact that they are always busy. During the next few Fridays, the city has taken these two loves and combined them to make the Wine Tour Urbano Palermo.

 

The Wine Tour Urbano Palermo celebrates the wines and fashion of Argentina while combining wine tasting with upper scale shopping. Students in Spanish immersion courses in Buenos Aires can head down to Palermo to indulge in tasting local Argentine wines while shopping in local boutiques and clothing stores during after hours. Every fashion and interior design store on Malabia, between Honduras and El Salvador, will be opening its doors to visitors between the hours of 7pm-10pm. This may just be heaven for most Spanish immersion students in Buenos Aires!

 

Students in Spanish immersion courses in Buenos Aires can look forward to September 19th when the event starts off. This night is devoted to the red wines, showcasing the Malbecs and Merlots of every winery. Studentsstudying Spanish in Argentina can then head back on October 17th for the Syrahs and Cabernets, and on November 21st, all wineries will present their best wines.

 

This is a fantastic event for students in Spanish immersion courses in Argentina to indulge in wine and fashion, walk among the Argentines of Buenos Aires, and practice their Spanish!! There will be two stands, one of Malabia and one of Honduras, where tickets will be sold on the day of the event for $45 pesos.

 

Click for more information on Spanish immersion courses in Buenos Aires!

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Take Your Spanish Immersion Courses in Buenos Aires to the Field and Learn about the Fútbol Culture in Argentina

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 12:34

Categories - Buenos Aires City Attractions - 0 Comments

activities 3 300x225 Take Your Spanish Immersion Courses in Buenos Aires to the Field and Learn about the Fútbol Culture in Argentina

The popularity of fútbol (soccer) in Argentina is unimaginably great and students taking Spanish immersion courses in Buenos Aires will have no doubt taken notice of it’s almost cult like following. Buenos Aires is said to be home to more stadiums than any other city in the world and boasts the most fanatical fan following, besides possibly those sports fans in Brazil. Seeing a fútbol game in Argentina is a must for students taking Spanish immersion course in Buenos Aires since to some, truly understanding the Argentine culture comes by observing what happens in their fútbol stadiums.

Students in Spanish immersion courses in Buenos Aires will have the opportunity to visit, in Greater Buenos Aires alone, a total of 35 stadiums; however, the 6 most popular, each able to hold more than 50,000 people are Boca Juniors, River Plate, San Lorenzo, Velez Sarsfield, Racing Club, and Independiente. The stadiums are divided into sections, some offering more expensive and protected seating and others less expensive standing room seating. It is recommend that students in Spanish immersion courses in Buenos Aires take care when going to these passion filled games and perhaps spend the extra dollar to find comfortable and safe seating.

Students in Spanish immersion in Buenos Aires will see each game that the stadium fills full of screaming, singing, arm throwing fans that cheer on their own team while booing the visiting team. Fans sing Argentine songs and team slogans, shout encouraging and discouraging words, and overall just make as much noise as humanly possible. Students taking Spanish immersion classes in Buenos Aires should be sure to become part of this tradition and shout and sing along with their fellow fans. Attending Fútbol games is almost like receiving free Spanish classes in Argentina Fútbol culture!

There are two teams that students learning Spanish in Buenos Aires will immediately become familiar with: La Boca and River Plate. These two teams have dominated the league for almost a century and have very strong fan followings. La Boca is from the working class neighborhood and therefore represents the working class of Argentina; River Plate, nicknamed los millonariosis (millionaires), is from the slightly upper class north and represents the wealthier people of Argentina. Students in Spanish immersion in Buenos Aires will be able to compare the rivalry of these two teams with the class distinction found in Argentina.

Watching a fútbol game is a great way for students in Spanish immersion in Buenos Aires to learn about Argentine history, the fútbol culture, and Spanish language!

Click for more information on Spanish immersion courses in Buenos Aires or arranging a group excursion to a game!

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