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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Approx. Time Difference
March–October: + 4 hours
October–March: + 5 hours
Spanish Intensive Language, Torcuato Di Tella University

- Fall
- Spring

This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances, health and safety, and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Explore the UCEAP website for additional course information (including important details and restrictions), links to host institution websites, and program search tools.

While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.

Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network

Local UCEAP Support

Campus EAP Office

The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.

UCEAP Systemwide Office

The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
Academic Staff advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).

Contact Information

Program Advisor
Faith Curtis
Phone: (805) 893-4268; E-mail:
Program Specialist
Ann Rotlisberger
Phone: (805) 893-4268; E-mail:
Academic Staff
Monica Rocha

Rachel Ogletree

: (805) 893-2712

Student Finance Accountant
Ben Kinman
Phone: (805) 893-4812; E-mail:
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823
Phone: (805) 893-4762; Fax: (805) 893-2583

Study Center Abroad

UCEAP has partnered with the Buenos Aires office of InSitu Programs to provide all logistical and services support to participants in the Spanish Intensive Language program at Torcuato Di Tella University. InSitu is located in the microcentro of downtown Buenos Aires.
InSitu Programs
4th Floor, 25 De Mayo 457
Fadwa Kingsbury, Program Coordinator and 24-hour Contact
Phone: +54 9 11 6975 7142 (from US)
               15 6975 7142 (from Argentina)

Academic oversight of the UCEAP program at Torcuato Di Tella University is provided by UC faculty member
Professor Cristián Ricci from the UC Merced School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. Professor Ricci is resident UCEAP Faculty Director in Santiago, Chile and will be available by phone or e-mail.

Cristián Ricci, UCEAP Faculty Director
Study Center Phone (calling from Argentina): 00-56-2-354-5160
Study Center Phone (calling from Chile): (56-2) 354-5160 
Questions about UC registration of courses, UC units, and related advising concerns may be directed to the UCEAP Academic Staff, Monica Rocha, whose contact information is listed above.

UCEAP Online

Bookmark your Participants program page; it contains vital resources and requirements you need to know before you go abroad, including the Predeparture Checklist, UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Program Calendar, UCEAP Student Budgets and Payment Vouchers, and policies.
Connect with us! Join our Facebook network via the UCEAP Argentina page.

Phone Number Codes

U.S. international code: 011 (dial this to call from the U.S.)
Argentina country code: 54
Buenos Aires city code: 11

Approximate Time Difference

March–October: add 4 hours
October–March: add 5 hours
Academic Information
Program Overview
Review the program calendar often. Dates are posted as they become available.
UCEAP’s program in Buenos Aires is intense language acquisition from start to finish; it provides students with beginning and intermediate Spanish skills the opportunity to meet or exceed campus or major language requirements over the course of one semester. Elements of Argentine life and culture are incorporated in all classes through the use of various literary texts, music, and films in class. Expect to be fully immersed in Spanish, from the moment you start class, to the time you go home.
You will take classes at Torcuato Di Tella University, an institution that strongly emphasizes the relationship between language and culture. The Di Tella hosts many international students and you can expect to be in class with people from all over Latin America and Europe, as well as other UC students. The department that offers the intensive Spanish language classes is in the same large building as the rest of the campus, so you can also expect frequent interaction with Argentine students.
Regular language class work is also enhanced by cultural components such as visits to museums or other activities around the city. The entire city of Buenos Aires serves as an immense language lab, providing you the opportunity to use the language daily and quickly develop an appreciation of Argentinean Spanish, making this the most dynamic 13 weeks of your college career.
Academic Culture
Course Information
The Di Tella's Spanish language classes are offered at variable levels; you are required to take a Spanish language placement exam to determine the level of instruction upon arrival in Buenos Aires.
You will take two sequential Spanish language courses during two separate seven week "blocks." In addition to Spanish language, you will also take a course on Argentine history and culture. 
  • All Spanish language courses are worth 8.5 UC quarter units each (equivalent to 5.7 UC semester units)
  • Culture and History in Buenos Aires is worth 5 UC quarter units (equivalent to 3.3 UC semester units) 


You will register twice: at Torcuato Di Tella University after you’ve completed the language placement exam and again for UCEAP by completing your MyEAP Study List. It is important that you adhere to the established deadlines for submitting your registration.
  • The following are the only level combinations possible on the Spanish Intensive Language program:
    • Spanish 42 + Spanish 43
    • Spanish 43 + Spanish 54
    • Spanish 54 + Spanish 55
  • The information as it appears on your MyEAP Study List is what will appear on your UC transcript.
  • UCEAP’s Academic Specialist and/or Program Advisor in California will contact you with instructions for the UC registration process.


All students take a language placement exam to determine the level of instruction once they arrive in Buenos Aires and register for the two consecutive language levels they will take over the course of the semester. 
  • You are required to take two sequential Spanish language classes and the culture and history class for a total of 22 UC quarter units (equivalent to 14.7 UC semester units)
  • The same Spanish level may not be repeated across blocks.
  • Both Spanish courses must be taken for a letter grade.
Be advised that the number to letter grade conversion scale suggested by Torcuato Di Tella University may not be the same scale used by UCEAP. Please consult with the UCEAP Faculty Director with any questions you may have relating to grades.
Torcuato Di Tella University will forward your transcripts directly to the UCEAP Systemwide Office where your final grades will be reviewed by the faculty director before being forwarded to your home UC campus.
Grades for this program are typically available approximately one month after final exams; however, delays may still occur due to grade reporting practices at the host university.
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Extending UCEAP Participation

Participating in Consecutive Programs

With careful planning, it may be possible for you to participate in two different UCEAP options consecutively. Once you complete the Spanish Intensive Language Program at Torcuato Di Tella University, you will have fulfilled UCEAP’s language prerequisite for most other UCEAP programs in Chile, Mexico, and Spain. A semester in Argentina followed by a semester in Chile, for instance, offers you a unique opportunity to not only improve your Spanish, but to experience life on each side of the Andes. If you plan for this in advance, and focus on your Spanish skills while you are in Argentina, you may be able to spend an entire year abroad.
Participating in back-to-back programs is a rewarding experience that requires organization and maturity. You will need to submit a separate UCEAP application for each program (by the campus deadline) and go through the regular UCEAP selection process for each program. You will also need to work hard during your semester in Argentina to maintain your eligibility for the second program.
Make plans in advance to prepare for the second program while completing the first. You may be required to complete and submit paperwork to various offices in the U.S. while you are abroad, and you may need to make special arrangements in order to obtain the visa for the second program. Despite the extra work involved, many students successfully participate in two different UCEAP options.
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself
Get acquainted with your new host city, country, and culture before you leave California. Travel guides and travel-related websites, such as Lonely Planet, are excellent resources.
Keep up with current events by reading articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals. Take a look at one of Argentina’s main newspapers, Clarín; or, for a different perspective, check out Página12.
You will need to understand the local culture and history. Get a head start by checking out the following sources before the program.

Useful Websites

Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Once you arrive in Buenos Aires, all logistics for the program will be coordinated by InSitu Programs. In addition to what is mentioned here, official arrival instructions are found in your UCEAP Pre-Departure Checklist.
Plan on arriving at Ministro Pistarini International Airport (also known as Ezeiza International Airport). If you sign up for one of the transfers, InSitu staff will meet you at the airport and take you to a hotel near the university, where you will stay for the first two nights. Participation in all orientation activities is mandatory for all students. Late arrivals are not permitted.
During orientation, the InSitu staff will introduce themselves and review all practical components of the Spanish Intensive Language program, including program calendar, student services, housing, computer access, health, safety, emergencies, money and banking, communication, and public transportation. You will receive a welcome packet with a calling card, subway pass, insider’s city guide, and other maps.
You will move into your housing following the orientation. That weekend there will also be other group activities, such as a trip to a local estancia (traditional Argentine ranch). You will also have some time to adapt to your new surroundings in the city. Do not make any other plans for the first few days of the program. If your family or friends want to visit you during your time in Argentina, it is recommended that they visit at a later date and arrange their own accommodations. Airport transfer and orientation activities are designed for UCEAP students only.
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip tickets, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. UCEAP discourages purchasing one way tickets, as your Program Budget is based on a changeable round trip student fare, which is generally less expensive. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase tickets that allow changes to the return date. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.
If you decide to travel to Argentina prior to the official program start date, you are responsible for making your own travel arrangements and accommodations.
You must participate in the required orientation, even if you arrive early; it is mandatory for all students. Details about the arrival location, meeting place, and orientation will be provided in the UCEAP Pre-departure Checklist.

Financial Aid Students

Your financial aid package is calculated using your specific UCEAP Program Budget. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student ticket to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.
Travel Documents

Entry Requirements

Always keep a copy of important documents (like your passport) in a separate location from the originals. Make sure your passport is valid through the duration of your stay.
Upon arrival in Argentina, US citizens will be granted a 90-day tourist visa, which will then be changed to a student visa from within Argentina.  More details about the visa process are provided during orientation. You should budget an additional $80 for visa-related expenses.

Non-U.S. citizens should contact the Consulate of Argentina before traveling abroad to see if there are any entry requirements.

Undocumented Students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Students

Consult with an immigration attorney free of charge on your campus to determine if study abroad is right for you.

If you are currently enrolled as a student at UC Berkeley, contact the Undocumented Student Program

If you are currently enrolled as a student at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara, or UC Santa Cruz, contact the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center at
Packing Tips
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing abroad.
When traveling, always carry your passport, visa, ticket, prescription medications, and money. Never put valuables in checked luggage. Leave extra credit cards in a safe place at your homestay and carry only what is necessary.
Do not ask others to carry any items abroad for you (laptop, camera, extra bags, etc.) and do not volunteer to do so for others. Airlines may not allow you to take them or customs abroad may charge you a high duty tax. This is particularly a concern with electronic goods.

What to Bring

Remember to pack any important medication or documents, such as:
  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months after your program end date)
  • Passport copy
  • Vaccination record
  • Picture identification
  • Insurance card
  • ATM card(s), credit cards, and other financial documents
It is not necessary to bring towels or sheets. All sheets, towels, blankets, and other linens will be provided for you.
A laptop computer is not required for the program; you will have free computer access on the university’s campus. You may choose to bring a computer; it really depends on your individual comfort. All homestays include internet access, but they may not have WiFi. WiFi is also available at many cafés and restaurants throughout the city.
Other items that are expensive in Argentina and you may consider bringing from the U.S. are:
  • Portable battery operated smoke alarm for use in your lodging
  • Contact solution
  • Feminine products
  • Umbrella
  • Chargers and accessories any electronics you plan on bringing
  • Hot sauce
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Water bottle/canteen
  • Backpack for traveling
  • Sunscreen
Certain foods, such as peanut butter and ranch dressing, are not commonly used in Argentina. Consider bringing these items with you since they are difficult to find and are often only available in specialty stores. 


Remember that the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere! While packing, keep in mind that the weather will be the opposite of what you are used to in the Northern Hemisphere. There are a few weeks in the winter where you will need a winter coat and perhaps a scarf, hat, and gloves. Conversely, it can get hot and humid in the summer. Listed below are average temperatures for each season in Buenos Aires:
Winter (June to August): 35–60º F
Spring (September to November): 60–80º F
Summer (December to February): 65–100º F
Fall (March to May): 50–80º F

Electrical Appliances

Voltage in Argentina is 220V, as opposed to the 110V in the U.S. Check the voltage of any electronics from the U.S. before plugging them into an outlet. You can buy converters for electrical appliances in Argentina or in the U.S. Most laptops now have their own converters, so you may only need a plug adaptor. For smaller, inexpensive appliances (e.g., hair dryers or electric shavers), it is probably easiest to buy the appliance abroad rather than purchase an adapter.
Customs officials may try to charge an import tax for any electrical items brought into Argentina; however, if you indicate that they are personal items, the charge may be waived. Customs officials may list the items in your passport, which will obligate you to take the same items out of the country when you leave.


Luggage restrictions vary by airline and most carriers have weight restrictions. Check with your airline about such restrictions.
Identify luggage on both the inside and outside with your name, home address, and destination. If luggage is lost or damaged, or if items are missing after being handled by the airline, immediately file a claim with the airline. Airlines differ regarding coverage, but they generally provide some sort of compensation. If luggage is stolen or tampered with (but it has nothing to do with the airline), file a police report immediately. To avoid theft, never leave your luggage unattended.
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Consider having additional protection for your property. In spite of your best efforts, it is still possible to experience loss, theft, or accidents that will damage your belongings while traveling. Talk to your parents and analyze their family homeowners’ insurance to determine whether the items brought or bought while abroad are covered by their policy.
UCEAP Travel Insurance policy offers limited personal property coverage.  UCEAP strongly recommends that you examine the details of the UCEAP Travel Insurance benefits and purchase additional property insurance coverage, especially to protect high cost items such as laptop computers, Smartphones, tablets, and other valuables. Review the policy carefully before departure and determine if it provides adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss. 
If you decide to purchase supplemental personal property coverage, do so before departure and make sure that the coverage extends while traveling because most theft occurs in the airport or while moving into housing. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
You are responsible for your own personal property. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables from damage or theft by locking your room and securing currency, jewelry, passport, and other possessions. Avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry and going to questionable parts of the city, especially at night or when alone. Minimize your vulnerability by staying in control of your drinking and your behavior. Do not invite casual acquaintances or strangers home.
Return Transportation
Beware that some airlines will require proof of a return ticket before allowing you to board your departure flight.
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad:
  • Contact information for finance questions
  • How to estimate the cost of your program
  • Budget instructions and information
  • Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
  • UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
  • Banking before and after arrival
  • Fees and penalties
  • Loan information
  • How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
  • Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget. Program fees are subject to change.
Carefully review your UCEAP Program Budget.
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.


  • Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
  • Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
  • Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
For further information see the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and the Money Matters tab of your Participants Portal. If you will be receiving financial aid, see also the UCEAP Financial Assistance web page.

Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:

If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions.
Handling Money Abroad

ATMs & Credit Cards

The easiest way to withdraw money in Buenos Aires is by using the ATMs (cajeros automáticos) found all over the city. Most banks charge a fee of approximately ARG $15 per withdrawal. Most ATMs dispense ARG $100 bills and change can be difficult to come by, so make sure to withdraw an amount of cash that will force the ATM to dispense smaller bills (for example, ARG $290 instead of ARG $300). There is often a limit on the amount of cash you are able to withdraw per day; check with your bank prior to departure.
Before you leave the U.S., make sure to obtain a personal identification number (PIN) for your ATM card. Your PIN should be a four-digit number that does not begin with a zero. Notify your bank that you will be spending time abroad. As a protective measure, many banks will freeze your account if they detect transactions outside of your normal geographic region. To avoid this, advise your bank of your plans before you go abroad.
Most banks accept travelers checks as long as you have a valid passport, but they can be difficult to cash (banks close at 3 p.m.). You can also exchange money at any Casa de Cambio, but the exchange rates may be higher. Exchanging money inside the airport is not recommended.
Credit cards, particularly those that allow users to withdraw cash, are very useful. Visa and MasterCard are most widely accepted in Buenos Aires.
As a general rule, always have at least two (or more) ways to access money while abroad. Never leave home without access to funds.
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
Most students use Internet cafés, or locutorios, for their computer needs. WiFi is available in many locations throughout Buenos Aires, but may not be available at your accommodation.
Internet should cost between ARG $3-5 per hour at a locutorio. To ask for a computer, request una maquina (a machine, literally).
Helpful hint: to get the “@” sign, hold down the “Alt Gr “ key while pressing the “2” key or hold down the “Alt” key while pressing the number “64.”
You will receive additional information about Internet cafés and computer use once you arrive in Argentina.
A laptop computer is not required for the program. The university campus has free computer access that will be available to you.
Approximate time difference between California and Argentina: four hours
InSitu requires that students have a cell phone with a local Buenos Aires phone number while in Argentina.  When you arrive in Argentina, you will be provided with a SIM card with a local phone number, so you are responsible for bringing or purchasing a cell phone capable for use in Argentina.  During the orientation you will have the opportunity to learn about purchasing a local cell phone in Buenos Aires. If you decide to use a local cell phone, you can put credit on the phone from most kioscos (magazine/news stand) or from a cell phone service provider's office. Most kioscos will give you credit in the moment with a "recarga virtual”, while others will sell "tarjetas de recarga" in various amounts that you can use to add credit to your phone line. The other option is to bring an unlocked cell phone with you to Argentina which will be able to use the Argentine SIM card you will be given during orientation.  Contact your cell phone provider prior to your departure to request the unlocking service. 
It costs approximately ARG $1 to send a text message and approximately ARG $3.50 per minute for phone calls. To have data service on a smart phone it is around ARG $3.10 per day.  If you are making a phone call while outside Buenos Aires (even to another Buenos Aires number), you will be charged a roaming rate, and you must dial the city code because you are out of your service area. Most locals communicate through cell phone text messages or use free texting apps like Whatsapp and rarely make long phone calls since it can be more expensive. Using your cell phone to make or receive international calls is also expensive, so it is recommended to use Skype or to make a call at a locutorio.
Almost all cell phones in Argentina operate with a CPP (calling party pays) system, meaning that, generally, whoever initiates the call pays for it. Keep in mind an important exception to this rule: When you receive a call that is made from a payphone, a locutorio, or a private number from the U.S., your cell phone will be billed for part of the airtime.

Using a cell phone is preferable to using the phone at your homestay. Always discuss phone usage with your host prior to using the home phone. Different hosts may have different rules about phone usage. 


Locutorios (cafés offering phone and Internet services) are located all around the city. To use the service, request a “cabina" (phone booth) and pay at the front desk when you have finished your call.
Mail & Shipments
Regular mail within Argentina is generally safe and reliable. On average, it takes about seven to ten days for a letter mailed from the U.S. to arrive in Buenos Aires. You may receive mail at this address until you know where you will be living:
Attn: Student Name
c/o InSitu
25 de Mayo 457, 4° Piso
Autónoma de Buenos Aires C1002ABI
Do not have your laptop, any electrical appliance, or valuable item mailed to you from the U.S. These items receive close scrutiny at customs and are subject to high fees.
If someone mails you items, they should pack the items in a mailer envelope instead of a box. Generally, boxes will be sent straight to customs at the National Post Office, located outside the city, making it difficult and frustrating to retrieve your mail. If family members send you new shoes or clothing, make sure they remove the tags before they mail the items. Again, think twice before having these kinds of items shipped to you while abroad; the fees involved with picking them up may even exceed the worth of the items.
Housing & Meals
Learning to live in a new environment is an important part of the study abroad experience. By now you will already have completed a housing questionnaire and indicated your housing preference. Your housing choice will impact your meal arrangements and the improvement of your language skills. If you choose the housing with meals option, you may have more opportunities for conversation with your new host. Both housing options will include at least one Spanish speaker, though daily interaction may be less frequent in the settings where meals are not provided. In either setting, you will have a private room and will share kitchen and bathroom facilities.
  • InSitu recognizes your housing placement as one of the most important elements in your experience abroad and maintains a well-established network of comfortable accommodations in the safest neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.
  • As much as possible, your placement will be based on information you provided in your housing questionnaire.
  • You will learn the name and details of your host shortly before you arrive in Argentina.
  • Your host may be a family, a single mother, an elderly couple, or a young professional. Your host may not be the "typical" family with children living in the home.
  • Remember that your hosts or apartment mates may work, study, and/or have a full calendar of activities. It is up to you to get involved with them rather than expecting that their lives revolve around your schedule.
  • Based on the choice you made on your housing questionnaire, the cost of your housing will be on your MyEAP Student Account. UCEAP and InSitu handle rent payments to your host, so you don’t need to worry about paying for housing during the program.
  • If you would like to extend your housing arrangements following the end of the program, you may make separate arrangements with InSitu  once you arrive in Argentina.
The primary purpose of being with a host is to interact socially and culturally, and to improve language proficiency in Spanish. It is expected that everyone, including other guests in the home, will speak Spanish at all times. If a host requests that you speak English, it may be beneficial to work out a reciprocal arrangement where you occasionally speak in English to help the host with the language, while remaining committed to using the situation to help you improve your Spanish.
InSitu tries to place students in housing that is reasonably close to Torcuato Di Tella University. Remember, you will be living in a huge urban setting, so commuting is a part of daily life. It is likely that you will have to take some form of public transportation, but InSitu guarantees that it will be just one ride rather than having to transfer or manage other complicated transit arrangements. You can expect an average commute to take about forty minutes each way. This is very different from walking/biking to campus as you may be accustomed to in the U.S. Recognize that public transportation is part of your experience. You will receive more information about transportation when you arrive.
Housing Tips
  • Regardless of your housing choice, you will be living in someone else’s home. Do not expect to have free rein in the home; different customs may make you feel like a guest in the home at first. Overnight guests are not allowed.
  • Having good manners is important. Occasionally bring your host a small gift and offer compliments when appropriate.
  • Remember that many Argentines smoke in their homes.
  • Alcohol or drug abuse will not be tolerated and may result in dismissal from the program.
  • Discuss phone usage with your host. Hosts do not usually allow long-distance calls to the U.S. Set up a time with your parents when you will be home so they can call you, or make other arrangements via Skype or at a locutorio.
  • Discuss all other house rules on the first day—this is a good icebreaker and a good way to eliminate any problems that might occur in the future.
Do not hesitate to report difficulties to the InSitu staff immediately if you are not comfortable with your housing placement. InSitu will work to find a suitable solution to any problems that may arise, but it is important to let them know as early on as possible. If the situation cannot be resolved, InSitu will make alternative arrangements with a different housing location. Any changes to housing are ultimately up to the discretion of InSitu staff.
If you selected the prearranged housing with meals option, your host will provide breakfast and dinner daily. Breakfast in Argentina is very simple, like toast with coffee or tea.  Argentines typically enjoy a mid-morning snack (meialunas with coffee or tea), lunch around 2pm (the main meal of the day, which typically includes a salad, a main dish, vegetable side dishes, and dessert), and sometimes an early evening snack (medialunas with coffee or tea). Dinner is later in Argentina, usually around 10pm. You will need to budget for your own snacks and lunch. 
If you selected the no-meals option, you will need to purchase your own food with access to shared kitchen facilities.
If you are vegetarian (or if you have any other special dietary restrictions), you must clearly note this on the housing questionnaire. Your host can accommodate your needs as long as he/she knows your preferences before arrival.
Supermarket food is comparable to that of the U.S., and there is plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables at reasonable prices in the markets.
Water is safe to drink in Argentina. At restaurants, servers will ask if you would like water sin gas (regular) or con gas (carbonated). Water is not included with the meal as it is in the U.S. You will be charged an additional cost.
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.

Subte (Subway)

Buenos Aires' underground subway system is by far the fastest way to get downtown and around the city. You will receive a “SUBE”, which is a public transportation card as part of your orientation packet.  Each ride on the subway costs ARG $4.50, but the more you use it in one month the cheaper each ride becomes.  The subte runs from 5 AM to approximately 10:30 PM on Monday through Saturday, and from 8 AM to 10:30 PM on Sunday.

Colectivos or Bondis (Buses)

Buses cost about ARG $3.50 per ride and you will use the same public transportation card that you will get at orientation. Most bus lines run all night, although some service is restricted or runs less frequently at night.
Terminal de Omnibus de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (Retiro)
Av. Antártida Argentina y Ramos Mejía
Extracurricular Activities

Get Involved

The staff at InSitu organize an amazing array of activities in which you may involve yourself, usually four to five days a week. Some of these will have a minimal cost, others will be free. InSitu will send you a weekly agenda. Examples include:
  • Weekly staff and student dinners
  • Weekly soccer games
  • Day trips to nearby locations
  • Weekly cultural city tours
  • Local concerts
  • Tango show and classes
  • Wine tasting classes
  • Artisan fairs
  • Asados (Argentine barbecue)
In addition, InSitu offers a range of workshops that have an extra cost and include instruction as well as practice in the skill involved. More information on workshops will be available as you arrive, and you can sign up at any time with InSitu. Workshops include tango, fileteado painting, and polo.

Internships & Community Service

Volunteer opportunities in Buenos Aires are possible through InSitu, which will also provide internship placements for an extra fee. Although neither internships nor volunteer work can be taken for academic credit, these opportunities provide you with an excellent venue in which to practice Spanish outside of the classroom while also interacting with your new community.
InSitu requires students who choose to take an internship to have a high/intermediate level of Spanish and to pay a placement fee. If you are interested in participating in an internship, be prepared with your CV (résumé) translated into Spanish and at least one letter of recommendation.
Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. It is important to note that a specific law mandates access to buildings for persons with disabilities; however, while the federal government has protective laws, many provinces have not adopted the laws and have no mechanisms to ensure enforcement.
For more information:
Travel Sign-out Form

Leaving your host city for more than 24 hours?

You are required to complete the online sign out through your MyEAP account. 
Click on Travel Signout and complete all required fields. During an emergency (abroad or in the U.S.), it is important for UCEAP officials to know how to reach you so we can help you. 
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Working Abroad
LGBTIQ Students
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations operate freely, working closely with academic institutions, NGOs, and government authorities without interference.
There is no official discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, statelessness, or access to education or health care. Overt societal discrimination generally is uncommon. However, the National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism reported cases of discrimination and police brutality toward the transgender community in 2012

​For more information,
The UCEAP Student Budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Several trips are already included in the program and in your UCEAP fees. These include a day-trip to Colonia, Uruguay (just across the Río de la Plata), a day trip to a traditional Argentine estancia to sample rural life, and a weekend trip to the famous Iguazú Falls.
Of course you are welcome to do your own traveling on weekends as well. Argentina, like most of Latin America, has a range of bus companies that provide the most affordable and most comfortable way to move about the country. UCEAP recommends you wait until arrival in Argentina before making travel plans. If you plan on leaving Buenos Aires for any time period longer than 24 hours, make sure to sign the Travel Sign-out form in your MyEAP account.
UCEAP Insurance

Know Before you Go

While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy.  Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term.
The UCEAP travel insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations. Read details in Benefits at a Glance. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. Your travel insurance policy number is ADDN 04834823.  It is underwritten by Chubb Insurance Company.
There is no deductible or co-insurance but the travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis.  You can submit a claim for a refund consideration of covered expenses.  For more information about the medical claim proces or about non-medical claims.
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance.  Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country).  It is your responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter.

For Questions about Coverage, Benefits and Claims Status

ACI at

Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
Acceptable medical and dental care is available in Buenos Aires but varies in other areas, especially in rural zones. Physicians, dentists, clinics, and hospitals usually expect immediate cash deposits to deliver health services.
Contact Information and Location of Hospitals where you can get care.
Clinica y Maternidad Suizo-Argentina
Avenida Pueyrredón 1443
Buenos Aires  Argentina
Phone 1: +54 11 52 39 60 00
Sanatorio Mater Dei
San Martín Tours 2952
Buenos Aires  Argentina
Phone 1: +54 11 48 09 55 55
Physical Health
If you feel sick or have a medical emergency, contact InSitu staff (Fadwa Kingsbury at 15-6975-7142 If the emergency contact is not available, call InSitu 24/7 emergency number at 15-6975-7142).  InSitu staff members are your first point of contact in Buenos Aires, and can help to arrange medical care.
In an emergency, seek appropriate medical care first, then call InSitu emergency staff for immediate help.
Your UCEAP insurance does not work the same way as your campus insurance. Preventive care is not covered and you have to pay for covered medical services if you are sick or injured, and submit a claim through the UCEAP insurance. Refunds are issued in a check in US dollars and mailed to the US address that you indicate on the claim form. The refund process generally takes 4-6 weeks.
Read the UCEAP travel insurance policy brochure and inform yourself. Print and carry a copy of your UCEAP insurance card.

Know Before you Go

Inform yourself before you travel.  Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care.  Know what to do if you get sick.
Read the Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
Prescription Medications


  • Understand your UCEAP travel insurance terms of coverage.
  • If you need a refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor. US prescriptions are not valid in other countries.  Note:​ If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventive care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance; your campus or private insurance plan may cover it.  You must travel with a letter from your prescribing explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name. 
  • If you need to find out if this appointment would be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance, contact ACI at For more information about the UCEAP travel insurance, refer to your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, or your pre-departure checklist, Insurance tab.
  • Two classes of medicines – narcotics and psychotropics – are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that can have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine) which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are all those medications likely to be used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions.

Before Departure

  • If you plan to purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must fill and pay for medication when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start of the program).  Do not assume that your local pharmacy knows about the UCEAP travel insurance policy.  It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage. You will need to pay for the medication and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance.
  • Find out whether your medication is legal in your UCEAP country.
  • If traveling with a prescription containing controlled substances, review international agreements governing the transportation of medications across borders check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) website. The INCB is responsible for international drug control. If traveling with controlled substances, you must have a letter from your doctor. Generally, amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal in other countries. Talk with your doctor to switch you to another medication.
  • Talk to your doctor to see whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription medication to last through the end of the program.  Ask your doctor how to adjust your dosage depending on time zone changes.
  • Get a letter from the prescribing physician, on letterhead, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name as brand names vary considerably around the world.

Traveling with prescription medications

  • Keep the medication in its original packaging clearly labelled with your name, doctor’s name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage. Carry it in your carry-on luggage, provided it is in pill or solid form. For more information, particularly if your medication is in liquid form, consult the US Transportation Security Administration., Traveling with Medications.
  • Carry copies of all original US prescriptions.
  • Carry the letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic names. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.

Why is a letter from your treating physician necessary? 

If your particular medication cannot be taken into the country, talk to your doctor.  If you need to switch prescriptions, your doctor may need to make changes to your medication at least 3-6 months before departure to monitor side effects and dosage.  The letter from your doctor indicating condition, treatment and medication regimen, can help a local physician to assess you and to consider reissuing your prescription provided it is licensed in your UCEAP country. Note that the local doctor's appointment for medication refill may not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.

Consult with ACI, Read more in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health section.

Mental Health
If you are currently in treatment in the U.S., discuss your UCEAP program details with your doctor so you can work on a plan in case you need to reach out for care. If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician before departure about getting the supply you need for going abroad.  For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.​

Your mental health is important to us all. Create a plan with your treating doctor. Managing your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a pre-existing condition – is something every person must think about when going abroad. Being away from usual stress at home can sometimes be a relief when abroad; experiencing new adventures can be a useful distraction. You will also have times when you feel confused, uncomfortable, annoyed, and many of the same emotions that you manage in your daily life at home.
Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.

You may feel homesick or sad. Feeling down, anxious, homesick, depressed or stressed might be your body’s reaction to the new environment and different life away from your usual support network. Don't cope alone.  Reach out for help to the local UCEAP program staff and your friends.  If you have been feeling unhappy for longer than a few days, or it is staring to affect your enjoyment of life and/or your studies, then you should see a doctor immediately.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration.  Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at
Health Risks
Food Allergies
Students with severe food allergies should take precautions, as the cuisine may include ingredients that can cause anaphylaxis in those affected. A language barrier increases the risks associated with severe food allergies. 
Precautions to take include:
  • Research the local cuisine. Be aware that some popular local sauces may contain nuts.
  • Discuss the risks with your doctor six to eight weeks before departure to discuss your treatment plan while abroad.
  • Carry the medications you need to prevent an adverse reaction like antihistamines or epinephrine injectors with refills. Pack it in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. Your medication must be in its original packaging, with your name.
  • Have a letter from your physician to present to airport security that states your need to have the epinephrine auto injector with you at all times.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or tag with instructions for assistance in both English and the local language. Wearing medical identification at all times can help should a life-threatening reaction occur.
  • Tell others about your food allergy.
  • Carry a card written in English and the local language explaining what foods cause allergies and possible reaction. Make several copies in case you lose one. Be sure to have a native speaker verify that you have written everything correctly.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter, Allergies section.

Air Quality
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
Many students and their families have concerns about safety and security abroad. Study abroad, like most other things in life, involves risks.

UCEAP cannot:

  • Guarantee the safety of participants or ensure that risk will not at times be significantly greater than on a UC campus.
  • Monitor the daily personal decisions, choices, and activities of individual participants any more than is the case on a UC campus.
UCEAP makes reasonable efforts to establish safe program environments abroad and counsels students on potential risks and necessary precautions.
You and your family have a role to play in minimizing potential dangers, and UCEAP expects you to participate actively in minimizing your risks while abroad.
Pay careful attention to the following information regarding safety in Buenos Aires. Flexibility and an informed perspective will be critical to helping you adapt to your new environment. An understanding of the social reality and close attention to your surroundings may help you avoid potential problems.

You play an active role in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being. Consider an action plan.

With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in minimizing or preventing personal risks. Take time to assess the risks, plan ahead to reduce them, and think how you would lessen the consequences if things go wrong. Start by outlining activities you plan to engage in through your program and/or during independent travel; label the risk and rate it based on the likelihood of harm and the severity of consequences. Consider measures you can take to reduce the severity and chance. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel.
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and has contracted with emergency assistance and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety. 
Be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate and unpredictable terrorist attacks, which make it impossible to protect yourself from. Remain vigilant in all public areas in your UCEAP city and country and wherever you travel. Many terrorist groups, seeking publicity for political causes within their own country or region, are not looking for student or higher education targets.

Terrorist attacks using vehicles are very hard to prevent and appear to be on the rise. If you are in a crowded public place, know how you can exit quickly, identify barriers or safe places where you can shelter-in-place, and watch out for any vehicles that appear to be going at very high speed.

Report anything suspicious to local authorities.  Read all security-related correspondence and advice from local staff.  Schedule direct flights, if possible.  Avoid stops in high-risk airports or areas. Minimize time spent in the public area of an airport, which is a less protected area.  Keep a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations, hotels, and hospitals. Have a plan for what you will do in the case of an emergency.  If you are ever caught in a situation where somebody starts shooting, follow the active shooter guidelines: drop to the floor, get down as low as possible, and hide if possible.  Cover yourself behind a solid object. Silence your phone. Do not move until the danger has passed.

Steps to manage or minimize risk and enhance your personal safety

  • Familiarize yourself with all UCEAP resources and emergency support services while on UCEAP.

  • Assess your surroundings.  Learn to recognize danger.
  • Remain aware at all times. Do not walk around talking on the phone or listening to music on your headphones.

  • When entering larger venues, always decide on a meeting place with those you are with just in case you get separated. Always identify possible exits.

  • Be attentive to what is unusual or threatening. Assess reasonable and safe options. Trust your "gut feelings"; if you feel threatened, act if safe to do so and leave the area immediately. Find somewhere more secure.
  • Research potential risks you can encounter before you travel. 
  • Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying on top of your drinking. Know your limits. In many countries beer, wine and liquor in some countries contains a higher alcohol content than similar products in the U.S. Know what you are drinking and how much alcohol it contains.
  • Practice the buddy system, which promotes safety.  This system helps ensure that you, and a partner, will look out for each other.  Choose your buddy wisely.  The ideal buddy should feel that the buddy system is very important. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
  • Have a communication plan. Who will you call on site if you are facing an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
Register online with the U.S. embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.
Read the UCEAP the Guide to Study Abroad, Safety Chapter  for more information on how to prepare to have a safe experience and access the U.S. Department of State Students Abroad website for updated travel information.
Crime & Prevention
Crime is a serious problem in Argentina. Robberies involving physical violence and the use of weapons are known to occur in the streets immediately outside of the Caminito tourist area in La Boca as violent thefts occur in neighboring streets. Make sure to stay within the designated tourist area where there are high visibility police patrols. Also, be cautious about San Telmo, Florida St., Congreso and Retiro. Avoid these areas after dark.
Keep a close eye on your personal possessions at all times, particularly in restaurants, internet cafes, and on public transportation. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or wearing jewelry. Avoid all isolated or poorly lit areas at night.
Distraction thefts (e.g. throwing sauce on people, then distracting them by offering to help clean it off) occur in public areas such as outside hotels, internet cafes, the subway system, and train and bus stations. Some criminals use force if they encounter resistance.
Passport theft is common especially in Buenos Aires and Mendoza. Leave your passport securely at home and keep a photocopy of the details page with you at all times.

Report any incident and/or safety concerns immediately to local staff.

Safety Tips

  • Carry your back-pack in front.
  • Most criminal violence occurs at night in isolated areas such as side streets and alleys in urban areas, vacant lots, empty buildings, and empty parks.
  • Foreign visitors tend to be easier targets for criminals. Take all necessary safety precautions when in public.
  • Maintain situational awareness. Do not walk around listening to music through earphones or talking on a cell phone. Remain alert and on guard in public or crowded places.
  • Petty theft and crime are prevalent, especially in crowded places like the subte, bus stations, and the airport. Beware of thieves and pickpockets. Guard your belongings. Wear clothing with inside pockets, especially if carrying important documents. Secure purses and wallets, especially in discos and marketplaces. Do not place money, documents, or other valuables in backpacks. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Carry a zippered purse. Any purse or bag that slings across your back is an invitation to thieves. Pick a bag with a long strap so o it can go across your chest rather than just slipping it around your shoulder.
  • Walk in groups whenever possible. Never walk alone at night.
  • Keep copies of all important documents (passport, credit cards, etc.) in a separate, safe place.
  • If confronted by a criminal, do not resist.
  • Stay in control of your drinking. You are much more vulnerable when you are drunk.  Alcohol dulls your instincts and awareness of danger.  Think twice before accepting drinks from someone you do not know well. Do not leave your drink unattended. 

Street Harassment

Cat-calling and other types of harassment are seen as normal by some in Buenos Aires. Argentina has seen an increase in campaigning by women to change the way they are viewed by society. Forms of sexual harassment in public in the Argentine capital could now land perpetrators with a $60 (£47) fine.

Be Responsible for Your Personal Security: Avoid Becoming a Victim

  • Be alert at all times. Do not walk around listening to music through headphones or talking on a cell phone. Remain alert and on guard in public or crowded places.

  • As in any big city, you can encounter muggers, pickpockets, scam artists, and purse-snatchers on the street, at bus and train stations. Petty theft and crime are prevalent, especially in crowded places like the subte, bus stations, and the airport. Beware of thieves and pickpockets. Guard your belongings. Do not place money, documents, or other valuables in backpacks. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Be careful in San Telmo, an older traditional neighborhood specializing in antique stores, and La Boca neighborhood (home to the famous “Caminito” street and “Boca Juniors” soccer stadium) in Buenos Aires, where violent robberies have been occurring with increasing frequency.
  • Keep cameras and other expensive property concealed.  Do not wear expensive jewelry. Thieves specifically target expensive jewelry and watches, especially high-value items. They regularly steal unattended purses, backpacks, laptops, and luggage and will often distract visitors for a few seconds to steal valuables. 
  • Armed assaults are also common in the capital, particularly at night. Most criminal violence occurs at night in isolated areas such as side streets and alleys in urban areas, vacant lots, empty buildings, and empty parks. Walk in groups whenever possible. Never walk alone at night.
  • Criminals have also targeted individuals withdrawing cash from bank ATMs. Criminals may overtly challenge an individual directly and/or alter basic ATM functions causing the scam victim to believe the machine failed to dispense the cash and may be out-of-order.
  • Foreign visitors usually tend to be easier targets for criminals, so try to blend in with local dress and mannerisms and take all necessary safety precautions when in public.
  • Wear clothing with inside pockets, especially if carrying important documents. Secure purses and wallets, especially in discos and marketplaces.
  • Keep copies of all important documents (passport, credit cards, etc.) in a separate, safe place.
  • If confronted by a criminal, do not resist.
Civil Unrest
Demonstrations are common in metropolitan Buenos Aires and occur in other major cities as well. Protesters on occasion block streets, highways, and major intersections, causing traffic jams and delaying travel. While demonstrations are usually nonviolent, some individuals break from larger groups and sometimes seek confrontation with the police and vandalize private property. Groups occasionally protest in front of the U.S. Embassy and U.S.-affiliated businesses.
Do not participate in demonstrations. If caught in a potentially violent situation, immediately seek shelter in upscale hotels or large public buildings, such as libraries, theaters, hospitals, or museums.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Do not drive. Argentina has the highest road fatality rate in Latin America. Drivers in Argentina tend to be aggressive, especially in Buenos Aires, and often ignore traffic regulations. During weekdays, some areas of the central part of the city (el microcentro) are closed to automobile traffic.
Bicyclists account for almost half of all unsafe and illegal actions on the roads. Many cyclists ride against traffic, ignore traffic lights and speed limits, ride the wrong way on one-way streets and fail to yield to pedestrians. Some cyclists carry heavy loads and/or passengers in front of them, making it difficult to maintain good balance.


  • Over 150 privately owned bus lines (colectivos) provide a large percentage of public transport in the city. Colectivos are small buses, seating 21-27, or full-sized buses, seating up to 60. They are readily available, but often overcrowded. Schedules are not fixed, but service is frequent. Fares are low. Routes are extensive. Drivers may only stop briefly when allowing passengers to board or disembark.
  • Some bus drivers drop passengers off in the middle of multi-lane avenues.
  • Long distance buses are the primary form of inter-city travel. Buses are comfortable, fares are reasonable and service is fast. Some companies provide on-board meals; others stop at restaurants on the route.
  • Colectivos (urban buses) provide service over many routes in a city. Quality of service varies widely. Fares may be fixed for an entire city, or may depend on distance traveled. Some colectivos provide transport to nearby towns.
  • Diferenciales, a special class of colectivo, are air-conditioned and provide faster transport than regular colectivos, but fares are higher.


  • Radio taxis usually provide a more secure means of transport than do other types of public transportation. Taxis are readily available in larger cities. Fares are moderate, but vary in different cities.
  • Taxis are metered. Make certain the driver starts the meter.
  • Not all taxis have functional seat belts.
  • Do not flag taxis in the vicinity of the Retiro bus terminal, Costanera (promenade along the riverbank), Paseo Alcora (a shopping mall near on of the poorest areas) and Arcos del Sol (a shopping mall in Palermo), due to security concerns. Call a radio-dispatched taxi.
  • Avoid black and yellow taxis with the word "Mandataria" on the door. These taxis are rented on a daily or hourly basis and are often involved in criminal acts.
  • Use radio-dispatched taxis, especially at night. Illegitimate taxi drivers have robbed passengers; travelers leaving banks or ATMs are especially at risk. In one common scheme, the taxi driver picks up an accomplice after picking up a passenger. The driver and the accomplice then rob the passenger. A driver may also take the passenger to a secluded location where he is met by the accomplice. Passengers may also be taken to ATMs where they are forced to withdraw money. Do not use taxis displaying the word “Manditaria” as they are often rented by criminals posing as taxi drivers.
  • Do not take rides offered by people on the street or outside an airport.  

Scams using Yellow and Black Taxis

A number of scams involving yellow and black taxis have been reported at international airports and around Buenos Aires. The most frequently reported scams include a “handler” at the airport requesting hundreds of pesos (an amount that far exceeds the likely fare) from the traveler as s/he getsinto the cab. The traveler assumes s/he is paying a flat rate up front. When the cab ride is finished, the driver demands the ride fare stating to have no association with the handler at the airport and that the fee paid was to get placed in the cab. Another version of the scam involves the taxi breaking down on the side of the freeway and another cab coming to retrieve the passenger. The first driver demands payment for the whole fare to the destination, as does the second driver who completes the trip. To avoid these potential issues, either pre-arrange transportation or select one of the flat rate “remise” services located inside the airport terminal. In town, radio taxis from a reliable location, such as a hotel, should be utilized whenever possible. After dark, radio taxis or private “remise” taxis should be called from a reliable location.
Do not use taxis displaying the word “Manditaria” as they are often rented by criminals posing as taxi drivers.

Driver Behaviors

  • Risk-taking behavior, the lack of traffic safety policies, and the lack of road signs, lane markings, traffic lights, guardrails and other safety features, are common factors in road crashes.
  • Drivers often drive recklessly or aggressively, pass illegally, tailgate, or ignore speed limits, road signs, and traffic signals.
  • Drivers are more likely to ignore red lights at night and during siesta (afternoon rest period).
  • Many drivers start through an intersection when the light is yellow, instead of waiting for the light to turn green.
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a factor in 37% of road fatalities.
  • Drivers show little concern for pedestrians or cyclists. 

For more information, access, Taxi and Bus Passenger Safety Checklist.

Pedestrian Safety

The most at-risk road users around the world are pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Cross streets with care. Many drivers ignore traffic lights and speed limits. 
  • Drivers do not respect pedestrians' right of way, even when pedestrians are in zebra crossings.
  • Pedestrians often cross the street anywhere and fail to wait for traffic lights to change.
  • Common factors in pedestrian fatalities include jaywalking, failing to wait for traffic lights to change, waiting on streets instead of sidewalks, and walking along streets or roads with inadequate shoulders.
  • Be aware of local traffic patterns. Understand local road culture.

For more information access, Pedestrian Safety Checklist.

Common Scams
Mustard-on-the-back Scam
Unknown to you, a liquid is squirted on your back. After a few steps, someone, often a middle-aged woman, will inform you that you have something on your back and offer to help clean it off. Meanwhile, she or an accomplice picks your pockets. This scam has been used regularly in tourist areas such as San Telmo, La Boca, 9 de Julio, Recoleta, and Florida Street. This is one of the least confrontational crimes; just say "NO" and walk away.  
Express and Virtual Kidnappings
Express kidnapping (short duration/low ransom) occurs occasionally with conventional mugging. Extortion kidnapping for ransom is on the increase but mostly affects well-off Argentines. The true rate of kidnapping is unknown but believed to be growing in the region. 
Virtual kidnapping, a telephone scam in which the caller claims to have kidnapped someone who has, in reality, simply been mugged or is not at home, occurs frequently. There are many variations of the virtual kidnapping scam. In one variation, which appears to be on the rise, the caller claims that a family member has been involved in a horrific accident and personal information is needed by on-scene medical authorities. Once personal information is divulged, the caller becomes more aggressive and uses the newly acquired information to extort valuables. Such calls often come from jails, and the callers ask for prepaid phone cards, which are a form of money inside prisons. 
Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment
Every member of the UCEAP community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual violence and sexual harassment, retaliation, and other prohibited behavior (“Prohibited Conduct”) that violates law and/or University policy. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of Prohibited Conduct and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior that violates this Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. Report to the local UCEAP staff and/or partners if you suspect one of these behaviors has occurred.
Fire Safety
Follow these general fire safety tips. Most college-related fires in the U.S. are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
  • Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
  • Know how to call the local fire department.
  • Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
  • Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
  • Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
  • Have an escape plan and practice it.
  • Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
  • Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
  • Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
Fire - Dial 100.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.

Program Suspension Policy

If the U.S. Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Advisory after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, UC security provider, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.

Security Evacuation

The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy evacuation on U.S. government-arranged flights, that require U.S. citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP and its security providers, is covered by UCEAP itravel nsurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
In An Emergency

What Is an Emergency?

An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
  • Any life/death situation
  • A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
  • An arrest
  • Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country

In an Emergency

Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:

If you are in the U.S.

  • During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
  • After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.
If you are abroad
Carry the local emergency contact information at all times.

Buenos Aires Emergency Phone Numbers

The local equivalent to the U.S. 911 in Argentina is:
  • Ambulance (Medical Emergency Service, SAME): 107
  • Firefighters: 100
  • Police (Argentine Federal Police): 101
  • Tourist Police: (011) 4346-5748 / 0800-999-5000

U.S. Embassy Resources

  • U.S. Embassy emergency numbers (from within Argentina): (011) 5777-4354 or (011) 5777-4873
  • It is wise to visit and familiarize yourself with the U.S. Embassy to Argentina’s American Citizens Services website. UCEAP also strongly encourages you to register online with the U.S. Department of State through their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program before your departure from the U.S.
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