Argentina – important information for your trip to South America
Land Area: 2,780,400 km² (land: 2,736,690 km², water: 43,710 km²)
Population: 41.8 million (July 2011 estimate, CIA). White (mostly Spanish or Italian ancestors) 97%, mestics (mixed white and American ancestors), natives and other non-white groups 3%
Population density: 15 residents per km²
Population growth: 1.017% per year (2011, CIA)
Capital: Buenos Aires (11.5 million residents, 2006)
Highest point: Cerro Aconcagua, 6,960 m (in the northwest of the province of Mendoza)
Lowest point: Laguna del Carbon, -105 m (between Puerto San Julian and Comandante Luis Piedra Buena in the province of Santa Cruz)
Form of government: According to constructmaterials, Argentina has been a federal republic since 1853. The constitution dates from 1994, the last change was in 1997. The bicameral parliament consists of a House of Representatives with 257 elected members and a Senate with 72 elected members. The Argentine President is directly elected for four years. Argentina has been independent from Spain since July 9, 1816.
Administrative division: 23 provincias (Catamarca, Chaco, Chubut, Cordoba, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Formosa, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, Neuquen, Rio Negro, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero, Tierra del Fuego – Antartida e Islas del Atlantico Sur, Tucuman) and an autonomous city (distrito federal, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Capital Federal).
Head of Government and Head of State: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, since December 10, 2007.
Language: The official language in Argentina is Spanish. English is widespread, however, and some German, French and Italian are also spoken.
Religion: 92% of the population is Roman Catholic (of which less than 20% practice), 2% Protestants, 2% Jews, 4% others.
Local time: CET – 4 h. There is no summer or winter time change in Argentina.
The time difference to Central Europe is 4 hours in winter and 5 hours in summer.
Telephone code: +54
Mains voltage: 220 V, 50 Hz. An adapter is required. In older buildings you will often find two-pin round plugs, whereas in more modern buildings you will find three-pin flat plugs.
Discover Argentina on a language trip
Eat like god in Argentina
Eating like God is a common theme in France. Or do we rather eat God in Argentina? This South American state is known for excellent food. The Argentinians’ breakfast is quite similar to ours, coffee with milk, tea, croissants. Sometimes there is also “dulce con leche”, a caramel spread that is not so well known in our part of the world. However, lunch and dinner are much more important than breakfast. Argentina is known for tasty meat. Yes, in Argentina you eat a large part of meat, steaks and grilled food, asado, as the Argentines say, can be found on every menu. The empanadas are also typically South American, dumplings with vegetables or meat filling,
In addition to the excellent food, Argentina is also known for fiery tango rhythms. Tango was actually the music of the poorer population and only became really socially acceptable around 1920. Traditional rhythms complemented by influences from Spanish, Italian and Cuban music – this is how tango came into being at the end of the 19th century. The Argentine tango experienced a second flourishing in the middle of the 20th century, when it was rediscovered as an “Argentine cultural product”.
From north to south
Argentina also has a breathtaking landscape to offer. Due to the great north-south expansion, one encounters a wide variety of climatic and landscape zones in Argentina. While the west is taken by the mighty Andes, in the north, in the center of the country, you will find the Gran Chaco, a savannah. In the corner where Argentina borders on Brazil and Paraguay, you can marvel at the waterfalls of Iguazu. Grassy plains stretch around the capital, Buenos Aires. And in the far south, in Patagonia, a rough wind blows around your ears. The lowest point in America, the Laguna del Carbon, which is 105 m below sea level, can also be found on Argentine territory.
The national language in Argentina is Spanish. Until 1816, the Spanish conquerors ruled this as well as other parts of South America. Argentina is also becoming a popular destination for language stays. With language trips, for example, you can book a Spanish course in Argentina. While Spain is often known from summer and beach holidays, there is still something mysterious about South America to be discovered. The Spanish spoken in South America differs in some aspects from European Spanish – vocabulary, choice of words and also some grammatical differences can sometimes lead to small misunderstandings. As a simple example: fresa means strawberry in Spain, the Argentines, for example, refer to it as frutilla. Guagua can be called a bus, like in Cuba and the Canary Islands, or even toddlers like in South America. Yes, Spanish is not always Spanish, but basically there shouldn’t be any communication problems.
If you are considering exploring South America on a language trip, you should take a few weeks to do so. Buenos Aires is definitely worth a visit and also an ideal starting point for excursions or a short detour to Argentina’s neighboring countries. You can
learn Spanish in Buenos Aires with ESL, for example at the Babylon Idiomas language school, a course center located in one of Buenos Aires’ best neighborhoods, Palermo Soho.