For many, coming to South America to study Spanish is about breaking away from the everyday 9-5 merry go round, the conformities and commitments that are modern life. The temptation will always be to make that spontaneous escape, book a last minute flight and just take what South America hands you. Sounds great but at the end of the day, nobody wants to be stuck in an internet cafe in 35 degrees heat trawling through Accommodation providers or Spanish schools for their first week in Buenos Aires or Santiago.
By all means hit the random clubs of Buenos Aires, taste the strange cazuela stews of Chile and experiment with everything that is unique to this fascinating continent but don't leave planning the important stuff like finding the right Spanish courses until you get here. If you put the work in now, you will no doubt, have a better, less stressful time when you arrive. Obviously though it can prove difficult to do this on the other side of the world so to help you we have put together a collection of short guides to assist you in planning. There are three guides in total with each of them aiming to inform you of the most important considerations for a particular aspect of immersion travel, in no more than 5 minutes.
Learning Spanish in South America is great fun and unquestionably beneficial. There is nothing wrong with just picking up a few words of the lingo as you travel but if you want to return home with a proper grasp of the language, more than you need for ordering a 'cerveza' then you should probably read Section one of our learning Spanish abroad guide which deals with everything you should know about actually learning the language from day to day. Section two of our learning Spanish abroad guide discusses how you can use CatchtheLingo and other community resources to plan your Spanish learning journey.
Accommodation will most likely be the biggest cost you face in South America. With this in mind, we have created an accommodation guide detailing what you need to know for hostel, home stay and apartment rental accommodation.
Volunteering is an aspect many students pursue when in Latin America, in particular Central America. When planned properly, time spent volunteering will be much more beneficial to all involved but unfortunately this doesn't always happen. We have created a guide to volunteering in South America to give people an idea of what volunteering in South America might entail and how best to go about finding the right role for you.
As a community website, these guides have been created on a voluntary basis and while not perfect, they form a foundation for the future sharing of useful information. We welcome any contributions or feedback from the community - You will find us at firstname.lastname@example.org