Culture Quests

Argentina

South America
Capital: Buenos Aires
Languages: Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French
Useful links: Kids Culture Corner: Argentina | CIA World Factbook

The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Argentina. Although au pairs from this country may or may not have had these experiences/beliefs, Au Pair in America wishes to share this general information with our families.

Au Pairs in General

  • The idea of being an au pair is a new concept in Argentina.
  • Applicants from Argentina are motivated by opportunities to integrate into American life, to improve their English, to gain experience living in another country, and to grow as a person.
  • The job potential of an au pair improves upon her return to Argentina due to a high level of English competency attained in the U.S.
  • Young people in Argentina have the freedom of their family to socialize and date.
  • Curfews are not common.
  • Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores.
  • Nude sunbathing is uncommon.
  • Argentine youth are well-educated; they do not marry young, and they try to find employment straight from school or university

Child Care Practices

  • Common discipline techniques include loss of privileges or pocket money.
  • Physical discipline is not practiced in Argentina.
  • Applicants obtain child care experience through formal schooling, caring for younger siblings, and babysitting.
  • Usually both parents shoulder the childrearing responsibilities.
  • It is common for both parents to work and be away from home during the day.

Driving Skills

  • Most applicants obtain their driving license even if they do not have a car or have access to one; it is a rite of passage.
  • A driving license is not difficult or expensive to obtain.
  • The steps involved in obtaining a driving license in Argentina include:
    • Theoretical oral test
    • Practical test
    • Fees
  • The International Driving Permit is available.
  • Some applicants take formal driving lessons and practice driving using their parents' car; others begin practicing at a young age and do not need lessons.
  • Most cars have manual transmissions.

English Language Skills

  • English is now compulsory in schools.
  • Classes focus on oral skills at a young age, then the intensity increases in high school.

Education

  • The majority of young women continue their studies at university. University standards are high and costs are low. Some university graduates have to work in a field other than their degree, and it is difficult for them to reach financial independence without the help of their parents.
  • Those who do not attend university study at other educational institutions or seek employment. A small number of girls marry young and do not work.
  • The academic year in Argentina starts in March and ends in December.
  • The educational opportunities of the Au Pair in America program are very important to Argentine applicants.

Health

  • The most common inoculations are tetanus, diphtheria, tuberculin, polio, mumps, measles, and rubella.
  • Most young women are inoculated and tested for TB (tuberculosis).
  • Argentina has a free health service.
  • Most young women visit the dentist on a regular basis.
  • “Eating disorders” are not common, but do occur.

Diet

  • Most young people in Argentina eat meat.
  • Vegetarianism is not common.

Religion

  • The most common religion in Argentina is Catholicism.
  • Most young people in Argentina do not practice their religion regularly.

Telephone & Internet

  • Most homes have a telephone and a computer with access to the Internet.
  • Family members may not be able to take a message in English from a potential host family.

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