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Ryann Jang
New member
Username: Rye

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 10:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello, I'm coming to Buenos Aires in early Feb 2007 to attend UCA for a year(on a student visa) I'm a 20yrs old female.
I have a couple of questions.

1. Should I purchase insurance here in Canada before I take off?
Is it possible for tourists/ students to get insured in BA?

2. My only goal in Argentina is to be able to speak Spanish fluently. Therefore I think it's best to stay with an Argentinean family. Do you guys know anyone, or where can i get information regarding homestay? ( I have checked out internet etc and the list of casas de familia that UCA has sent to me, but it seems that they are just renting out rooms, rather than taking students in as a part of their family. Am i too eager?:-)

3. I'm a runner and I love to rollerblade. Is it easy to get around on rollerblades? I guess it will be different depending on which barrio you are in? I'll be in Puerto Madero, San Telmo..etc. Are there lots of runners in BA? Any marathon events?

Thank you for your help!!

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Bill Howard
New member
Username: Veritas01

Post Number: 15
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 11:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

1. If you are insured in Canada call your health insurance provider to see what their policy is on international coverage. Some do not cover anything out of the home country, some will reimburse you for expenses you incur. You have to self pay and file a claim when you return with all the required supporting documents attached (some require they be translated). You can receive free health treatment in Argentina in public hospitals but that is not recommended. Private insurance is available but I believe you must be a permanent resident and have a DNI (ID number) to purchase it. Routine minor health matters you can self pay. Office visits and minor matters are very inexpensive in Canadian terms. Private clinics and hospitals exist and their cost is reasonable. Drugs can be purchased over the counter except for the usual controlled meds like pain killers and the like. Many visitors stock up on inexpensive meds while in Argentina. You can also purchase travelers medical insurance but that tends to be expensive and with some sizeable deductibles. Finally there is evacuation insurance which covers the cost of an air amublance flying you home. As you can imagine that is a very expensive proposition if you had to pay for that yourself. You should call the Canadian embassy in Buenos Aires and ask someone there this question. I had some health issues a few years ago and I called the US Embassy and I was told what hospitals and doctors to see if I needed care. Remember 800 numbers do not work in Argentina for US and Canadian numbers so get direct dial numbers for your insurance company. Hope that helps.

2. I think living with an argentine family is a great idea but I have no idea of where to hook up with one. There is a local expert on Dr Dawggy. He is a professor from the University of Georgia and he is a student coordinator for Argentina and travels there frequently. He sets kids up in Argentina for a semester abroad arrangement. I think he mentioned some placements with families. Perhaps if you post a question for him in that forum he will be able to steer you in the right direction. You may also want to try and find out where University of Buenos Aires, or Catholic University of Buenos Aires students reside (huge schools)...and there are many other colleges in the city. I dont think they have dorms like we do but they often live in groups in large apartment complexes. I would think if you could become a roomate of a group of college students it would really be cool. Talk about a crash course in spanish plus their lifestyle might be more to your liking. Just a thought. A family stay does offer other some advantages particularly in cultural immersion. Good luck with that one.

3. Well. First you should realize that BA air quality is bad particularly downtown. It reminds me of the US in the 50's with cars, busses and truck spewing exhaust everywhere. I have not seen many runners out and about downtown. I have seen them in Palermo where there are some nice parks and gardens. I suspect you can find more info by searching on international running clubs that have members or chapters in Argentina. Security will be an issue unfortunately. There are certain neighborhoods that are quite safe, some that are mixed, and others that are downright dangerous. Dont try it at night. I would not run alone. I would try and get a partner to run with you. The more the merrier. There are gyms with treadmills all over and perhaps some with running tracks. Not the same I know. I am sure there are competitive running events in BA. I have not seen rollerblades in Argentina. My wife, who is Argentine, used to do figure skating with the old 4 wheel skates. They are popular in Argentina. The sidewalks in the city can be mixed. You can walk around and the sidewalk is fine and then all of a sudden there is a gaping hole. You have to be careful. Also dogs are not curbed all the time.

Hope that is enough to get your started. Please let us know how you make out. When are you going to Argentina?

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Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 892
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 3:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ryann, welcome!

You can try some rollerblading in the Palermo lakes during weekends but -in general- there are a number of problems if you try this in the city, namely bad traffic and bad sidewalks/streets. You can run in both lakes in Palermo. I did this myself for many years during weekdays at night (with a friend). If you applied for an exchange with UCA you should be able to attend their sport campus. Finally, you can attempt to join GEBA for 1 year and explain to them your temporary status, you never know. I spent days and nights at all their campuses and in my view, they have the best places to practice any sport

About your health insurance there are a number of choices. One is what Bill mentioned, getting it locally in Canada covering your international stay. You may be able to get full refunds from services provided in Argentina. I myself was reimbursed 100% of a surgery. Again, if you applied for an exchange then it is mandatory that you are insured before getting to Argentina.

You could also get an insurance locally -just for turists- for a period of 4 months renewable at a cost of $7 pesos daily (about usd $70/75 month). I can email you more information if necessary.

If none of the above works, you could conceivably go to any clinic and pay for the services, good quality and not that expensive. Here is a list of places where you can get treatments if need arises:

Sanatorio La Trinidad: Cerviño 4720, Buenos Aires, tel: (54 11) 4127-5500 |
Hospital Fernandez: Cerviño 3356, Buenos Aires, tel.: (54 11) 4808 2600
Hospital Aleman: Av. Pueyrredón 1640 1118 Buenos Aires, Tel.: (54 11) 4821 1700/ Fax: 4805 6087.
Hospital Britanico: Perdriel 74, Buenos Aires, tel.: (54 11) 4304-1081/90.
Instituto del Quemado: Pedro Goyena 369, Buenos Aires, tel.: (54 11) 4923-4082
Sanatorio Mater Dei: San Martín de Tours 2952, 1425, Buenos Aires, tel.: (54 11) 4809-5555.
Instituto del Diagnostico: M.T. de Alvear 2400, C1122AAL, Buenos Aires, tel.: (54 11) 4963 9500.

All with world class doctors. I usually go to Sanatorio Mater Dei. Both my mother and sister were treated successfully here for their cancers.

Bill, since you seem to be in contact with such Dr. Dawggy and are very familiar with the other forum, wouldn't it be a great idea to ask him to come and participate here sharing some of his vast knowledge as opposed to sending visitors there? He is always welcome :-)

(Message edited by admin on December 14, 2006)

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