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Help! What city to go to in South or Central America for an extended stay?!

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Looking to leave Aug/Sep 2012.
6 years ago, June 24th 2012 No: 1 Msg: #158000  
What I want: Choose a Spanish-speaking city in South or Central America (I'm leaning towards Buenos Aires in Argentina) and live and possibly work there for approximately 3 months starting in Aug. or Sep. 2012 (I say approximately because I'm actually extremely flexible and leaving it open-ended. I could stay indefinitely if I get a modest job and an extended visa).

I'm not really interested in traveling around to multiple countries and cities. This is not so much a vacation but rather me taking an opportunity to experience a disparate place and culture. I think a large city would be best for me. Though I know they're more expensive. But I don't want to choose a place just based on how inexpensive it is, especially if I'm able to get a job. I've been to Madrid in Spain and loved it, but also loved the somewhat smaller city of Granada. It had a large university with international students as well as beautiful Moor architecture. I want to choose a place with a fun culture and vibrant night-life.

I also need to choose a place based on the following: I don't know exactly what I'm going to do once I get there. My Spanish is very bad. Considering that, I may require something to help me assimilate at first. I'm considering immersion programs, Spanish classes, volunteering, teaching English, etc. (recommendations?). Plus I'm not that outgoing, so maybe signing up for a program would help me meet some people and acclimate. I'm weary of signing up for anything like this before-hand though. Ideally I'd like to get a job at a hostel, but I think because of my Spanish, that may be far-fetched.

About myself: 30 year old male currently living in Los Angeles. I have two degrees: a B.A. in Psychology and B.A. in Music from WUSTL. My current occupation is a waiter, so I don't think that experience would really help me out in a different country. I've done some traveling to Spain and Colombia (I was considering traveling to Bucuramanga, but my friend who was living there is moving away, the city has become more expensive, and the U.S. dollar is depreciating in value). In those countries I was with people that were able to help me out. Also, those were vacations. This time I'm traveling alone and planning to stay and live somewhere for an extended period. I do have money saved ($10,000 U.S. dollars), but would still like to be frugal and have some type of small income. (Plus I think I'd be bored without a job).

I know this is a lot to consider, but any recommendations or reportings of similar experiences would be appreciated!

Also, does anyone know if Spain is an okay place to go now? Considering the economic conditions there right now I'm not too sure. Reply to this

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