Get off the beaten path and explore Uruguay! Live with a host family, become part of a new community, intern with a local organization, and experience the vibrant culture and laid-back lifestyle in Montevideo.

 
Fall 2020 Gap Programs have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more here.

Example Itinerary

*This is an example itinerary. Dates, topics, and activities may be subject to change.

Fall Semester

First week in country

Gap students arrive in Uruguay. AMIGOS staff meet you at the airport and the group travels together to begin briefing. Staff lead all gap volunteers in an orientation to AMIGOS, Uruguay, and what to expect from living in Montevideo, and Uruguay. As you get ready to begin your adventure abroad, you’ll organize an event to meet their host families.

September

Intensive Spanish course in the morning and cultural Spanish activities in the afternoons, including a workshop on the popular Uruguayan beverage, mate. Take part in a workshop about project management in preparation for the service project you will design and implement during your internship. Introductory meetings with partner agency staff take place in the middle of the month.

October

Begin internship at a local partner agency. The first two weeks, you’ll be onboarding and training. Then, you’ll start taking on responsibilities and designing your service project. Go on your first group excursion to Colonia de Sacramento and Buenos Aires, Argentina. A second workshop is conducted on Uruguayan social movements and community development.

November

Plan a Thanksgiving dinner for host families, partner agency staff, and AMIGOS volunteers and staff. Meet local youth groups involved in social initiatives across the city at the third workshop. Turn in the final draft of your service project.

December

Excursion to Minas and Villa Serrana before heading home.

Spring Semester

January

Arrive in Uruguay and begin briefing and training to prepare you for your semester abroad. Meet the gap volunteers who are enrolled in the full year program. Get to know your host family and your new neighborhood.

February

Intensive Spanish course in the morning and cultural Spanish activities in the afternoons, including a workshop on the popular Uruguayan beverage, mate. Take part in a workshop about project management in preparation for the service project you will design and implement during your internship. Introductory meetings with partner agency staff take place in the middle of the month.

Be part of Carnaval-related activities taking place in Montevideo in celebration of culture, music, and dancing. Learn how to be part of an afro-descendent murga music group at a workshop at the Carnaval Museum.

March

Begin working at your internship placement and designing your service project. Visit Buenos Aires, Argentina and explore Tigre and the Argentinian coast.

April

Evaluate the impact and results of your project and your internship experience at a local partner agency. Welcome the turn of the seasons to fall in the Southern Hemisphere while exploring Piriapolis and Punta del Este. Turn in the final draft of your service project.

May

A final excursion to Salto and Payasandú takes place as volunteers get ready for debriefing and to go back home.

Length Training
Dates
In-Country
Dates
Ages Application
Deadline
Price
Spring Semester 2021 4 months

Train as a group with fellow volunteers upon arrival in Uruguay!

January–May 15, 2021

17–22 November 1, 2020

$13,450*

College credit is available through the Gap Year Association for an additional $1,700 per semester.

Click here to learn more about funding and financial assistance.

*Program fee may be subject to change.

  • Spring Semester 2021
  • Length
    4 months
  • Training Dates

    Train as a group with fellow volunteers upon arrival in Uruguay!

  • In-Country Dates

    January–May 15, 2021

  • Ages
    17–22
  • Application Deadline
    November 1, 2020
  • Price

    $13,450*

    College credit is available through the Gap Year Association for an additional $1,700 per semester.

    Click here to learn more about funding and financial assistance.

    *Program fee may be subject to change.

About the Region

City of Montevideo

Montevideo is the home of nearly half of Uruguay’s population and is the most diverse and culturally rich city in the country. Home to about 1.3 million people, Montevideo is well-known for being spacious, modern, and attractive, with broad, tree-lined boulevards, numerous beautiful parks. Notable among the parks is the Prado, which, with its lovely botanical gardens containing many thousands of plant species, is a popular promenade; among the impressive buildings are the cabildo (city hall), the legislative palace, the government palace, and the cathedral.

Great architecture is to be found everywhere and the theater, arts, music and fashion scene are vibrant.

Montevideo was founded on the coast of Río de Plata and is known for its safety and hospitality of its people. Almost three hundred years of history have left Montevideo an invaluable historical heritage which manifests best in government buildings. Described as an open-air museum, Montevideo is a city of poets: Delmira Agustini, Mario Benedetti, Juan Carlos Onetti, Eduardo Galeano, Juana de Ibarbourou are some of the most famous ones.

The Afro-Uruguayan community has given the country one of its most valuable forms of art: candombe. This percussion rhythm played with three drums is the foundation of llamadas, a key part of Uruguayan carnival which can be heard across the streets of Palermo and Barrio Sur every weekend. The other half of carnival celebrations is murga, a popular kind of musical theater in which a choir sings, providing humorous commentary on social issues. Taking place during most of February and March, Uruguayan carnival is the longest in the world!

Slang

bo = friend (used like che in Argentina)
bondi = bus
esta salado = it is incredible!
ta = used in a similar way to like

Your Gap Semester in Montevideo

Most internship placements will take place in or around the city while the majority of host family houses will be located in the surrounding metropolitan areas. The best way to get around Montevideo is on a bus as the service extensively covers all the parts of the town. With the help from staff and a navigation system, you will have no problem getting from one place to the other! And always remember to enjoy a stroll through the Rambla, starting at Parque Rodó and finishing by Pocitos beach!

Example Service Projects

You’ll gain first-hand experience in project management by designing and implementing a service project within your internship placement and in close collaboration with a local organization. You have the independence to design this project, explore your interests, and respond to the needs or initiatives of the organization. Here are some examples of projects completed by AMIGOS gap volunteers:

  • Redesigning an agency’s website and creating social media content
  • Planning and designing a space to support staff working with students experiencing reduced motor skills
  • Remodeling a greenhouse
Example Internships

Education & Youth Development: Throughout his nine months working at Centro Educativo Los Tréboles, Silas became part of the staff supporting the after-school program that serves more than 100 students, aged 10–19. After a 2-month onboarding process, Silas took the role of mentor and teaching assistant, taking responsibility for developing curricula, conducting classes on math, science, and English as second language, planning educational activities, and assisting with the day-to-day administrative work. His own personal highlight: organizing and participating in two excursions to the Uruguayan coast with staff and the 100 students to celebrate summer and the beginning of school!

Entrepreneurship & Social Inclusion: Liani, Reed, and Giovana completed internships involving entrepreneurship as a strategy to break the cycle of dependency and increase social inclusion. Whereas Liani interned for almost 9 months in Socialab, Reed did a 4-month internship at Endeavor, and Giovana worked a year-long in Fundacion Julio Ricaldoni. Even though each organization has a different mission and targets a distinct community, all three work toward creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and start-ups seeking to create change through technology and innovation. Liani, Reed, and Giovana supported their teams by conducting research-based tasks; organizing and planning country-wide events; assisting with grant reporting and grant application processes; and a wide range of programmatic and operational tasks.

Marketing & Communication: Drawing from her experience as the editor of her high school newspaper, Sophia worked closely with the Director of Communications at Fundacion Gonzalo Rodriguez in the design, set up and implementation of a newsletter that currently reaches over 1000 stakeholders. Sophia played an active role in developing certain aspects of the organization’s communication strategy, such as writing articles on relevant public policy change; assisting with the planning of regional and national events; translating the website content from Spanish to English; and developing a Mailchimp platform for all communication with donors and beneficiaries.

Example Workshop Themes
  • Project Management and Budgeting
  • Social Movements and Community Development in Uruguay
  • The role of CarnavalCandome, and Murga in Uruguayan culture 
  • Becoming leaders in a cross-cultural context
Example Day

Wake up and share coffee and breakfast with your host family before heading to your Spanish class with other gap volunteers or to your internship placement. Have lunch in a beautiful park close to the waterfront with your colleagues and fellow volunteers. Join in the life of the city by signing up for tango or guitar lessons or playing soccer on the beach with local youth. Stop by the market for a few local treats and then meet up with your host family to have a delicious home-cooked dinner. Then, rest up for another day!

Montevideo, Montevideo, Uruguay
Live in Uruguay and Visit Argentina with AMIGOS!

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Why Choose AMIGOS?

Have an Adventure

Each day brings new and unique opportunities! Find the best local spot in your Montevideo neighborhood, learn traditional dances, make new friends with people in your community, practice your Spanish, hike in national parks, and more!

Learn About Yourself & Discover Your Interests

The best way to grow as a person is to journey beyond your comfort zone and experience new things. AMIGOS Gap Program alumni say they are more confident, better prepared for college, more focused, and more resilient.
From youth education to public health initiatives, you’ll have the freedom to explore topics that interest you. You’ll also learn about Uruguayan culture and history at monthly workshops.

Gain Real-World Experience

Intern with a local partner agency to gain work experience and hone the skills necessary for the real world. AMIGOS matches you with an internship based on your interests and our partner agency needs, ensuring you get the most out of your experience.

Develop Useful Skills

Community organizing, speaking Spanish, managing projects, accounting and budgeting, public speaking…These are just a handful of the practical, resume-ready skills you’ll cultivate on a Gap Program with AMIGOS! Get a head start on your future by building these dynamic skills valued by modern employers.

Build Friendships Across Cultures

Connect with people around the world who you otherwise would never have met! Bond with your host family over meals, make friends at your internship, and spend time with your fellow Gap Program volunteers throughout your time abroad.

Go Beyond Travel

Do more than travel–live abroad! You’ll become part of a local community, making your time in Montevideo infinitely more rewarding. Immerse yourself in an authentic, one-of-a-kind experience far beyond anything else out there.

Spend a semester abroad!

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It will be one of the biggest adventures of your life, and it will very likely be the catalyst that sparks something inside of you that you didn’t know existed before.

—Lauren, Gap Volunteer

Program Requirements
  • Meet the health criteria for AMIGOS participation and follow the mental health procedures if necessary.
  • Receive required immunizations and medications
  • Be age 17–22 at the start of the project, and a high school graduate
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Learn More About Our Gap Program

Read blogs from amigos gap students here.

Get social with us:

Ellie enjoyed making empanadas with her host mom this week! #yum #empanadas #hostempanadas #uruguay #travel #gapyear ...

Excellent Xavier of Vermont blessed cohort members this week. Various cohort members (re: Silas) enjoyed showing the young Vermonster the ways and habits of Montevideano life. The connections formed with the protégée live. ...

Ella, Liani, Kiya, and Nikhil enjoy a relaxing afternoon near Parque Rodó #travel #gapyear #espanol #hostcafe ...

Cohort members visited the llamada in Palermo last weekend! #hostllamada #hostcall #llamadaanfitriona ...

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