Second in South America only to Brazil in size and population, Argentina is a plain, rising from the Atlantic to the Chilean border and the towering Andes peaks. Argentina is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay on the north, and by Uruguay and Brazil on the east. The economy of Argentina is Latin America's third-largest, with a Very High Human Development Index and a relatively high GDP per capita. It is classified as an upper middle-income economy by the Wold Bank.
Argentina is located in the southwestern portion of the South American continent. The country is narrow from east to west but has an extensive coastline along the Pacific Ocean. The country has borders with Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay, along with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Drake Passage to the south. Landscapes in Argentina range from beautiful shores and stunning rain forests to majestic mountains in the Andes range; the length of the country from north to south provides a wide variation in climates. The country has a strong economy bolstered by a highly educated workforce, modern infrastructure and abundant natural resources. The official currency is the Argentine Peso and the official language is Spanish. The country is the largest (land area) Spanish-speaking country in the world and is the second largest country in Latin America. Argentina derives its name from the Latin word for “silver.”
The climate in Argentina encompasses all extremes – the northern part of the country is subtropical, while the southern part is sub-polar. Central Argentina enjoys a relatively moderate climate. Average temperatures range from 11 degrees C to 24 degrees C in Buenos Aires. Winter occurs from June to August and Summer from December to March.
Argentina is known as a fun-loving culture filled with passionate people. Students will find a wide variety of leisure activities, including the arts, nightlife and hiking. Argentina also has a very robust film industry, and there are more than 100 movie theaters in Buenos Aires alone. And don’t forget to learn how to do the tango, the national dance! Although Argentina is famous for its beef, vegetarians will also find many options and the country is becoming increasingly known for its affordable wines.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Argentina is very low and a student can live on about $US 5,000 per year. Housing costs only about $US 350 per month. Laws in Argentina regarding apartment rentals are strict, so students may want to obtain the services of a real estate agency to help negotiate the rental process.
Study in Argentina
Higher Education in Argentina
Higher education in Argentina is divided into three levels. The first, tertiary education level, provides degrees in education or technical professions such as teachers or technicians; degree programs typically last 1-3 years. The second, university level, provides professional education at universities across a wide range of academic disciplines resulting in degrees, licenses and titles (for attorneys and doctors); these programs range from 4 to 6 years. The third, post-graduate level, is research-oriented and includes specialist degrees, masters degrees and doctoral degrees.
Why Study in Argentina?
More than 25,000 international students study in Argentina each year, with small private institutions attracting the most students. Argentina has a very multiethnic and multicultural environment that welcomes international students. The quality of education is very high and the costs of studying are low compared to many countries. Nearly all graduate programs are taught in Spanish, so students should be proficient in Spanish or plan to take Spanish courses before their arrival. Students who are non-native Spanish speakers will find that the immersion they enjoy in Argentina will increase their proficiency and make them more valuable to multi-national corporations.
Universities in Argentina
There are more than 100 higher education institutions in Argentina, including 38 national universities, 42 private universities, 6 national and 14 private higher education institutes, 1 provincial university, 1 foreign university and 1 international university. The University of Buenos Aires is the most prestigious public university and other top schools include the University of Belgrano and the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, which is especially known for its top-ranked MBA program.
Tuition and Programme Duration
Some public universities have free graduate programs and most others are very low cost. Private schools can cost $US 5,000-15,000 per year. The length of master’s degree programs varies widely, but most programs last 1-2 years.
Because Argentina is located in the southern hemisphere, the academic year begins in March and runs through December. The academic year is based on semesters at most schools. Most courses focus on lectures and grades are based on a single exam or paper at the end of the course.
There are many employment opportunities in Argentina for both citizens and foreigners. Industries that employ significant international workers include export-oriented agribusiness, food-processing, manufacturing and construction. In addition, service industries are growing in popularity.
International students must have a visa to study in Argentina. Students enter the country as tourists and then switch to a student visa. All students must enter the country with a passport that is valid for at least six months past the end date of their studies. Students should check with the Argentine embassy or consulate in their home country to see specific requirements for entering Argentina as a tourist and to see what documents they will need for changing to the student visa. Students planning to study for more than six months in Argentina must also obtain a police report/certificate of good conduct for entry into the country; the document must be translated by a certified translator after arrival in Argentina. Applying for the required residency permit once in the country requires a visit to immigrations which must be made by appointment.
US, Australian and Canadian students must also pay an entry fee online prior to departing for Argentina.
Students are advised to obtain health insurance in their home country that is valid in Argentina. Some international study programs may also have health insurance that is mandatory or optional.
American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club are widely accepted, but students should carry cash when visiting small towns or rural areas. Travelers checks can be expensive and difficult to cash, so students may want to use ATMs and credit cards instead.
A 10 percent tip is normally given for services rendered in restaurants, hotels and theaters.
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