Education in Latin America: a Guide for Prospective Students
BY ELAINE GLORIA
For a very long time, Latin America hasn’t been an attractive educational destination. The group of countries in Latin America was considered to be of low literacy rates and weak-quality education. But the last decade was time for substantial changes to the region’s countries economies and education in particular. At the moment Latin America has a chance to compete with such favorite student countries like the USA, UK, and Australia.
The number of students has doubled in the last 10 years which is a result of the fast-growing economy and outside investments reffering to legit essay writing service. Besides, Latin America is a good option for international students: it’s cheaper than Europe or North America and offers a wide variety of entertainment and touristic destinations. What’s else needed for a student?!
Top Universities in Latin America
Top Latin American universities are listed in QS Latin America University Rankings, which include 385 universities in 20 countries all over the region. The most attractive destinations to study in Latin America are Chile, Brazil, and Mexico. Though such countries as Columbia, Argentina, and Costa Rica are also significantly popular. The 2019 leading university in Latin America is Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (US) in Chile, while Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil takes the second place in the rank.
Cost for studying in Latin America is relatively cheaper than countries like the US, UK or Australia. While an average price for studying in a state college in the USA is $9970 and £9250 in the UK, an average price for higher education in Latin America ranges $4000-5000. What’s more, in some countries, like Brazil, for example, public higher education till the postgraduate level is stated to be free on the governmental level.
Cost of living
Living expenses in region’s countries are also more affordable than in North America, Europe or Australia. But the prices strongly depend on the city you want to study in. Such cities as Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro would be expensive to live with the approximate cost of $1000 per month, while in smaller towns you’re likely to spend $600-800 per month. All in all, average living costs in the US or UK would be at least 10% higher than in Latin America.
Applications and visas
You should start your university application process with a list of supporting documents required, which is usually listed on each university’s website. Generally, this list contains documents like:
Copy of a letter of acceptance;
Previous education records;
The range of documents you need to provide depends on the chosen degree, faculty and university.
To study in most of the Latin American countries, you would need a study permit (visa). Before applying to a chosen university, you need to check whether your native country is on the list of states required to have permission. The approximate visa cost is around $100-160. To apply for a visa, you must provide a list of documents too. Those usually include:
Signed visa application forms;
Letter of acceptance to a chosen university;
Proof of sufficient funds;
Receipt of visa payment;
Certificate of conviction history;
Bank records etc.
Scholarships and funding
Most of the Latin American universities don’t provide financial aid for international students, so if you might need help with the funding, it will be better for you to do it with a home-based organization or international scholarship institutions.
The most common languages are Spanish and Portuguese. A vast majority of the university courses are taught in these two languages. So most of the students are required to pass a language proficiency test. If you were lucky enough to find a course in English, you should still remember that it won’t be a day-to-day language to communicate here. So a good idea for you would be to be able to speak casual Spanish/Portuguese depending on your destination country.
Latin America is famous for it’s old and rich culture. Population values its roots and cherishes traditions. At the same time, the region is exceptionally multicultured and ethnically diverse. Latin America is famous for being the place full of diasporas from whole over the world.
The region is a significant tourist attraction. It will serve the needs of the most demanding tourist. You can go skiing in the Andes in Argentina or Chile, sunbathe and go surfing in Brazil and Uruguay, go sandboarding in Peru, explore the Amazon, etc. Latin America has everything: breathtaking panoramas, ancient history, rich culture, unique cuisine, fascinating entertainment facilities. It’s a place where thousands-years-old history meets modern lifestyles.
So if you’re still considering whether to give Latin America a chance, don’t hesitate. It’s a perfect study destination for ambitious students who want to get a quality education, meet new people, explore the world and experience different cultures.
Gloria Elaine has been an editor in the Bookwormlab team since September 2015. She gained professional experience as a PR for a local college before moving to journalism.