Like most Latin American countries, Argentina prides itself on its fierce and passionate national identity. Urbanites will head straight to the capital of Buenos Aires, where they can immerse themselves in Latin American culture, either by attempting to dance the tango in one of many lively bars or by sampling the finest Argentine beef in the multitude of fine restaurants. Study in Argentina.
Beyond its spirited urban hubs, Argentina also boasts astounding natural beauty, offering a haven of peace and solitude worlds away from the heat and fervor of the city. The geography of the country is as diverse as it gets, from the wetlands in the north to the dry Andean plateaus and the great expanses of Patagonia in the west, and the lush archipelagos of Tierra la Fuego which veer out from the country’s southernmost point towards Antarctica. Argentina is also home to the highest peak in all of the Americas, Aconcagua, as well as areas of desert, glacier-carved valleys, amazing waterfalls, and stunning lakes.
Approximately 90,000 international students come to study in Argentina each year, more than any other Latin American country aside from Uruguay. Over 30,000 of these students are from Europe, the US, and Asia, with attractions including the high quality of courses, affordable living costs and the chance to become proficient in speaking Spanish while experiencing such a diverse and colorful culture.
Universities in Argentina
Not only is Argentina one of the most popular places to study within Latin America, it’s also one of the fastest-growing centers of university education, with 39 institutions featuring in the QS Latin America University Rankings 2018, This growth, which is largely thanks to the economic boom enjoyed by the country in the early 21st century, has led the following universities to be considered among the continent’s finest.
Universidad de Buenos Aires
The nation’s highest-ranked university is the Universidad de Buenos Aires. It’s ranked 75th in the QS World University Rankings 2018 and ninth in the QS Latin America University Rankings 2018.
The largest university in Argentina, and one of the largest by enrollment in Latin America, the Universidad de Buenos Aires is a public university with 13 departments, 10 museums and six hospitals under its umbrella. Founded in 1821, the institution has also produced four Nobel Prize laureates, more than any other Spanish-speaking university, and counts the famous Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara among its alumni. The school does not have a main campus, but has buildings scattered across the city of Buenos Aires.
Notable subject strengths for the Universidad de Buenos Aires, based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, include anthropology, art and design, sociology, law and anatomy & physiology. For each of these, the university is ranked within the top 100 in the world.
Established in 1979, Universidad Austral is a private, Catholic university currently ranked joint 331st in the world and 24th in Latin America. Its main campus is in Buenos Aires, but the school also has faculties and departments based in Rosario (the faculty of business science) and Pilar (Austral University Hospital, the faculty of biomedical science, IAE Business School and Parque Austral – a research and development enterprise park for science, technology and business).
Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina Santa María de los Buenos Aires (UCA)
Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina Santa María de los Buenos Aires, otherwise known as Universidad Católica Argentina, or just UCA, is joint 364th in the latest world rankings and 36th in the 2018 Latin American rankings. Established in 1958, the Universidad Católica Argentina is another private, Catholic university, and its chancellor is the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The school’s main campus is situated in Puerto Madero, one of the most modernized areas of Buenos Aires.
Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires (ITBA)
Also located in Buenos Aires, the Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires is a private university, ranked 551-600 in the world and 60th in Latin America. The school has a current enrollment of almost 2,000 students with a primary focus on business, engineering and information technology. Established in 1959, the Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires is known as one of Argentina’s leading trainers of the next generation of engineers.
Other Universities in Argentina
Also featured prominently in the World University Rankings 2018 are the Universidad de Belgrano (337th), the Universidad de Palermo (431-440) and Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, (651-700), which climbed from 42nd to 21st in the Latin America rankings. For the full list of internationally ranked universities in Argentina take a look at the latest QS Latin America University Rankings.
Discover more top universities in Argentina with the QS Latin America University Rankings
Student cities in Argentina
Nicknamed the ‘Paris of South America’, Buenos Aires is the capital city of Argentina and the second-largest metropolitan area in Latin America after the Brazilian city of São Paulo.
The city is divided into neighborhoods (or barrios) which, while differing largely from one another – some firmly traditional and others overtly modern – all share a strong South American identity. Argentinean color and passion can be seen in the multitude of cafés, restaurants and nightclubs, each more bustling and vibrant than the last.
While European architecture is a noticeable feature in the city, the flair of Argentina is evident in its lively streets and on its fast-moving dance floors. Arts and culture are also a big deal in Buenos Aires, and this is undoubtedly one of the best places to study in Argentina – or Latin America – if these are your passion. Boasting palatial history among its numerous plazas, a world-class opera house, numerous theaters and a collection of avant-garde art galleries, the city also makes space for stylish shops and state-of the art museums such as MALBA.
But students aren’t just coming to soak up the eclectic culture of Buenos Aires because this is also where the majority of leading universities in Argentina are based. Eight internationally ranked universities are located in or near Buenos Aires, including the country’s two highest ranked offerings, the Universidad de Buenos Aires and Universidad Austral. Due to this large rankings presence, the affordability of the city and a number of other factors, Buenos Aires claims a place among the world’s top 100 cities for students in the QS Best Student Cities 2017 index.
Hosting the Universidad Nacional de Rosario is the city of Rosario, approximately three hours’ drive north-west of the capital in the Santa Fe Province. Birthplace of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and, of more recent sporting fame, Lionel Messi, Rosario is an important river port which has recently seen much cultural development. Many once-derelict buildings here now function as art galleries, while the people are as friendly and down-to-earth as ever.
Off the beaten track
Other notable towns and cities in Argentina include Salta, San Miguel de Tucuman, Mar del Plata, Mendoza, the central city of Córdoba and Ushuaia, the world’s most southerly city, on the beautiful waterfront of the Beagle Chan.
This diverse landscape makes the region perfect for international students with a taste for adventure and exploration. Adrenalin junkies can raft, ski, hike and ride, while those looking for slightly slower-paced pleasures might want to take a tour of the country’s renowned vineyards or sun-bathe along the coast.
Equestrian enthusiasts will also be aware that horses and horse-riding are an essential part of the country’s national heritage and identity, making Argentina a popular destination for horse-riding holidays.
Applying to Universities in Argentina
There are 40 national universities in Argentina which receive funding from the government and cater to the majority of undergraduate students in the country. There are also around 45 private universities in Argentina, which are often smaller and charge higher fees.
Both the public and private sectors also have a number of ‘institutes’, which are differentiated from ‘universities’ by their focus on specific subject areas.
The academic year in Argentina runs from March to November. Foreign students apply directly to the educational institution they have chosen, and must show copies of school certificates. After being offered a place, students then apply for a student visa, usually valid for two years at a time.
Visa guidelines vary depending on your nationality, so make sure to check with the Argentinean embassy in your home country for full details and fees. Here are the general rules and steps: click here for Argentina Passport Visa Requirement
Those undertaking study in Argentina for more than 90 days will require a student visa. Without this, you risk not being able to receive your student transcripts at the end of your stay.
To gain a student visa, students will enter the country as tourists and upgrade to a student visa once in Argentina. To apply for this, “click here to apply” you will need to provide a passport (which must be valid for at least six months beyond the end of your studies), a letter showing proof of enrolment (provided by your university once you arrive), and a visa processing fee of up to US$100.
The average student visa lasts six months, but if you are studying for longer you will also need to gain a police certificate showing you have no criminal record in Argentina (citizens outside of the MERCOSUR states will need to gain two of these – one from their home country and one upon arrival). A birth certificate may also be needed.
If you are staying longer than a year for your studies, you will need to leave Argentina before your existing visa expires and then reapply for another when you return after the first visa’s expiration. If you are unable to leave then you must contact the ISA (Study Abroad Argentina) to discuss an alternative arrangement. It will be up to you to ensure that you complete this process legally.
It is also often advised that you carry a copy of your passport identification page and visa page with you at all times when in Argentina.
Languages in Argentina
Knowledge of Spanish is essential for undertaking study in Argentina. Although English is recognized as a business language, Spanish is the language of day-to-day life and the language all university courses are conducted in.
There is also a growing trend of foreigners coming to Argentina specifically to gain a Certificate of Spanish Language and Use (CELU), accredited by the Department of Education and the Foreign Affairs Department, which confirms the holder’s proficiency in the language. The exam is held twice a year at certain universities.
Living costs in Argentina
Argentina offers both affordable higher education and relatively low living costs – particularly when compared to the majority of North American and European study destinations.
Fees are higher at private universities in Argentina and vary widely between courses, but are still relatively low. These costs can range from ARS8,000 to 24,000 (US$1,000-$3,000) a year and, combining fees with living expenses, students can expect to spend somewhere in the region of ARS15,700-31,700 (US$2,000-$4,000) each year.
Foreign students are allowed to work alongside their studies, provided they satisfy all the legal requirements, which are to obtain a work permit and be granted legal residence in the country.