Studying in Argentina

Universities in Argentina

Why study in Argentina?

Argentina’s troubled economy is on the mend after its dramatic collapse in 2001, but relations with the UK, which were improving after the 1982 war, are again under strain partly because of oil exploration around the disputed territory.

  • However, its universities are still potential study destinations for UK students attracted by the country’s strong literary tradition and film industry. And, of course, the tango.
  • Argentina is predominantly a Spanish-speaking country – the fourth largest after Mexico, Spain, and Colombia – and is therefore an alternative to be considered if the language is a key part of the attraction. Globally, Spanish is spoken by more than 400 million people and is the second international language after English.
  • After Uruguay, Argentina boasts the largest number of foreign students in Latin America – about 90,000 enrol each year. Some 35% are from Europe, Asia and the US, attracted by the high quality of courses and the low tuition fees and living expenses – due to the devaluation of the peso in 2002.

Entry and visa regulations

UK citizens will require a visa (1,400 pesos/£180). Students enrolling on an undergraduate course of more than one year will need to apply for a permanent residence permit.

  • Applying for a visa for Argentina can take a lot of time. Argentina is a bureaucratic country. Applications for study visas have to be initiated by the university in Argentina. These applications can take a long time to be processed.
  • While there is no formal requirement, all courses at public universities are taught in Spanish. It would be rash to consider Argentina without a good knowledge of Spanish and a proven ability to communicate.

The university system

  • Argentina has 47 national universities, financed by the Ministry of Education since 1946, with 80% of the student population. The remainder is distributed between 49 private universities.
  • Most public universities are tuition-free and open to anyone, but other costs and the absence of a domestic scholarship scheme means that higher income background students outnumber students from lower income groups by a ratio of 8:1.
  • Post-graduate education requires some form of funding and is generally not free.
  • There are no limits on foreign enrolment. Students may graduate with a profesorado after three to four years or a licenciatura, generally after five years of full time study and a final project, although there is a trend of reducing this period of study to four years.
  • Applications for entry to undergraduate courses are made to selected universities. Entry requirements vary according to university and programme.

Funding your study

University education is almost completely free, with undergraduates at state universities paying no fees but meeting book costs, living expenses and commuting expenses (if applicable).

  • International students are treated similarly, although Argentinian students save housing costs by living with their families.
  • At private universities, tuition and fees vary widely from 8,000–24,000 pesos (£1,000–£3,000) a year. The estimated annual cost for an undergraduate when books, housing and commuting expenses are included is 15,760–31,760 pesos (£2,000–£4,000).
  • Grants (becas) may be available for international students and details can be explored through the Latin American organisation Universia.

Student housing

Many Argentinean universities offer help to find a place to live.

  • Housing ranges from living with a family, university apartments or independent housing. There are numerous student residences and youth hostels.

Costs of living

Typical costs in Argentina (GBP, March 2015) are:

  • Apartment rent, 1 bedroom: £254-£320 a month
  • Meal, inexpensive restaurant: £6.78
  • Meal at McDonalds: £5.92
  • Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught): £1.69
  • Imported beer (0.33 litre bottle): £2.83
  • Cappuccino: £2.14
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle): £1.11
  • Water (0.33 litre bottle): £0.94
  • Loaf of bread: £1.08
  • Cigarettes: £1.36
  • One-way ticket on public transport: £0.34
  • Cinema ticket: £5.76

Working while studying

Foreigners hired to work in Argentina must have a work visa and legal residence in the country.

  • Local regulations on immigration establish three types of residence: permanent, temporary and transitory. If you entered as a student you must, once in the country, start the procedures for obtaining work permits and residence.

Health and safety

  • There is universal healthcare for all residents but insurance is advisable.
  • Crime is a problem for residents and visitors alike. Street crime is rife, especially in the larger cities like Buenos Aires and Mendoza. Assume that perpetrators are armed.
  • A growing threat is the so-called express kidnappings when victims are snatched off the street, made to withdraw as much money as possible from ATM machines, and then their family or co-workers are contacted for a ransom. Once paid, the victim is usually quickly released unharmed.
  • In 2007 Argentina ranked third out of 42 countries for manslaughter and fifth out of 49 for murder.

Helpful links

International Rankings

University Rankings 2018–19

University QS
QS World University Rankings 2018–19

Global university rankings compiled annually by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). QS ranks institutions by the following key indicators; academic peer review, faculty student ratio, citations per faculty, recruiter review, international orientation.

See the QS World University Rankings here, and more on making sense of international rankings here.

THE World University Rankings 2018–19

Global university rankings compiled annually by the Times Higher Education (THE). THE ranks institutions by performance in the following categories; Industry Income, Teaching, Research and Citations.

See THE World University Rankings here, and more on making sense of international rankings here.

Universidad de Buenos Aires 73 -