Tango, juicy steaks, and soccer are some of the words that come to the mind of most people when thinking about Argentina. However, this South American country is much more than that! Its rich history and culture, and its diverse landscapes make it the perfect place to visit… or to study! Universities in Argentina are ranked among the best ones in the world, and the government-funded system makes them very affordable for both domestic and international students. That’s why more than 50,000 international students choose to study here each year!
Argentina has public and private universities and both accept international students. There are 39 public universities which are tuition-free. Some have started to charge minimal fees to international students, but the others remain free for both Argentineans and foreign citizens. Private universities are paid but can be very affordable when compared to those in the U.S. and Europe. Also, living costs in this country are low. For example, students can rent apartments for around $400 depending on the area.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in Argentina, here we made a list of quality and cheap universities in Argentina. Be aware that all fees are in USD and they may vary because the value of Argentina’s currency tends to fluctuate.
But first, we’ll briefly explain the admissions for international students.
What do I need to study at a university in Argentina as an international student?
The admissions process will vary depending on the university that you choose, and you’ll have to apply directly to each school. There’s no standard test for prospective students, but some universities have a basic cycle that lasts for a year. Admitted students must pass it in order to start the courses of their chosen career.
Depending on the country of origin, requirements for international students will vary. If you are a citizen of a country that belongs to MERCOSUR, the process will be very simple. If you have permanent residency, you’ll get the same benefits of domestic students. Requirements will also vary depending on your migration status or if you are required a tourist visa to enter the country because of your nationality.
An aspect that you must consider is language. Although some universities offer a few courses in English, the majority only offer bachelor’s and postgraduate programs in Spanish. This means that you will be required to submit proof of your Spanish proficiency or complete the language courses offered by the university (if available). So, if you want to study in these cheap universities in Argentina, it will be wise to learn at least some Spanish.
Finally, payments are done monthly. Although the programs are divided into academic years or semesters, payments are usually done monthly. Students will have to pay an enrollment fee when the year begins and tuition will be divided into monthly payments. This is the standard payment system, but some universities offer a discount if the student can afford to pay the whole tuition when the year begins.
Affordable Universities in Argentina
1. University of Buenos Aires (UBA)
The University of Buenos Aires is ranked as the best one in Argentina and has a great reputation worldwide. According to the QS World University Rankings, it is the 74th best in the world and the 9th best in Latin America. It has 13 faculties that offer programs for undergraduate and graduate students. It also has a Common Basic Cycle of a year for all new students.
UBA has buildings all over Buenos Aires. Two faculties are centralized in Ciudad Universitaria (“university city”), and the rest can be found throughout the capital city.
As explained in the International section of their website, undergraduate programs at this university in Argentina are free for international students. However, postgraduate programs, for which UBA is well known, do charge tuition fees. Actually, around 15% of students of the postgraduate programs are international students. To know more about admissions, visit their website.
2. Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina or UCA)
UCA is a private university that ranked as the best private institution in Argentina and had the 344th place of the 2020 QS World University Ranking. This university has campuses in six cities of Argentina: Buenos Aires (the main campus), Santa Fe, Mendoza, Pergamino, Rosario, and Paraná. It has over 20 faculties and institutes throughout the six campuses.
An interesting fact about this cheap university in Argentina is that UCA’s Grand Chancellor until 2013 was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, better known today as Pope Francis.
Tuition fees vary depending on the career. On their website, they specify the monthly costs for each career. For example, as for 2019, the monthly payments for nursing are of around $120; $215 for psychology (Buenos Aires campus); and $395 for civil engineering (Buenos Aires campus). This means that you would pay between $1,500 and $5,000 annually. This is very affordable when compared to universities in other countries.
To learn more, visit their admissions section. Be careful when navigating through their website because they have a page called “UCA International”. That one is for exchange students that come from other universities. If you want to study a complete career at UCA, complete the online form and you’ll receive all the information you need via email.
3. University of Palermo (UP)
The University of Palermo (UP) is the second best private university in Argentina and has the largest number of international students. It is located in Buenos Aires and is affiliated with other universities around the world, like the London School of Economics.
This cheap university in Argentina warmly welcomes international students. On their admissions page for international students, they explain all the requirements in detail. After clicking on a career, if you select your citizenship on their drop-down menu, you’ll get all the requirements that are specific for students from your country. You’ll have to take a test and go to an interview in order to prove that you can communicate effectively in Spanish. However, they also offer Spanish language courses for prospective international students.
As for tuition fees, they vary depending on the career. They are not published on their website, but you can ask for information via email and you’ll automatically receive all the information. For example, the monthly payment to study psychology or electric engineering is of around $255. UP also offers online career programs, which include Business Administration and Marketing.
4. Austral University (Universidad Austral)
The Austral University is a private institution with campuses in Pilar (main campus), Rosario, and Buenos Aires. It offers 15 degree programs, which include medicine, nursing, psychology, engineering, law, businesses administration, among others.
The admissions process for international students is explained on their website. They specify which documents are required depending on your nationality. To get information about tuition fees, you must contact each faculty. However, they provide information about admissions and entrance courses fees.
A great aspect of this cheap university in Argentina is that they offer courses in English. There are short programs and semester/academic year programs. If you are from a non-English speaking country, you have to submit an English proficiency certificate. There are also Spanish courses available. We recommend you to check the International Student Handbook and the Fact Sheet. Check their international page to learn more.
5. Universidad Nacional de La Plata (National University of La Plata or UNLP)
The National University of La Plata is a public institution located in La Plata, Buenos Aires. It has 17 faculties that offer degree programs in architecture, engineering, dentistry, psychology, arts, education, music, among others. Some careers have a basic cycle of a year for new students.
UNLP’s campus is divided into five groups comprised of the buildings of each faculty. They are leaders in research and have many affiliated centers and institutions. They also have a planetarium, an observatory, and a university dining hall with affordable prices.
UNLP is a tuition-free university in Argentina, which means that you won’t have to pay for enrollment because it is tuition free. Each faculty has its own page where they explain the admission process. They also have an international applications section available that includes the admission rules and dates for international students. Check their website to learn more!
I hope that this article on cheap universities in Argentina was helpful! If you are interested, visit the tuition free universities category!