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Buenos Aires home to 50,000+ int’l students

There were over 50,000 international students in Buenos Aires in 2022 and the city’s leaders are continuing to focus on promoting the Latin American capital as an international study destination.

The Argentinian city hosted over 50,000 international students in 2022. Photo: Pexels.

The city is now focusing on attracting postgraduate students

The majority of students in Buenos Aires were on short-term study programs, including language learning, while approximately 20,000 were enrolled in universities, according to a new report from Study Buenos Aires and the Universidad Nacional de San Martín.

While short-term numbers remained well below pre-pandemic levels (31,762 in 2022 vs 63,964 in 2019), universities had almost recovered (20,945 in 2022 vs 21,735 in 2019).

International students were estimated to contribute USD $389 million to the city’s economy in 2022, including through fees, living costs and the impact of international tourism associated with visits from family members and friends of these students.

According to the authors of the report, both Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole “have ample room to increase their positioning and take a more prominent role in the international scene, especially, on student mobility and academic destination”.

The Study Buenos Aires program was launched in 2017 to enhance the experience of students in the city, measure the impact of international mobility and promote Argentina’s institutions abroad.

Since then, the strategy has not only been viewed as “a way of attracting new students” but as “positioning Buenos Aires as a city of talent”, said Mauro Alejo Guevara, general director of International Relations in the Buenos Aires government.

“Now we can talk about how we make international students cultural ambassadors of Buenos Aires,” he added.

According to the report, students are generally drawn by the low cost of living, the opportunity to travel around South America and the quality of higher education.

Guevara said the city is now focusing on attracting postgraduate students as, unlike undergraduate students, they have to pay tuition fees.

The proportion of international postgraduate students has increased in recent years, particularly from Colombia and Brazil. Many come for affordable medical training.

He added that the city also wants to diversify where students are coming from. Currently, international students on degree programs mainly come from other parts of South America, while the nationalities of those on shorter-term programs are more varied.

“It’s a challenge because we are really far away”

“We need more international students coming from every part of the world and it’s a challenge because we are really far away,” he said.

Part of the city’s strategy is tapping into Erasmus+ funds and attract students from countries that are newer to the EU like the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.

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