Sunday, May 26

Study in Central America|The Universities

Central American countries can prove to be a highly rewarding educational destination for foreign students. Modern educational institutions and infrastructures have sprung up all over these countries. They have an impressive marine ecosystem, tropical rainforests, volcanoes, lakes and rivers. In terms of culture, these countries represent a multi-cultural ethos that welcomes foreigners with open arms to study in Central America.

For a foreign student planning to study abroad, these places in Central America and Colombia offer a great opportunity to learn about the specific countries, regions, language and cultures, along with pursuing their academic interests. The best thing, these universities and colleges can be attended for a fraction of the cost of their North American or European counterparts.

Here is a brief account of what to expect in specific countries as a foreign student:

Study in Belize

Belize is an exotic Central American country with only 385,000 people as a population. This scarce population is further accentuated by an abundance of tropical rainforests and the world’s second-largest barrier reef. It also boasts hundreds of miles of Caribbean shoreline and rich marine life. It is home to some of the most awe-inspiring temples, pyramids, ruins, and caves of the famed Maya civilization. Classes are taught in English, as this is one of the official languages of Belize.

As an education destination, Belize can be particularly more apt for short-duration research projects in certain disciplines. Marine Ecology, forestry, zoology, and history could be some of the areas that can be of special interest to students. But students of any discipline would enjoy being in this exotic location with a long history and plenty of sights- seeing opportunities.

Two universities offer undergraduate and graduate-level programs apart from various other business and professional programs. These are the University of Belize and Galen University. Besides these, you can attend Belize Medical College as part of the Central America Health Sciences University.

There are quite a few private colleges that offer undergraduate and graduate-level courses as well as professional programs. For a population of under 400,000, these educational institutions have a lot of room for foreign students. As an example, about 2,400 U.S. students visit Belize as part of educational programs every year. Most of these students come for a semester or short-duration educational trips.  Students earn credit hours that are recognized by their universities. Students can also choose full-fledged undergraduate and graduate programs at the two universities and several private colleges that operate in the country.

Study in Costa Rica

If Central America is the focus of your study abroad plan, it’s hard to resist the lure of Costa Rica. While Spanish is the official language, the capital San Jose; accommodates a major part of its 5 million people. This allows foreign students an opportunity to learn Spanish and stay close to the capital city. This is a great place for those who have some Spanish speaking background or learning Spanish. Don’t fret however, as you can find classes in English as well.

There are many pluses of living and studying in Costa Rica and the chief among them is it’s peaceful and healthy. It is one of the few countries in the world which does not maintain a military. As a result, the country can spend more on healthcare and education, and score high on both counts.

The education scene in Costa Rica is very exciting with a literacy rate of over 96%. There are four government universities and a plethora of private universities. Together, they maintain very high standards of academic environment that all foreign students would find extremely rewarding and satisfying.

Some leading universities in Costa Rica are as follows:

  • The University of Costa Rica, which was established in 1832, and currently has 40,000 students, is the most prestigious educational institution. It’s renowned for high-quality research facilities, having 25 research units altogether.
  • The Distance State University provides a large range of educational programs through distance learning mode. It also has local branches, which run classes and holds examinations.
  • Another state educational institution of high repute is National University at Heredia. It has about 30,000 students and a life sciences department which is considered to be one of the best in the region. 

There are many private universities that offer a range of academic programs. The University for Peace is particularly of interest because it’s been set up by the United Nations and boasts one of the most interesting places to study in Central America.

Study in Nicaragua

Your decision to study in Nicaragua as a foreign student can turn out to be highly rewarding. Among all the Central American countries, Nicaragua is the largest. With a population of roughly 6.5 million, its education needs are quite substantive. But the good news is that education has received top priority, accounting for over 17% of the country’s annual budget.

The country’s higher education institutions are largely autonomous. There are about 10 universities that form the National Council of Universities, a regulatory body for colleges and universities. These institutions are funded by the government. But apart from these core universities, there are about 50 more. Many of these are private institutions and offer a range of modern courses in business, computers, law, science and technology.

So, what is there for you in terms of learning and education? Nicaragua is a developing country with a recent history of political unrest and transition. It offers a great environment to study how a political rebellion takes shape and matures. If you have an interest in politics, economy, advocacy, or any of the social sciences, Nicaragua can make your knowledge deeper through practical knowledge.

Central America is a geographical marvel and you cannot miss out on it no matter where you are. In cases of Nicaragua, you have the best of what nature can offer. The country is sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean seas. Apart from some breathtaking beaches, volcanic terrains and one of the world’s largest lakes constitute its geography.

However, to get admission to one of its colleges, you must have spent at least 3 recent semesters in a Spanish-medium college. Though English and some local languages are spoken, it’s Spanish that everybody uses. Among the people and influences, you can expect to come across indigenous, as well as European, African, and the Caribbean students.

Study in Colombia

As a country with nearly 50 million people, Colombia is second only to Brazil in terms of population in South America. The Colombian economy, which rests on its natural reserves that include oil, gold, emerald, is doing well. To meet its need for well-qualified human resources, the country has allowed private universities to play a major role in the country’s higher education.

In “The Times Higher Education World University Rankings”, over 40 Colombian Universities made their way to the list of the top universities in Latin America. However, the University of the Andes, of Bogata is arguably the best in the country, followed by the National University of Colombia, Medellin. Among other leading universities, the University of Antioquia and the Pontifical Xavierian University are ranked high.

As a student, you will have much to learn and explore in Colombia. It’s a gateway to the Amazon, Caribbean, Pacific and Andes – so much in just one beautiful country. Colombia is a lively place where things have an added accent and flourish whether it’s the rainforests, sun, rain, or its vibrant culture and people with a yes-attitude. 

Here is your chance to study in Central America in either English or Spanish, improve your Spanish, check out its astounding biodiversity and tourism attractions. Add Salsa and tropical fruits also to your bucket list of things to do in Colombia.

Study in Panama

Panama as an education destination for foreign students can be a great choice. It is here that Panama Canal, an engineering feat of unimaginable proportions, exists. Today, Panama City is full of sky-scrappers and modern amenities, making a great destination for international students. You can expect plenty of nightclubs and casinos as well.

The most prestigious educational institution in Panama is arguably The University of Panama. Established in 1935, today this institution has nearly 75,000 students, distributed over 228 campuses across the country. It offers academic programs up to the doctorate level in Natural Sciences, Education, Commerce, Pharmacy, Marine Engineering, and Law.

As a foreign student, you will never miss noting the typical charm of Central America. So, what are you up to? You are going to enjoy the most fascinating beaches, rain forests, and tropical landscapes. Like the rest of Central America, Panama, too, has multi-ethnic influence in its languages and popular culture. While studying here, you can expect your Spanish to become better and your knowledge about tropical ecosystems to improve.

Some leading universities in Panama are as follows:

Final Thoughts

Sandwiched by oceans, Central America is amazing in terms of geography. It has an amazing and vast marine life. Volcanoes, lakes, hills and mountains are what define the land. Due to colonial influence, Spanish is the most dominant language. For an international student, the region including Colombia which falls in South America is a great education and learning destination. Come study in Central America