Studying in Guatemala

Study in Guatemala
Updated 2017-09-18 09:37

Facing one of the lowest adult literacy rate in Central America, Guatemala's higher education system has many challenges to tackle, and its universities might not yet be fit to compete with the likes of the MIT or Harvard. Yet the country has specialised into a niche to attract foreign students: language courses. As a result, thousands of students, from northern America and further, flock to Guatemala to study there.

Universities and language schools in Guatemala

Guatemala only has a single public university, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, located in Guatemala City, where are also clustered the vast majority of the country's universities and higher education institutions, such as Del Valle, Francisco Marroquín, Galileo, Mariano Gálvez, or Rafael Landívar.

The Francisco Marroquín business school particularly stands out for the quality of its education and its strong regional influence.

Still, the most sought-after education programs for foreigners in Guatemala focus on language study. There are over 60 well-established language schools throughout the country, where students of all origins ands ages come to learn Spanish or one of the many Mayan dialects.

Student life in Guatemala

Guatemala has a low cost of living, which will not put too much strain on a student's budget. In fact, prices are allegedly one of the best things about studying in Guatemala: should you feel like treating yourself to a fancy dinner out, chances are it will not cost more than USD 5. Yes, that cheap.

Yet, most foreign students board with a local family instead of staying at a hotel or to rent their own place. In addition to being simpler and more comfortable, home-stays offer students a genuine experience and a cultural and linguistic immersion. Host families are generally excited to accommodate international students and are very warm and welcoming.

While tuition fees for an undergraduate program in a Guatemalan university range from USD 2,500 to 10,000 a year, language classes tend to be affordable, most schools offering packages including full-time classes along with full board from USD 120 a week.

Good to know:

The country offers a few competitive scholarships for university courses, awarded on the basis of academic achievement. Reach out to your host university's admissions department for more information.

Student visas in Guatemala

To study in Guatemala for more than three month, you will be required to apply for a student visa.

To do so, simply reach out to an embassy or consulate of Guatemala with:

  • a visa application form.
  • your passport.
  • a recent photograph.a proof of registration or acceptance in a recognised educational institution in Guatemala.
  • a proof of sufficient funds to cover your expenses in the country
  • if you are underage, a letter of authorisation from your parents
  • if you are of legal age, a clean criminal record

A student visa is valid for one year, and renewable as long as you remain a student in the country.

Useful link:

Guatemala 365

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