Tango bars in Buenos Aires, Inca temples in Peru overgrown by the jungle, colorful costumes at the Carnival in Rio, bizarre glacier landscapes in Patagonia and small mountain villages in the Andes – students can experience all of this during a semester abroad in South America.
South America – a continent introduces itself
According to countryaah, fourteen states are located on the almost 18 million square kilometers large southern part of the American continent. You have had an eventful history. Huge ruins still give an idea of the former splendor of the legendary Inca Empire that occupied the west of South America abbreviated on abbreviationfinder. Magnificent buildings in the cities are a reminder of the times of Spanish and Portuguese colonial rule.
Between Lima and Buenos Aires
Metropolises such as Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires with its plazas, avenues, churches and gardens are still influenced by Europe today. Countless tango bars, museums and theaters make the Argentine capital one of the most important cultural centers in South America. Cities like Lima or Santiago de Chile also appear European at first glance, but at the same time develop their own Latin American charm. This is also due to the warm residents: hospitality is a good form in most parts of South America.
Of ice fields and rainforest
Apart from the big metropolises, it is above all the landscape that makes South America so attractive. The north of the continent is shaped by the Amazon basin. Here is the largest contiguous rainforest area on earth, which is home to countless exotic animals and plants.
In the west of South America, the vast Andes mountain range stretches from north to south. The Andean countries include Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Colombia. They are characterized by a variety of landscapes, ranging from dense cloud forests to the plateaus of the Andes and the ice fields of Patagonia. Numerous ruins such as Machu Picchu or the Inca city of Cusco bear witness to the Inca empire that once extended in this region.
Reasons for a semester abroad in South America
The scenic and cultural diversity makes South America a dream destination for many. So why not combine the pleasant with the useful and complete a semester abroad in South America? This offers a perfect opportunity to get to know a South American country and collect plus points for your résumé.
Improve language skills and soft skills
Depending on the goal of your studies, you have the opportunity to improve your Spanish or Portuguese skills. A semester abroad in South America also signals to future employers that you have important soft skills. This includes intercultural competence and assertiveness, but also skills such as independence, flexibility and organizational talent.
Attractive semester programs in South America
Numerous universities in South America directed with special one- or two-semester study programs targeted at international students. Basically, two variants can be distinguished:
- Free choice of courses: Many programs students are spoiled for choice: You can their free timetable from the complete study offer put together and study together with local students. At the end of the semester, they take the same exams as this one. Afterwards, the study achievements made in South America can be recognized at the German home university by prior arrangement.
- Subject or topic-related course selection: In some programs, the course selection is more strictly specified and limited to individual subject areas. International students can, for example, deal with the culture and language of the respective country of study. It is also possible to attend subject-related courses, for example on corporate social responsibility or Latin American literature. If the course offerings match the course of studies at home, nothing stands in the way of recognition of the academic achievements in these semester programs.
Semester abroad in South America: Simply apply
Compared to a full degree, applying for a semester abroad in South America is relatively straightforward. As a rule, the universities only require the (technical) Abitur and sufficient language skills.
In most countries, Spanish is the official language and the language of instruction, while Portuguese is spoken in Brazil. Some semester programs are held in English, so applicants must demonstrate adequate English proficiency – a practical option for semester applicants with limited knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese.
Some universities also require that applicants be enrolled at a German university or have already studied in Germany for a while.
Financing ways for a semester abroad in South America
The costs for a semester abroad in South America vary depending on the country of study and the university. In principle, the following fees apply to students:
- Tuition Fees: Tuition fees are common across South America. They vary between EUR 2,000 and EUR 7,000 per semester, with accommodation being included in the price in some cases.
- Cost of living: In most South American countries, the cost of living is lower than in Germany. However, it should be noted that metropolitan areas are usually more expensive than rural areas.
Overall, a semester abroad in South America is significantly cheaper than in the northern half of the American continent. For many students, however, the question of how to finance a semester abroad arises.
Financial injection through foreign BAföG
One way to get financial support for a semester abroad in South America is the Auslands-BAföG. Those who study one or two semesters abroad in South America have the chance to receive a grant of up to EUR 4,600 towards the tuition fees. There are also surcharges for travel expenses and health insurance.
The Auslands-BAföG only has to be partially repaid. Students who do not receive BAföG in Germany due to their parents’ income are also eligible. The reason for this lies in the different assessment and income limits that apply to the BAföG calculation.
Scholarships and Education Loans
Scholarships are another way of financing a semester abroad in South America. For example, the DAAD and various foundations award scholarships to students with excellent academic achievements or special social commitment.
An education or student loan can also bring the dream of a semester abroad in South America closer.
Entry to South America
A visa is usually required for the semester abroad in South America. It is advisable to contact the respective embassy well in advance of the semester abroad in South America and apply for the necessary visa.
Comprehensive health insurance should also be in your luggage for a semester in South America. In addition, students should consult a travel doctor in good time before departure. It is possible that vaccinations needed between those few weeks must fall distance.