University vs Universidad

As the rain clouds cleared away and the sun began to peek over the horizon, our group boarded a bus headed to Austral University. During the one hour journey to Austral’s campus, most of the group fell back asleep, and could be seen with shut eyes or heard snoring. When we disembarked the bus we were greeted by Austral staff, and were guided to a classroom in which we spent most of the day in listening to guest speakers lecture.

The guest speakers were doctors from the University, and gave us a lot of information about Austral University’s founding, mission, goals, and future plans. As well as listening to guest speakers, our group had the chance to ask questions and take a stroll around the campus park.

While strolling through the campus park and thinking over the information I was given during the lectures, I came to the conclusion that there are many more differences between the Universities in the United States and the Universities in Argentina, than there are similarities.

For one, my current school, the University of Pittsburgh, has around 18,000 undergraduate students while the Austral University has around 6,000 total students. I was also informed that Austral University does not house its students, and they either have to commute or rent a flat near the University. At Pitt, students have the option to live on campus grounds. Aside from the sheer number difference in the amount of students, there is a major difference between how public universities and private universities are run.

In the United States, students must pay to attend a private or public university. However in Argentina, public universities are free, and private universities have fees. Because of this difference, universities such as the University of Buenos Aires has around 400,000 students attending the school for free. Unlike the University of Buenos Aires, Austral University is a private university, so all its students pay fees to attend the school. Because there is widespread poverty in Argentina, it comes at great expense to attend Austral University, and thus most of the Austral students come from very well off families.

One of the lectures made a really good point during his presentation. He said that every university has complications whether it is private or public, however, the main goal is to educate Argentines. He personally hopes that Austral can provide the best education for Argentines so that their political system and social system can thrive, and strive to make leaps in improvements.

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