Over 7,000 young Argentines who dream of studying in Europe took a step towards their goal by visiting the Study in Europe fair at the Buenos Aires Sheraton on Monday afternoon. Exhibitors from 15 European Union countries set up stands in the hotel’s bustling convention center to give young people all the information they needed to make their dreams a reality.
For Argentines, there are two main kinds of EU scholarship to study in Europe, according to Victoria Giussani, assessor for cooperation for the European Union’s delegation in Argentina: international mobility scholarships and Erasmus Mundus joint masters programs.
Financed by Erasmus+, the international mobility scheme allows students studying at Argentine universities to spend time studying at European universities that have institutional agreements with their home universities. These short-term scholarships last between a week and a year, with studies at the host academy giving students credit towards their degrees at their home institutions.
“What we highlight about these programs is that it’s an institutional scholarship: you have to access it through your Argentine institution,” Giussani said.
In Erasmus Mundus’s joint master’s programs, students spread their studies between at least three universities in different member states.
“In Argentina, a lot of people think: ‘But that’s something from Europe for Europeans, it’s not for Argentines,’ but actually, it is,” Giussani said. In fact, 75% of Erasmus Mundus scholarships have to be assigned to students from countries outside the EU, she added.
The EU does not offer specific scholarships for Argentine students to complete their whole undergraduate degrees at European universities, but particular countries and individual universities offer a wide range of scholarships.
At the fair, 53 universities from countries including Germany, France, Italy, Lithuania, and Slovenia set up stalls for prospective students to learn about degree programs, entry requirements, funding, and other information. In many cases, the path is easier if the applicant holds citizenship in an EU member state, although students who don’t hold dual citizenship are encouraged to ask about their options.
“Many people have double citizenship. If you have that, you don’t pay the costs of studying in Sweden,” said Diego Schulman, a cultural assessor at the Swedish embassy in Argentina, at the Study in Sweden stand. He added that Sweden offers 100 undergraduate degrees and 1,000 master’s programs that are taught in English.
Nora Jacobs of the Freie Universität Berlin’s international office said that many students from Buenos Aires find that the German capital fits them like a glove because the two cities have similar cultural scenes. The institution has agreements in place with the Universities of Buenos Aires and Córdoba.
Academic life, she said, wouldn’t be the same if students and professors didn’t exchange ideas across borders.
“We’re interested in receiving international students because science itself is international.”