Education in Guatemala
Spanish School Educación para Todos, www.spanishschools.biz, Educación Para Todos was founded in 1991 by a group of University students. Since then, Educación Para Todos has taught Spanish and introduced Guatemalan culture to students from all over the world. In our program, students have the option to experience "total immersion" by living with a Guatemalan family, volunteering with various organizations, and participating in social, cultural, academic, and sports activities that we offer every week.
Guatemala offers a variety of education choices to foreign students that come to this country.
WHY STUDY IN GUATEMALA ?
- Guatemala is a multicultural country were many different cultures including Hispanic, Mayan, Xinca and Garífuna all live alongside one another; this gives the country a unique historical and cultural richness.
- Guatemala is an ideal country for studying Spanish because the Spanish learning schools here are of high quality and they are much cheaper compared to other Hispanic countries. In addition there is the advantage of one to one classes, which means there is one teacher assigned per student.
- Guatemala is a country with a great variety of climates and sub climates, which allows for traveling from a cold to a hot climate in a short period of time.
- Migratory norms in Guatemala are much more flexible in relation to those at work in other countries of the area.
The majority of foreigners that travel to this country do so to study Spanish language and to learn about the Mayan and Hispanic cultures in Guatemala . Here the language schools offer the opportunity to learn Spanish with the one to one system (one teacher per student), as well as participation in extracurricular activities including movies, chats about our culture and history, trips to a variety of locations (volcanoes, beaches, lakes, hot water springs, mountains, indigenous communities, etc.), cooking and salsa classes, etc. Some schools offer their students the opportunity to do volunteer work for a social organization while studying Spanish. This is optional, however.
There are 23 countries in the world that use Spanish as their official language. Yet Guatemala has the reputation of being one of the best locations for studying Spanish because the Guatemalan accent is very clear and easy to understand.
GUATEMALAN EDUCATION SYSTEM FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS:
In reality there are families that move to Guatemala from other countries for the reason of finding jobs. They can register their children at primary and secondary schools in Guatemala . About 99% of schools here offer education in Spanish and only 1% offer classes in English. Therefore, in order to enter the Guatemalan education system it is important to have a good command of the Spanish language.
However in the capital city of Guatemala and in the city of Quetzaltenango , there are schools that offer secondary level education with North American standards, in English.
Education system in Guatemala is structured in such a way that allows for studying in high school while completing optional occupation such as computer, electricity, mechanics, accounting, secretariat, etc. After finishing secondary school in any of these specialties it is possible to continue on in any university field.
There is one public university in Guatemala , University of San Carlos de Guatemala, which was established more than 300 years ago, making it one of the oldest universities in Latin America . There are also many private Universities, some of the important ones are: University of Rafael Landívar , University of Francisco Marroquín , University of Mariano Gálvez , Rural University of Guatemala, University of Galileo Galilei and the University of Guatemala Valley. There are also other smaller universities that have been established more recently.
To register in any of these universities the completion of secondary school is required, in any of the specializations mentioned above. Before entering university it is obligatory to pass an examination the contents of which depend on the career interest of the student. This can include the following areas: languages, mathematics, chemistry, physics, etc. and a good command of the Spanish language. Admission exams start around June, July, or August since the academic year starts in January. The year is divided into two semesters 1) From January to June 2) from July to November.
Generally, it is much easier for foreign students to register in private Universities whose cost is not very high compared to the standards in other countries. The monthly tuition in a private university can vary from 300 quetzals (40 dollars) to 800 quetzals (100 dollars), depending on the university and the field of study.
However in the case of University of San Carlos de Guatemala (the public university) foreign students pay the following fees per year:
a) Central Americans 1,836.00 Q.
b) Latin Americans 12,036.00 Q.
c) Rest of the world 24,046.00 Q.
All universities have a central campus in Guatemala City , and other campuses, which are located indifferent cities. However the main education centers for their importance, quality and choice varieties are located in Guatemala city and Quetzaltenango.
Guatemalan universities offer the following academic degrees: technical (3 years), "licenciatura" which is a degree between bachelors and masters (6 years), masters (2.5 years), doctorate (2.5 years). However the majority (approximately 75%) of graduated professionals from university have the academic title of "licenciatura".
The requirement for getting an education has generated a great internal migration in Guatemala . Many students move to urban centers to attend primary school, secondary school or university. Most of them stay with Guatemalan families or in guesthouses. The average price that they should pay to stay in these places is around 1,300 quetzals (about 175 dollars, monthly), which includes a room to sleep in as well as three meals per day.
INFORMACION ON INSURANCES IN GUATEMALA :
To view the complete information on life insurances in Guatemala refer to the following sites:
- Occidente insurance
- G&T insurance
- Roble insurance:
INFORMATION ON MIGRATORY ASPECTS FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS IN GUATEMALA :
All travelers to Guatemala must have a valid passport and a visa or a tourist card. The citizens of most occidental European countries can enter Guatemala with only a valid passport. They can request for visas in any Guatemalan consulate or embassy. Tourist and commercial visas are normally valid for up to 30 days starting from the date of the entry, and must be used before 30 days from the issue date. Tourist cards are acquired in the airport or at the entry border and are valid for 3 months after the entry.
The citizens of the following countries do not require visa for visiting Guatemala, they only need a tourist card: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Israel, Japan, Luxemburg, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and United States.
Those traveling under the age of 18, must have a permission card for entering Guatemala . The card must be signed by both parents, and must give their testimony to an official Guatemalan consulate.
To obtain more information on visas and migratory politics in Guatemala visit: http://migracion.gob.gt/ingles/juridico/regla02.html
By Oscar Gómez
Spanish School EDUCACIÓN PARA TODOS
Translated by Eva Aufaugheman