Study in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Study in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and following Sao Paulo Brazil it is the second-largest metropolitan area in all of South America.  While the land area of Buenos Aires technically falls within the boundaries of the Buenos Aires Province, the city is no longer considered part of it, nor is it the capital of the province.  Like Washington D.C. in the United States and Mexico City, Mexico, Buenos Aires is an autonomous district with no provincial or state affiliation whatsoever.  This, however, does not take away from its enormous size in terms of population.  As of the 2010 census, the population of Buenos Aires was approximately 2.9 million in the city proper, and its metropolitan area consisted of nearly 13 million people, making it the third largest conurbation (metropolis) in Latin America.

The entire history of Buenos Aires is lengthy and rich, dating back to the 1500s when the region was a colony of Spain, but its history as an autonomous city is very brief in comparison.  In 1880, after nearly 50 years of political turmoil between Buenos Aires and the provincial government, the city was finally made a federal district and removed from the Province of Buenos Aires.  After this separation, the city was expanded to include the towns of Belgrano and Flores, which are now considered distinct neighborhoods within the city of Buenos Aires and regions that added a significant amount of land area to the city. 
The mayor, who oversaw the city at this time, was appointed by the President of the Republic.  It wasn’t until legislation was passed in 1994 that autonomy, or self-sufficiency, was granted to Buenos Aires, allowing the city to hold its first election to choose a “Chief of Government”—a public official who, with his staff, oversees the entire district.

If you’re planning to come to Buenos Aires for a business or educational opportunity you will be glad to know that, from an economic standpoint, Buenos Aires is considered an “Alpha World City”—a major player on the world economic stage.  This is primarily due to the city’s purchasing power and its large port, which allows the city to export everything from agricultural products to electronics.  The labor force in Buenos Aires, which consists of nearly 1.4 million people, are employed in a variety positions important to the city’s economy and the quality of life of its citizens, including social services, tourism, commerce, hospitality, manufacturing and business and financial services.

New residents quickly realize that Buenos Aires is a very dense city, with over 34,000 per square mile.  Most of its population (89%) is considered white, made up of people of European descent, with Mestizo (7%), Asian (2%) and Black (1%) being the only visible racial minority groups.  Nearly all of the residents in Buenos Aires speak Spanish, the official or de facto language of Argentina, with English being the most popular minority language. Due to the city’s density, close to 70 percent of Buenos Aires residents live in apartments, while the upper-middle class and wealthy comprise the 25-30 percent living in detached single homes.  Fortunately, housing is widely available in the city, and is typically much more affordable than similar accommodations found in North America and/or Europe.

Much like in most large, dense cities, including New York City, in Buenos Aires the standard mode of transport is typically walking, public transportation, or a combination of both.  Despite the city’s large population, the public transportation in Buenos Aires is really quite efficient, and consists of buses, a Metro line and modified vans to effectively shuttle people to and from work, school and other activities.  City services and diversions are plentiful in the city, including scores of banks, retail outlets, discount centers and grocery stores, along with restaurants, bars and sidewalk cafes.  Other major points of activity include two major public libraries, several parks and gardens and a number of sports fields and fitness facilities.

Tourism in Buenos Aires is very brisk, as the city is renowned for its culture, sights and attractions, exciting nightlife and European style architecture.  Carnival, an uninhibited two-day event held each year prior to the Catholic Lenten season, consistently draws thousands of people to the city, as do famous architectural landmarks such as the Kavanaugh building, an art-deco residential building and the first skyscraper in Argentina; dance shows and nightclubs, where people can experience the beat and excitement of the Tango; hundreds of restaurants, serving the traditional “asado,” and retail centers such as Alto Palermo and Paseo Alcorta, where shoppers can take full advantage of the favorable exchange rate.  The city even holds many music festivals throughout the year, featuring the best in Rock and Jazz Music.

Mere words are not enough to do justice to Buenos Aires—a city that must be experienced firsthand to appreciate, and a wonderful place to study, work and live.

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