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11 Beautiful Latin American Cities With Top Universities

Credit: Ómar Nieto | UNICON Executive Education

Not studying abroad while being a university student? You are certainly missing out on all the fun. It’s time to reconsider your future as an exchange student. Believe me, it’s worth it. Especially for those who study abroad in Latin America. This part of the world has some crazy, funny people whom I assure that you will fall in love at first sight. And I didn’t even mention the gorgeous cities these people are living in. Oh, and the great universities Latinos can be proud of!

We’ve collected the top 11 cities with the best-of-the-best universities (based on World University Rankings) in Latin America. Let’s dive in!

1. Campinas, Brazil

Credit: CampinasSP. Digital Image. Wikimedia. July 2011.

Campinas isn’t the most populous city of Brazil. It’s actually the 14th largest city by population in the South American country. Located at the heart of São Paulo State and the Southeast Region of Brazil, Campinas features a large, well-developed metropolitan area that is buzzing with numerous successful businesses.

University of Campinas

Credit: Main buildings. Digital Image. Wikimedia. 2005.

You can be really proud of yourself if you are among the almost 35,000 students of this university. Considering the fact that this is the best university in Latin America. The University of Campinas, commonly called as Unicamp, is an integrated research center, which was designed from scratch in December 1962. It’s certainly a huge university with 153 graduate and 70 undergraduate programs you can select from.

2. São Paulo

Credit: Flickr @ julioboaro

Name one person who wouldn’t want to travel to São Paulo! Just one. There you are, you can’t! While São Paulo is one of the most beautiful cities in Brazil, it is also the country’s most populous municipality. Over 12 million people are living there! Just imagine that… With those gorgeous beaches and a city full of life.

University of São Paulo

Credit: Cidade universitária da Universidade de São Paulo. Digital Image. Wikimedia. January 2005.

Ranking around the 100th place among the top universities of the world, the University of São Paulo is a great choice for those who want to experience the “big city life” while studying at a well-respected university. The University of São Paulo is even bigger than the Unicamp, featuring over 58,000 undergraduate and almost 30,000 postgraduate students.

3. Santiago, Chile

Credit: Flickr @ fotourbana

Located in the central valley of the country, Santiago is one of the largest cities in the Americas with a total population of 7 million people. Founded in 1541 by Spanish conquistadors, Chile’s capital is the center of the country’s most populated region. This city is just excellent for sightseeing, featuring different styles, such as neoclassical and neogothic architecture, dated back to the 19th century.

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Credit: Casa Central Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. Digital Image. Wikimedia. December 2014.

Found in different Latino countries, these Catholic universities stand in the top schools of Latin America. The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile is considered as the best-of-the-best here, reaching the 3rd place on our list. We’ve great news if you are considering to study law or education at this university as it ranks the 38th and 33rd worldwide.

4. Monterrey, Mexico

Credit: Flickr @ 51314692@N00

Monterrey is considered as one of the wealthiest city in Mexico. The city features the third-largest metropolitan area in the country, serving as the central business hub for Northern Mexico. If you are looking for a great mix of American and Mexican culture, Monterrey is your choice!

Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education

Credit: ITESM Campus Queretaro. Digital Image. Wikimedia. August 2007.

Did you know that the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education was the first university in Latin America that connected to the internet? True story. If you fancy to study technology and/or business, the ITESM is a no-brainer. This university has been praised by high-reputation magazines, such as the Economist that ranked the ITESM among the top business schools.

5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Credit: Flickr @ nanpalmero

Who wouldn’t want to visit and study in Rio? Seriously. With its emblematic Jesus sculpture looking down to this city, Rio is considered as a top location for both citizens and tourists. A part of the city has been awarded the World Heritage Site name and considered as a cultural landscape by UNESCO.

Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

Credit: Rio de Janeiro – Pontifical Catholic University – House of Auguste Henri Victor Grandjean de Montigny. Digital Image. Wikimedia. July 2013.

The second most prominent POC school is located in Rio, which serves as the place for 17,900 students. With accredited faculties ranging from law and economics to computer science, the POC-Rio has participated in exchange programs with prominent names, such as Harvard and UC Berkeley.

6. Bogotá, Colombia

Credit: Flickr @ pedrosz

The Colombian capital serves as the home of a little over 10 million people. Founded also by conquistadors in the 16th century, Bogotá is a great place to visit if you want to feel the experience of the thriving life of a Latino city.

University of Los Andes, Colombia

Credit: Universidad de los Andes. Digital Image. Wikimedia. February 2009.


Located in the heart of Bogotá, the University of Los Andes, Colombia (or commonly known as Uniandes) was founded by a group of Colombian intellectuals in 1948. This university takes research seriously. It has given birth to over 120 research groups, mostly in the field of mathematics, social sciences, physics, and engineering.

7. Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Credit: Flickr @ antoniothoma

While it’s “only” the sixth largest city in Brazil, Belo Horizonte has a population of over 2.5 million people. If you like to take a hike, Belo Horizonte is a great place since the city is completely surrounded by mountains. Just call your friends, pack everything in a large backpack, and enjoy the great view from the top of the mountains!

Federal University of Minas Gerais

Credit: Vetustanew. Digital Image. Wikimedia. October 2008.

The largest federal and fifth biggest university in Brazil, the UFMG has a student population of almost 50,000. The Federal University of Minas Gerais is among the fifth best universities in Brazil, featuring 57 PhD programs as well as 66 MSc, 79 Post-Baccalaureate and 41 medical residency programs.

8. Porto Alegre, Brazil

Credit: Flickr @ jorgebrazilian

Porto Alegre, or the Joyful Harbor, was founded in 1769 by the Portuguese military and colonial administrator Manuel Jorge Gomes de Sepúlveda. A Latino city full of people of European descent, Porto Allegre lies on the Eastern bank of the Guaíba River that forms the Lagoa dos Patos, a beautiful lagoon formed by five rivers.

Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

Credit: EREDS. 2018

Featuring over 2,500 professors and 60,000 students, it is said that admission is hard to the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. UFRGS applicants have to pass a yearly competitive exam, which is called the vestibular. In exchange for the competition, students don’t have to pay any tuition at this university (which is really-really cool).

9. Mexico City, Mexico

Credit: Flickr @ kc_aplosweb

Mexico’s capital has been leading the way in the world among cities with the largest population density. While it has the second place among the most populous cities in the world, Mexico City is the largest city by population in North America.

National Autonomous University of Mexico

Credit: Flickr @ ellenmetter

Due to its extensive research and innovation, the National Autonomous University of Mexico has great ranks among other universities. The UNAM is an elite school, the dream of university students. Every year, numerous students apply for admission, but only 8% gets accepted.

10. Lima, Peru

Credit: Flickr @ 9567466@N05

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean from a hillside view, the capital of Peru has the most-populous metropolitan area in the country with over 9 million urban citizens. Based on the statistics, approximately one-third of the national population lives in the metropolitan area of Lima.

Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

Credit: MacGregor. Digital Image. Wikimedia. March 2009.

Another Pontifical university on this list? That’s right. These universities really are THAT great. Founded by the Catholic priest Father Jorge Dintilhac, the PUCP is ranked as either the first or second best university in Peru.

11. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Credit: Flickr @ deensel

Known for its gorgeous-looking preserved European-style architecture, Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination in the world. It is worth to note the city’s rich cultural life too, with the Argentinian capital being the top city in Latin America based on the quality of life.

National University of General San Martín

Credit: Campus Miguelete. Digital Image. Wikimedia. November 2011.

While it is located just in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, the UNSAM was created due to two reasons. To decentralize the largest universities in Argentina, and San Martín’s desire to have a local university in the city.

People Are Freaking Out About The High-Pitched Character Danny Trejo, AKA Machete, Voices In The New “Dora The Explorer” Movie

Entertainment

People Are Freaking Out About The High-Pitched Character Danny Trejo, AKA Machete, Voices In The New “Dora The Explorer” Movie

Dora The Explorer / Nickelodeon

“Dora the Explorer” isn’t the same little bilingual cartoon girl anymore. In the live action sequel, “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” we get to see Dora venture into high school and navigate life as a pretty eccentric, curious teenager. The latest trailer for the movie, which hits theaters in less than a month, just dropped and we all have opinions.

The cast looks incredible. Eva Longoria and Michael Peña play Dora’s parents. Danny Trejo will be playing the unnervingly high-pitched voice of Boots the Monkey. Benicio del Toro will play the voice of Swiper the Fox (“Swiper, no swiping!”). We also expect to see Eugenio Derbez offer his talents alongside new talents Isabela Moner and Jeff Wahlberg.

Peruvian actress Isabela Moner is taking on the role of Dora.

Credit: @isabelmoner / Instagram

At just 18 years old, Moner was born in Cleveland, Ohio. While her mom is from Lima, Peru, Moner didn’t start learning English until she reached grade school. By the time she was 15 years old, she was accepted into college. You might recognize her from Nickelodeon’s 100 Things to Do Before High School or Legends of the Hidden Temple. She was also cast in Transformers: The Last Night. Playing Dora will be her biggest role to date.

The trailer shows hilarious scenes of a young Dora at the family dinner table asking the screen, “Can you say delicioso?”

Credit: FilmIsNow Movie Trailers / YouTube

We all know Dora as the all-too-patient Spanish language teacher from our childhood who would pause for 10-15 seconds to let the audience practice saying words like “niño” and “delicioso.”

In the trailer, her parents look around the room, concerned, and brush the behavior off as just a phase.

Credit: FilmIsNow Movie Trailers / YouTube

Eva Longoria and Michael Peña characters look around the room, wondering who their daughter is talking to. Finally, Peña’s character comforts his wife saying, “she’ll grow out of it.” Thankfully, she does.

While Dora isn’t trying to teach us all Spanish anymore, she’s still as curious as her younger cartoon self.

Credit: FilmIsNow Movie Trailers / YouTube

After spending most of her life in the jungle with her parents, Dora’s parents send her to live with her cousin Diego, in the city. At first, Dora thinks she’s heading off on her greatest adventure yet: high school.

Of course, no girl can go off to high school without their best friend.

Credit: FilmIsNow Movie Trailers / YouTube

For Dora, that best friend is still a monkey she keeps in her backpack. Ultimately, high school isn’t her greatest adventure. Dora quickly becomes wrapped up in a mystery to find the Lost City of Gold, uncover truths about an ancient Incan civilization and save her parents.

Some fans are most excited just to see Eva Longoria back on the big screen.

Credit: @janefnoda / Twitter

We’re all shimmying, verdad, to see so many actually Latino actors play Latino characters in such a big production. We applaud the white director of this film adaptation for doing right by true cultural representation.

Some fans are praying to see the awkwardness of baby Dora in live action.

Credit: @DonZolidis / Twitter

You will see it, and thankfully, we’ll be fully emotionally supported by Eva Longoria and Michael Peña in the genuine disturbance it causes. We’re moving on from this strange character trait.

Meanwhile, other Spanish speakers are taking a moment to express some latent cringe from listening to grammatically correct Spanish.

Credit: @curlydash / Twitter

That Spanish is so overrated. Some might even say criminal. If you read that last word in Spanish, you probably can relate to what Curly Dash is saying. But we’re all showing out for the movie, dale?

Of course, the racists came out to play. 🙃

Credit: @HostisHumaniGen / Twitter

White folks are still upset that Disney chose to correct some blatant racism in the original screenplay of Little Mermaid by casting a black woman to play Ariel. If you’re using the term “reverse racism,” you’re already wrong. Basta. 

If you always wanted to see a school bus eat Dora’s backpack, show out August 9th.

Credit: FilmIsNow Movie Trailers / YouTube

We love seeing confident, capable young women stay true to their roots and strengths and lead a bunch of teenagers into a jungle to solve impossible Incan mysteries. Can you say, emocionado?

READ: The First Trailer For ‘Dora And The Lost City Of Gold’ Is Here And People Are Surprised And Ready

People In The US Find It Easier To Flee The Country Than Pay Back High Student Loan Debts

Things That Matter

People In The US Find It Easier To Flee The Country Than Pay Back High Student Loan Debts

Joe Brusky / Flickr

Financial analysts have long predicted that the next bubble that will burst and lay damage on the economy of the United States (y por ende of the whole world) is the student debt bubble. Millions of college graduates owe so much money as a result of their graduate degrees that it will take a good amount of years before they can enjoy a clean slate, un nuevo inicio with no malditas deudas. As employment prospects grow dimmer in troubling financial times, these graduates just can’t get the jobs that will allow them to live comfortable, grow their wealth, and pay their student loans. It is a monetary bottleneck that has everyone scratching their heads. What to do? Condone debt and give people with university degrees a chance? That is sort of unfeasible, as the financial system is sustained through futures, bonds and the selling and buying of debt, so sometime, somewhere, there would be a huge hole in the system.

Some graduates are finding an alternative that is as legally tricky as it is ethically controversial: they are leaving the United States to avoid paying their debts. Some live in Europe, others look for alternative citizenships based on their heritage and some others just migrate to places like Australia, where Anglo migration (read, white migration!) is given a free pass even if their visa status is not crystal clear.

This option has sparked fiery debates on the Internet, as more and more news outlets report on members of an arguably lost generation who chose to leave rather than to live in debt. 

Vice published an article on Americans who now live almost debt-free in Europe. This happened all the way back in 2016, so this is not quite new.

Credit: @FeministGriote / Twitter

The phenomenon has been present for at least three years (could the election of POTUS be a factor, we guess?). Anyway, users such as Sister Outsider were not happy at all is that who the country is, she asked? 

Others thought that this was a very smart move because student loan debt interest rates are nearly impossible to overcome.

Credit: @Hippington / Twitter

This dude James Hipp seems to take it a bit more lightly. Well, anything goes eh?

The article sparked some seriously opposing views, despite the growing fear that millions of students will remain in debt indefinitely.

Credit: @that1laura / @Mchacon49r / Twitter

These two couldn’t possibly be farther apart in their views. One calls these “Debt Dodgers” as the VICE article called them, “selfish, entitled, and arrogant”. Meanwhile, a user who is actually wearing graduation regalia simply says that she doesn’t blame them. Perhaps she is facing similar fears and uncertainty in terms of her future in the workplace. Because let’s be honest: things are pretty grim the world over. Not to mention that there have been recent articles about people entering retirement with student loan debt left to pay.

Some people just don’t understand how someone could run from their student loans.

Credit: @xavifred / Twitter

Did Xavi dude just calls them “deadbeats”, huevonesperezosos. But sometimes these are people who actually want to work, but find little or no prospects at home and look for a better horizon. Isn’t that what the immigrant spirit is made up from?

Just last year a CNBC article set fire to Twitter over the same issue.

Credit: @airfarceone / Twitter

This user, who we assume is a conservative Internet keyboard warrior, equates debt dodgers with the young men who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War. Is this a fair comparison? Yes, they decided to get an education, but this is the core of the controversy: should education be a right or a privilege?

Should some people just not go to college? @AlephBlog seems to think so.

Credit: @AlephBlog / Twitter

The CNBN article told the story of a graduate in debt who now lives in India, caring for elephants. User David Merkel simply says that these people should not go to college at all. Is he right? His savage judgment evidences a worldview in black and white. Obviously, people don’t want to leave.

No one asked them to go to university? Well, things are a bit more complicated than that, @TeresaGillia.

Credit: @TeresaGillia / Twitter

The contemporary social and financial status quo demands that young people acquire skills in information management and professional work. Manual work in the United States is generally underpaid, so if folk want to get ahead in life a university education seems to be the only way. So the choice is limited: yes, young people can choose not to go to university, but in doing so are risking not advancing in life, in monetary terms. But what happens when people get a degree, work hard and still see no descanso in sight?

User Jim Robinson has a point: the banks and other financial institutions are also to blame.

Credit: @ThatJimR / Twitter

Just as the 2008 Global Financial Crisis revealed (you can see it explained with peras y manzanas in the movie The Big Short), the addiction to debt and the trigger happy nature of the banking system has generated a lot of immediate wealth that ultimately leads to financial ruin. Banks have chosen to loan so much money knowing that students won’t be able to pay it back, that their bad decisions have come to bite everyone en el culo. Jim Robinson is right: some loans are indiscriminate. These financial practices border criminality de cuello blanco

Student debt has been on everyone’s mind this past month, ever since this billionaire wiped off the debt of an entire graduating class.

Credit: @ijsvv / Twitter

It might seem to be the feel-good story of the month, but the fact that Robert F. Smith made this magnificent donation and gave a whole class of students an Oprah-like moment is more like the symptom of a broken system, rather than a sign of pure goodwill. He must have looked at all those young people, mostly Black, and knew that they would face a lot of hardship unless he interfered, that the joy of graduation would soon turn into the darkness of precarious financial prospects.

Let’s get some context on the current political climate: this tweet sort of sums up what many are facing.

Credit: @rideatdawn/ Twiter

At the other end of the political spectrum, we find another millionaire, Betsy DeVos, the US Secretary of Education, who is actually cutting the budget for debt forgiveness. This tweet captures the feeling that many are having at the moment: any life-changing step (such as having kids or buying a house) is stalled due to the lack of support that the government is able or willing to give to those taking their first steps into adult life. What is the solution?

 The “Debt dodger” controversy got new traction a few days ago.

Credit: @lany891 / Twitter

New reports point to a spike to this trend, and the conversation has gained momentum given the prominence that the student debt crisis has had leading to the presidential election next year. This user references the plan drawn by Dem presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren, who proposes to wipe out student debt by taxing the wealthy. According to a Politico/Morning Consult poll, 56% of registered voters support the Massachusetts senator’s proposal. It is hard to judge either side, but something’s gotta give and the student debt crisis will either puncture or strengthen the idea of the American Dream (our take, solidarity is always best).

READ: The SATs Have A Problematic And Racist History Fueled By The Creator Of The Test Who Praised Eugenics And Racial Separation

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