For those who want to encounter a university experience in an affordable country and get to know a totally different way of life at the same time, this is a great study destination. We will be looking at the cheap universities in Guatemala in this article.
About the Country
Located in Central America, Guatemala is a small nation. Because of its coffee and cacao production, the historical ruins of the Mayan temple, the cultural richness and its warm population, it is well known in the region.
While Guatemala can often be overlooked as a destination for international students, for those who want to experience a part of Latin America’s indigenous culture and a less luxurious part of the continent, it can be a great option.
How Much will it Take to Live in Guatemala?
In general, for foreign students, living in Guatemala is affordable. Take into account that the currency of Guatemala is called “Quetzal” (GTQ), and 100 GTQ is roughly USD 13.
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It costs about 3,780 GTQ (490 USD approx) per month to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city centers. Renting the same apartment will cost 2,300 GTQ in other places (300 USD approx.).
As for food, you are likely to spend less than USD 100 per month on groceries. There are affordable local restaurants. Meals can be found for 5 USD. Mid-range or fast food restaurants can however be more costly. A lunch at McDonald’s, for instance, can cost $5 or more. There are no orders here for 1 USD at McDonald’s!
As far as public transport is concerned, you can pay about USD 15 per month. You may want to use taxis first however, as you get used to Guatemalan buses.
So, now that you have an understanding of Guatemala’s living costs, let’s talk about education!
Let’s look at the Higher Education System in Guatemala
Guatemala has only one public university that is government-funded. It is the University of San Carlos (USAC) and has a great reputation in the country.
There are 14 private universities accredited to award bachelor’s, masters’ and doctoral degrees, along with USAC.
In Guatemala, bachelor’s degree programs last for five years, as in other Latin American countries. In order to get a degree, most of them need to do internships or write a thesis project. Health and engineering related majors typically last longer.
Applying for Admission at Guatemalan Universities
The admissions process can differ depending on the university and the major. There are entrance tests at most private universities. Some of them allow foreign students to take a test in their own countries (like the SAT or ACT) that they consider legitimate and use those results for their applications.
You’ll have to request various paperwork, such as a legitimate secondary certificate, along with this.
Typically, colleges or majors that have no entrance tests have interviews.
Tuition Charges at Guatemalan Universities
In Guatemala, tuitions are charged monthly. So when enrolling, payments are split into installments that are charged per month instead of paying for the whole year.
It will rely on the university and the major, but it can range from 200 USD to 800 USD for monthly installments. Again, health and engineering-related majors are typically the most costly. There are many low cost universities in Guatemala relative to other nations.
Language of Instruction at Universities in Guatemala
Guatemala is the ideal destination for you if you are looking to boost your level of Spanish or learn a new language! Spanish is their official language and it would be almost difficult to find a curriculum that is fully taught in English.
There are language departments in the majority of universities that can help you conquer the language barrier.
In spite of this in our list, we include two institutions with programs in English.
Review of Cheap Universities in Guatemala for Foreign Students
1. Francisco Marroquín University (UFM)
Founded almost 50 years ago, in 1971, the University of Francisco Marroquín (UFM) is a private university with an outstanding presence in the region.
There are 10 colleges at UFM, five research centers with hundreds of programs, and five schools. A Business School, which offers a Master’s of Business Administration that is taught entirely in English, is one of those schools.
The fact that they have three campuses is another wonderful part of this university. The main one is located in Guatemala, but the other two are in Spain and Panama, so as part of your university experience, you will be able to visit more Spanish speaking countries!
As for admissions, you’ll have to pass an entrance test. There are extra steps for such majors, such as taking a particular test, writing an essay, or presenting a portfolio.
Programs are split into semesters at this inexpensive university in Guatemala. Tuition fees are charged in monthly installments, but are determined per semester on the basis of credits. Tuition fees for a full semester range from 5,250 GTQ (approx. USD 680) to 45,225 GTQ (5,851 USD). These payments, plus other costs, are split into six installments.
When exploring the website, remember to pick your preferred language. Only press the drop-down menu at the top of the bar, next to or below the search box.
2. Michael Polanyi College (MPC)
Michael Polanyi College is a Francisco Marroquín University-affiliated institution (UFM). Its buildings are situated on the campus of UFM, in Guatemala’s capital.
A Bachelor of Arts is offered by this inexpensive college in Guatemala and students choose the subject for their degrees. Film, communication, education, performing arts, creative writing, or entrepreneurship are some choices too.
You’ll have to take an exam and apply your portfolio, an essay, and your TOEFL scores in order to be accepted.
Tuition fees are charged annually but are split into semesters and determined on the basis of credits. As for the first half of 2020, the fee is 35,875 GTQ (approx. USD 4,640), which is split into six installments.
Learn more by visiting and checking their FAQ section on their website.
3. University of Istmo (UNIS)
In the municipality of Fraijanes, the University of Istmo (UNIS) is a private university.
It has seven education, law, engineering, industry, architecture and design, economics and business, and communication divisions. They have three research centers as well and every year several activities, workshops and conferences are arranged.
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Concerning applying to this cheap university in Guatemala for admission, you will have to take an entrance exam that costs 350 GTQ (45 USD approx.). Tuition payments are split into six per-semester installments. The installments range from 3,027 GTQ (approx. 400 USD) to 3,930 GTQ (510 USD approx.).
Go to the menu button in the upper-right corner and go to ‘english’ to change the language of their website. Then search the menu at the bottom of the homepage in English.