Expat parents will be interested in learning more about education in Argentina. Generally speaking, Argentina’s school system has a fairly good reputation internationally. At just under 98%, the country has one of the highest levels of literacy among all Latin American countries.
In Argentina, education starts at the pre-primary level with kindergarten for children aged two to five. Kindergarten is, however, not compulsory – save for the last year, which is called educación inicial. Primary schooling then begins at the age of six and is compulsory for everyone.
Nowadays, compulsory education for Argentine schoolchildren includes two options: Either six years of primary school followed by another six in secondary school, or seven years of primary school and five years of secondary school. Counting the final year of preschool, that makes thirteen years of free obligatory schooling.
Secondary education itself is sub-divided into two levels. Lower secondary provides general education while upper secondary encourages students to specialize. At the conclusion of secondary school, students can take an entrance exam for enrollment in one of Argentina’s state universities. Private universities in Argentina may have additional admission requirements.
While English is very important as a foreign language, Spanish remains the predominant language in most classrooms. Younger kids may be able to pick up a foreign language within six months. For older students with little to no knowledge of Spanish, however, having to learn a new language can be a bit of a hindrance. Therefore, many expat families prefer to send their children to a private international school.
In Argentina, 57 schools offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma. There are also a few bilingual (Spanish-English) schools in the cities of Cordoba and Rosario, most notably the Colegio Mark Twain (Cordoba) and the Colegio San Bartolomé (Rosario). Naturally, however, Buenos Aires is home to many more.
The schools in Buenos Aires cater to many different expats, particularly the French, German, Italian, Japanese, and English-speaking communities:
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