New Year’s Resolutions add up to Master’s Degree at University of Buenos Aires

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Thanks to .Mahadeva for this photo of UBA.

Few people remember their New Year’s resolutions past January 1, which is why I did not bother to make any this year. Nonetheless, I was set on making at least one significant change in my life–continue my education. I wanted to study translation ever since freshman year in high school when my guidance counselor gave me a list of careers and told me I needed to choose one. I looked at the sheet like a deer in headlights but somehow, as soon as I saw it, the answer was clear to me.

Fast-forward into the present and I now have a Bachelor’s degree but am kind of stuck there. When faced with the choice between living abroad and continuing my studies, I threw caution into the wind and decided to be adventurous; my academic education was to be left in the back burner for while. After arriving in Argentina, I soon came to realize that I only had a hand full of programs to choose from. In fact, I only found three universities with undergrad translation degrees and just one grad school.

The University of Belgrano was the only one offering a Master’s degree in Translation at that time. I made an appointment to meet with the program’s director, but was disappointed upon learning that their focus was on Spanish translation. Translators are strongly advised to translate into their mother tongue, so this was not an option for me. To top if off, they charge over 500 pesos a month, which is dirt-cheap compared to the tuition at a US university, but not so affordable when limited by the Argentine currency.

Then I discovered that the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) had started a Master’s program in Translation and Interpretation two years ago. I checked it out and there was a good balance between both my main languages: English and Spanish. Everything added up and the final number seemed like something feasible: 48 credits, 380 hours and a total of $15,360 pesos. That is roughly 4,800 USD for a Master’s degree! No brainer, I got ready, went to enroll with a copy my diploma and the required Hague Apostille (international students often need to have their diploma authenticated by a designated federal authority) and went with enthusiasm to pay for my first two classes. To my surprise though, both classes ended up costing me 1,400 pesos –ouch! What seemed like a really good idea turned out to be beyond my financial reality. I was forced to rethink my choice and ended up asking for my money back.

Nonetheless, I was determined to make this happen and as the saying goes, third time’s a charm. Last year I took some courses at the College of Public Translators in Buenos Aires and learned that they offer a Postgraduate Certificate in Translation Skills. It is a distance-learning course offered by City University in collaboration with the College for English translation. It is composed of six modules in two years, $420 US dollars each. The practical work is done online, with tutors, and the exams are taken at the College. I had finally found the answer to my problem. I signed up last month and I am handing in my first assignment on Monday! I still want to do that Masters at the UBA, so my second non-New Year’s resolution is to save money so I can enroll next year.

For those of you interested in studying in Argentina, there are a number of scholarships you can apply for in the link below:


Andrew Reynolds on April 14, 08

Hope you will achieve your plan of getting a master’s degree at UBA. And good luck with your studies. 😉

Michelle on April 22, 08

Thank you Andrew! So far, so good. Best wishes to you too…

Katie on August 15, 08

Hey Michelle I really would like to study for my masters in public health at the UBA but am troubled by this getting my diploma authenticated. My high school does not give out official transcripts but I have a ton from Northwestern, my undergrad. Any advice?!?!

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