Aruba is an island constituent of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the southern Caribbean Sea. On this island there are at least 4 institutions of higher education: one public university (University of Aruba), two private medical schools (Xavier University School of Medicine, Aureus University School of Medicine) and an institute (Aruban Pedagogical Institute). Despite being small in size, Aruba has seen increasing numbers in students enrolled in tertiary education for recent years. In 2016, about 329 students (who represent 27.6%) were foreigners who chose to study in the country with a total number of 1,191 students. For further information on the tertiary education system, please inspect the official website of the country: https://www.overheid.aw/.
In terms of the educational offer, Aruba has programs of Bachelor’s (Lisensiatura) and Master’s (Maestria). The two medical school are heavily orientated towards Medicine and related subjects. At such institutions, students can opt for programs in Medicine, Health Science or Nursing at a Bachelor’s or Master’s level, with the option of studying them integrated in four or five years. The Pedagogical Institute has a Bachelor’s in Primary Education organised in four years of studying. Lastly, the University of Aruba has courses centred on Business Administration, Law, Mathematics and Engineering for undergraduate (three-four years) and postgraduate studies (one-two years). Foundation courses are also available. The ECTS credit system is used for some courses. Usually, classes are taught in Papiamento or Dutch, but English is also an option.
Student who wish to apply to universities in Aruba should look on the universities’ websites. Applicants are evaluated on an individual basis. Necessary requirements for admission include proof of a high-school-leaving or secondary school certificate, of language proficiency and other equivalent qualifications. Apart from that, other forms of assessment (interviews, exams, etc.) should be expected. All students are welcomed; universities are renowned for their international appeal. Applicants for Master’s degrees must have obtained a Bachelor’s degree in their desired field of study. Non-native applicants have to email the universities directly. The application period starts in May and ends in July. The academic year is divided into three semesters: winter, summer and fall, and the exam period is every fifth week of each semester.
Tuition fees vary from course to course and university to university. For example, the total cost of the MD program at the Xavier Medical School is $148,080, added with the Pre-Med program at a total of $171,680. Considerably less expensive, Aruba Medical School offer courses in the same field at around $50,000 in total. At the University of Aruba, native students will be able to study a full-course with $2,500 while international ones need to pay four times the amount of that. The Pedagogical Institute does not specify any numbers. All institutions offer scholarships or grants to help with people with their students.
Information for International Students
Living in Aruba can get really expensive since it is an island. The average renting price per m2 is $9,445, 281% more expensive than the world average. One person might spend up to $700 per month without rent in Aruba. Although, islands are considerably more expensive than the rest of the world, Aruba is attracting more and more students every year. The country is providing extraordinary teaching and welcomes people from all around the world.