Hot rhythms, spirited people, mysterious temple ruins and dense rainforests. So much for the associations with South America. In addition, the continent also has shimmering blue glacier landscapes, dry deserts, lively metropolises and a multitude of cultural treasures. No wonder: South America covers an area of almost 18 million square kilometers and fourteen countries with their very own culture and history. Each country offers its own flair and invites you to study in South America.

Geography check: South America

In the west of South America, the Andes stretch from north to south along the entire length of the continent. The huge mountain range lies on a huge volcanic belt, the so-called “Pacific ring of fire”. Accordingly, there are numerous bubbling geysers and some of the highest volcanoes in the world.

In the thick cloud forests of the Peruvian Andes lie the former Inca capital Cusco and the world-famous ruins of Machu Picchu. The Amazon also rises in the Andes. The huge river system of the Amazon basin covers almost the entire northern half of South America. Amazonia is the largest rainforest region on earth. It is spread over two thirds of the continent and extends over nine countries from Countryaah:

  • Ecuador
  • Peru
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Venezuela
  • Bolivia
  • French Guiana, Suriname
  • Guyana

The tropical rainforest has a unique biodiversity and is still largely unexplored. Hundreds of indigenous peoples live here according to traditional traditions.

The sparsely populated Patagonia is located in southern Argentina. The climate is cooler in the region. Dry steppes, lakes and glacier landscapes characterize the picture. The imposing Andean chain separates Argentina from Chile – the country that is often referred to as the “end of the world” due to its location on the far western edge of the continent. Here are the wild landscapes of Patagonia, the driest desert on earth, but also extensive green wine regions and Pacific beaches.

Country Public expenditure on education as a share of GDP (per cent) Public expenditure on education as a share of the state budget (percent)
Argentina 5.5 (2017) 13.5 (2016)
Bolivia 16.8 (2014)
Brazil 6.2 (2015) 16.2 (2015)
Chile 5.4 (2017) 21.2 (2016)
Colombia 4.5 (2018) 15.3 (2017)
Ecuador 5.0 (2015) 12.8 (2015)
Guyana 5.9 (2018) 0.0 (2017)
Paraguay 3.4 (2016) 18.2 (2016)
Peru 3.7 (2018) 18.1 (2017)
Uruguay 4.8 (2017) 14.9 (2011)
Venezuela 6.9 (2009) 20.7 (2009)

A guest in the metropolises of South America

According to Allcitypopulation, the big cities of South America stand in stark contrast to the rural areas and sparsely populated regions : The lively Chilean capital, Santiago de Chile, is currently considered one of the most attractive cities in South America.

The largest city on the continent, Brazil, is home to the metropolises of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. There are numerous attractions here, such as Sugar Loaf Mountain, the world-famous Carnival and the legendary, colorful nightlife.

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, however, is European. With numerous colonial buildings, shady squares, street cafes, museums and theaters, the capital of tango is one of the most important cultural centers in South America.

South America – education

Although South America consists of many different nations, there are clear similarities between the educational systems of the individual states, especially in terms of school structure and education policy.

The development was in the 1800s. primarily inspired by the French encyclopedic education system, but remained in the mid-1900s. also influenced by the North American pragmatic system, which emphasizes the development of personal responsibility, the qualification of the workforce and great social mobility. The goals of education systems have therefore changed from elite to mass education with respect for equal access to education.

However, since the 1980s, limited resources have had implications for teaching materials and school expansion, and there has been a decline in participation in education. Also, the more informal popular education, inspired by the Brazilian educator P. Freire, has around 2000 difficult conditions in many places.


Temperate climates occur mainly south of the tapered part of South America. due to a far greater temperature variation during the day. A warm, humid climate characterized by the average temperature of the coldest month being between 18 °C and −3 °C is concentrated to the southern tropic and areas just south of it. It thus covers Paraguay as well as parts of Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina. The rainfall exceeds in the east, thanks to winds and warm ocean currents from the Atlantic, 450 mm but decreases to the west. In central Chile, between 32 ° south latitude and 38 ° south latitude, there is a warm-temperate climate with dry season in summer (October – April) and mild winters with moderate rain, Mediterranean climate. S. Chile has colder winters, however, with temperatures significantly above normal for latitude. The rainfall on the western side of the Andes is plentiful in general and of the orographic type (in Valdivia, Chile, the annual rainfall is 2,500 mm). Further inland, rain shadow is formed with very little rainfall.

Cold climates, including cold-tempered climates and polar climates, have very little scope in South America. They occur only in the southernmost parts of Argentina and Chile as well as in the Andes at levels above 3 500 m above sea level, where it is also called mountain climate. In the northern Andes, the climate is cool and foggy with about 12 °C during the day and −2 °C at night; from central Peru to Bolivia and Chile with even lower temperatures.

Dry climate occurs mainly in four major areas. In the south there is a north-south belt from Patagonia to northwest Argentina with an annual rainfall of only 100–175 mm. The variation in average temperature between different months is large in Patagonia, more than 20 °C. Dry climate also marks a narrow coastal strip along the Pacific Ocean from 5 ° to 31 ° south latitude, where the Atacama Desert is spreading. The cold Humboldt stream cools the air closest to the sea, giving a dense cloud layer of 350 to 1,000 m above sea level. is formed and prevents the lower parts from heating up. Rain is therefore rare, as is sunshine over a period of six months. Only by condensation of fog can water be obtained. Another area with a dry climate is a coastal strip along the north coast between Colombia and Venezuela. Northeast Brazil has a dry climate with only 100 mm of rainfall in certain years.

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