A Tale of Four Countries: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay

Educating Internationally

The Treaty of Asunción, signed in 1996 by Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, established a new free-trade zone in South America called MERCOSUR, which stands for Southern Common Market. Similar to NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), this treaty sought to allow people and goods to freely move between the four countries in an effort to build their economies. The signing of the Treaty of Asunción was only possible because these four nations share common Iberian heritages and tend to have worldviews that are compatible with one another. These heritages and worldviews have a direct influence on how higher education was established in each country, and serve to frame how students gain access to universities in that region of the world. In addition, the role of the family in these four nations includes caring for children even after they graduate from high school; it is very common for young adults…

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