University of Technology Sydney

MAJ09445 Latin Americas

The Latin Americas Major comprises 6 country destinations. Students spend two consecutive semesters studying social science or culture and humanities subjects at one or more institutions of higher education in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Latino USA or Mexico through arrangements made by UTS: International Studies. The focus of study varies each semester depending on individual student preferences and the availability of subjects at host institutions. Students are assessed on each semester separately and assessment is based on the subjects undertaken at the host institutions, as well as assessments administered by UTS: International Studies.

Students may expect that no greater costs are incurred through undertaking a period of in-country study in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Latino USA or Mexico than are involved in living away from home in Sydney. Living costs are generally much lower in the Latin American destinations.



Argentina is the second largest country in Latin America and the eighth largest country in the world, with a population of some 41 million. Argentina is also a country formed by immigration, the majority of the population having Spanish and Italian ancestry. There are also significant mestizo and indigenous populations. Argentina is officially a federation comprising 23 provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, the capital. The geography of the country is diverse, and includes the vast grasslands of the pampas, the region of Patagonia, and the eastern side of the Andes mountain range; this diversity in turn is responsible for equally diverse climates, from Amazonian tropical conditions to the subpolar conditions of the extreme south. Australia is developing strong links with Argentina, and the local Argentine community is one of Australia's largest Spanish-speaking communities. Argentina emerged from military dictatorship in 1983 and, despite periods of economic collapse and hyperinflation in the 1990s and early 2000s, is now economically and politically stable. Argentina's rich cultural traditions range from the tango and the mythologised figure of the gaucho (Argentina's cowboy) to a literary tradition that has been extraordinarily influential throughout the continent.

Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city in Argentina. It is situated on the southern shore of the Río de la Plata, on the south-eastern coast of the South American continent. It was first established in 1536 by a Spanish expedition led by Pedro de Mendoza. Buenos Aires is today an autonomous federal district with a population of around 13 million. It is also the financial, industrial, commercial and cultural hub of Argentina. Its port is one of the busiest in South America. Deeply influenced and self-consciously modelled after its European heritage, Buenos Aires has several symphony orchestras and choral societies, and numerous museums related to history, fine arts and modern arts. It harbours many public libraries and cultural associations, as well as the largest concentration of active theatres in Latin America. The city has a humid subtropical climate. The average year temperature is 17.6 degrees centigrade, and average high temperatures range from 30.4 in January, to 14.9 degrees centigrade in winter.

Founded in 1958, the Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA), Buenos Aires has over 20,000 students and over 800 international students per year. UCA is among the largest and most prestigious private universities in Argentina. It is located in Puerto Madero, one of the oldest suburbs of Buenos Aires. Identified closely with its Christian tradition and ethos, UCA promotes academic excellence, personal growth, social justice, and a humanist education. There are ten major faculties teaching Humanities, Psychology, Economics, Agriculture, Social Sciences, Law and Canonical Law, Engineering, Theology, Medicine and Musical Arts.

Universidad del CEMA (UCEMA), Buenos Aires is among the leading universities in Argentina, is a non-profit private institution founded in 1978. It is located in downtown Buenos Aires, at the heart of the financial centre of the city. Its student population, drawn mainly from the middle-to-upper classes, consists of 600 undergraduate and 600 postgraduate students. Its orientation is in business, marketing, international relations and political science. The university offers several undergraduate program, nine graduate level programs, and three executive programs. It has 262 faculty members, all with postgraduate academic degrees (65% of these degrees from overseas universities) in their fields of study.


Universidad Nacional de Cuyo is a national public university composed of 12 faculties, all of them located in Mendoza. They offer undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate studies. The University also runs three Institutes: Balseiro Institute in Bariloche (Rio Negro Province), Technological University Institute (ITU) with branches all around the territory of Mendoza Province and the University Institute of Public Security. The University has Faculties of Fine Arts & Design, Health, Social and Human Sciences, and Basic and Technological Sciences.


Pontificia Universidad Católica (PUC), Santiago is one of the most important universities in Chile. It was founded on June 21st, 1888, and has 18 Schools distributed among four campuses in Santiago and one regional campus located in the south of Chile. The University's leadership in research and postgraduate programs has had a considerable influence on the country's cultural and scientific society, and has become a major centre for research in social sciences, natural sciences, health, economics, agriculture, philosophy, theology, as well as arts and humanities.

Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (UAI), Valparaiso is the first Chilean University to obtain the prestigious Triple Accreditation (AMBA, AACSB, EQUIS). UAI has two campus; Campus Santiago-Campus Peñalolén-Santiago is located in the south-east area of Santiago, sprawling over nearly 250 acres at the foothills of the Andes. Campus Viña del Mar-UAI campus Viña del Mar is located up the hill at Altos del Sporting, with a great view to the Pacific Ocean and the city. Video of studying in Chile. UAI has Schools of Business, Engineering, Design, Liberal Arts, Journalism and Psychology. It provides volunteering and internship options for students.

The Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción was founded in July 1991. The university is a private entity, receiving some state support. It is a member of the Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities. This is a network of so-called traditional universities. The University is a member of the Chilean Chapter of Catholic Universities and the International Federation of Catholic Universities (FIUC). The University maintains close ties with the Archbishop of Concepción, whose happens to be the University’s Chancellor, its highest authority. At present, the University consists of seven faculties (Law, Science, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Business Management, and Communications, History and Social Sciences) an Institute of Theology, and a Technological Institute. They provide undergraduate and graduate level courses, which are complemented by considerable research and sustained academic extension.


Colombia is one of the most fascinating, culturally and biologically diverse countries in Latin America and is located in the north-west of the South American continent close to Panama. It has a population of over 48 million people. It was originally the centre of Gran Colombia, a post-independence confederation of Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and Ecuador. Colombia is bordered to the northwest by Panama; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. It has a vast range of climatic conditions, from the snow-capped Andes and volcanoes, to the Amazonian jungle, the Guajira desert and fertile savannahs. Bogotá is the capital of Colombia and is located in the centre of the country at an elevation of about 2650m (8660ft) above sea level on a mountain rimmed savannah high in the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes Mountains. This gives it constant, spring-like weather. Bogotá offers residents and visitors everything that a modem city can give. Cultural activities abound and its enormous selection of restaurants, bars and nightclubs offers all kinds of food and entertainment.

Universidad de los Andes is one of Colombia’s premier universities, home to approximately 17,000 students. It is located in the centre of the city against the base of the mountains and has handsome views of the city and is close to other major universities. It is a coeducational, non-sectarian private university located in city centre Bogotá, Colombia. The University has nine faculties: Administration, Architecture and Design, Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, Law, Economics, Engineering and Medicine, which offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The University of the Andes is ranked 5th in the top one hundred Latin American universities by QS World University Rankings.

The Pontificia Universidad Javeriana) is a private higher education institution founded in 1623. It is one of the oldest, most traditional, and prestigious Colombian universities, with its main facilities in Bogotá and a second campus in Cali. “La Javeriana”, as it is known by its students, has 18 schools comprising 61 departments and 181 academic programs catering to areas of knowledge, giving the university its multidisciplinary nature. It has 45 buildings in 445 acres (1.80 km2). The University is one of the twelve universities in Colombia having a high-quality institutional accreditation.

The Universidad de La Sabana (La Sabana) is located an hour north of Bogotá in beautiful dairy cattle and cut-flower growing region. It is a private university with state-of-the-art facilities and set in beautiful grounds ringed by a waterway. The University of the Savanna offers different branches of knowledge. It has a strong journalism school with its own student-run radio station, like UTS has.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a fascinating Central American country renowned for its biological diversity and ecotourism, with pristine beaches, volcanoes, jungles and cool mountain valleys. It lies between Nicaragua and Panama towards the end of the Central American isthmus before the start of the South American continent at Colombia and is bounded on one side by the Pacific Ocean and the other by the Caribbean Sea. It has a population of around 4.5 million, of whom nearly a quarter live in the metropolitan area of the capital and largest city, San José. Costa Rica is known for its progressive environmental policies and in 2012 was ranked fifth in the world, and first among the Americas, for environmental sustainability. In 2012, it became the first country in the Americas to ban recreational hunting. By 2021 it plans to become the first carbon-neutral country in the world. The climate is tropical all year round, though the country has many microclimates depending on elevation, rainfall, topography, and by the geography of each particular region. The 'summer' or dry season goes from December to April, and 'winter' or rainy season goes from May to November, during which time, it rains constantly in some regions. Costa Rica is the most economically stable and peaceful country in Central America and its national constitution does not allow for a national army.

Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) is a public, secular university in the Republic of Costa Rica, in Central America. Its main campus is the capital, San José. It is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious institution of higher learning in Costa Rica. It is also the most important research university in the country, and Central America in general, and is ranked 19 in the top one hundred Latin American universities by QS World University Rankings. Across its six campuses, the University of Costa Rica has a student population of approximately 45,000. The University of Costa Rica is ranked number 23 in Latin American university rankings by QS. The school calendar runs from late February to December. The UCR is divided into six major academic areas: Agricultural Sciences, Arts and Letters, Basic Sciences, Engineering (all branches), Health (including nursing, health technologies, pharmacy and nutrition) and Social Sciences. The University also manages 26 research institutes, including the Center for Research on Sustainable Development (CIEDES).

Latino USA

With a population of some 325 million and composed of 50 states, the United States of America is the third-largest nation in terms of size and population in the world. Absorbing wave after wave of migrants from all over the world since the original 13 American colonies broke with Great Britain in 1776, the USA is one of the most culturally and racially diverse of nations. Latino USA is based on the premises that the USA is now one of the world’s largest Spanish-speaking countries, and that Latinisation is inexorably transforming the USA, and hence Australia's understanding of that country. Already in many cities, Spanish has joined English as a de facto second language and has well over 40 million first-language speakers. The Latino population of the USA currently stands at some 60 million, a figure that does not include the four million residents of Puerto Rico. The Latino USA major is designed for students to learn about and experience first-hand the demographic, cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic and political processes of Latinisation in the USA. The sites are located in areas of the USA with substantial Latino populations, thus enabling international studies students to speak Spanish on a daily basis and to undertake research projects based on and in

Due to current exchange rates students may expect that greater costs are incurred through undertaking a period of in-country study in the USA than are involved in living away from home in Sydney.


San Diego, California
Located in the southwest corner of California on the US-Mexico border and faced by the Mexican city of Tijuana, San Diego is the eighth largest city in the USA with a population of 1.4 million, and a greater metropolitan population of three million. Its Latino population is around 30 per cent of the total. About 195 kilometres south of Los Angeles, San Diego has long served as a point of cultural transition between California and Mexico. The city's coastal location means that residents have ready access to a string of fine beaches and some of the best surfing on the US west coast. The climate is mild, daytime temperatures rarely straying over 30 degrees in summer or dropping below 20 in the winter.

San Diego State University (SDSU) is the largest university in San Diego and the third largest in California. It is home to nearly 33,000 students and approximately 6,400 academic faculty and administrative staff. The main SDSU campus is located in a Mexican-American stronghold, and is connected by regular buses to downtown San Diego, the trip taking approximately half an hour. The campus is compact, most of its streets have Aztec/Náhuatl names, and the buildings are in a fetching neo-Spanish colonial style, surrounded by impressive cactus gardens and lush landscaping. Another campus is located 160 kilometres to the east at El Centro, a migrant feeder town on the California-Mexico border whose population is predominantly Spanish-speaking. SDSU offers undergraduate programs at both campuses in arts and letters (humanities), business administration, education, engineering, health and human services, professional studies and fine arts (this faculty includes journalism, tourism, TV/media production, communication, art, design and art history) and the sciences. In-country study students and students on exchange study at the main campus. ICS students undertake subjects in Spanish language and culture, and Latino, Mexican American/Chicano and Border Studies.

In-country study students (Latino USA major) and general exchange students must have a credit average or grade point average of 2.5 or above to apply. This program is not open to MBA students. Note that there are different requirements for in-country study and exchange students in terms of their study programs at SDSU.

Sacramento, California
Located in the northern part of California's Central Valley, Sacramento is the capital of California. With a population of some 500,000, and a Mediterranean-style climate, Sacramento is an easily managed city compared to larger cities such as Los Angeles. Sacramento is also demographically diverse: Asian Americans 18 per cent, African Americans 14 per cent, White Americans 45 per cent. The largely Mexican-origin Latino population comprises 30 per cent of the city's total population.

California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), was founded in 1947, and has more than 30,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. The campus is compact and located next to Route 50. The university offers undergraduate courses in 150 distinct areas, most of which align neatly with UTS offerings. CSUS offers undergraduate programs in arts and letters (humanities), business administration, engineering and computer science, health and human services, natural sciences and mathematics, social sciences and interdisciplinary studies, and continuing education. ICS students undertake subjects in Spanish language and culture, and Latino, Mexican American/Chicano and Border Studies.

Austin, Texas
Located in central Texas, Austin is the fastest growing city in the USA, with a population around 1 million. The city is famous for its lively and diverse music scene, while the presence of the University of Texas at Austin also ensures a large student population. The city is located roughly at the ecological edge of the vast desert zones of western Texas and northern Mexico and the more verdant zones of east and north Texas, in Texas's central Hill Country. The population is diverse, and the largely Mexican-origin population is around 35 per cent of the total.

The University of Texas at Austin (UTA) is the flagship institution in the renowned University of Texas system. Founded in 1883, UTA has some 50,000 students, both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and 24,000 academic and professional staff. UTA's 18 colleges and schools teach and research in a range of disciplines, including: engineering, medicine, education, fine arts, liberal arts, natural sciences, pharmacy, business, law, architecture, nursing and communication. ICS students undertake subjects in Spanish language and culture, and Latino, Mexican American/Chicano and Border Studies.

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico, with a population of over 560,000, and a greater metropolitan area population of about one million. Made famous internationally by the Breaking Bad television series, the city is located in north central New Mexico. It is cut by the Rio Grande, which meanders south from the city to the New Mexico/Texas border near El Paso, to then form the national boundary between Texas and Mexico. Albuquerque is one of the highest US cities in terms of altitude. The city is clearly marked by local Native American cultures and a long Spanish colonial history. The largely Mexican-origin population is just under 50 percent. Significant Native American first nations in the region include the Pueblo, Apache and Navajo peoples.

The picturesque University of New Mexico (UNM) is a major employer in the city and has a student population of around 27,000. UNM was founded in 1889 and remains the flagship university of the state. The university's colleges and schools include such disciplines as: management, arts and sciences, education, fine arts, nursing, pharmacy, engineering and law.

ICS students undertake subjects in Spanish language and culture, and Latino, Mexican American/Chicano and Border Studies.

Completion requirements

977123  In-country Study and Fieldwork Project 1: Latin Americas  24cp
978123  In-country Study and Fieldwork Project 2: Latin Americas  24cp
CBK90484  Spanish Language and Culture  32cp
Total  96cp