Penn State encourages its students to think globally, and a study abroad program is the perfect opportunity to experience new cultures and academic challenges. Students who study abroad in Latin America will study the art, history, and culture of the country they are visiting.
If you are interested in studying abroad and applying credits towards your Latin American Studies degree, you should consult with your adviser about the process for receiving approval for courses not listed on the course equivalency list. The Latin American Studies director will determine how credits taken abroad may count towards the major. Ideally, students should start this planning before going abroad.
Study Abroad Spotlight: Contemporary Columbia
Colombia is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in South America and the second-largest in the world after Mexico. This program looks at several interconnected topics that are prominent in Colombia’s past and present while traveling through four different regions of Colombia.
The program starts in the colonial town of Villa de Leyva. It moves to Ibague, a mid-sized city where students will work with students and faculty at Universidad de Ibague. Next, students will experience rural life in Murillo. The program then travels to Bogota, the capital city and hub of business and power. Finally, the program ends in Cartagena, a center of colonial art and architecture and the number-one tourist destination in the country. Over the course of the program, students will visit museums, farms, traditional markets, schools, a conservatory, a botanical garden, a waterfall, and more.
Students will learn to understand Colombian current concerns as Colombians do with class discussions and field visits tying back to central themes, including:
- Economic development: models, winners, and losers
- Violence, peacemaking, and democracy
- Migration, education, and opportunity
- Urban problems and planning
- Gender, race, and ethnicity
By the end of the course, students should be able to relate a wide range of current Colombian issues to Colombian history, to broader Latin American, United States, and global contexts, and to social science concepts introduced in the course.