Learning Abroad Center

Learning Abroad in Chicano-Latino Studies

Consider a study abroad program that includes structured experiences outside the United States. Students who study abroad often gain insights into cultural dynamics, social and political processes, and the historical significance of diverse peoples’ unequal relationships to (and within) the US.

Chicano & Latino Studies students are likely to choose Mexico, or at least a Spanish-speaking country, for their study abroad, but there can be good reasons for studying in a different region. Each sample program listed here has at least one of the following characteristics: it includes relevant course options; it focuses on cultural diversity or ethnic relations or social justice; or its price is especially attractive.

Academic Planning Recommendations

The Chicano & Latino Studies program focuses on the particularities of the Mexican American experience, history, and culture. But it also has a transnational component as well as a central interest in social justice issues. Many universities and study abroad programs in other countries offer courses that may be used to complete your major requirements even though they do not focus on life within the US borders. The key is to identify courses that have a historical, social, political, economic, cultural, or media content that would allow us to count them as part of your major.

In addition to learning abroad opportunities, National Student Exchange offers an option of studying for a term or a year at another US institution. Over ten participating NSE institutions are members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities; more than fifteen have a Chicano Studies program. Participants earn transfer credit rather than resident credit on NSE exchanges.

Liberal Education Requirements

Search the U Credit Abroad Search. You may also submit any liberal education course not yet evaluated for approval online.

Major and Minor Requirements

  • Learning abroad courses are most commonly approved as electives toward the Chicano & Latino Studies degree. You might also find a course that fulfills the following upper-division courses: Chic 3352, Transnational Theory; Chic 3771, Latino Social Movements; or Chic4275, Theory in Action.
  • The Department of Chicano & Latino Studies encourages border-studies projects and can help you locate sources for these; please contact Lisa Sass Zaragoza for more details ([email protected]).
  • Learning abroad internships or community engagement courses may also be applied toward a Chicano & Latino Studies major with pre-approval from the Department Chair. Only upper-division coursework will fulfill elective requirements in the Chicano & Latino Studies major.

College of Liberal Arts Language Requirement

Courses taken abroad for the CLA Language Requirement (for BA degrees) must be at least 4 credits. CLA college advisers can approve courses that are clearly identified in a syllabus or online course description as first-, second-, third-, or fourth-semester language courses. If a course level is not explicitly stated, you must work with your CLA adviser to have the course evaluated by the appropriate language department. Advisers cannot approve these courses.

Who will advise me and help me with course approvals?

Learning Abroad Center advisers can help you find program and course information to help you prepare for your study abroad academic planning discussion with your academic adviser. Once you have narrowed down your program options meet with your academic adviser to use the Academic Planning for Study Abroad (APSA) form to structure your academic planning.

College/Department Scholarships for UofM Students


Africa and the Middle East

South Africa

University of Cape Town (offered through IES South Africa)

  • Program type: University Study
  • Still struggling to emerge from the nightmare of apartheid, South Africa is an interesting place to examine another society defines and deals with issues of race, ethnicity, inequality, and civil rights.
  • This large university is among the top in the country. Offers considerable strengths in the social sciences and humanities.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of African languages required. Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.


Latin America—Countries Vary

  • Program type: University Study (usually mixed with some Study Abroad Center)
  • University of Minnesota affiliations provide access to over 25 universities in Argentina, Costa Rica, and Peru, in addition to the listings below under Mexico and Puerto Rico.
  • Most university study options are through IFSA.
  • Instruction is in Spanish; usually four to six semesters of prior Spanish is required. Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.


Study & Intern in Buenos Aires

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Very cost-effective UofM program open to all but aimed especially at students interested in Latin America but with insufficient Spanish language skills to take courses taught in Spanish.
  • Argentina’s economic collapse in the 1990s foreshadowed US crisis a decade later; similarities and differences are instructive. Curriculum offers language, area studies, and community engagement.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Spanish is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or summer.


MSID—International Development in Ecuador

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program providing deep cultural immersion through grassroots internships, homestays, and research. Ecuador is Minnesota’s second-largest source of Spanish-speaking immigrants.
  • Past internship placements include rural women’s empowerment, literacy, public health/nutrition, sustainable agriculture, community environmental conservation, fishing or handicraft cooperatives.
  • Instruction is in Spanish. Fall or Spring semester.
  • Other MSID programs are available in Senegal (taught in French, 2 years required), and Thailand (taught in English, no language prerequisite).


Study Abroad in Mexico

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Extremely affordable UofM-sponsored program based in Cuernavaca. Permits students to accelerate their Spanish language learning at an astounding rate.
  • Each 3-week module yields a full course. The four back-to-back May/summer terms permit completion of the CLA language requirement from scratch. Semester option yields three courses.
  • No prior Spanish is required. Three-week modules offer Span 1001 through 1004; semester program also offers 3015 and 3016. Fall or spring semester, winter break, May term, or summer.


Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (available through IFSA Peru)

  • Program type: University Study (and Study Abroad Center)
  • Founded in 1917 and located on a 90-acre campus in Lima, PUCP is Peru’s oldest private university. For course descriptions in the online course catalog, look under Sumillas.
  • IFSA supplements university courses with required courses: an advanced Spanish course and a course on Peruvian Social Reality.
  • Instruction is in Spanish; five prior semesters of Spanish required for IFSA. Fall or spring semester, calendar or academic year.



Language & Culture in Southern France

  • Program type: University Study (there is also a Study Abroad Center track)
  • Two-track program permitting a mix of special language and culture courses and regular Université Paul Valéry courses in a proportion suitable to each student’s language proficiency.
  • Montpellier is a major center for immigrants from North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Parallels and contrasts to Latin American immigration to US are instructive. Internships available.
  • Instruction is in French; one year of prior French required for center track, two for university track. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or a summer intensive language program.


Study & Intern in Toledo

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • UofM language/humanities/social science program located in Spain’s former capital and one of Europe’s most picturesque cities—a living museum of medieval and Renaissance architecture.
  • Crown jewel for Chicano Studies students is an excellent community engagement course on immigrants to Spain, which includes explicit comparison to the US case.
  • Instruction is in Spanish; four prior semesters of Spanish are required. Fall or spring semester, academic year, May term, or summer.

Additional Options to Consider

LAC Global Seminars

  • 3-week, 3-credit programs at the 3000-level led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff over winter break or May session.
  • Explore an exciting location and topic, Fulfill Liberal Education requirements, or earn major/minor credit.

LAC Freshman Seminars

  • Combine on-campus instruction during the spring semester with a study abroad component during spring break, on a 3 credits, 1xxx level Seminar.
  • Freshman Seminars Abroad are designed specifically for first-year students as an introduction to study abroad, an opportunity to explore an exciting location and topic, and likely fulfill a liberal education requirement.

Additional LAC Seminars

  • Check out additional LAC Instructor-led Seminars that might run over winter break, spring break, May, and summer sessions. They vary in length, dates, and content so students can find one that best fits their academic and professional goals.

Intensive Language Programs

  • Begin your language study or work toward completing requirements for a language minor.
  • Complete a semester of language on a short-term program or explore options to complete two or more semesters of language on semester-long program.