Southern Oregon University in Ashland and the Universidad Católica del Uruguay (Catholic University of Uraguay) in Montevideo are launching a new student exchange partnership in 2023 that will be SOU’s first such arrangement in South America and the Southern Hemisphere.
Bilateral exchange programs, like the one developed between SOU and UCU, function as affordable study-abroad opportunities for participants. Exchange students pay their usual tuition and fee rates at their home university, while spending a semester or year abroad at the partner institution. SOU students keep their financial aid package intact while on exchange, creating opportunities for students of limited financial means to pursue international experiences.
Students on SOU’s Ashland campus will also benefit from the addition of Uruguayan students in the classroom. Exchange students visiting Ashland bring their unique perspectives, histories and cultures to enliven classroom discussions, group projects and creative showcases. UCU offers majors including business, communication, computer science, economics, nutrition, performing arts, psychology, recreation, sociology and visual arts, and exchange students are welcomed from across all fields of study.
SOU students applying to study at UCU in Montevideo will need to have at least a B1-level of Spanish language proficiency, and expect to immerse themselves in Spanish language through their coursework in Uruguay. Students may take courses such as Spanish language, Uruguayan Culture, Latin American and Uruguayan Thinking, or a service-learning course in addition to classes alongside UCU students in their areas of study.
“Uruguay is highly regarded internationally for its stances on environmental stewardship, sustainability, human rights, and democracy. It ranks highly as a safe destination for LGBT travelers,” says Ariel Bloomer, SOU’s Education Abroad advisor. “I’m excited about the diversity this location brings to our existing exchange portfolio, and what that means for cultural exchange opportunities on our campus.”
For SOU students interested in the exchange opportunity in Uruguay, or in other exchange destinations, the application deadline for fall exchanges is Feb. 15. All partners can be explored on the Office of International Programs page on Inside SOU, or at the upcoming Study Abroad Fair from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on Jan. 25 in the Stevenson Union, Room 323. Students can contact the Office of International Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story by Ariel Bloomer, SOU Education Abroad advisor