COVID-19 Updates and Resources. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority. Coronavirus Information

URUGUAY - ISEP Universidad Catolica del Uruguay

Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is no ordinary port city. It is filled with WWII history, museums, a still standing gate to an old Spanish fort, and of course, Universidad Catolica del Uruguay. The University offers up the chance to take classes such as business, education, and sociology, but in a way that helps you master the Spanish language! If that isn’t enticing enough, Uruguay is home to many beaches and a year-round mild climate that begs students to visit.

Founded in 1954, the Jesuit-administered Universidad Católica del Uruguay was recognized as a university in 1985 and continues its tradition of providing personalized education. The faculty offers solid undergraduate and graduate coursework, integrating theory and practical experience. International professors frequently visit the university to give lectures and seminars. Student facilities include a library, counseling center and student advisory services, a recently renovated radio studio, a photo lab, computer labs, and membership in the Iberoamericana Educational Television Network. Students also have access to a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. Total enrollment: 4,500 students. 

This program is best for a student that is independent.  A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus and comfortable with the local language to thrive in this location. Please be aware that there may not be the same access to internet or amenities to which you may be accustomed.  Student services and especially class registration may not be at all similar to what is done at the College and may be difficult for some students to adjust.  

Learn more about Universidad Católica del Uruguay here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Experiences of Former Students

Check out a blog post by a student who studied abroad in Uruguay. 
Got questions? Contact an ISEP Student Ambassador who studied in this region.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  
  • Language Requirement: A minimum of 5 semesters of university-level Spanish language or the equivalent must be completed prior to the program
  • The student must submit ISEP language proficiency report in the application, even if native speaker.

Students applying to ISEP must apply for an Exchange option (in any country) as a first choice but may apply to a Direct option as a back-up. Direct options may have an additional cost (see a financial section for more information).


The university is located in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. A port town on the Río Plata, Montevideo is the capital of the MERCOSUR and is mainly populated by European immigrants. The city offers a mild climate, clean air, and wonderful beaches. The university is a 15-minute ride from the downtown area.

To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the ISEP Country Handbook for Uruguay. 


Course Description

Universidad Católica del Uruguay offers courses taught entirely in Spanish in subjects such as business, arts, communications, social sciences, health sciences, psychology and engineering. They also offer a few select courses especially for international students including Uruguyan literature, Uruguayan culture and Uruguyan history. One Spanish as a second language course is also included in ISEP benefits. 

Tips for finding courses:

1. View the list of degrees

2. Click on the subject, then “plan de estudios y horarios” 

For more information on course availability, click here. 

Fields of Study

  • Business: Accounting,  Business Management, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources Management, International Business/Trade/Commerce, Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management, Organizational Behavior Studies

  • Communication: Advertising, Digital Communication and Media, Journalism, Mass Communication/Media Studies, Publishing, Radio and Television

  • Computer and Information Sciences: Computer and IT Support Services, Computer Applications Programming, Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications, Informatics, Web Page/Multimedia Design

  • Education: Early Childhood Education

  • Engineering:  Agricultural Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Software Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Industrial Engineering

  • Health Sciences: Dentistry, Nursing Science, Nutrition Sciences, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation Science

  • Hospitality and Tourism: Tourism Management

  • Law/Criminal Justice: International Law, Legal Studies

  • Psychology: Behavioral Sciences, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics, Counseling Psychology, Developmental and Child Psychology, Educational Psychology, Industrial and Organizational Psychology

  • Sports Studies: Kinesiology and Exercise Science

  • Visual and Performing Arts:: Cinematography and Film Production, Design and Visual Communications, Digital Arts, Film Studies, Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other

  • Area Studies: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

  • Foreign Languages and Literatures: Spanish Language and Literature

  • Human Services: Social Work

  • Social Sciences: Political Science and Government, Sociology

Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Please understand that the academic system at UC is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

Latin American universities prepare their students for professional careers. They are not committed to educating the whole person as a useful citizen. Latin American universities place much less emphasis on student services. If a student has a problem, it is generally up to the student to find a solution, perhaps with the help of his or her family. Most professors and other academics are not expected to spend time advising students through regular office hours. You will need to chase down your professors before or after class or stop them in the hallways to set a time to talk to them about the class.

In most state-run universities, students have to present two term papers or exams along with quizzes and a final oral and written presentation of the results of a research topic or, a specific assignment. This research paper can be substituted by a final comprehensive exam. Most of the time, research papers are done in groups, which requires a good cultural sensitivity on the part of the international student in order to fit in. This is a challenge that after completing their exchange period most students find it very rewarding.

Course information

Local students take all of their classes in one Facultad and receive a degree in one field because Latin American universities operate on the Carrera system. Under this system, students studying the same subject take all of their classes together for the full four years until they graduate with a degree from their Facultad. As a result, students in a given Carrera know each other well and see each other almost exclusively throughout the academic day. Some ISEP students have found that a good way to get to know local students is to take a least two classes with the same group (e.g. Two second-year classes in the Department of Sociology).

Be aware that because of the Carrera system and the Bachi Llera to system (if it is different from the system in your home country), third- or fourth-year classes at a Latin American university might be difficult to manage. Unless the classes you take are called “Introduction to… .” professors will assume some knowledge of the subject, and in many cases, much more knowledge than you have. If your first language is not Spanish, do not forget that you will be taking these classes along with regular degree-seeking students in Spanish. The professors may give you an extra break, but they rarely slow down.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.

The Faculty of Communication Sciences, the Department of Sociology, the Business School, and Psychology are favored by international students because of the specific courses they offer. 

In addition to taking courses from the regular curriculum, the special program for international students offers four courses per semester: 
1. Uruguayan and Latin American History
2. Uruguayan Literature (selected authors)
3. Spanish language (two levels offered)
4. Uruguayan Culture 

See the Additional Course Offerings for International Students for course descriptions.
NOTE: Students are encouraged to take at least two courses from the regular curriculum in order to immerse themselves more fully into university life. 

Students typically enroll in 5-7 classes per term which average to 20-25 hours in class per week. A term runs for 15-16 weeks. There is no system of credits in Uruguay.  

There is no system of credits in Uruguay. A full workload for international students is four to five classes a semester. Courses from the regular curriculum average about 45 hours per semester. Spanish language for foreign students is more intensive and is 67.5 hours per semester. 

To Earn 4 Lake Forest credits, students must take 168 total contact hours, or 672 hours of in- and out-of-class time.

To Earn 3 Lake Forest credits, students must take 126 total contact hours, or 504 hours of in- and out-of-class time.

The number of credits listed here is estimated, and GEO will work with you, your advisor, and the registrar to ensure you are earning enough credits to keep you on track for graduation.

1. Go to the Carreras page to find a list of the majors offered at UCU.
2. Under each Facultad, click on the carreras (majors) to see its general description, syllabus, professors, courses, among other useful information.
3. On the next page, look for a link that may say “Plan de Estudios”, “Folleto de la Carrera” or “Ver signatures” to see courses offered. 
4. If you are studying March-July, only the classes listed in the ODD-NUMBERED semesters will be available to you. If you are studying July-December, only the classes listed in the EVEN-NUMBERED semesters will be available to you. The annual courses are year-long courses instructed during the Southern Hemisphere academic full year (March – December)

Note: The courses may not be available each semester. Some courses are full-year only (March-December) and these are known as annual. Upon receipt of your application, the ISEP Coordinator at UCU will confirm whether or not your desired courses are available during your requested study period.

Please review the ISEP country handbook for more information on the education system, grades, class hours, and classroom etiquette. 

Student Life

The orientation program covers academic advice, housing, health, emergencies, safety, and general information. Integration activities will help students connect with each other. Optional activities for the following weekends (walking tours, trips to surrounding tourist places, etc.) will be offered during those days. Students will have to take a Spanish Language test upon arrival. If the student’s Spanish proficiency does not meet the level required by the university, he or she will be required to take a private Spanish language course (not included in the ISEP benefits).

International students have the chance as all Uruguayan students to participate in extra-curricular activities, such as sports (swimming, football, basketball, handball, etc), theatre, choir, and visual arts. Every semester an International Fair is organized with the help of exchange students in order to reach out to the university community.

  Experiential Opportunities
The Human Sciences Faculty offers a Community Service Program where international and Uruguayan students work in poor areas. Program participants work with children or young people in a cross-cultural service-learning experience. Students enrolled in this Community Service Program receive a grade and credit hours for their participation. Click here for more information from the university’s website regarding the Community Service Program.

“I became heavily involved with an NGO called Un Techo Para Mí País and learned a lot through my experiences with them. I had the good fortune to know many parts of Montevideo normally hidden from the views of foreigners.” – Samuel Kenney, Kansas State University
Housing and Meals

All students are housed with host families and receive breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the host family. UCU does not have on-campus housing for international students. In the unlikely event that a host family is not available, students are housed in a student hostel. The ISEP coordinator advises students on their housing accommodations prior to arrival.

“I really enjoyed living with a family. My host family was very helpful and nice to talk to. Living with them gave me another perspective to really see the Uruguayan culture in everyday life. And it’s nice having someone cook every day.” – Kayla Pulvermacher, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange program includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing and a stipend to cover the equivalent of 19/meals per week. ISEP Direct includes the same as above.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 programs:

Budget Item





Lake Forest College Tuition



Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost for Southern Hemisphere programs, as that starts a new academic year.



Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College



ISEP Confirmation and Application Fees



ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance (estimated, $90/mo)

Note: Some countries require national insurance, which may be instead of, or in addition to, ISEP insurance. Check ISEP



Additional Meals



Estimated Airfare

*Students placed on ISEP Exchange may be eligible for up to $750 airfare award



Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)



Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses






Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2019. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by the student to the host program, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill from the College.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office