Study in the heart of Mercosur, South America’s famous free trade zone, and experience all that Uruguay has to offer: charming colonial towns, beautiful beaches, hot springs and cattle towns on the Argentine border that boast world-famous steaks. Uruguay’s year-round mild climate, safe cities, good quality of life and long-standing tradition of democracy make it an excellent site to experience the rich diversity and history of South America.



Languages Spoken:

Spanish

Education System

HIGHER EDUCATION

Upon completion of four to six years of university study, a student may receive a degree of licenciado (first university degree), followed by a bachiller, doctor, experto, or técnico (three years); procurador, bachiller, or técnico (four years); arquitecto, ingeniero, or doctor (five years); and ingeniero, notario, or doctor (six years). Technical and teacher-training schools are also available.

Grades awarded are S (Sobre saliente), MB (Muy bueno), BMB (Bueno Muy Bueno), B (Bueno), R (Regular), and D (Deficiente); B (Bueno) is the lowest passing mark.

When you enroll in a Latin American university, you will encounter the following aspects:

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 bachillerato 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.

The Latin American system does not use contact hours as a way of determining how many credits to assign a course, as institutions might do in other countries. In the Latin American system, classes may meet for fewer hours and have higher expectations about the amount of time students put into their studies outside of class. Classes may meet in one solid block of time once a week as opposed to one hour three times a week. The class may meet in the afternoons or evenings. Professors sometime schedule classes at these hours to accommodate their day jobs.

Visa and Residency

STUDENT VISA/RESIDENCE PERMIT

Citizens of the United States, Latin America and the European Union traveling to Uruguay will need a valid passport, but do not need a student visa to enter the country.

(International-to-International ISEP participants from other countries should contact the Uruguayan consulate in their home country for visa regulation information.)

SEMESTER and FULL YEAR STUDENTS

If a student comes to Uruguay for a period of less than 180 days, the student may need to enter the country with a Tourist Visa that has a duration of 90 days. Before the 90 days are up, the student may need to apply at the National Office of Migration for a 90 day extension that costs 300-400 pesos (amount subject to change). Please contact the Embassy closest to you for the most up to date visa requirements.

Foreigners who would like to reside in Uruguay for more than 180 days, but less than 365 days, must obtain a "Temporary Residence" that costs 716 pesos (amount subject to change). At the National Office of Migration in Montevideo, Department of the Minister of Interior, the student must present: 1) A police report from the home country (obtained prior to traveling to Uruguay), 2) A passport (valid for 6 months beyond your arrival date in Uruguay), 3) A health card that costs 300 pesos (amount subject to change) and can be obtained in Montevideo, and 4) An acceptance letter from the host university in Uruguay that indicates the period of academic exchange.

Culture

COMMUNICATIVE STYLE

Uruguayans are generally direct in their communication styles and can become very animated and assertive when if they get emotional. Uruguayans tend to stand very close when conversing and, between friends, there is a fair amount of physical contact during a conversation.

GREETINGS

With first introductions, a handshake is the custom between everyone. As you get to know someone better, male Uruguayans may greet each other with hearty hugs and women customarily will kiss each other on the cheek. Direct eye contact is important during greetings.

FOOD

Meat, particularly beef, is the mainstay of the diet. The national dish is the asado (barbecued meat). The parrillada (beef and entrails) is the most typical dish. It contains a varied assortment of parts, the most common being beef ribs, kidneys, salivary glands or sweetbreads (mollejas ), small intestine (chinchulines ) or large intestine (tripa gorda ), and sweet blood pudding sausage (morcilla dulce ). Pork sausage usually is served as an appetizer. Barbecued lamb is consumed in large quantities, particularly in rural areas. At rural banquets, entire cows are barbecued slowly with their hides.

As a result of Italian immigration in the late 1800s and early 1900s, pasta is a national food. Sunday is the preferred day for eating pasta. Most home cooking has a Spanish influence, and meals almost invariably include soup.

A standard fast food is chivito, a substantial steak sandwich. Bread is a staple, as are dairy products (which are high in quality) Dulce de leche, a sweet spread is a national treat, included often in sandwich cookies called alfajores.

Mate which is a strong tea-like beverage made by infusing coarsely ground leaves of Yerba Mate with hot water in a gourd and sipped through a metal straw with a terminal filter (bombilla ), is drunk at home, at work, at the beach, at soccer games and in public places. Coffee is drunk as espresso or with milk. Breakfast is a light meal. Traditionally, lunch and dinner are the main meals. Wine and beer commonly accompany the main meals.

FAMILY

The nuclear family is by far the dominant household unit in Uruguay. Most Uruguayans live with their parents until they are married. Grandparents (especially widowed grandparents) frequently live with the family of one of their daughters or sons. Married children normally visit their parents over the weekend and it is not uncommon for them to talk with their parents by phone almost daily. Aunts, uncles, and cousins are also considered to be close relatives and they frequently meet at family and social gatherings.

Daily Life

COMMUNICATIVE STYLE

Uruguayans are generally direct in their communication styles and can become very animated and assertive when if they get emotional. Uruguayans tend to stand very close when conversing and, between friends, there is a fair amount of physical contact during a conversation.

GREETINGS

With first introductions, a handshake is the custom between everyone. As you get to know someone better, male Uruguayans may greet each other with hearty hugs and women customarily will kiss each other on the cheek. Direct eye contact is important during greetings.

FOOD

Meat, particularly beef, is the mainstay of the diet. The national dish is the asado (barbecued meat). The parrillada (beef and entrails) is the most typical dish. It contains a varied assortment of parts, the most common being beef ribs, kidneys, salivary glands or sweetbreads (mollejas ), small intestine (chinchulines ) or large intestine (tripa gorda ), and sweet blood pudding sausage (morcilla dulce ). Pork sausage usually is served as an appetizer. Barbecued lamb is consumed in large quantities, particularly in rural areas. At rural banquets, entire cows are barbecued slowly with their hides.

As a result of Italian immigration in the late 1800s and early 1900s, pasta is a national food. Sunday is the preferred day for eating pasta. Most home cooking has a Spanish influence, and meals almost invariably include soup.

A standard fast food is chivito, a substantial steak sandwich. Bread is a staple, as are dairy products (which are high in quality) Dulce de leche, a sweet spread is a national treat, included often in sandwich cookies called alfajores.

Mate which is a strong tea-like beverage made by infusing coarsely ground leaves of Yerba Mate with hot water in a gourd and sipped through a metal straw with a terminal filter (bombilla ), is drunk at home, at work, at the beach, at soccer games and in public places. Coffee is drunk as espresso or with milk. Breakfast is a light meal. Traditionally, lunch and dinner are the main meals. Wine and beer commonly accompany the main meals.

FAMILY

The nuclear family is by far the dominant household unit in Uruguay. Most Uruguayans live with their parents until they are married. Grandparents (especially widowed grandparents) frequently live with the family of one of their daughters or sons. Married children normally visit their parents over the weekend and it is not uncommon for them to talk with their parents by phone almost daily. Aunts, uncles, and cousins are also considered to be close relatives and they frequently meet at family and social gatherings.

Health and Safety

https://www.isepstudyabroad.org/guides-and-tips/health-safety

Currency

MONEY MATTERS

Currency

The unit of currency in Uruguay is the peso, which is worth 100 centesimos.

For speed and convenience, nothing beats ATMs. They’re found in most cities and smaller towns. Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay seems to have the least temperamental machines.

Credit cards are useful, particularly when buying cash from a bank. Most better hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards. Credit cards are widely used in Montevideo; the most common are Diners Club, Master Card and Visa.

There are plenty of casas de cambio in Montevideo, Colonia and the Atlantic beach resorts, but banks are the rule in the interior. Casas de cambio offer slightly lower rates and sometimes charge commissions. There’s no black market for dollars or other foreign currencies.


To compare your currency to the Uruguay peso, see http://www.xe.com.

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