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About Uruguay
Country Handbook

Universidad Católica del Uruguay

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Program Snapshot

Montevideo, 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.

Check out a blog post by a student who studied abroad in Uruguay.

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.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate and graduate programs available for single semesters only
ISEP Direct: undergraduate programs available for an academic year or semester

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.
ISEP-Direct site for students from all member institutions.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Very Good.
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for I-to-I students is generally Very Good.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications.

ISEP Direct chance of placement is Excellent.

Program Dates
Academic year: March through December
Semester 1: March through July
Semester 2: July through December
Please note that this site observes the Southern Hemisphere academic calendar. If you want to study for a full-year in the southern hemisphere, consider starting your program at the beginning of their academic year in February or March. Some institutions offer annual rather than semester courses. For southern hemisphere programs, ISEP benefits do apply during the recess between semesters (June-July), whereas they do NOT apply between the end of one academic year and the beginning of a new academic year (December to February-March).

Information about ISEP Direct fees and deadlines.

The ISEP-Direct program fee includes the benefit package for: Tuition, Housing, Meals and Insurance

ISEP-Direct Program fees:
U.S. Full Year 2016-17: $17,850
U.S. Semester 1 2016-17: $9,600
U.S. Semester 2 2016-17: $9,950

For priority consideration, applications for the following semester should be received before February 15 and September 1 unless otherwise noted. Rolling admissions are considered for ISEP-Direct before these final application deadlines:
SM1: May 1, 2016
SM2: November 1, 2016

Fast Facts
Montevideo, Uruguay (pop. 1. 5 million)
Student Enrollment: 8,000
Language of instruction: Spanish
University Home Page
Additional Course Offerings for International Students

  • Business (business administration, economics, international commerce, labor relations)
  • Communications
  • Computer Science
  • Education (pre-school, education sciences)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences (Sociology, Political Science, Social Work)
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Law
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Software Engineering

Courses for Graduate (Masters) Level
Graduate-level programs in business, mercosur law and psychology are open to students with advanced Spanish language proficiency who meet the entrance requirements.

Academic Notes
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
5. Community Services

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 averages to 20-25 hours in class per week. A term runs for 15-16 weeks.


Transcripts are generally released two months after the end of the term. Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student’s home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Language Notes
Language Requirement: A minimum of 5 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent must be completed prior to program.
Language Courses: Intensive Spanish language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year or semester for Intermediate and Advanced levels. Contact hours per course: 67.5
Pre-session: A 2-week pre-session, intensive Spanish language course is offered before both semesters for an additional fee for Low Intermediate level students. Contact hours per course: 40

For more information on courses and language options, see the:
ISEP Spanish Language Advising Guide for US Students
ISEP Spanish Language Advising Guide for I-to-I Students

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility.

Special ISEP Application Instructions

ALL applications MUST include a Language Proficiency Report (LPR) regardless of language level or having a background as a native/heritage speaker.

Typically, this program is not open to sophomores. However, students who will be second-semester sophomores during their period abroad can apply for UC Uruguay on ISEP Direct. These students will be considered on a case-by-case basis and they will still be required to meet the language requirement of 5+ semesters of Spanish (or the equivalent).

Hints for Researching Courses
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 asignaturas” 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.

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


You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: optional fees (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month, including books, are estimated at $250 - $300 USD.

All ISEP students will be contacted by a Uruguayan tutor to better immerse in the UCU University and culture. The orientation program covers academic advice, housing, health, emergencies, safety and general information. Integration activities will help students connet 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).


Students arriving on the Official Arrival Date will be picked up by a member of their host family or by a special taxi at the Carrasco Airport.

“The host coordinator was absolutely fantastic. Extremely helpful and available, and she definitely improves the ISEP program here.” -- Samuel Kenney, Kansas State University

Student Activities
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.

Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)
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 a 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

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.