This degree program combines different approaches from the field of cultural studies and enables students to gain a comprehensive understanding of Latin America. The core areas of the curriculum are history, political science, geography, linguistics and literary studies. In addition, students take intensive language courses (mainly in Spanish but also in Portuguese if they wish) and may choose to study aspects of intercultural communication.
Students can choose their individual focus areas by combining different elective modules or by tailoring their Bachelor’s thesis or semester abroad to their individual profile. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of their studies, graduates have broad knowledge and skills that qualify them to enter a range of different careers or to pursue further studies.
This degree program deals with the fundamentals of Latin American history and analyzes regional history with the help of case studies and comparisons of political systems. It places a focus on current political and socio-economic crises and challenges facing Latin America, on the development in Latin America, foundations of Latin American geography and economic geography. The linguistic field approaches topics such as language rights and multilingualism with a particular focus on indigenous languages. In the area of literary and film studies, the program imparts skills for analyzing selected works in the Latin American literary and film history and putting them into a larger historical context.
One of the particularities of the program is the required semester abroad that students can take at one of over 30 partner universities. Furthermore, an integrated internship and practical courses prepare students for their future professional careers and give them insights into different areas, e.g. into the field of development cooperation.
In contrast to other comparable degree programs, this program also maintains its regional focus on Latin America during the subject-specific profile development phase. This means that all courses in history, geography and politics, as well as linguistic and literary studies courses focus on Latin America. Furthermore, students can choose other voluntary focus areas by selecting required elective modules, the semester abroad and their Bachelor’s thesis topic from one of the following subject areas: Geography, History, Romance Studies (Languages and Literary Studies) and Political Science. It is also possible to include the specific regional focus on Brazil on the Bachelor's certificate. The prerequisite is that the students completed their semester abroad at a Brazilian partner university, chose their internship either in Brazil or with a connection to Brazil and chose a Bachelor’s thesis topic that has a connection to Brazil.
The fact that the degree program is integrated into the KU Center for Latin American Studies (ZILAS) allows students to gain an insight into current research projects with a focus on Latin America.
The KU offers a wide range of topics and events that have a connection to Latin America and go well beyond the study offer, e.g. presentations (including a series of presentations in winter), conferences and conventions as well as cultural events that are organized by student groups, such as the Cine Latino and the Fiesta Latina.
The prerequisite for enrollment in the Bachelor’s program in Latin American Studies is, in addition to proof of a university entrance qualification, knowledge of Spanish at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
If the student's knowledge of Spanish is insufficient, level B2 can alternatively be achieved through intensive language courses at the KU Language Center (see "Intensive courses Italian and Spanish").
The first semester mainly concentrates on offering students a sound basic introduction to all disciplines involved. Students get an insight into contents, formation of scientific theories and methodology of the respective subject areas.
Sufficient language proficiency in Spanish on level C1 is guaranteed by participation in the required module “Grammar and Vocabulary I”. In addition, students can decide whether they would like to advance their Spanish language proficiency further or acquire knowledge of Portuguese, or expand on these language skills, if already available. From the first semester on, it is possible to expand on both language proficiencies simultaneously.
In the second and third semesters, study content of the individual disciplines is approached in greater detail. The module “Development in Latin America: Diversity – Power – Ideology” enables students to explicitly link acquired knowledge to knowledge gained in other disciplines. Students increasingly acquire transdisciplinary learning and working skills.
The fourth, fifth and sixth semester aim to consolidate the knowledge that was acquired in the individual subject areas as well as to impart and expand on intercultural skills. The semester abroad is an important pillar in this context as it enables students to take a different, Latin American perspective on the study contents. This allows students to reflect on what they have learned so far and apply theoretical knowledge in a practical context in Latin America. Furthermore, the semester abroad helps students to prepare for their Bachelor's thesis. After spending the semester abroad, students take a prolonged semester break. This offers the ideal framework conditions for engaging in an internship in Latin America.
Students write their Bachelor’s thesis in the sixth semester of the program. The program concludes with modules taking an interdisciplinary focus and a connection to current questions that invite students to reflect on what they have experienced and learned during their semester abroad.
The Bachelor’s thesis can be submitted in one of the involved disciplines or cover an interdisciplinary topic. The fact that the degree program is integrated into the Center for Latin American Studies ensures that students are supervised by staff with outstanding expertise on Latin America.
The Center for Latin American Studies (ZILAS) is a central research institute at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and reports directly to the University Management. The ZILAS coordinates the Bachelor’s degree program in Latin American Studies and organizes research projects on Latin America, where possible in collaboration with Latin American researchers and institutions.
In 2020 for the second time in a row, the KU has been elected among the ten most popular universities in Germany by its students and alumni. In a ranking published by the online portal Studycheck.de, the KU took fourth place among all German universities. Among all Bavarian universities, the KU was elected the most popular university.
“We are very happy that the KU achieved such a great ranking again this year – especially because this ranking is directly based on student feedback. This result is both an accolade and additional motivation for all parties involved”, says KU President Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gien.
A good command of the language is the necessary prerequisite for studying abroad, which is a compulsory program component in semester 5. The Center for Latin American Studies has a strong network of over 30 Latin American partner universities. Students of the program will spend their semester abroad at one of the partner universities of the KU, mainly in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia or Mexico.
The most important benefits of spending a semester abroad is that students get to know the Latin American perspective on their study content, have the possibility to specialize in individual focus areas of their studies and deepen their intercultural awareness and language skills. Furthermore, a stay abroad allows students to experience the practical relevance of what they have learned in theory. During their stay abroad, students receive comprehensive professional support and supervision from the KU and its partner universities (e.g. intercultural preparation and orientation week at the partner universities).
"I have spent my semester abroad at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. For me, choosing this university was the best decision! I have met so many great people and I am very grateful for having had the chance to study at one of the best universities in Latin America. I particularly liked the large and very green campus. The sports center also has an excellent range of offers with (almost) all types of sports, which was great enrichment. The university is located near the Monserrate, a mountain at the center of Bogotá, where you have an excellent view of the city form the top (see photo)."
Franziska Prinz, BA Latin American Studies
"My semester abroad in Mexico was one of the most valuable experiences of my studies. The opportunity to immerse myself in everyday life there for a limited period has enriched me both academically and personally. I will always look back on the months in Mexico with gratitude, as they really meant a lot to me – not only personally. The time there gave me lasting impressions, raised new questions and only strengthened my interest in Latin American topics further.
To get away from Eichstätt in the middle of my studies and to study in Mexico for a semester was a refreshing, adventurous and incredibly intense experience for me that I wouldn't want to miss. Through the many contacts of the KU I had a large number of countries and universities to choose from, which allowed me to apply according to my preferences. In the end, fore me the months in Mexico meant a very personal encounter with a country that I had only dealt with academically until then."
Miriam, student of BA Latin American Studies
The six-week internship brings students into contact with their prospective career fields. Students apply for internships at suitable private or public institutions independently. The internship must be completed in Latin America or have a clear connection to Latin America.
You can find suitable internship opportunities in the field of education, culture & media, development cooperation, political foundations & international relations, in other NGOs & associations, or in science and the industry. The degree program advisors and the International Internship Service at the KU support you in searching for an internship organization and planning your internship.
The BA in Latin American Studies prepares students for a diverse range of international professions in development cooperation, trade & foreign trade, science and educational institutions and the industry, or in international exchange, political foundations and with media organizations and publishers.
After completing their Bachelor’s degree program, graduates can either start their professional career straight away or – in particular when aiming for a management position or a career in science and academia (doctoral degree) – consolidate and expand on their knowledge by pursuing Master’s studies, e.g. with the Master’s program in "Conflict, Memory and Peace” that is also offered at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. At the KU, students can choose from a wide range of Master’s degree programs. Postgraduate programs that are particularly suitable for graduates of the BA in Latin American Studies are, for example, “Latin American Studies”, “International Relations”, or “International Conflict Management”.
"I have studied in the BA Latin American Studies in Eichstätt from 2008 to 2011. After my Abitur, I spent a voluntary social year in Peru and I wanted to continue in that direction with my studies as well. The BA in Latin American Studies was exactly what I had been looking for: I could continue to focus on Latin America also in my studies and did not have to choose one specific subject. The interdisciplinary structure of the degree program allowed me to gain in-depth insight from very different perspectives. At the same time, the program offered ample room for choosing my individual focus areas on specific topics or regions, that I was also able to take into my Master’s program and beyond. For me, it was very valuable that the program also imparted language skills in Spanish and Portuguese and promoted intercultural awareness – in particular also in the context of the semester abroad – in addition to teaching subject-specific knowledge on politics, history, geography and literature.
In retrospect, I in particular remember the excellent supervision and support that students receive in Eichstätt, the comprehensive approach to the topic “Latin America” or the additional offer at the University with regard to specific Latin American topics. I also liked that there was a comprehensive extra-curricular offer of Latin American themed events, such as Latin American movie days or that all fellow students of the program brought their own experiences with Latin America into the group.
After having completed my Bachelor’s degree, I gathered internship experience by working for different NGOs and development policy institutions, in the field of development political educational work, in project management and in analysis and processing of topics that are relevant in a development political context for twelve months and it was amazing to see all the benefits from my studies that I brought into professional life – both as regards subject-specific competence and soft skills. From 2012 to 2014, I completed an interdisciplinary postgraduate program. In the Master’s program, I was able to keep my regional focus on Latin America and contents built on the knowledge I had already acquired during my Bachelor’s program. It gave me the possibility to approach topics of my interest in greater depth. After completing my Master’s degree, I found my current position with KATE Umwelt & Entwicklung in Stuttgart straight away."
"What I like about my BA program in Latin American Studies at the KU Eichstätt is that it is a university with short distances. The courses are small, which creates a personal and friendly relationship both between the students and lecturers. Because the study is interdisciplinary, you gain diverse knowledge and do not have to commit to one particular subject. All modules have a strong connection to Latin America, and even outside the normal everyday life of the study program, students can continue to study Latin America through presentations and conferences. The events organized by us students, such as the Cine Latino and the Fiesta Latina, also bring a little bit of Latin America to Eichstätt. The required semester abroad and internships help in gaining experience abroad during one's studies without it affecting the course of studies"
Short distances on campus at the KU save time and avoid stress. The KU is a campus University with modern facilities. The buildings on campus are located close to the Eichstätt old town. Although the University and its campus has grown, it is still characterized by short distances: In Eichstätt, everything can be reached within ten minutes’ walking distance. On campus, green spaces such as the Hofgarten are the perfect places to relax. The garden of the Kapuzinerkloster is also used by different student initiatives for their projects. The canteen is located at the heart of the Eichstätt campus and has a sun deck and cafeteria that leave nothing to be desired.
Studying at the KU is more than just acquiring specialist knowledge. We broaden our horizons together and take on responsibility in and beyond the individual degree programs. The KU has a particular focus on topics such as personal development, sustainability, social skills and social commitment.
It offers its students the possibility to study and work in a welcoming atmosphere and benefit from outstanding support and comprehensive service offers, a well-stocked library, a broad range of sports and leisure activities and a large global network of approx. 300 partner universities. Our team at the International Office helps you to plan your semester abroad and the KU Career Service provides comprehensive advice and support for embarking on your professional career.
Eichstätt and the surrounding Altmühltal natural park are not only a popular destination for culture enthusiasts and nature lovers, but also for cyclists, climbers, canoeists and fossil collectors. Located between Munich and Nuremberg, the city impresses with its Baroque setting and southern flair combined with modern and prizewinning architecture as well as a broad variety of cultural offerings and leisure activities.
The Baroque park at the heart of the campus and the nearby banks of the Altmühltal river are the KU’s “green living room”. Another big advantage: all University facilities are just a short walk away from each other.
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