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2012-2013 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Latin American Studies - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies section in this catalog.

Coordinator: Moret. Professor: Stark; Associate Professors: Moret, Vrooman; Assistant Professors: Rosales, Schlewitz.


Knowledge of Latin America and its people, including those in the United States, is an essential part of a liberal education today. Not only is the Latino population of West Michigan growing rapidly but Latinos now constitute the most populous ethnic group in the United States. In the meantime, U.S. economic, political, and cultural relations with our Latin American neighbors -from Mexico and the Caribbean to Central and South America- continue to grow in importance.

Career Opportunities

Students in a wide variety of majors and professional programs can benefit from studying Latin America: the biology major who wishes to work on rainforest ecology, the business major who plans to work in international trade, the international relations major who wants to learn in depth about Latin America, the education or health sciences student who expects to work in almost any U.S. city, or the literature major who plans a graduate degree in Spanish or comparative literature. In fact, the Latin American Studies program is for any traditional or continuing student who simply wants to learn more about the fascinating and diverse cultures of Latin America.

Student Organizations and Involvement

The Latin American Studies program encourages student participation with Latin American and international student organizations on campus, and via internships or on an informal basis with the West Michigan Latino community and its institutions as well as groups dealing with international relations such as the Institute for Global Education and the World Affairs Council. Students are also welcome to participate on the Latin American Studies executive and advisory committees and are encouraged to take part in faculty and student directed research projects. Finally, minors are urged to study abroad, either in Grand Valley State Universitys summer programs in Mexico or Central America or in other appropriate programs in Latin America.

Study Abroad

A sister university agreement with the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, México, provides Grand Valley students and faculty with opportunities for prolonged study abroad and opens the door to an exchange with Mexican students and faculty. New agreements with institutions in the Caribbean, Central, and South America are constantly being pursued. Consult the Padnos International Center or the LAS director for information on international internships and other study abroad opportunities in Latin America.

The following program is available:

Latin American Studies Minor

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