Latin American and Latino Studies Field-Study and Internship Opportunities

All Latin American and Latino Studies majors are strongly encouraged to undertake either (1) a field study in Latin America, the Caribbean, or a Latino/a community in the U.S.; or (2) formal academic study abroad through the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP). These paths are the best ways to improve language skills, explore the nature and direction of specific academic and career interests in relation to Latin American and Latino studies, and deepen cross-cultural understanding and relationships based on personal experience.

Field studies comprise independent, community-based study projects for academic credit, done under faculty sponsorship and arranged on an individual basis. Students can do full-time field study for one quarter for full academic credit, part-time field study scheduled in conjunction with formal coursework at UCSC, or field study as an extension of the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP). Projects vary widely, but students who want to develop a field-study proposal are expected to prepare for it by acquiring fluency in the appropriate language, prior cross-cultural experience, and upper-division coursework on the region and/or topic that is to be the focus of the study.

Students who wish to pursue a full-time field study are advised to speak with their faculty advisor to assess their eligibility and preparation, as well as to receive needed guidance, ideally a quarter or two in advance.

Many of the students who have done full-time field study have developed a senior thesis based on that work. Students who pursue a part-time field study are highly encouraged to discuss their plan with their faculty advisor as well.

Local opportunities for internships and field study in Latino/a communities on California’s Central Coast are numerous. Credit for up to three upper-division courses may be applied toward the major from field study; however, course credit from field study and study abroad combined may not exceed three upper-division courses. Students should check the Latin American and Latino Studies Department website for further information regarding the field-study process and course credit. A listing of local field-study programs and petition forms are available at the LALS Department office, 32 Merrill Academic Building.

For more information, contact the LALS office at