Spanish and Latin American Studies Program Overview

The Spanish and Latin American Studies Program offers a major that can be included in many degrees offered at the University of Sydney. For in-depth information on the Latin American Studies subject area, a description of the major and its requirements, and a table and descriptions of the units of study available in this area, go to the

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Undergraduate Handbook - Spanish and Latin American Studies

For previous year enrolments: Handbook archive.

Unit of Study prerequisites are also reviewed from time to time. The prerequisites listed for units in your year of enrolment are valid for the duration of your candidature.

International Exchange

The department encourages students to spend a period of exchange at an overseas university. The University’s International Exchange Program enables you to undertake approved overseas study, with the credit achieved counting towards your degree at the University of Sydney. Comprehensive information is available at the Student Exchange Office Website.

You can study at one of the many partner universities across the world with which the University has signed a formal exchange agreement. The University of Sydney has partnerships with universities in Chile, Mexico, Peru, Spain. See a full list of exchange partners here. You may decide to go for a semester or during the Winter/Summer breaks on short-term courses. The following information is relevant in both cases.

If you need to ask about gaining credit at the University of Sydney for subjects that you want to study in Spain, check with your academic Student Exchange Coordinator for Spanish and Latin American Studies, .

You must contact her before you travel abroad and when deciding what courses you’d like to choose. To be eligible to apply, you must have completed one full year (48 credits) though you can apply in your second semester as long as you will have completed the full 48 credits by the end of that semester. You need to maintain at least a credit average (65% +). See this link for more information about eligibility.

Again, you should contact Dr Walsh once you are abroad if you need to make any changes to your choices. All courses must be preapproved and it is also good to keep in touch!

Once you've decided to go on exchange, you should contact the International Office to find out all information you need.

The International Office holds very useful briefing sessions that are an obligatory part of your application for Exchange. Once you have attended these (compulsory) briefing sessions and chosen the overseas university you wish to attend, you will have to submit an application to the International Exchange.

The study plans you will need to submit will help you to get familiar with the Universities websites and learn about the different courses available and the credit systems.

When you find out which University you have been nominated to attend, the International Office will ask you to fill in another application. Even though this application indicates that your Academic Advisor should sign it, it will need to be signed by a staff member from the International office not by your Academic Exchange Advisor.

Once you have received the acceptance from your host University, then you should contact the Faculty Exchange Officer to get the subjects/courses/units you have chosen approved. For example if you are in FASS, you email [[mail]]

S/he will forward your choices to your academic advisor.

Remember, you MUST have your units pre-approved and for that to happen in this Department, it must:

  • Be taught in Spanish
  • Be equivalent to a University of Sydney Unit in terms of workload (i.e. contact hours + self-study hours expected = exam type)
  • Be examined through Spanish
  • Be on a topic that is relevant to the culture you are studying i.e. generally equivalent to the types of units on offer in the Department of Spanish & Latin American Studies
  • If it is a language unit, it must be of a level that is suitable for you (most Host Universities run placement tests).

Also remember that if you are doing a major in Spanish, only ONE of your cultural units can be done abroad and a maximum of TWO language units.

When meeting with your academic advisor, please have the following information with you:

  • Printed copies of the descriptions of each course that you wish to study overseas, including course codes. If these are not yet available, please bring descriptions from the previous year and we will make the changes when the new descriptions appear.
  • Assessment details for each of the courses (i.e. what type of exam is involved etc.)
  • Number of contact hours for each of the courses (including how many weeks the course runs)
  • The number of ECTs or equivalent credit points allocated to each course
  • The form from International Office / Arts Faculty Office that the Academic Advisor will need to sign in order to approve your subjects, or, in some cases, that approval may be given via email.

Planning your subjects

Credit equivalencies
Please note that a full-time USYD credit load (24 USYD points) is the equivalent of 30 ECTs (European Credit Transfer) in Spain (a system that is also used in other countries but there are differences which you should ask the International Office about).
This means that one University of Sydney subject is not the equivalent of one subject in Spain or Latin America. Indeed, for the equivalent of two University of Sydney subjects, you may well end up doing 5 or 6 subjects at your Host University.
It is strongly recommended to take the courses with the highest ECTS so that you do not end up taking too many courses.

Academic policies and procedures

The Department follows the policies and procedures set out by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences – for information, follow this link:

Special Consideration webpage for information on:
- Special Consideration - for serious illness or misadventure
- Special Arrangements - for essential community commitments
- Extensions on assessments - for minor illness or misadventure