Seminar & Field Program

Seminar & Field Program 2022 - Manizales, Colombia

Program Overview

The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) Seminar and Field Program celebrates its 50th year in 2022 of providing more than 550 students a unique educational and cross-cultural immersion experience since its founding in 1972.

This intensive, two-part program incorporates a cross-cultural homestay with individualized field study. The program is open to undergraduates of any major at the University of Pittsburgh with sufficient Spanish language proficiency and an interest in Latin American culture. The 15-20 students selected for the program will enroll in a preparatory seminar on campus during the spring of 2022, and then travel to Colombia where they will study, live with a host family, and carry out an independent field project during the summer.

The Destination

Seminar & Field Trip to Manizales, Colombia:

Manizales is the capital of the Department of Caldas in central Colombia. The city lies near the Nevado del Ruiz volcano and serves as the main center for the production of Colombian coffee and an important hub for higher educational institutions.
Manizales is described as having an "abrupt topography," due to its geographic position in the Colombian Central Mountain Range (part of the longest continental mountain range, the Andes), with a great deal of ridgelines and steep slopes, which, combined with the seismic instability of the area, has required architectural adaptations and public works to make the city safer. Even though Manizales contains challenging topography, there are many coffee plantations among its fertile lands. The city is located in the northern part of the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis ("Eje Cafetero"), near the volcano Nevado del Ruiz, which has an altitude of 5,321 meters (17,457.3 ft). As such, the city's core economy has traditionally been the cultivation and production of coffee. Other companies in the city manufacture products such as liquor, shoes, rubber, chocolate, banks, detergents and soaps, threshing and packaged coffee, software, and metallurgy, among others. In addition, there are institutions and companies involved in the coffee sector as the Departmental Committee of Coffee Growers of Caldas, Almacafé, Cenicafé, and a number of other industries involved in the process of coffee (threshers, cooperatives, exporters).The service sector has thrived, mostly in the form of call centers, and this has become one of the city's primary economic activities.
During the latter half of the twentieth century, many universities were founded in the city to the point that some studies regard Manizales as the second largest University city in the country. 


Spring Term Seminar, ARTSC 1990 (3 credits)
This interdisciplinary seminar is designed to prepare students for their in-country residence experience. Students will examine the history, culture, politics and geography of Manizales and Colombia and their place within Latin American. Issues dealing with cross-cultural communication and the challenges and rewards of the international living experience will be examined. Students will also be guided through the design of individual field projects that they will carry out during their residence experience in May and June.

Summer Session Field Program, ARTSC 1991 (6 credits)
While living with a host family, students will carry out their individual field investigations, collecting data and information for evaluation.  The project director will be present throughout the program to provide guidance and direction.  Final written project reports will be completed upon return to the US and submitted at a deadline set by the director of the program.

Faculty and Staff

Program Director: Luis G. Van Fossen Bravo

Academic Directors: Ana Paula Carvalho & Dolores Lima

Study Abroad Advising: Gisselle Arce


The Center for Latin American Studies underwrites a large part of this program—roundtrip airfare, room and board, and traveler’s insurance are covered by the Center. Students are responsible for the cost of six credits of summer tuition, visa fees and all other incidentals.

Summer 2022 Pricing & Dates  [TENTATIVE]:

In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
$4,530 + $400 Study Abroad Fee* $4,730 + $400 Study Abroad Fee*
Depart USA Return to USA
May 13, 2022 June 24, 2022

*The amounts above are for the 2019-2020 academic year and should be used as estimates only.

Requirements for consideration

  • Candidates are required to be full time, degree seeking undergraduates (from any discipline) maintaining a minimum of a 2.75 grade point average. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors who possess the necessary skills and disposition are welcome apply.
  • By the time the field component begins, applicants must possess sufficient Spanish language proficiency to communicate effectively with their host families, travel independently and carry out their individual projects.
  • Most importantly, interested applicants must demonstrate a willingness to be flexible, assimilate to a new culture, and welcome cross-cultural interaction. Selected candidates must be initiative taking, self-directed and comfortable functioning with little supervision.

EXTENDED Deadline: Monday, November 29 by 11:59pm

For more information on the CLAS Seminar & Field Trip, please e-mail Luis G. Van Fossen Bravo, Assistant Director for Academic Affairs:

Application: Click here to Apply