With a growing economy, a services sector accounting for 70 percent of GDP and an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent, Uruguay is often referred to as the hidden gem of South America. Ranked 57th in the United Nations Human Development Index, Uruguay has a literacy rate of 97.9 percent.
Uruguay is considered one of the most progressive countries in Latin America, and some recently passed laws that account for this are the anti-tobacco law and the legalization of state-controlled production and dispensing of marijuana.
Moreover, Uruguay has a free public healthcare system, and every child attending public schools receives a free laptop and wireless internet access. In 2008, Uruguay became the first country in Latin America to have a national civil union law, which protected both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples, and in 2013 it became one of the first countries in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
Traditionally Uruguay has only one public university, the University of the Republic founded in 1849. In 2015, a new public technological university, the UTEC, started offering undergraduate degrees in Dairy Production and Management, Renewable Energy, Information Technology and Mechatronics. UTEC is a university educational program aiming at the development of advanced human capital, applied research, technological development and innovation in order to strengthen the development of the different regions of the country. Undergraduate education at the University of the Republic and UTEC is free.
Uruguay has four private universities: Universidad Católica del Uruguay, Universidad ORT Uruguay, Universidad de Montevideo, and Universidad de la Empresa. There are other higher education institutions such as CLAEH, the Latin American Center for Human Economy and BIOS. While most university campuses are located in the capital city of Montevideo, UTEC campuses and a few university campuses are located in the provinces.
The academic year runs from March through December. U.S. scholars will find an open, accessible and welcoming educational environment, and the country’s small size will allow for interaction with a broad range of specialists beyond their host institution. The goal of the Fulbright Scholar Program in Uruguay is to ensure scholars have a highly valuable experience, both academically and culturally, promoting mutual understanding between our two countries.
U.S. citizens traveling on a regular passport, for a visit of less than 90 days, do not need a visa. U.S. citizens traveling for a visit of more than 90 days do need a visa.
Cases of the Zika virus have been reported in the Western Hemisphere. As you prepare your Fulbright application, we encourage you to read the information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.