Perhaps you laughed at the name of this seemingly strange country in your high school Spanish or geography classes or wondered why in the world anyone would want to go to Montevideo, but make no mistake, folks – Uruguay is no laughing matter.
While often overlooked by travelers and even guide books (Uruguay occupies a small section in the back of the Argentina edition of Lonely Planet), this small country has a lot to offer. With yerba mate that is arguably more flavorful than that found in neighboring Argentina and beaches that rival those that line the coast of Brazil, one begins to wonder why travel to two countries when you can have the best of both worlds in one?
Uruguay is safe, affordable and accessible – flights, buses and boats communicate Montevideo with the rest of the country and nearby Buenos Aires – and you are still sure to find that vibrant culture that makes South America such a special place. Uruguayans are a warm, welcoming and laid back bunch of people – until the fútbol match appears on the television screen, at least. The passion for fútbol runs through their blood just as it does across the rest of the continent.
Uruguayans speak castellano rioplatense – a form of Spanish that is nearly identical to that used in Argentina. You’ll get used to hearing vos in no time.
You can find out more about opportunities to study abroad in Uruguay on StudyAbroad.com.
Once you find a program that suits your style, be sure to apply for a LIVFund Scholarship. You can buy a lot of yerba mate with US$500!