Fordham Law School banner photo

Study in Colombia

Colombia is fast becoming a strategic center for business and development in Latin America, with rich culture and history and awe-inspiring natural beauty to match.  Spanning an area nearly twice the size of California, Colombia is home to 45 million people, as well as hundreds and thousands of species of birds, butterflies, fish, plants and wildlife. The only country in South America with coastlines on the both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Colombia also boasts an incredible range of landscapes and habitats - snow-capped mountains, lush rainforests, idyllic beaches, and flowering meadows - dotted by gleaming cities, charming colonial settlements, and scenic coffee plantations that together attract the third largest market-share of tourism in South America.

Colombia’s vast natural resources are complimented by thriving service trades and industry, which contribute 53 and 35 percent of the country’s USD170 billion GDP, respectively.  Key products and industries include its world-famous coffee, as well as cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, textiles, oil, apparel, chemicals, cement, gold, coal and emeralds. Colombia’s rising middle class is thriving, its healthcare facilities and universities easily rank among the finest in Latin America, and annual tourism is growing at around 10%. Colombian and foreign investors, alike, have invested considerably in the country, recognized as one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, while the government has invested heavily in both governance and infrastructure, making Colombia a fascinating study in international comparative law and policy.

Colombia is officially Latin America’s oldest democracy and has made great strides to overcome the legacy of civil war that it left behind some 15 years ago.  Since declaring its independence from Spain in 1810, Colombia has had 11 Constitutions, the last adopted in 1991. A presidential representative democratic republic, Colombia is led by the President, who is head of both state and government.  President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon was re-elected in June 2014. The national government consists of the executive, legislature and judiciary and maintains strong democratic institutions characterized by peaceful, transparent elections and the protection of civil liberties.

The Colombia Summer Program is held in the capital city, Bogotá, at the law faculty of the Universidad de los Andes (Uniandes).  Uniandes is a private university located in Bogotá’s city center that consistently ranks as the top university in Colombia and one of the top ten universities in Latin America. Bogotá is Colombia's largest city, with over 8 million inhabitants and 25 universities, 20,000 restaurants and cafes, 80 museums, 60 art galleries and hundreds of parks. Home to Latin America’s largest bike path network, the capital city also boasts an impressive public transportation system that links easily to famous tourism destinations throughout the country.

In addition to their academic coursework and field trips, participants will also have opportunities to visit these other regions and attractions on the weekends, which may include:

• The beautiful colonial city of Cartagena, to take in its rich history and the stunning architecture for which it was declared a UNESCO-World Heritage site in 1984.
• The San Andrés archipelago, for diving, relaxing, whale and dolphin watching, and the UNESCO seaflower biosphere reserve in the warm Caribbean Sea
• San Gil, Colombia’s premiere adventure sports hub for climbing, hiking, horseback riding, kayacking, paragliding, rappelling; and white-water rafting; and
• The Amazon River, whose watershed covers nearly one-third of the country in rich jungle, in a region that is home to over 10% of all the species found on the planet.