Chile and Brazil represent two of the largest and fastest-growing economies
in South America. These important members of the Latin American Southern
Cone stand as two main trading partners of the United States in the Western
Hemisphere. As a result, demand for Americans who can conduct business in
the Southern Cone has increased greatly. The demand will increase even more
if the Free Trade Area of the Americas becomes a reality.

Beginning this summer, St. Mary’s University will introduce a 10-week
summer program in Southern Cone Studies that will combine language,
cultural, business and international relations training. Classroom theory
will be wedded with on-the-scene practical experience as students split the
10 weeks between San Antonio and South America.

During the first summer session in June, students will learn about their
chosen country. Language training, cultural awareness and political
knowledge will be emphasized along with business training specific to Chile or Brazil. In the
second summer session in July, students will travel to Brazil or Chile and put their classroom knowledge to work in field projects.

Brazil is the ninth-largest economy in the world. Its shear size cannot be
ignored, and Americans looking to do business in Brazil have to be able to
speak Portuguese.

St. Mary’s offers Portuguese as an intensive language option in order to
provide the skills that business people will need in Brazil.

Chile has the most open economic system in Latin America. St. Mary’s
already has a renowned Spanish language program. Intense Spanish training,
along with Chilean politics and business practices will give students the
skills and insight they need.

The goal of the Southern Cone Studies Program, says Zaida Martinez, Ph.D.,
professor of International Business, is to give students interdisciplinary
training in Latin American business. This will enhance their marketable
skills as potential employees for firms doing business in the Latin American
Southern Cone.

Note to Media: Contact Zaida Martinez, Ph.D., professor of International
Business, at 210-431-6760.

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