The Institute for Latin American Studies (LAI) at Freie Universität is the largest of its kind in Germany, and it is also one of the largest such institutes in Europe. It has a reputation for combining specialized disciplines with regional studies.
The LAI is one of three central institutes at Freie Universität Berlin. It encompasses seven different disciplines in the social sciences and cultural studies.
In 2009 an International Research Training Group Entre Espacios/Between Spaces was set up at the LAI. It focuses on movements between various global regions and the new spaces they generate in historical and contemporary phases of globalization. Since 2010 there has been a research network called desiguALdades.net that is devoted to social inequalities in Latin America.
In 2010 a Brazil Research Center was founded at LAI. Since 2012 the Institute has been involved in the international collaboration project, MISEAL - Maßnahmen zur sozialen Inklusion und Gleichstellung in lateinamerikanischen Hochschuleinrichtungen.