America, South and Central
Argentina: Buenos Aires (IES)
Early March to mid-July or late-July to mid-December, also full year option: March to mid-December
Campus Program Advisor: Jeane Delany (Holland Hall 531 x3738)
Eligibility: All students who have had at least two years of college-level Spanish (completion of Spanish 232 at St. Olaf.) 3.0 GPA
This program is located in the capital city of Argentina . It is designed to increase Spanish language proficiency, examine area studies in a wide range of disciplines, and immerse students in the culture of Argentina . Area studies courses are offered in Spanish and English in a wide range of disciplines, including Anthropology, Business, Film Studies, History, International Relations, Latin American Studies, Literature, Political Science, Public Health, Sociology, and Theater. Coures are taught by local university faculty at the IES Center . Students are also encouraged to enroll in partner university courses at Universidad de Buenos Aires (Philosophy, Literature, Architecture and Design), the Universidad del Museo Social Argentino, the Instituto Universitario Nacional de Arte, or the Universidad Torcuato di Tella. In addition, all IES students can enroll in a discipline-specific Internship seminar with an accompanying placement. Internships are offered in the Arts, Business, Education, Government, Human Rights, and Public Health.
IES Buenos Aires students enroll in one of four language programs – Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, or Advanced Honors.
Chile : Valparaiso (CIEE)
Mid-February to early-July or mid-July to mid-December, also full year option: mid February to mid-December
Campus Program Advisor: Jeane Delaney (Holland Hall 531 x3738)
Eligibility: all students with at least three years of college-level Spanish (completion of Spanish 250 plus one more Spanish course at St. Olaf.) 2.75GPA
This program is located in Valparaiso , a tranquil but still exciting city of around 270,000. It is designed for relatively independent students who seek to matriculate in regular university courses at the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and who have a keen interest in contemporary Chilean coastal city life and society. This program is most appropriate for students who want to take courses in literature, history, environmental studies, oceanography and psychology, although other majors are also offered. There also exists the possibility, in certain situations, for students to take courses in instrumental music at the conservatory. This program is not appropriate for students who have the intention of studying political science, anthropology, or sociology because they are not offered at the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. All course work is in Spanish.
Costa Rica: Language, Society and the Environment (ACM)
Late August to December
Campus Program Adviser: Leon Narváez (Tomson Hall 341, x3557)
Enrollment: up to 25 students
The fall ACM Costa Rica program prepares students to explore Central America and beyond through an intensive and extremely effective Spanish language program, as well as coursework and independent study projects that further develop language skills, while deepening understanding in particular fields of student interest. Field trips within Costa Rica give students an appreciation for the country’s astounding biodiversity, and for the cultural and historical elements that contribute to the nation’s distinct path within Central America. A highlight of the program is a two-week experience of rural life in Costa Rica, where students live with campesino families and gain new perspectives on the challenges of rural development while making great strides in Spanish proficiency. Throughout this fall semester program, students live with host families in San José near to the Universidad de Costa Rica and the ACM center in San Pedro. In addition to the rural stay, the program schedule offers ample opportunities for independent travel to Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches, mountains, and forests. While all ACM courses are offered as an integral part of our program in the ACM center, a cooperation agreement with the Universidad de Costa Rica gives students access to cultural and sports facilities, and the UCR’s proximity to the program center makes it possible for students to get a taste of Latin American student life.
Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences & Humanities (ACM)
Late January to May
Campus Program Adviser: Kathleen Shea (Regents Hall NS 418 x3396)
Enrollment: 25 students
Eligibility: Juniors and seniors with prior course work in the discipline in which they propose to do research, plus at least one year of college Spanish (two years strongly recommended). Sophomores sometimes accepted.
Based in San José, only blocks away from the Universidad de Costa Rica, the spring ACM Costa Rica program takes full advantage of the resources and scholars of that institution, while reaching out to local and international NGOs and investigators throughout the country to facilitate student research in science and the humanities. There is the full spring semester program, as well as a spring trimester option (for students from schools not using a semester calendar). Students spend a month in San José at the beginning and end of the program to polish their Spanish and their research plans, and to analyze their data and write their final papers. In the middle of the program, students fan out to the four corners of the country (and its mountains, and two coastlines) to carry out independent field research under the supervision of an advisor with experience and contacts in the student’s chosen field. Students with urban interests or whose data is best gathered in the capital city may remain in San José. Students on the full spring semester program will spend approximately two months working on their research project, while students on the spring trimester option will spend one month doing research. During the program, students live with host families both in San José and wherever their research takes them. In addition to the cultural and linguistic immersion that comes from the homestay, the ACM typically arranges excursions, to give students a sense of Costa Rica’s geographic and biological diversity and to familiarize them with San José itself. Throughout the program, a variety of guest speakers are invited to help students understand the larger cultural context in which they carry out their research.
Students live with families, both in San Jose and while doing their field work, as a way to improve their language ability and become personally involved in Costa Rican daily life and culture.
Central America: Social Change in Central America: Exploring Peace, Justice, and Community Engagement
Late August to mid-December;
mid-January to early May
Campus Program Adviser: Christopher Chiappari (Holland Hall 401E, x3815)
Prerequisites: One college level Spanish course or the equivalent is required; coursework in microeconomics is recommended.
This is an intensive semester of study and travel designed to introduce students to the key issues facing Central Americans. Students will explore the life and culture of the peoples of Guatemala , El Salvador and Nicaragua , and study approaches towards political and economic development being taken in these countries. The program is based in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (five weeks); San Salvador, El Salvador (four weeks); Managua, Nicaragua (six weeks). There is a four-week family stay in Guatemala . The program includes field trips within each country.
Course offerings include Intensive Spanish, the Church and Social Change, Contemporary Social Movements in Latin America , and Comparative Politics and Economic Development. General education requirements filled by this program are HBS, Studies in Human Behavior and Society; HWC, Historical Studies in Western Culture.
Ecuador: Community Internships in Latin America (CILA) (HECUA)
September-mid-December or late January to mid-May
Campus Program Adviser: Christopher Chiappari (Holland 401E, x3815)
Program Sponsor: Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA)
Eligibility: Requires two years of college-level Spanish (or equivalent proficiency)
This program offers students the opportunity to learn first-hand about social problems in Ecuadorian society and to explore ways in which various community groups attempt to address them. Students immerse themselves in the daily life of Quito , the Ecuadorian capital, by combining an internship designed to reflect their personal interests and learning goals with a seminar, an independent project and a home stay. For the internship, students may choose to be placed with an organization working on human rights, health needs, services for children, development of youth, or women's, environmental or other issues. In the seminar, they study and contrast theories of social change and models of community participation, organization and development. In the independent study, they carry out field research on a topic of their choice related to those explored in the seminar. Through the home stay they gain insights into family life. All lectures are in Spanish with discussions in Spanish and English; most reading is done in Spanish. CILA provides an integrated learning experience to students of all majors who wish to gain practical experience in Latin American communities which are struggling to cope with social change.
General education requirements filled by this program are HBS, Studies in Human Behavior and Society; MCS-G, Multicultural Studies Course, WRI, Writing
Mexico: Social Work in a Latin American Context
Campus Program Adviser: Naurine Lennox (Holland Hall 213B, x3350)
Eligibility: Program is open to junior social work majors who have at least one semester of college-level Spanish language.
The goal of this program is to develop cross-culturally competent, ethical social work professionals with a global perspective by providing a semester of transformative experiential learning focused on social and economic justice.
This program satisfies some curriculum requirements of the BSW degree.
All participants take one course in Spanish language. Three additional courses are: International Social Welfare: The Mexican Context; Social Work With Groups: Theory and Practice; and Comparative Social Policy. Students with advanced Spanish language proficiency may fulfill up to 100 hours of field practicum required for the BSW degree, as well as some general education requirements.
Courses are taught both by a social work professor from one of the participating schools and on-site faculty of the Center for Global Education. A diverse pool of individual and organization representatives gives lectures and assists with educational excursions to agencies and rural villages.
Students spend most of the semester living together dormitory-style in the GCE study center close to downtown Cuernavaca. Students also live with Mexican families of modest means in both urban and village settings, exchange learning with social work students at UNAM in Mexico City, experience Mexican society and culture first hand, and practice language skills.