The Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona invites you to participate in its renowned study abroad program in Guatemala, the International Program for Education and Social Action (IDEAS). This group partners with the Association for the Advancement of the Social Sciences in Guatemala, one of Guatemala’s leading intellectual centers that emphasized the connection between research and social action. Classes are held in the El Sitio Cultural Center in Antigua, Guatemala, a stunningly beautiful World Heritage town, and students live with Guatemalan families in Antigua.
The IDEAS study abroad program in Guatemala is a unique experience that combines stimulating academics with for-credit internships that engage students in a transformational pedagogy. The program weaves together theoretical and practical engagements in themes such as development and public health, ethnic relations and human rights, and indigenous politics with ongoing reflection on current events, home-stay experiences, top-notch language training and encounters with Guatemalan activists, artists, students and scholars. The goal is to give you a prism with which to analyze the present and build your personal and professional future in relation to a rapidly changing and increasingly challenged planet and its people.
Your experience will be enriched by a colloquium series with nationally and internationally recognized social and intellectual leaders. The colloquium leads to in-depth discussions on topics such as contemporary arts, the peace process in Guatemala, historical memory and human rights, grassroots development, the Central American migration crisis, and the significance of ‘democracy’ in Guatemala and the region.
Field trips, included in the price of the program and led by scholars from the region, will enable you to see for yourself how Guatemalans from different walks of life live and work amid cultural, social, environmental, and political challenges. You’ll experience first hand the realities that define life in the country today. The field trips are connected to the academic courses and will vary from session to session.
The program offers long weekends so that you can travel to Guatemala’s diverse regions, from the ancient Mayan temples of the Peten jungle, to the highland indigenous markets to the black sand beaches of the Pacific coast. You can also enjoy Antigua’s vibrant cultural and intellectual life, including its renowned libraries and museums, lively cafes, and beautiful colonial architecture and cobblestone streets, under the shadow of stunning volcanoes.
This program offers two tracks 1.) an “academic” track, whereby students take academic classes and can also do an internship and 2.) an “internship” track, whereby students take the bulk of their credits as a supervised internship. All students must enroll in the 1-credit weekly colloquium and in LAS 499, the 1-credit “synthesis” class. Spanish classes are available to students in both tracks.
Courses: Students can take a maximum of 9 credits during the summer program or 12-15 credits during the semester. Classes are organized so as to leave Fridays free for travel and Wednesdays free to focus on an internship. Below is a list of courses offered:
- SPAN 330: Intermediate Conversation (3 credits)
- SPAN 425: Advance Grammar and Composition (3 credits)
- Latin American Studies 462/ ANTH 495: Central American Narratives of Identity and Nationhood (Offered in Summer & Fall)
- Latin American Studies 462: Rethinking Public Health in Guatemala: State, Community, and Difference in Theory and Practice (3-4 credits)
- Latin American Studies 462: Women Writers in Guatemala (3 credits) (offered in Spring)
- Latin American Studies 493: Internship (1-6 credits)
- Latin American Studies 499: Towards a Praxis of the Possible: Thought and Action in Study Abroad in Central America (1 credit)
- Latin American Studies 495F: Colloquium in Latin American Studies (1 credit)
- Latin American Studies 499: Independent Study (1-3 credits)
- Los Patojos: after school program for at risk children; recently featured on CNN
- Obras Sociales Hermano Pedro: hospital for children and adults with special needs and/or physical challenges
- Casa Jackson: project for malnourished infants
- As Green as it Gets: supporting a small producers’ sustainable development coffee cooperative
- Camino Seguro: program for at risk children whose parents work in or in conjunction with the Guatemala City Garbage Dump. Tutoring children, adult literacy, micro-enterprise
Pre-Requisites: Two semesters of college Spanish or the equivalent and a GPA minimum of 3.0
Dates: Spring 2016: January 24-April 30, 2016. Summer 2016: June 12-August 6, 2016. Fall 2016: late August to end of November
Deadline to Apply: please contact the University of Arizona by October 25th if you wish to apply for Spring and they will make sure you can apply. Contact information below. Summer application deadline is March 15, 2016. Fall 2016 application deadline is April 15, 2016.
Cost: Semester program is $10,400. Summer program is $5,900. Fee includes tuition and academic fees (students receive a University of Arizona transcript), food and lodging (except for meals on Sundays), field trips, health insurance, orientation, and airport pickup. The fee does not include airfare to Guatemala City or required course books and reading materials.
Interested students can contact the University of Arizona Study Abroad Program Director, Jill Calderon, at firstname.lastname@example.org or UA faculty coordinator Professor Elizabeth Oglesby at email@example.com. See below for student experiences!
“The single most fundamental and dramatic shift of perspective I’ve ever experienced.” –Nic
“WOW! There is not enough room to describe how much the Guate Study Abroad program impacted me. I experience personal growth that has propelled me into my future that influenced my religious beliefs, political beliefs, personal aspirations, self-confidence and how I wanted to impact the world” –Courtney
“Guatemala changed me in so many positive ways that I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, I became fluent in Spanish, which was one of my main reasons for going there. Second of all, it helped me grow so much as an individual; I was finally able to think for myself and come up with my own opinions about things. Being in Guatemala also make me realize that my true calling in my life is to be a nurse. Working at Centro and Obras Sociales really gave me a higher appreciation for nurses and their role in the care of patients” –Britney
To read more about how transformational this program has been for students, see the links below: