Study Abroad China

Study Abroad Through Dragons-Naropa: South American Semester

 

Good for: Students interested in cultural ecology, sustainability and environmental justice issues or students who want to study Spanish.

Overview

Hike to the edge of receding glaciers at 17,000 feet. Get your hands dirty with traditional agricultural practices on the sparkling shores of Lake Titicaca. Meet with indigenous leaders in the Peruvian Andes, working to preserve their linguistic and cultural diversity. These are just a few of the many classrooms Dragons students encounter on this study abroad program in Bolivia and Peru. Through academic courses, students explore the diversity of the Central Andes and Upper Amazon. Students delve first-hand into themes of social justice, indigenous rights and identity, environmental conservation, and political leadership in an intercultural context.

The backdrop for the semester is the town of Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Here, between the Urubamba river and the mountain of Chicon, students live with local families in the heart of the Incan empire. During time in Urubamba, students participate in intensive Spanish language study, and dive into studies of intercultural communication. The time in Peru is also highlighted by dramatic mountain landscapes, exposure to remote indigenous communities, opportunities to visit Incan sites such as Machu Picchu, day-hikes around the region, and a deeper understanding of the development trends in southeastern Peru.

Students then travel overland to Bolivia. In this new place our journey takes students around glittering Lake Titicaca and onto the tranquil agricultural town of Tiquipaya, on the outskirts of Cochabamba in Central Bolivia. Students live with local families, largely of Quechua descent. In addition, students travel to some of the most historically significant locations in Bolivia, such as La Paz, Potosi, and Sucre and engage in regionally focused and independently designed studies.

In the twin cities of La Paz and El Alto, situated at 13,00 feet and surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real, students partner with a local arts and activism collective and meet with important actors in the city. Other portions of the program take students  deep into the forests, jungles, and urban landscapes of the Central Andes. The journey takes students to indigenous communities tucked within the folds of time, where leaders grapple with the destabilizing effects of development and modernization. Along the way, integrated curriculum guides students as they engage with pressing regional issues and develop our own independent research plan for a topic of choice.

Poised on the frontlines of globalization, the struggles and triumphs of the Andean people offer valuable lessons about cultural resiliency, adaptation, and everyday resistance. This program provides intimate exposure to pressing development issues in some of the planet’s most dramatic backdrops. College Study Abroad students engage directly with local actors and communities, deepen their Spanish language skills, develop competence in intercultural and wilderness settings, and become more informed and aware global citizens.

Course Descriptions

Naropa students may choose to do the program for 12-16 credits

LAS/GLOS 340 Regional Seminar: Tradition, Change and Cultural Resistance (4 credits)

This course is designed to facilitate the development of an in-depth understanding of the cultures of the Andes and Amazon and their relationship to the land. Students begin their study in this course through an overview of the country’s cultural, social, and political background, including South America’s colonial history and the role the region played in the Spanish empire and then the liberation of the region from Spanish rule. Using lectures, readings, and discussion this course surveys social issues and vulnerable populations in Bolivia and Peru such as sustainable development, human rights, globalization, and the impact of colonialism on indigenous cultures. This course also examines political, racial, and social conflicts that Bolivia and Peru have experienced. Opportunities are also provided for students to engage local experts in discussion through guest lecturers and field trips. In addition, program travels in South America take students to communities which are engaged in addressing these issues, providing experiential opportunities for learning and growth.

GLOS 211 Intercultural Development and Leadership (4 credits)

Drawing from culturally diverse models of leadership and epistemology, this course examines topics such as intercultural and interpersonal communication skills, various leadership styles, and the roles and responsibilities of global citizenship. Through a variety of instructional methods and assignments, students explore the factors which influence human relationships to self, communities, and the natural world.

COMM 301 Intercultural Communication (4 credits)

This course is designed to provide study abroad students with an in-depth understanding of essential intercultural communication theories as well as the key skills needed to apply theories in interactions with host country nationals. Throughout the course, students learn relevant concepts and terminology in order to develop skills to interpret and analyze their intercultural interactions. The first half of the course focuses on positivistic and interpretive frameworks of intercultural communication as well as self-reflexivity. The second half of the course focuses on critical intercultural communication scholarship and applications, challenging the student to question default thinking patterns and recognize nuances of human interaction. Course assignments, reflection, structured activities, and direct experience emphasize the development of further intercultural competence among students. Foundational courses in communication theory are recommended, but not required.

 

ANTH/ISP 325 INDEPENDENT STUDY PROJECT (ISP): METHODS AND APPLICATION (4 CREDITS)

This course is focused on providing students with a basic understanding of ethnographic research methods and skills, while also giving students the opportunity to develop specialized knowledge in a topic of study. During the first half of the course, a series of thematic seminars focus on research methodologies, the importance of ethics in research, best practices in working in cross-cultural partnerships in the host country, and skills training related to designing a study proposal. Students develop an understanding of how to refine research question(s), determine appropriate research and learning methods, and address ethical issues related to their projects. During the second half of this course, students use the plan outlined in their approved study proposal to carry out an individualized and in-depth study on a subject of their choice using primary sources. With the support of an academic advisor and/or a local mentor, students select a topic which relates to the program’s scope, design an approach to study this subject, and conduct an individual project. The chosen topic of independent study may involve either an academic inquiry or the learning of a traditional skill through an apprenticeship. Typical ISP projects include: studying sustainable agricultural techniques, Andean folk weaving, or learning to play the charango.

Spanish Language I, II or III - SPAN 150, 250, 350

SPAN 150: Spanish I
(Spanish Language 150; 4 credits) This course introduces students to the Spanish language and is designed for students with no or minimal previous background in spoken or written Spanish. Students in this course focus on learning essential vocabulary, practicing pronunciation, and understanding simple grammatical structures. This knowledge prepares students to effectively communicate in Spanish on a limited range of topics related to everyday situations. Students practice listening and speaking in real-life situations and examine how culture and language interact in South America. In-class activities and course assignments aim to assist students as they develop the oral proficiency and confidence necessary to initiate simple conversations. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.

SPAN 250: Spanish II
(Spanish Language 250; 4 credits) This course introduces students to more challenging linguistic Spanish language material in order to establish a solid foundation for the use of the language. Students in this course focus on building on past language exposure to improve speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students expand their oral expression abilities by increasing vocabulary, improving understanding of grammar concepts, strengthening pronunciation abilities, and focusing on listening comprehension. This course introduces new language concepts to allow students to speak about topics pertaining to their daily lives and also focuses on deepening knowledge of South American culture and customs. By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to engage in basic daily conversations, read simple texts, and write for daily needs. In-class activities and course assignments aim to assist students as they develop the ability to appropriately use language and improve proficiency. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.

SPAN 350: Spanish III
(Spanish Language 350; 4 credits) This course is designed to develop advanced skills in the Spanish language and is intended for students with extensive prior exposure to the language. This course focuses on consolidating linguistic knowledge and development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students in this course will develop advanced comprehension of and competence in using spoken Spanish in a wide-variety of experiences. Grammatical functions will be reviewed and incorporated as they relate to particular communication needs. A mix of communicative and interactive methods are used to develop advanced proficiency and materials are drawn from a variety of media sources and texts. In addition, students develop their understanding of the relationship between the Spanish language and culture. By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to express sophisticated and nuanced ideas both orally and in writing. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.

Dates

Dates for Fall Semester:  August 29 - December 12

Dates for Spring Semester:  January 24 - May 9

Cost for 2019-2020

 Naropa Tuition*:   $16,450
Room & Board:  $3,750


*Tuition includes 12-16 credit hours plus in-country travel and excursions. *Room and board is an estimate. 

Additionally, you will be responsible for:

Airfare:  Approximately $1,000
Travel insurance: Approximately $665
Visa: $135
Books & supplies: Approximately $100
Immunizations: Varies
Personal expenses:   Varies

 * These additional expenses will be coordinated with Where There Be Dragons. 

Study Abroad Scholarships

If a student chooses a Naropa Sponsored (Dragons) or Affiliated (SIT) programs, he/she may apply for one of Dragons', or SIT scholarships. In addition to those funds, students may apply for one or more of the other general/regional scholarships for Study Abroad.

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