Students study English, writing in ChileBy Alexis Winborne | 02/17/2015 11:33pm
UA students will have the chance to travel abroad to Chile and complete classes during July. Photo Courtesy of Juan Reyes
The English course will also count as credit for Honors College and Blount students. There are no prerequisites for students to travel to Chile.
“I’ve always wanted to travel abroad,” said Matthew Smith, a freshman majoring in marketing and American studies. “Although my major doesn’t really require it, like someone who majors in a foreign language, I want to be exposed to something different and expand my thinking.”
In the summer of 2015, Chile will be hosting the Copa América, which determines the continental international soccer champion of South America. Students will have the chance to watch one of the matches in July. They will also have to chance to camp, ski or skydive in the Andes Mountains, the longest continental mountain range in the world.
The program is not all play, however. Students will be enrolled in upper-level courses during the duration of the program.
“We’re going to be studying different ways, different techniques that people write about human rights issues and to get people interested,” said Juan Reyes, faculty director of the program. “Really to get people engaged to do stuff.”
Many students tend to associate studying abroad with locations in Europe, like England, Italy or France. However, Reyes said Chile has many great things to offer students.
“Chile offers this really cool platform to study [human rights issues] because for so long it suffered under this brutal dictatorship that only really came to an end in ’91 or ’92,” he said.
Additionally, traveling abroad exposes students to a completely different culture that they might not otherwise know.
“There is something great about traveling to a different country and seeing what it has to offer,” said Danielle Burney, a junior majoring in telecommunication and film, who travelled abroad to Spain last summer. “You really come back with a new outlook and honestly, you become a new person.”
Eric Parker is another one of the faculty directors who embarked on the trip last year and will be teaching the literature courses of the program. Although there are misconceptions about South America being dangerous, Parker said Chile was one of the safest places he’s ever been.
“I think we tend to forget that South America is still America,” he said. “We are not only connected geographically, but we share a complicated history.”
Parker says part of that history includes independence movements, political upheaval and even cowboys.
“While we share that history, there is something ineffably different in those histories and places, and we can see it in the architecture, the literature, the food and the different peoples’ approaches to life,” he said.
The last day to apply for the Chile study abroad program is March 25. Applications can be found online at studyabroad.ua.edu.