2018 Summer Program in Mexico Offers Service-Learning Options, Info Meetings Oct. 3 and 4

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U of A students on the cyclo-path in Puebla, Mexico.

The summer 2018 U of A faculty-led study abroad program in Puebla, Mexico offers six popular options: students can select one of five different service-learning programs, with 72 hours in a professional placement in either the Healthcare, Business, Education, Engineering or Community Service track, or alternatively, a traditional classroom program in Spanish and Mexican culture at the advanced or intermediate level.

Students completing the program receive six hours of Spanish credit at the 2000-, 3000- or 4000-level, which can apply towards a major or minor in Spanish (and/or Latin American and Latino Studies), or also as elective credit.

Information sessions on the program will be conducted on Oct. 3 and 4 at 4 p.m in JBHT 207. Interested students are invited to drop in for light refreshments and a brief slide show, and there will be ample opportunity for questions.

Program evaluation comments by past student participants in the Puebla program have included: 

“This program was everything that I could have asked for and more. You have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the Mexican language and culture, while also pursuing your specific professional focus.” 

“I had such a great time! I made so many friends and friends that I’ll keep. I will most definitely be going back to Puebla and visiting my host family! 

“I loved this experience in Mexico and I wish I could have stayed even longer. I really felt like I fell in love with this country, as crazy and corny as it sounds. The people were more welcoming and kind than I could have ever asked for. I learned so much about myself, those around me, my own culture, and the culture in Mexico.”

“The U of A isn’t sending you to the boonies…you will stay in an incredibly nice house in the middle of a huge city. Don’t let Mexico scare you.”    

“This trip is truly wonderful. It’s not a vacation; it’s an experience. I highly recommend it.”

“My greatest expectations were to become more fluent in Spanish and this program definitely helped me achieve that. I can speak the language better than I thought I would be able to when I returned!”

The program in Puebla is hosted at the ultra-modern campus of the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP), and offers students a true immersion experience. Puebla, a major metropolitan area, is centrally located in the heart of Mexico, between Mexico City and the Caribbean coast, in the shadows of the snow-capped Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl volcanoes. It is well-known as one of the safest cities in Mexico as well as one of the most beautiful.

The program fee also includes homestays with Mexican host families in Puebla; local tours with UPAEP students and host families to sites of historical and cultural significance; and three overnight weekend excursions to Mexico City and the pyramids at Teotihuacan, to Oaxaca, and to Cuetzalan, one of Mexico’s “pueblos mágicos” with strong indigenous traditions.

For more information on the program, please contact program leaders Steven Bell at sbell@uark.edu or Juan José Bustamante at jjbustam@uark.edu, and visit the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures website about the Puebla Study Abroad Program.


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