Please visit our website for more information. This itinerary is offered in the fall term. This program combines an innovative urban studies curriculum with fieldwork involving key actors and stakeholders — public agencies, planners, elected officials, NGOs, and grassroots organizations. You will spend time in four cities across the globe to better understand the interconnected social, physical, economic, environmental, and political systems affecting urban environments. In addition, you will complete an independent comparative research project on a topic of your choosing. Key Questions: Though human needs may be similar around the globe, why does a city's ability to satisfy those needs vary? How do people create a sense of place, of community, of urban identity? What historical and sociocultural contexts frame the opportunities, constraints, and uncertainties of urban life? What must be done — and by whom — to move toward ecologically sustainable cities? What are the opportunities for political action by individuals, community organizations, social movements, and local governments to shape city life?
B-885, Antofagasta, Chile
Please visit our website for more information. Explore the social, cultural, and political means by which Chileans are seeking new ways of representation, communication, and identification. In the last four decades, Chile has experienced fundamental political, economic, and social changes that have greatly impacted the cultural identity, community fabric, and development model of its society. The democratic socialist experience of the early 1970s and a subsequent 17-year dictatorship with its “free” market policies have been followed by an extended transition period to democracy as Chileans struggle to build a more equitable and inclusive nation.  Students in this program have the opportunity to: Examine the challenges facing Chile's indigenous peoples from the perspectives of indigenous communities Explore links between international images of a successful economic model with the deep social inequalities expressed in class, gender, and racial discrimination Learn firsthand about local community responses to Chile's socio-economic changes Witness the debate between truth and justice and reconciliation, in the context of the human rights violations during the Pinochet regime  Community Service Project in Valparaíso During the program, students engage in a two-day volunteer project with local Valparaíso communities. Students work with an NGO on community-identified projects, such as building a community greenhouse or reclaiming an abandoned neighborhood square and playground for local children. Through these partnerships, students learn about the unique challenges local communities face as well as the various development strategies being utilized.  Intensive Spanish language instruction Students can expect to rapidly improve their Spanish on this program. Intensive language instruction in the classroom is enhanced by lectures in Spanish, field activities, excursions, and time with host families. Local educational and language excursions The program's three local, field-based excursions—in Valparaíso and nearby Santiago—give students additional opportunities to learn about Chilean cultural identity, social justice movements, and human rights struggles. Highlights include visits to: El Museo de la Memoria in Santiago Villa Grimaldi in Santiago Visits to a local fishing village and artisan workshops allow students to experience Chilean culture and Valparaíso's enchanting ambience. Many of these visits are combined with testimony from individuals who shed additional light on these vital aspects of Chile's recent history and current realities. Local excursions are conducted in Spanish in order to strengthen oral language use and expand students' vocabulary. Independent Study Project Students spend the last four weeks of the program focused on an Independent Study Project (ISP), pursing original research on a selected topic of interest to them. The ISP is conducted in Valparaíso, Santiago, Temuco, or another approved location appropriate to the project. Sample topic areas for the ISP include: Memory and political violence Social movements Gender and sexuality Indigenous beliefs and culture Migration and ethnic minorities Youth culture, political parties, and processes Social class and community Youth culture, art, music, and cultural production
Please visit our website for more information. The SIT Bolivia program offers students a wide range of experiences in different communities and the opportunity to interact with families, community leaders, diverse experts, and organizations as they explore community well-being in Bolivia. Exploring Cochabamba The program is based in Cochabamba, located in the heart of Bolivia, nestled within a valley surrounded by the Andes mountain range. It is strongly influenced by indigenous Quechua culture and is often referred to as the "city of eternal spring" due to its pleasant temperate climate. The city is home to the largest outdoor market in Latin America, and, although its metropolitan population has reached one million, it is difficult to walk through the center of town or through one of its many beautiful parks and plazas without bumping into someone you know.  Take part in three homestays. During the first six weeks of the program, students live with urban host families in Cochabamba. As part of the seminar on community well-being and resilience, students will also have the opportunity to live for three days with an Aymara host family on the shores of Lake Titicaca and for two days with a host family in the rural Bolivian Amazon. Engage with academic, professional, and community experts. Students are exposed to a wide range of people and perspectives. Students meet local families in Cochabamba, indigenous community members in the tropical and highland regions, NGO workers and aid experts, spiritual leaders, feminist activists, artists, and others. The program looks at issues from many perspectives to productively complicate students’ understanding of community well-being and resilience. Develop your ability to work with communities. Learn how diverse local cultures perceive and live in communities. Students engage with the controversial question about what it means to “help” as an outsider and learn firsthand what is unique and important for community resilience. This aspect of the program helps prepare students for possible career paths in community work. Take part in a final workshop. The final workshop is tailored to linking these experiences in Bolivia with community work in other sites. Students consider a number of questions related to community work, including: How can one best enter into a community and try to be helpful? How might the experience of having examined indigenous and Western concepts related to well-being affect the way you take on future work with families, community organizations, and others? Develop your Spanish or Quechua skills. Build your Spanish skills for use onsite and in the future, or add Quechua to your language learning. In addition to small-group language courses, almost all program components are conducted in Spanish. Students who place out of our advanced level course may choose to take advanced literature or Quechua courses instead (for an additional cost). Participate in notable excursions and events. The group travels to communities in the Andean Altiplano and the Amazonian lowlands. Complete an Independent Study Project (ISP). All students produce a final Independent Study Project (ISP). The ISP offers students the opportunity to conduct field research on a topic of their choice within the program’s broad concerns. The ISP can be conducted in Cochabamba or other sites in Bolivia, as approved by the academic director. While some students choose to produce an extended research paper, other students choose a nontraditional format, such as documentary, dance, theater, photography, or a bilingual children's book as part of their Independent Study Project. Sample topic areas for the ISP include: Systems of Andean community justice in rural communities Integrating traditional midwives into rural community hospitals serving indigenous families Using dance to raise awareness of discrimination against Afro-Bolivians Decolonizing education within Bolivia’s rural indigenous universities Psychology of children of Bolivian migrants Women leading the fight against mining contamination in their communities