Please visit our website for more information. Investigate the historical and social contexts of diverse human rights movements, including the roles of culture, political economy, and international law in four different countries. On this program, you will examine the rhetoric and reality of human rights, using an issues-based approach. Peacebuilding, truth and reconciliation, civil liberties, humanitarian intervention, environmental justice, gender equity, and labor rights are just a few of the inroads the program takes to pose a broader inquiry on the nature of human rights and its variance across borders. Key questions include: How are human rights universal? What are the root causes that incite struggles for human rights in different locations? What impacts do international institutions such as the UN have on securing human rights? What is the role of popular mobilization and activism? How can solidarity across borders be built on a human rights platform?
Please visit our website for more information. Prague (program base) Well known for its stunning architecture, this program brings students behind Prague’s historical façade. Students attend cultural activities, festivals, and art shows, which are off the beaten track and represent an alternative and creative culture. In Prague, students live with host families and take part in lectures and seminars on topics related to the history of the arts and social change in the Czech Republic. Students enrolled in the arts studio elective course will conduct independent creative work during this period. Students also may participate in civic initiatives that draw upon the creative legacy of Czech underground culture. These could include Car-free Day and European Mobility Week or arts events that raise awareness of marginalized groups, such as the multicultural festival Colorful Planet and the Babi Leto festival at Prague’s psychiatric clinic. Other cultural activities such as theater projects for refugees, contemporary dance, art, and photo exhibitions help broaden students’ understanding of Czech history and contemporary life. Choice of focus Through the program’s foundation seminar, students examine contemporary arts in the Czech Republic as well as the role art played as an agent of social change throughout the country’s twentieth-century history. Students are then able to delve deeper into these themes through the continuation course where students visit nonprofit organizations devoted to social change or, alternatively, students can enroll in the program’s Arts Studio course, specifically customized for students of visual and performing arts and creative writing. Educational excursions in different artistic and cultural contexts in central Europe During the first month of the semester, students participate in educational excursions to rural Czech villages in Moravia or Bohemia to learn about the art culture and social reality beyond Prague. Students interact with local residents, community leaders, and artists involved in initiatives for cultural revival and community development. Students also travel to the former Sudetenland to discuss Czech-German cultural relations and to Slovakia, Poland, to conduct comparative studies of these neighboring countries’ arts and civic initiatives. Independent Study Project During the final month of the semester, each student pursues an Independent Study Project (ISP). The project gives students a unique opportunity to critically examine a topic, situation, or community related to the arts or social change in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, or Poland. Artists, civil society activists, professors, and specialists help students in the development and implementation of their ISP, which may include daily work with an organization or school or a creative component in visual arts, creative writing, or film. Sample topic areas: Roma identity in the Czech Republic Slovak language laws and ethnic marginalization Artists working outside the official realm under communism The experience of Czechs and Germans in post-war Sudetenland. Creative projects have included: Sculpture and ceramic vessels inspired by the Celts of Central Europe A screenplay inspired by Czech absurdist literature A graphic design project inspired by Czech cubist architecture Creative non-fiction work and films drawing upon the social reality of life under communism Explore the Czech Republic's contemporary art scene and the role of art as a social change agent throughout the country's history.  Students study the country's communist past, its post-socialist transition, and the new challenges facing artists and communities today as a result of globalization and tourism. Site visits to artists' studios and theaters, NGO offices, and community centers expose students to the country's beleaguered arts infrastructure as well as the initiatives in place to protect and promote the arts and social initiatives. The program consists of three main components: An eight- to twelve-week homestay in Prague. During this period, students have lectures, participate in roundtable discussions with leading specialists in the arts and post-socialist society, visit NGOs and artist studios, and engage in the cultural life of Prague. This includes attending gallery openings and theater performances and joining Czech participants in visual arts, dance, and other arts classes. Fifteen days of educational excursions in the Czech Republic, Poland, and central Slovakia. The program also includes an excursion to the former Sudetenland. A final four-week period during which students focus on an Independent Study Project (ISP). Each facet of the program exposes students to different perspectives on the role and evolution of art throughout Central European history and the impact of post-socialism on the contemporary arts scene.
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