Popular Summer Program in Mexico Offers Students Professional Service Learning Placements

U of A students on the cyclopath in Puebla, Mexico.
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U of A students on the cyclopath in Puebla, Mexico.

The Summer 2020 U of A faculty-led study abroad program in Puebla, Mexico, offers six popular curricular options: students can select from among five different service-learning programs that include 72 hours in a professional placement in either healthcare, business, education, engineering, or community service or, alternatively, choose a traditional classroom program in Spanish and Mexican culture at the advanced or intermediate level.

Students completing the program receive 6 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 at 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 2 and 3, in Kimpel Hall 416.

Interested students are invited to drop in for a brief presentation and slide show, with ample opportunity for questions. Students who have already applied for the program are also welcome to attend one of the sessions to ask any questions they might have.

Program evaluation comments by past student participants in the Puebla program have included many such as the following: 

"This program was everything that I could have asked for and more.  You have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the Spanish language and Mexican 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."
"This experience was an eye-opener that despite what the United States says about Mexico, Mexico is just a normal place with families and students who live their lives. Not only is it a great academic and cultural experience it's also a great way to humble yourself and appreciate other places outside your home state."

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 volcanos. It is well-known as one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico as well as one of the safest.

The program fee 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 leader Steven Bell at sbell@uark.edu, and visit the Department of World Languages and the Office of Study Abroad websites.

Contacts

Steven M. Bell, department chair
World Languages
479-530-3233, sbell@uark.edu

Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-4393, liwag@uark.edu

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