This is a Summer Semester Spanish Immersion Program in Antigua, Guatemala. In addition to studying Spanish in a Spanish-speaking country, you will have many opportunities for cultural learning and service experience.
You will have 20 hours a week of one-on-one Spanish instruction with a native Spanish-speaking instructor, live with a Guatemalan host family, and do up to 8 hours a week of volunteer/service learning work at a site such as a rural elementary school, a day care center for children from poor families, a clinic, an after-school program, or a center for handicapped or malnourished children. If you are headed for a career in health care, you may be able to participate in one or two free clinics for Guatemalans who normally have very little health care. The program also includes weekend excursions so you can experience different areas and aspects of Guatemala; for example you are likely to climb a volcano, visit the beautiful Lake Atitlán, and have a guided tour of an ancient Mayan archaeological site.
There is a four-week program and a six-week program to choose from, but the six-week program is especially recommended if it is at all possible for you to participate in the longer program.
May 11 - June 9 (4 week program)
May 11- June 22 (6 week program)
Many of the major costs are the same (such as airfare) and so for a relatively low extra cost you can get 50% more time to improve your Spanish, receive credits for Service Learning, and also experience more of the country and its culture.
All students take at least two UC Spanish language course equivalents - for example SPAN 2015 and SPAN 2016, but you can take whichever courses you need or are most appropriate for you. All students also take Latin America Today (SPAN 3802), which counts towards the Spanish major, minor and Certificate for Spanish for Health Care and Social Work. Additionally, although all students do some volunteer service work, if you are in the six-week program you can earn credits for Service Learning (SPAN 3051), which also counts towards these options.
This program no longer includes travel to Tikal, due to safety concerns outlined on the US Department of State website
. The US Department of State lists travel to Petén Department (where Tikal is located) as “Level 3: Reconsider Travel”. Students choosing to travel to Tikal after the UC program are doing so on their own authority and unrelated to and without the support of the University of Cincinnati. UC and UC International neither support nor endorse this travel to a Level 3 location.
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Guatemala offers great physical and cultural diversity. There is beautiful scenery: much of the country is mountainous, there are rain forests and cloud forests, beaches, and the famous volcano-rimmed Lake Atitlán. A high percentage of the population is Mayan, and traditional Mayan culture is very evident, most obviously in the many Mayan languages spoken, the commonly worn indigenous dress, the colorful hand-woven textiles, the traditional markets and the presence of “milpa” or small scale corn agriculture.
Antigua is a very attractive, small colonial city in the central highlands that was the country’s capital during the period of Spanish rule. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and attracts many visitors who come to enjoy its history, cobbled streets, colonial style architecture, traditional market, courtyard cafés and restaurants and peaceful atmosphere. Antigua is also internationally known as a center of Spanish language instruction specializing in one-on-one immersion classes with native speakers, so students come from many countries to study here. UC partners with a prominent language school that has many years of experience in this area.
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Who Can Participate?
Students at the following levels are eligible to participate in this program:
Minimum GPA of 2.5
Students must have completed SPAN 1001 or equivalent
In person interview required
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Academic Program and Course Information
The Program is open to all UC students. Students earn 3 UC credits plus 6 transfer credits in the 4 week program or 3 UC credits plus 9 transfer credits in the 6 week program.
The type of credits earned is determined according to the needs of each individual student, but all students receive credit for at least one Spanish language course at the 1000, 2000, 3000 or 4000 level (taught by faculty from La Unión Spanish Language Academy) and for a mandatory culture course taught by a UC faculty member.
All students in this program are required to enroll in SPAN3082
, section 001 Latin America for 3 credits for the Summer 2019 term
. In order to receive credit from the host institutions, students will also have to register for MLTI3000 in summer 2019
. The UC International Office will register students for MLTI3000
Tuition and fees are assessed based on total enrolled hours for a term. This includes the hours associated with the study abroad class. Students who enroll for more than 18 hours for the term will be assessed additional per credit hour fees over and above the flat fees associated with being enrolled full-time (for most students full-time is 12-18 hours).
Co-op students selected to participate in this program are required to enroll in the course during the designated term, regardless of when the student may be on co-op. If the course is during a term when the student is on co-op, tuition and fees will be charged per a student’s residency status and college, based on the part-time per credit hour rate.
A student can see his/her full and part time tuition rates and college fees here (use left-side navigation menu to click into the relevant academic year): https://www.uc.edu/bursar/fees.html
is an Educator Assistant Professor who teaches Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. She was born and raised in Great Britain but has lived in the United States since she came here to study for a Master’s Degree. She loves to travel, especially to Spain, other European countries, and Latin America, and she believes that study abroad programs are a very enriching experience for students as well as an essential component in the successful mastery of a foreign language. She was co-leader of the Spring Break Service Learning program in Guatemala for 13 years, which gave students the opportunity to build houses in rural communities through Habitat for Humanity International while being immersed in Guatemalan culture, and has lead Summer study abroad programs in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, and most recently, Guatemala.
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Students will stay in the home of a working-class Guatemalan host family in Ciudad Vieja, a small town about twenty minutes from Antigua. As part of an immersion experience, you will eat breakfast and dinner with your host family, and they will provide a packed lunch for you every day. You will typically be sharing a bedroom with one other UC student.
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Students are responsible for booking and paying for their own plane ticket, and must arrive on May 11th. You will be informed in advance of the specific time by which you'll need to arrive in Guatemala.
Airfares vary enormously depending on the departure city and on the rate you are able to find on any given day. To give you an idea of the potential cost, for the Summer 2018 program ticket prices ranged from $450 (from Cleveland) to $950 (from Cincinnati). Transportation to and from the airport in Guatemala City is included in the base cost of the program.
2019 Program Cost
4 Weeks: $2,760
6 Weeks: $3,835
Included in Program Cost:
Not Included in Program Cost:
- Room and board (three meals a day)
- Tuition for 9 credits from the host institution in Guatemala
- In-country transportation for program-planned activities
- Cultural excursions/entrance fees
- ISIC Card
- International emergency and evacuation insurance
- Professional translators and private guides
- Discussions with Guest Lecturers
- Tuition for the 3-credit hour SPAN3082 Latin America Today course
- International airfare
- MLTI3000 Study Abroad Fee ($200)
- Passport application/renewal fees (~$165)
- Recommended/required immunization/vaccination fees (~$)
- Some meals (~$)
- Personal spending/souvenirs (~$)
This program has been awarded a $400 UC International Scholarship (matriculated, UC degree-seeking students only), which will be applied to the program costs listed above. UC International scholarship requires a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Note that both program charges and UC International scholarship will be posted separately on a student’s OneStop bill on the semester in which the course for the study abroad experience is given. Program charges are posted shortly after students commit to the program through the online application process. Scholarships are posted after all students 1) register for the course connected to the study abroad experience, and 2) complete all study abroad online paperwork.
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UC Financial Aid and Scholarships
For full details on using your financial aid to help pay for your study abroad experience, you should contact UC Financial Aid.
UC International awarded over $800,000 in student scholarships last year. Please refer to the UC International webpage for more information.
Please see this link for information on scholarships through the Romance Languages Department
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Passports and Visas
A valid passport is essential to your international travel and study abroad. If you are planning to travel abroad, its best to apply for a passport now as processing times may vary. Please see the State Department's passport page for more information.
In order to obtain country-specific visa instructions and resources, refer to your host country’s embassy web page. One way to access visa information is the US Department of State’s country information page
UC International is happy to guide UC faculty, staff and students to possible resources about visas for study abroad. Although, applying for the necessary visa for travel is the responsibility of the individual UC traveler. Entry requirements change frequently and we advise you to pay close attention to consular updates. It is your responsibility to knowing and addressing the requirements for your host study abroad destination.
Applying for a visa can be a complicated process. Some UC travelers choose to third party to assist with this process, for example Travisa or A Briggs (mention UC for a possible discount).
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Health and Safety Abroad
UC International is committed to student and faculty safety while abroad. The following are a few resources for travel abroad.
UC faculty, students and staff are responsible for their own health and safety abroad. The US Department of State, Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC)and International SOS are excellent resources for country specific information.
UC partners with International SOS medical and security advice. UC code is 11BCAS000010
UC students, faculty and staff can utilize International SOS in the following ways:
- Sign up to receive email alerts for medical and security information, customizable to various locations abroad
- Read about travel health information with medical advice, food and water safety, and cultural tips
- Explore travel security with personal safety tips and travel risk ratings for locations abroad
UC faculty, students and staff traveling abroad should register their travel abroad through the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)in case of an emergency abroad.
All UC students participating in a University of Cincinnati sanctioned or funded international travel program are required to purchase and maintain insurance while abroad. UC International partners with CISI to provide insurance for UC students.
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Contacts for More Information
Educator Asso Prof A&S Romance Languages & Literature
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