Bolivia Program Photo by Keaton Smith

Study Abroad Bolivia

Summer Language & Cultural Exploration

A 4-Week Summer College Study Abroad Program

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Duration
29 Days
Description

Expand your Spanish language abilities through interactive instruction, investigate Bolivian culture in an extended rural homestay, and learn first-hand from local communities.

Dates

Jul 10 - Aug 8, 2019


Suggested Ages

College students

Number of Participants

12


Availability

Open

Begins In

16 Weeks

Land Cost

$6,800


Cochabamba

La Paz

Sucre

Cordillera Real

Program Overview

IN THE HEART OF SOUTH AMERICA, BOLIVIA PROVIDES A UNIQUE PERCH FROM WHICH TO EXPLORE THE LINKAGES BETWEEN LANGUAGE, CULTURE, AND DAILY LIFE.


Over the course of four-weeks, college study abroad students on this program gain essential skills necessary to communicate across cultures. We approach language and cultural immersion in Bolivia by diving into the heart of the land through language study, homestays, and workshops focused on pressing local and cultural issues. Through classroom and experiential activities, students gain insights into the complicated socio-political dynamics of this country and the broader region.

Beginning our journey in Cochabamba, we settle into an extended homestay in a Quechua farming neighborhood. In the fertile valleys between the high mountains and tropical lowlands, we engage intimately with the community where our program is based and students dive into Spanish language instruction for 3–4 hours per day. In addition to our focus on language study, we connect with scholars, activists, journalists, and local organizations in the city of Cochabamba in order to gain an understanding of important…

Over the course of four-weeks, college study abroad students on this program gain essential skills necessary to communicate across cultures. We approach language and cultural immersion in Bolivia by diving into the heart of the land through language study, homestays, and workshops focused on pressing local and cultural issues. Through classroom and experiential activities, students gain insights into the complicated socio-political dynamics of this country and the broader region.

Beginning our journey in Cochabamba, we settle into an extended homestay in a Quechua farming neighborhood. In the fertile valleys between the high mountains and tropical lowlands, we engage intimately with the community where our program is based and students dive into Spanish language instruction for 3–4 hours per day. In addition to our focus on language study, we connect with scholars, activists, journalists, and local organizations in the city of Cochabamba in order to gain an understanding of important issues impacting local communities.

To broaden our perspective of Bolivia, our journey then takes us deeper into the high Andes. In an Aymara village on the shores of Lake Titicaca, we learn about traditional highland agriculture, Aymara culture and worldview, and processes of adaptation to the forces of climate change. During this village stay we continue regular Spanish language instruction, and discuss issues of conservation and cultural resilience against a backdrop of 20,000 foot peaks.  Our journey will also take us into the tropical cloud forests north of La Paz, where we explore coca, coffee and cacao production at the confluence of the Andes mountains and tropical rainforest.

During this month-long summer program, we integrate into local communities through an extended homestay, focus deeply on language study and use, are exposed pressing issues of development in the region, and explore one of the highest mountains ranges on earth. Our approach to learning in Bolivia is to combine in-depth and rigorous language study with out-of-the-classroom experiential activities. Working with local teachers we carefully select Spanish language resources and connect learning to the wider arc of the program. Instructors craft relevant lessons to build upon each student’s individual explorations of the language while placing the meaning of language in the cultural context.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Eligibility

Students who participate on a Dragons Study Abroad Program come from all different backgrounds, universities/colleges, and areas of interest. Eligible participants should have completed at least one semester of post-secondary study, be 18 years or older, have a minimum GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale), and be interested in taking part in an experiential semester abroad.  For more information please see our Frequently Asked Questions.


Costs

Tuition and Fees

Type                        Tuition/Fee
Tuition $5,750
Room & Board                   $1,080
TOTAL $6,800
Tuition and Fees Include:

  • 4 credits and other educational costs
  • All program-organized travel and excursions
  • Pre-departure preparation and in-country orientation
  • All accommodations and meals (excluding personal travel)
  • Supplementary lectures and special events

Note: Tuition and fees are based on current circumstances and are subject to change.

Personal Expenses (Estimated)

Expenses that are not accounted for in tuition and fees may include flight costs, personal local transportation, immunizations, academic books and supplies (e.g. for ISP), some meals, visa, ISOS evacuation insurance, medical insurance and expenses, and other personal expenses. Included below are some estimated personal expenses. Some expenses are discretionary and vary based on individual student preferences.

Personal Expense       Type
$800 Transcript Fee (School of Record Transcript)*
$250 ISOS Evacuation Insurance*
$50/month Medical Insurance*
$100 Academic Books and Supplies (Varies)
$1,000 Flight Cost (Varies)
$200 Personal Expenses (Varies)

*These expenses will be included on your Program Invoice and are not optional.

Scholarships

Dragons is committed to making College Study Abroad programs financially accessible through the offering of scholarships. For more information on scholarships, please visit our Scholarships page.


Faculty & Instructors

College Study Abroad Programs are staffed by both instructors and faculty. All share one similar quality: the desire to provide students with the most complete and exceptional educational experience possible.

Instructors are hired for their in-depth knowledge of a country’s customs and traditions. We strive to have a 4 to 1 student to instructor ratio. As a result, no other study abroad program approaches the level of personal attention and mentorship available on a Dragons program. Our instructors challenge students academically and physically, draw them into an unsurpassed community of curious peers, and carefully guide participants through experiences that enliven and inform academic pursuits.College Study Abroad Programs are also staffed with faculty who teach for-credit college courses. These faculty are either Dragons instructors who are present throughout the term or a visiting faculty member who teaches intensive courses. Dragons faculty possess a rich blend of academic training, instructional experience, and field-based skills. Most of our faculty possess a PhD, or in some cases a MA combined with extensive experience – both practical and instructional. In addition to faculty, we also work with local experts such as experienced language teachers, Independent Study Project mentors, and local guest lecturers.

 

Academics

On this College Study Abroad program in Bolivia, students enroll in a language course worth 4 semester credits. In addition to work done in the classroom, Dragons College Study Abroad summer programs are designed to provide students with the experiential opportunities to develop language competence, regional knowledge, and cultural competency.Naropa University Logo

Dragons has partnered with Naropa University to offer courses for credit which focus on building important skills, fostering a concern for global issues, expanding self-awareness and gaining an understanding of pertinent issues in each program area. Our approach is both experiential and conventional, using local resources, expert guest lecturers, excursions, pertinent readings, multi-media, and immersion to provide an intimate, well-rounded and powerful learning experience.

Course options include:

  • Spanish Language Study Level I, II & III Language Study (SPAN 150/250/350; 4 credits) 
    • SPAN 150: Spanish I 
      (Spanish Language 150; 4 credits) This course introduces students to the Spanish language and is designed for students with no or minimal previous background in spoken or written Spanish. Students in this course focus on learning essential vocabulary, practicing pronunciation, and understanding simple grammatical structures. This knowledge prepares students to effectively communicate in Spanish on a limited range of topics related to everyday situations. Students practice listening and speaking in real-life situations and examine how culture and language interact in South America. In-class activities and course assignments aim to assist students as they develop the oral proficiency and confidence necessary to initiate simple conversations. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.
    • SPAN 250: Spanish II 
      (Spanish Language 250; 4 credits) This course introduces students to more challenging linguistic Spanish language material in order to establish a solid foundation for the use of the language. Students in this course focus on building on past language exposure to improve speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students expand their oral expression abilities by increasing vocabulary, improving understanding of grammar concepts, strengthening pronunciation abilities, and focusing on listening comprehension. This course introduces new language concepts to allow students to speak about topics pertaining to their daily lives and also focuses on deepening knowledge of South American culture and customs. By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to engage in basic daily conversations, read simple texts, and write for daily needs. In-class activities and course assignments aim to assist students as they develop the ability to appropriately use language and improve proficiency. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.
    • SPAN 350: Spanish III  
      (Spanish Language 350; 4 credits) This course is designed to develop advanced skills in the Spanish language and is intended for students with extensive prior exposure to the language. This course focuses on consolidating linguistic knowledge and development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students in this course will develop advanced comprehension of and competence in using spoken Spanish in a wide-variety of experiences. Grammatical functions will be reviewed and incorporated as they relate to particular communication needs. A mix of communicative and interactive methods are used to develop advanced proficiency and materials are drawn from a variety of media sources and texts. In addition, students develop their understanding of the relationship between the Spanish language and culture. By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to express sophisticated and nuanced ideas both orally and in writing. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.

Click on the download button below to view course syllabi.

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Program Components

2/5
Comparative Religion

Gain insight into Andean cultural and religious worldviews, and the syncretism between Catholic and Andean traditions

4/5
Development Studies

Engage with issues in indigenous rights, environmental conservation, and community and sustainable development.

3/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Use the summer to explore language and culture, indigenous identity and representation, land use and relationships, and history.

5/5
Homestay

Participate in an 14-18 day homestay in a farming community outside of Cochabamba.

3/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

ISPs could include politics, Andean music, weaving, medicinal plants and agricultural practices.

5/5
Language Study

Study the Spanish language intensively for 3-4 hours per day throughout the program. In addition to the 60 contact hours, students have additional opportunities for language immersion throughout the program.

2/5
Learning Service

Embrace opportunities for community-led service engagement, and workshops on ethical service practices.

3/5
Rugged Travel

Experience homestays with few amenities, explore high altitude mountains on foot, and travel by public transportation.

2/5
Trekking

Short trek or day hikes exploring wilderness areas in the high Andes.