Study abroad expands hemispheric reach

UM student Mallory Lyles visited Salta, Argentina in the northwestern part of the country during her study abroad experience in Argentina recently. Photo courtesy of UM study abroad.
By Janette Neuwahl Tannen

UM student Mallory Lyles visited Salta, Argentina in the northwestern part of the country during her study abroad experience in Argentina recently. Photo courtesy of UM study abroad.

Study abroad expands hemispheric reach

By Janette Neuwahl Tannen
A new study abroad program will offer students the chance to live in Chile and Argentina this spring.

Students interested in improving their Spanish, or completing a minor in Latin American studies while immersing themselves in two different South American countries, will have a new option this spring.

The University of Miami’s study abroad program has revamped its offerings in South America and is launching a new program called ULatin America, set to enroll its first students next semester. The program will allow students to spend the second half of this academic year south of the equator, with 12 weeks in Santiago, Chile, and six weeks in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“To complete an entire minor in Latin American studies in one semester while in Latin America is an unparalleled opportunity,” said Will Pestle, associate professor and director of the Latin American Studies program and director of graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Anthropology. “Students will be exposed to the incredible diversity of both countries while operating out of their economic and political centers.”

Based at the Council on International Educational Exchange’s (CIEE) two study centers in Santiago and Buenos Aires, the ULatin America program will match students with host families for lodging and also help them find internships in Santiago, said Nina Castro, assistant director of programs for study abroad. In both cities, students are able to take classes taught by local professors in English at the study centers to fulfill course requirements. On weekends, students can take trips to some of the natural wonders and historical sites in each nation. In the past, students have visited Iguazu Falls, skied in Cordoba, Argentina, hiked in the southern Patagonia region (which touches both countries), and surfed in Valparaiso, Chile, Castro said. 

Chile's Torres del Paine National Park, which is located on the southwestern edge of the country in the Patagonia region. Photo courtesy of UM study abroad.

“There are a lot of amazing things in these countries that students don’t know about,” she added.

Pestle, who helped build the ULatin America program, agreed: “When else in their lives will students get the opportunity to spend a semester exploring the Andes Mountains and swimming in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, while meeting the academic requirements they need at UM?” 

Next fall, there are plans to expand the ULatin America program to include some time in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, as well, so students would get to experience three different countries in one semester.

Organizers hope the program will also encourage students to form bonds with universities and communities in Chile and Argentina, helping to build UM’s hemispheric reach as part of the University’s Roadmap to Our New Century, Pestle said.

“We look to these nations as our partners, so students will be a fundamental part of this growing focus of the university to be a leader in our hemisphere,” Pestle added.

Students interested in ULatin America should attend an information session Sept. 6 at 3 p.m. in the study abroad office, which is located in Dooly Memorial Classroom Building 125, or schedule an appointment with Castro, who can be reached at n.castro1@miami.edu. The deadline for applications is Oct. 1.

Students interested in studying abroad in general should attend an information session called “Study Abroad 101.” The next few hour-long sessions are offered Aug. 29 and Sept. 4, 10, 16, and 27. There are also information sessions specific to certain programs offered throughout August and September on the study abroad website. A list of deadlines for spring semester 2020 programs can be found here.