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UWRF: Mexico: A Cultural Experience
Various locations throughout Mexico, Mexico
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|Open to:||All UWRF students, Non-UWRF students|
Mexico: A Cultural Experience
Program Overview:Mexico, our neighbor to the south, possesses a rich and complex cultural heritage. It has high, cool mountain regions, beautiful sandy ocean beaches, large stretches of desert, and tropical rain forests. Its capital, Mexico City, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, yet the country is largely rural, and many of its villages preserve their colonial characteristics. Mexicans are proud of their history and political independence, which can be seen in many museums and archeological sites throughout the country. Mexico is a country with considerable poverty, yet it is home to some of the wealthiest families in the world. It has been home to advanced indigenous civilizations dating back to at least 100 B.C.Mexico has modern, high-tech industries and agricultural practices that coexist with craft industries that have changed little in the last 1000 years. Modernization in Mexico has taken on an international scope, as it has become one of the partners in the NAFTA agreement, and the country promotes a thriving tourist industry. The ever-present mixture of tradition and innovation makes a trip to Mexico an unforgettable cultural and Spanish language immersion experience for students.
The Modern Language 376 course, focusing on cultural immersion in Mexico, takes place during the last week of December and the first two weeks of January each year. This study away experience, beginning in Mexico City and ending in Puerto Vallarta, explores many aspects of Mexican society and cultures, including history, religion, art, agriculture, music, dance, business, primary and secondary education, crafts, theater, as well as the number one industry, tourism.
The course requires attendance at eight seminars during the preceding Fall semester, three weeks study tour in Mexico, a post-interim seminar and submission of a term paper in early Spring. This course meets the university’s Global Perspectives requirement (g on DAR), Spanish major and minor requirements, and the requirements for many other majors and minors.
Location:Students will learn about Mexico by experiencing cultural immersion in several cities throughout central and western Mexico: Mexico City, Taxco, Queretaro, Guanajuato, León, Guadalajara, and Puerto Vallarta.
Academics:The Modern Language 376 fall course and three week J term tour of Mexico is open to students of all majors in their junior or senior year who have cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. Other students may be considered for the program, depending on enrollment figures. Knowledge of Spanish is helpful but not required for participation in the course.
Spanish majors/minors are expected to write the reflective term paper in Spanish, as well as daily critical-incident journals while in Mexico. This three credit course meets the University's Global Perspectives requirement. The required evening seminars, which prepare students to study in Mexico, meet during the preceding Fall Semester, and include information on the history, geography, agriculture, economy, educational system of Mexico, and much more. Students also learn about culture shock and are given strategies for ensuring health and safety during the study tour during J-term.
Cost:A breakdown of the costs related to this program can be viewed by clicking on the “Budget Sheets” link (near the top of this brochure) for the desired term.
Housing & Meals:The cost of all hotels is included in the cost of the program. Students pay for their own meals and souvenirs.
Travel Arrangements:The cost of international airfare and local transportation while in Mexico is part of the program fee.
Additional Information:• Entrance fees to all museums, historical sites and activities are included in the cost of the program.
• Visit the program website: http://www.uwrf.edu/MODL/Modlang376.cfm
How to Apply:Check out the information on How to Apply, then come back to this program’s brochure and click on the “Apply Now” button at the top of the page.
Student Quote:“I want to turn my textbooks into reality.” Those were my exact words when asked what I wanted to accomplish in this course. To my pleasure and benefit I realize that I have accomplished this and an infinitude more. Being surrounded for three weeks by the sights, sounds and smells unique to Mexico taught me more than a textbook ever could. All my prior knowledge gave me the building blocks on which to grow from, but the trip gave me an all-senses on experience. Knowledge bombarded my senses everywhere I went, and Mexico was the omnipresent textbook. I left a mark on Mexico and Mexico on me; the trip was collaborative learning at its best, for I had no choice but to interact and cooperate with others. The feelings I hold inside of me for Mexico are those rare ones of such high reverence that they will never fade with time. On the contrary, I believe they will grow quite stronger. Time and distance make me appreciate what I have left behind, and treasure what remains in my heart. I learned about both Mexican and my own culture, about my perceptions of Mexico, and about my own strengths and weaknesses.” --Nicole
“...I am beginning this paper in a state of shock. I sit in front of this computer wondering at the magnificence of not having to pay for my time, drinking water that came straight from my sink and writing in a language that I harbored as a second choice while abroad. From time to time, I sit back and glance around my surroundings expecting to wake up and hear the sound of the ocean, a passing Cristal truck, or the horns of people already late for work. For two days I have been like this...”—Kimberly
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