Every Winter Term since 2014-15 Lynchburg students and faculty have traveled to Chile to work collaboratively with education students at the Universidad Viña del Mar (UVM). Together, students from UVM and Lynchburg lead an English summer camp for elementary school children who attend underfunded public schools, many of whom come from the “campamentos” (informal, temporary housing built without access to water or electricity).
The summer camp is designed to give the children an opportunity to learn some English, play games, create art, and make friends while exploring issues of international relevance.Students who participate in the program enroll in two courses, SPAN 377: Chilean Culture and EDUC 377: Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
The themes of the camp are often environmental in nature, and the photos above are from 2015-16 when the organizing theme was “The 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.” As part of the camp schedule, LC and UVM students were joined by internationally renowned muralist, Elvira Valenzuela Murillo, who helped the campers and students create a mural with more than 8,000 reclaimed and recycled bottles caps. Students spend most of their time in Viña del Mar, where they live with host families, and also visit the capital city, Santiago and Viña’s neighboring sister city, Valparaíso. Activities and excursions have included: visits to the homes of Pablo Neruda, the artisan village of Pomaire, a Mapuche indigenous community center, and the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago. Additional excursions can include hiking in the mountains, visits to nearby vineyards and swimming and lounging on Viña’s many beaches. Students are also able to ring in the New Year with their host families while viewing one of the largest fireworks displays in the world, set off along the Pacific coastline. The University of Lynchburg and UVM also have an exchange agreement that allows Lynchburg students with advanced Spanish to study there for a semester or academic year.
Contact Dr. Tammy Hertel if you are interested in the Chile program: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lynchburg also has a partnership with the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (UABJO) in Oaxaca, Mexico. In the spring of 2018 two UABJO students spent three weeks on our campus, and in the summer of 2018, two Lynchburg students received scholarships to study at the UABJO. A faculty-led study abroad trip to Oaxaca is being planned for the summer of 2019.
Other Study Abroad Opportunities
If you’re interested in studying abroad in other Spanish-speaking countries, contact a Spanish professor or your advisor. The Study Abroad office has more information about studying abroad.