U. announces new Argentina summer program
Only a year after the University launched the Princeton in Brazil program, the University is instituting a new Princeton in Argentina summer study abroad program in Buenos Aires. In a partnership with the Universidad de Belgrano, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures and the Program in Latin American Studies will jointly offer one intermediate and one advanced Spanish course exclusively for University students.
Program director and chair of the Spanish and Portuguese department Gabriela Nouzeilles, who is Argentinian herself, said that the University has been working on a study abroad program in Argentina for several years as part of a broader effort to develop more programs in Latin America. President Shirley Tilghman visited universities and secondary schools in Argentina over this past fall break to strengthen ties with peer institutions in Latin America.
Nouzeilles began reaching out to Argentinian universities last year. She and several other faculty members in the department had contacts in Argentina, which facilitated the process.
Nouzeilles said she hopes to enroll around 20 students in the program’s first year, though eventually the target will be higher.
Princeton in Argentina targets both intermediate and more advanced Spanish students by offering courses of varying difficulty levels. “We’re trying to keep an even balance,” said Office Coordinator Nikki Woolward, who will be overseeing applications.
Princeton in Argentina will last for six weeks, two weeks longer than Princeton in Brazil and Princeton in Spain, despite the similar costs of the three programs. “It’s a little cheaper to be in Buenos Aires than in the other cities right now,” Nouzeilles said. “Also because we thought that in terms of enriching their skills, it makes sense to be there for at least six weeks.”
The cost for the program will be $4,100 excluding airfare. Partial scholarships are being offered from the Spanish and Portuguese department for students on financial aid. Students can also apply for a grant from the Office of International Programs.
The program fosters cultural and language immersion by having students live with host families, take trips to major cultural sites and participate in cultural activities such as tango lessons. Nouzeilles explained that university dorms are not common in Argentina, so host families are a more viable and immersive housing option. Most of the host families will be located in neighborhoods close to the Universidad de Belgrano and near public transportation.
Students will also have the option to volunteer for local nonprofit organizations. The University has already established contacts with Un Techo Para Mi Pais, an organization that focuses on emergency housing for the poor.
So far, initial interest in the program has been high, as two information sessions held about the program were well attended. “It was a very good turnout, considering this will be our first semester doing this program,” said Woolward. “To be interested in the department and to possibly major in Spanish and Portuguese would be great.”
Matt Silver ’16, who attended the session and is currently enrolled in intermediate Spanish, said he was looking to improve his Spanish and benefit from a "deeper experience" than might be found in a regular classroom.
"I’ve already been to Spain, so I ruled that out," Silver said. "Argentina appealed to me more because it’s probably the best Spanish-speaking country to go to.”
“I think taking [SPA] 107 in a full-on Spanish-speaking country is an opportunity that would be invaluable,” said Ben Culver ’16, who also attended the session. “I hear a lot of people saying they went to Spain, but not a lot say they go to Latin America.”
Applications for the program are due on Feb. 22 and will be followed by interviews. Applicants will be notified about decisions before spring break.
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