Travel Guiding

There has never been such a variety of ways to learn away from home, so Language Magazine offers some suggestions

United Kingdom
The University of East Anglia (UEA) is home to more than 2500 international students from over 100 countries worldwide. It ranked as a world Top 150 university in The Times Higher Education Supplement league tables (2011-12) and is located in the vibrant city of Norwich, in the beautiful district of Norfolk, famous for its historic buildings, waterways, and countryside. UEA offers a wide ranging and flexible selection of English language and academic preparation courses to assist applicants in entering their degree courses. Renowned for excellence in international education, the university has forged a partnership with the Brazilian Science without Borders program, welcoming students to take advantage of its excellent resources in science and technology.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a private, publicly-funded, self governing organization of higher education institutions in Germany. DAAD promotes international academic relations and cooperation by offering mobility programs primarily for students and faculty, but also for administrators and others in the higher education realm. They facilitate exchanges for both Germans going abroad, and Americans who want to go to Germany. DAAD has funding opportunities for scholars and students of German. Deadlines are approaching. (See Source on page 12 for information on DAAD’s scholarships.)

This fall, Estonia will be rolling out a variety of new programs taught in English for students from around the globe. New courses will be offered at the University of Tartu, Tallinn University, Tallinn University of Technology, the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater, and the Estonian School of Hotel and Tourism Management. Between these campuses, there will be 20 undergraduate degree programs instructed in English, each of which lasts three years with courses of study as diverse as Audiovisual Composition to Law. At the graduate level, there will be 60 masters programs instructed in English with unique and interesting subjects, such as International Business Law, Design and Development in Virtual Environments, and Cultural Management. International students are eligible for scholarships.

FIAP is more than a place to stay in Paris. With 200 rooms and 500 beds, a language school, meeting rooms, and restaurants all in one location, FIAP is an ideal accommodation for large groups in France and individual visitors alike. The importance that FIAP places on providing a cultural experience for guests is one way in which it sets itself apart from other hostels and hotels. FIAP Cultures hosts exchanges between visiting groups and locals and holds shows and other activities so guests can engage with the Parisian community. The onsite language school, Paris Langues, offers language courses for French students of all levels. All this happens in the heart of Paris on the Left Bank in the 14th arrondissement.

For five decades, College Year in Athens has offered unparalleled learning opportunities in Greece. Students interested in short-term, comprehensive study abroad can take advantage of their summer programs, which offer unique, experience-based opportunities for learning. The Modern Greek Language and Culture program in Athens and on the island of Paros offers students accelerated language learning at beginning and intermediate levels. The course incorporates 60 hours of intensive instruction in listening, speaking, reading and writing, complemented by lectures, activities, and excursions. Dividing itself between Athens and the island of Paros, the program provides insight into Greek culture and contemporary life while acquainting students with both urban and island life. The Athens segment includes visits to the Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum, a guided tour of the Greek Parliament, an open-air theater performance or concert, a Greek cooking class, a taverna dinner, and various Athens city walks. On Paros, students visit the Ekatontapyliani Church, the Archeological Museum, the village of Lefkes, walk the Byzantine Road, and learn Greek dances.

Study Abroad Italy offers full- or part-time customized internships including Italian language training, either as a three-week orientation course before the internship begins, or as a concurrent ongoing course. Part-time interns must be enrolled in a full-time semester program. Programs are available in Florence, Siena, Sorrento, Rome, and Turin. Study Abroad Italy internships offer professional development seminars, customized placements to find the perfect fit, and an array of other services. Internships are available in areas from Art Restoration to Journalism, or Hospitality, offering students an excellent opportunity to earn valuable professional experience, benefit from cultural immersion, pick up Italian, and gain a competitive edge in the job market.
Florence University of the Arts cultivates knowledge based on culture through its programs in the center of this historic city. In addition to regular study abroad sessions in the fall, spring, summer, and a January intersession offering courses from a myriad of departments, a selection of special-interest programs features an exciting series of experiential studies. The summer highlight programs include a “Light of Florence and Tuscany” four-week photography program that begins with a week of on-site shooting in Tuscan locations and finishes up with three weeks of photography courses in Florence. “Florence Open City” combines language study with learning in the workshops of traditional and contemporary artisans in the city. “Cultural Introduction to Italy” combines a week of travel study between Rome and Tuscany in order to introduce the fundamentals of Italian culture, which are then studied in detail in the Tuscan capital for an additional three weeks. And finally, the “TuttoToscana” program in Special Event Management offers the chance to plan, produce, and manage high-profile gastronomic events. Students choose to study in the areas of food and wine management, event management, or art direction for three weeks in Florence in the fall. The final week of the program takes place in New York City, where students collaborate side-by-side with faculty at prestigious locations, such as the James Beard Foundation and Macy’s.

Athena Study Abroad offers a wide variety of language programs packaged to include tuition, housing, field trips/excursions, and health insurance. Athena’s program in Seville offers courses ranging from beginner to advanced Spanish. Students can study during the summer for one, two, or three months; for a semester; or for a full year. Students looking to earn credits in other areas can take additional courses at the University of Seville. Seville is an ideal place to learn Spanish, as the moderate size and vibe of the city cater to the college student. Students can stay with host families or in apartments with other students. Field trips to Madrid, Granada, and Morocco add to the student experience.

Colombia Challenge Your Knowledge is an initiative of the network of Accredited Universities of Colombia, the Ministry of Education and other national allies to promote Colombia as a destination for academic and scientific collaboration. Colombia is a popular place to study Spanish and pursue university studies with its increasing public safety, beautiful natural attractions, and neutral Spanish accent. La Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla is a fully accredited university with undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs that encourage scholarly research and creativity. The university’s Spanish Program for International Students offers the opportunity to learn Spanish in academic surroundings, familiarizing students with the Latin American culture in order to promote tolerance and acceptance of diversity and development of an intercultural conscience. In beautiful Cartagena de Indias, students can gain top-notch Spanish language training at the Open Access Language Center at Universidad Tecnológica de Bolivar. Cartagena was declared a UNESCO World Heritage History Center for its port, fortresses, and monuments. It is located by the Caribbean Sea in northern South America with great tropical weather, coaxing students to enjoy the beach, the warm Caribbean breeze, the delicious regional food, and vibrant music while learning Spanish. The Open Access Language Center has courses on a weekly basis as well as group summer programs and individual, personalized courses. EAFIT University’s Spanish Program provides total immersion in Latin American culture and Spanish in Colombia. EAFIT offers the chance to have daily intensive Spanish lessons at a vibrant university campus surrounded by the friendliest people, and live with a local host family to help students boost their command of the language and get to know Latin American culture. By choosing Colombian schools through Challenge Your Knowledge, students can be sure that their immersion programs will be marked by high quality education and life-changing experiences.

Nicaragua and Costa Rica
Universidad Americana (UAM) in Nicaragua and Universidad Hispanoamericana (UH) in Costa Rica have partnered to offer a unique semester abroad experience. University students can study Spanish, learn cultural similarities and differences, travel to incredible natural settings, and experience the vibrant realities of everyday life. This new program has been developed to maximize the language learning experience by having immersion stays in adjacent Central American countries. Dynamic language learning in each country, including literary readings, videos, music, and art, enable students to quickly improve their skills. Students experience each society and culture by surveying historical and political events, and interacting with citizens in daily life via homestays and multiple excursions. The theory and practice of Spanish language and culture, in two countries, provides a complete semester of academic credit.

In Panama, the School for Field Studies (SFS) will launch a pilot semester program in Tropical Island Biodiversity and Conservation Studies this fall. The program will look at the delicate ecosystems of the islands that make up the archipelago of Bocas del Toro. SFS has partnered with the Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (ITEC) in Bocas del Toro. ITEC has 15 years of experience in study abroad education in Bocas and will assist SFS with this dynamic new program. ITEC has been a vital member of the island community for many years and has contributed knowledge gleaned through research to inform and improve local understanding of the natural world.

Students have a newfound interest in going to Brazil. Bridge is a leader in the field of language training and education in the country, which has allowed for the development of multiple contacts with local and international business networks, facilitating the development of internship opportunities. Placements are customized according to the requirements and needs of the applicants. Bridge Brazil offers internships that provide carefully monitored work/service experiences in which students have intentional learning goals and these reflect actively on what they learn throughout their time in a company. Thanks to its diverse economy which is now the world’s sixth largest, Brazil is an ideal place to pursue an internship. As the home to headquarters of the largest national and multinational companies in this rapidly developing nation, Rio and São Paulo are the ideal destinations from which to observe the impacts of development and survey Brazil in the global economy. Current Brazilian legislation allows foreign individuals to intern in Brazil for up to one year, and internships can be arranged for academic credit and non-credit.

Universidad del Pacifico offers intensive Spanish as a foreign language courses and is developing a summer semester program in Cusco, Peru’s imperial city of the Incas. These 45-hour courses will focus on the language and culture of Peru. Students will have opportunities to engage with the community, attend cultural events, and learn about Peruvian cuisine. Each course is worth three credits and Universidad del Pacifico offers an official transcript upon completion of the course.

St. Lucia
Long-standing development NGO, Global Volunteers, will recruit up to 24 teams of short-term volunteers annually to help address one of the world’s most persistent problems: the deleterious effect of poverty on children’s physical and intellectual development. The St. Lucia Project is the organization’s newest — and most ambitious — community partnership in 29 years. Team members will help deliver “The 12 Essential Services,” including nutrient supplementation, hygiene education, classroom instruction, improved stoves, malaria and dengue fever prevention to communities in St. Lucia in the West Indies. Since 1984, Global Volunteers has helped partner communities in more than 30 countries obtain most of these services through service programs and direct project funding. The first two teams of 2012 included specialists in agriculture, child development, education, and health care. Students and generalists are encouraged to join future teams to continue the foundational work. University researchers will measure the impact of the project at intervals over six years. The organization demonstrates the long-term value of volunteers working on comprehensive, integrated community development.

Cambodia often brings to mind one of two images: The Killing Fields or Angkor Wat, both at once overwhelming and must-sees. However, Cambodia is booming and offers a plethora of faculty-led program possibilities that make these two pieces of a much larger puzzle. Programs include components as fascinating as: volunteering at an elephant camp in rural Cambodia; dinner with a ramork (tuk-tuk) driver and his family in his home; an in-depth photography service learning workshop at a school for orphaned children near Angkor Wat; a spectacular hike and overnight meditation class with an English-speaking Master at a rural pagoda; a volunteer experience at a bear rescue center; bike riding on an island in the middle of the Mekong River at sunset; bird watching outside of Siem Reap; dinner with one of the few remaining survivors of the S-21 torture camp in Phnom Penh; a workshop with a rap and dance group created to help keep young boys out of trouble and off the streets; and, of course, a couple of days at one of the true wonders of the world, the Angkor temple complex — by ramork, not by bus.

A six-week, Wildlife and Photography faculty-led program in January, 2013 will incorporate most of the components above, starting with a visit to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. HCMC is a six-hour drive from Phonm Penh. Academic Experiences Abroad (AEA) has been managing faculty-led programs to Cambodia since 2007.

The Gold Coast offers unique volunteering opportunities to international visitors who can help make a difference to native animals by volunteering time at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and with local conservation organizations. Activities include animal husbandry and health checks, general park duties, horticulture work, wild animal surveys, and bush regeneration work. Volunteers will contribute to animal conservation in captivity and in the wild. Packages include accommodation, meals and transfers whilst on the Gold Coast. Accommodation options vary from either dormitory style in a local hostel or live the “true Aussie way” by moving in with a local family to enjoy the complete Australian lifestyle. The Gold Coast is a sought-after destination. However, the green behind the gold is what truly makes the Gold Coast unique. The hinterland region is abundant with wildlife, native forests, and babbling creeks. Many locals and tourists enjoy hiking, mountain biking, bird watching and simply being at one with nature. (See page 28 for our feature on the Gold Coast.)

SIT World Learning provides education, exchange, and development programs that cultivate the global leadership and social innovation needed in a shrinking world. Their comprehensive portfolio of programs is enhanced by a worldwide network of hundreds of thousands of alumni, staff, partners, and friends, including Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver and Nobel Peace Prize winners Wangari Maathai and Jody Williams. World Learning occupies a unique position among international organizations. Through study abroad, graduate education, and community projects, World Learning helps 3,000 Americans a year become more effective global citizens and supports countless others to improve their lives and become leaders of change in their communities. SIT offers exciting teacher education training for globally-minded educators, including a TESOL certification program, and M.A. in TESOL, and an International Diploma in Language Teaching Management.

Since 1992, Global Citizens Network (GCN) has provided unique travel experiences, emphasizing intercultural understanding and service learning. GCN is committed to collaborating on sustainable development efforts around the world and sends teams of volunteers to communities in other cultures where participants immerse themselves in the culture and daily life of the host village. Teams work side-by-side with indigenous community partners on sustainable service-learning projects in remote, rural communities in the global north and south. The GCN experience is a 1-3 week journey that offers intercultural mentor support and guided reflection as participants immerse themselves deep into the local way of life. Participants experience first-hand riding local transportation, taking bucket showers, and cooking on wood-burning stoves. Participants contribute by engaging in shared work with community. GCN team leaders and host community members support participants as they gather unique insights into the culture’s values around themes such as time, gender roles, language, and traditions. At GCN program sites there is little to no other mass tourism present. All programs function in accordance with the eight components of a quality alternative break: directive service, education, reflection, orientation, training, drug & alcohol free experience, diversity and reorientation. Upon returning home, GCN collaborates with teams to share their experiences through writing, presentations, and networking with the larger organizational network of Global Citizens.

InterExchange believes that young people have the power to change the world and promote cultural understanding in their communities. The InterExchange Foundation was started in 2007 to encourage young U.S. citizens to do meaningful work in countries and cultures outside their own, and return to the U.S. with new professional and cultural knowledge that can improve their home communities. InterExchange Foundation recipients of Christianson Grants and Working Abroad Grants have made substantial contributions to valuable programs and projects around the world – from education in Nicaragua to journalism in Israel to ecology in Australia. By providing financial assistance to selected candidates, the Foundation hopes to encourage young Americans to discover the world and benefit from the unique and enriching insights one can only gain from living and working abroad. InterExchange Work & Travel USA is a cultural exchange program that connects motivated, English-speaking university students who want to experience life in the U.S. with host employers who need short-term help during peak business periods. For host employers, it’s a great way to connect with motivated, enthusiastic staff during peak seasons while adding diversity and multicultural perspectives to their businesses.
Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) is an international not-for-profit organization with over 28,000 volunteers since it was founded in 1995. CCS programs offer a comprehensive experience that combines volunteer work with locally-led organizations, free time, and cultural activities, such as language lessons, which allows volunteers to immerse themselves in a different culture. CCS brings together the expertise of community development leaders and the motivation of international volunteers to serve local initiatives, while learning a new language. Programs are available for up to 12 weeks in Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Thailand.