SRJC’s summer Study Abroad program is back

Photo courtesy of www.inkamagik.com
Students have the chance to study this summer with the SRJC Chile Study Abroad program near this Viña del Mar Beach.

Faith Gates, News Editor

The long stretches of sandy beaches make Viña del Mar the most popular beach resort in Chile, and this summer SRJC students have an opportunity to visit it.

The summer Study Abroad program is back for the first time in 6 years and will be traveling to Viña del Mar, Chile for the first time. The program is six weeks, running from June 12-July 25, in Viña del Mar, which translates to “vineyard by the sea.” It is Chile’s fourth largest city and is only hours away from Patagonia, the Andes Mountains, Easter Island, Santiago and a volcano in Pucón.

Anyone from any school can come as long as they have completed 12 transferable college units, are over 18 years old and have a cumulative 2.25 grade point average.

SRJC history instructor Danielle Bruns and SRJC geology instructor Rebecca Perlroth will accompany students. “We teamed up because we are both young and cool. Who wouldn’t want to go n vacation with me and Rebecca?” Bruns said.

The price is $4,445 but does not include airfare, the $125 refundable damage deposit, the $50 non-refundable application fee, passport fees, textbooks, class registration, insurance and any personal expenses. A $450 deposit is due with your application. Three meals a day and weekend excursions are included in the total, unlike the fall and spring study abroad programs that can cost up to $10,395 without other expenses. A Summer Gilman International Scholarship is available for those eligible for the Pell grant and one AIFS Ambassador Scholarship of $500 is available for the trip.

Students will stay in their own room with pre-screened Chilean families. “Chileans are known for being very nice,” Bruns said.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided at the homestay except for Monday through Thursday when lunch is provided at school. “They actually eat four meals a day, tea, which I am very excited about,” Bruns said.  Private transportation is provided from students’ homestay to school.

Classes will be held at the Adolfo Ibáñez University, a private university. Students will be required to take three classes. First is Brun’s History 8.2, Latin history from the 1830s to the present. Perlroth will teach Geology 1. The last class is “Study Abroad Life, Culture and Language,” a course which will be taught by local faculty and guest lecturers about Chilean society, culture and civilization. Spanish is good to know before hand, but a student will learn through immersion.

“There are more native Spanish speakers in the world than [native] English speakers,” Bruns said.

Bruns said if you don’t want to spend an entire semester away from school and family, a six-week trip while taking transferable classes is a great opportunity.

Classes are Monday through Thursday and only in the morning. All afternoons and weekends are free time except for when there are planned excursions.

Events include a welcome reception, farewell meal, a theater performance, walking tour, cooking class and museum visits. Trips include a half-day guided sightseeing tour of Viña del Mar; a three day, two night excursion to Pucón, including entrance to the national park; an overnight visit to Santiago (Chile’s capital) including entrance to the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art, and a trip to the Crafts Center of Los Domínicos to see the artisans at work.  Bruns is also very excited about seeing the Pudú, the world’s smallest deer.

Chile was picked over other South American destinations because it has ties with the United States and is safe and stable. “It is clean, safe and pretty,” Bruns said. The climate is also very similar to the California’s.

A local program coordinator oversees the program, provides advising, counseling and 24-hour emergency contact service.

The application deadline was originally March 7, but the deadline has been extended and has yet to be determined.