Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) Field Trip / Seminar-Chile

This intensive, two-part program incorporates a cross-cultural homestay with individualized field study.  The program is open to undergraduates of any major at the University of Pittsburgh and welcomes applicants from any field with sufficient Spanish language proficiency and an interest in Latin American culture. If you are selected for the program you will enroll in a preparatory seminar on campus during the spring of 2020, and then travel to country of the program they were selected where they will study, live with a host family and carry out an independent field project.  
 
 

What You'll Accomplish

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • Individual field investigations, collecting data and information for evaluation
  • A research paper based on the field investigations, observation and data collection
  • A better understanding of cross-cultural communication and the challenges and rewards of the international living experience

Valparaíso is a major city, seaport, and educational center in the commune of Valparaíso, Chile. The "Greater Valparaíso" is the third largest metropolitan area in the country. Valparaíso is located northwest of Santiago. Located in Chile's second most populated administrative region and has been the headquarters for the Chilean National Congress since 1990. 

Valparaíso played an important geopolitical role in the second half of the 19th century, when the city served as a major stopover for ships traveling between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by crossing the Straits of Magellan. Valparaíso mushroomed during its golden age, as a magnet for European immigrants, when the city was known by international sailors as "Little San Francisco" and "The Jewel of the Pacific".In 2003, the historic quarter of Valparaíso was declared a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site.
 

The second half of the twentieth century was unfavorable to Valparaíso, as many wealthy families abandoned the city. The opening of the Panama Canal and reduction in ship traffic dealt a serious blow to Valparaíso's port-based economy. Over the first 15 years of the twenty-first century the city reached a recovery, attracting artists and cultural entrepreneurs who have set up in the city's hillside historic districts. Today, many thousands of tourists visit Valparaíso from around the world to enjoy the city's labyrinth of cobbled alleys and colorful buildings.

The port of Valparaíso continues to be a major distribution center for container traffic, copper, and fruit exports. Valparaíso also receives growing attention from cruise ships that visit during the South American summer. Most significantly, Valparaíso has transformed itself into a major educational center with four large traditional universities and several large vocational colleges. The city exemplifies Chilean culture, with festivals every year, and street artists and musicians.

 

Where You'll Live

While in Valparaiso, you will stay in homestays with local families. Host families may live all over Valparaiso. You can expect the following at the homestay:

 

A private room

Most meals are included, other meals and snacks will be at your own expense

Wi-Fi

 

We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions. 

What You'll Study

You'll earn a total of 6 credits on the Center for Latin American Studies Seminar and Field program.  You will use the city to conduct your research. You will seek out information through interviews and observations that will allow you to carry out your individual field investiations. You will continue to refine your research skills and techniques that you developed during the Spring semester course prior to departure. 

 In this course you will study:

  • Research methods
  • Data collection
  • Evaluation
  • Professional writing
     

If you are seeking to count these courses towards a major, minor or certificate, please meet with your academic advisor to discuss this program and what the courses will fulfill for you. Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here.
 

CLAS Fieldtrip (6-Credits) (ARTSC1991)

While living with a host family, you will carry out individual field investigations, collecting data and information for evaluation.  The project director will be present throughout the program to provide guidance and direction.  Final written project reports will be completed upon return to the US and submitted at a deadline set by the director of the program.

CLAS Spring Term Seminar (3-credits) (ARTSC1990)

This interdisciplinary seminar is designed to prepare students for their in-country residence experience. Students will examine the history, culture, politics and geography of Manizales and Colombia and their place within Latin American. Issues dealing with cross-cultural communication and the challenges and rewards of the international living experience will be examined. Students will also be guided through the design of individual field projects that they will carry out during their residence experience in May and June.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts

Tim Crawford

Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, a Program Manager here in the Study Abroad Office. I’m proud to be from a small town in Central PA but now love calling Pittsburgh home. My study abroad experience includes a semester in France during my sophomore year, Spring Break in London during Grad School and Summer in Italy as a Program Assistant. My experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous study abroad opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure whether it’s exploring a new city or new neighborhood in PGH. I fully embrace the yinzer way of life and plan my schedule accordingly around every Pens, Bucs and Stillers game. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study abroad programs and answer any of your questions. Please reach me at TSC29@pitt.edu or 412-648-2156.

Your In-Country Contacts

Dolores Lima

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dolores Lima earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American Literature from University of Maryland under the direction of Prof. Jorge Aguilar Mora. She has taught Spanish language, culture and literature courses at Southern Connecticut State University, Montgomery College, University of Maryland, and Catholic University of America. She has been teaching at Middlebury College Summer School since 2009. She was appointed Spanish Language Program Coordinator at the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh in August 2015.

 

Her teaching and research interests focus on Latin American literature and culture, with an emphasis on literary theory. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled “Disruption to Representation: Affect in Macedonio Fernández, Antonio Di Benedetto and César Aira”, proposes the concept of “affective writing” as a paradigm in analyzing different types of disruptions to narrative representation. She is currently working on laughter and the narrative of the body in Virgilio Piñera’s work.

In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
$4,530 $4,730

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

What's Included

As a part of your program fee, the following are included:

  • 6-credits of tuition (summer field program)
  • Room and Board with a Host Family
  • Most meals
  • Rountrip airfare
  • Health Insurance
  • Some cultural activities & excursions

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

When You'll Go

The program will run from early May to Mid June. Final dates will be available soon. 

What Else You Need to Know

The CLAS Scholarship Field Program is significantly underwritten by the Center For Latin America Studies (CLAS) .Participants will be responsible for tuition cost and associated fees.Candidates are required to be full time, degree seeking undergraduates (from any discipline) maintaining a minimum of a 2.75 grade point average.  Freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors who possess the necessary skills and disposition are welcome to apply.
By the time the field component begins, applicants must possess sufficient Spanish language proficiency to communicate effectively with their host families, travel independently and carry out their individual projects.
Most importantly, interested applicants must demonstrate a willingness to be flexible, assimilate to a new culture, and welcome cross-cultural interaction.  Selected candidates must be initiative taking, self-directed and comfortable functioning with little supervision.