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MacAlister Hall - Room 2020


  • Current Students

Study Abroad Info Session: International Development in Guatemala

Thursday, April 11, 2013

5:30 PM-7:00 PM

Information session - Learn about this exciting two-week, 3 credit program in September.

The Program
Based in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala, International Development in Action is a two-week study abroad program that focuses on language acquisition and service learning. Students will devote one week to intensive Spanish instruction and volunteer work, and a second week engaged in interactive site visits and service learning projects exploring international development.

By the conclusion of the program, students will:

  • Increase their language capabilities.
  • Understand key challenges of development, and the intersecting connections between global and environmental health, gender issues, economics, politics, etc.
  • Increase their cultural competency skills, especially when working with diverse, non-English speaking communities.
  • Experience and learn about Guatemalan culture, and understand how the country’s history shapes its current state. 
  • Develop experiential education reflection skills, and understand how engagement shapes their own identity and interpretation of the world.

Students will be registered for IAS 390, International Development in Action, a three-credit fall term course. Learning will mostly be rooted in Quetzaltenango, which is nestled in a valley mountain surrounded by farmland, indigenous populations, numerous development organizations, and a lively art and music scene. In addition to Spanish class and service learning activities, students will engage in daily lectures, discussions and qualitative research efforts. Although many of the assignments will occur during the program, students will be responsible for completing a paper upon their return. This course is open to all Drexel students in class or on co-op, and there are no pre-requisites. Students will be directed and overseen by Kate Hughes, M.S., MPH, assistant director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Programs, as well as Guatemalan instructors at the Casa XelaJu language school, and local development practitioners.

Week 1: Intensive Spanish instruction, afternoon volunteer and cultural activities, and a homestay with a local Guatemalan family.

Week 2: Informal and formal learning through lectures, and site visits and service learning projects which may include building safe stoves in the Mayan highlands, working on a fair trade coffee farm, and helping with a deforestation project.

Weekends will include cultural activities, like a day/evening in Antigua (a designated World Heritage Site), hiking, and visiting local hot springs.

For additional information, please contact Kate Hughes at

This event is co-sponsored by Study Abroad, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the International Area Studies program.

Contact Information

Kate Hughes