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Applications accepted through Jan. 28 for summer program in Nicaragua

RELEASED: Dec. 15, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — The application deadline for a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire summer 2011 study-abroad program in Nicaragua has been extended to Jan. 28, 2011.

The six-week program, titled "Women in Nicaragua: Culture, Language and Society," will run from July 9-Aug. 20, 2011. The program is open to students from any U.S. university.

The program will take place in Granada, the oldest colonial city in continental America. The city has a population of approximately 110,000 and is located on the shore of Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America. All students in the program will live with host families and will take the three-credit women's studies course "Women and Social Sciences: Women's Lives and Experiences in Nicaragua," taught by UW-Eau Claire's Dr. Rose-Marie Avin. Each student also will take a Spanish course at the appropriate level. In addition, students in the program will participate in a service-learning project in the small Nicaraguan village of El Fortin.

"This is a unique program that allows participants to experience and learn about the daily lives of women, children and men in a Latin American country," said Avin, a professor of economics. "As a consequence, students become more international in their perspectives and more engaged citizens in the world community. It is truly a transformative experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives."

Kelsey Switters, a UW-Eau Claire junior social work and women's studies major, participated in the program in 2009.

"This trip was an eye-opener — it made me realize how great I have it," Switters said of her participation in the program. "It also taught me to take advantage of the opportunities we have here because not everyone gets them. I gained a deeper appreciation for diversity and different cultures, and I fell in love with Nicaragua and my host family. I'm proud to say I've experienced and lived a different culture. It's a great experience, and I think just about anyone could benefit personally from it."

Participants must have a minimum GPA of 2.3 and be in good academic standing. Students may apply as freshmen but must have sophomore standing by the start of the program. No prior study of Spanish is required.

More information, including estimated costs and an application form, is available on UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education website. Links to a photo gallery and video from past programs can be found on the site's "Profiles and Galleries" page.

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JP/DW

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