Mendoza, a provincial capital of approximately one million people, gives students a chance to fully immerse themselves in Argentine life. Long renowned for its world-class wines, Mendoza has become the center of Argentina’s wine industry, and because of its proximity to the mountains, a center for adventure tourism. A friendly city with sunny skies, a dry desert climate and broad sycamore-lined streets, much of Mendocino life is lived outdoors in plazas, parks and sidewalk cafés, where students have many opportunities for meeting and getting to know Argentines. In addition, Mendoza provides quick access to interesting outlying villages, mountains and rural recreational areas and is just a one hour flight from Santiago, Chile.
The Mendoza program focuses on Spanish language development and the study of key historical and contemporary issues in Argentina and neighboring countries. Spanish language and Argentine history/culture courses are taught through CELE (Centro de Español como Lengua Extranjera), an institute dedicated to teaching Spanish as a foreign language. CELE is located within the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza’s large regional university (38,000 students). HWS students have complete access to University life, including student clubs and organizations (e.g., film clubs, dance groups, intramural sports, and physical education).
All students will take two courses through CELE; one will be a Spanish language course (according to their level of proficiency) and the second will be History and Culture of Argentina, which will be taught in English. (Students who are adequately prepared in Spanish may enroll in regular UNCuyo courses). In addition, students will take two courses offered by the HWS faculty director.
History and Culture of Argentina (1 credit)
This course is taught in English and will provide an overview of Argentine history and culture through units focused on themes such as music, economics, politics, literature and film. In addition to the readings and presentations by a variety of guest speakers, the course will include a number of excursions to relevant local sites (museums, vineyards, and local businesses) as well as longer program excursions that may include Patagonia and Iguazu Falls/Misiones.
Spanish Language (1 credit) - according to your level of proficiency
Parallel Economies (Econ/IR 145/345) (1 credit)
This course explores the economic history of Argentina and Chile, beginning with Peron (1945-54) in Argentina and Allende (1970-73) in Chile. Peron altered the fundamental economic structure of Argentina from one based on the agricultural exports from large haciendas to one beginning the process of industrialization in the context of populist policies. Despite periods of military government and neoliberalism, the pattern has reappeared in the present century. In Chile, Allende’s regime took the country down the road toward socialism, with disastrous consequences. The military regime and civilian regimes that follow have emphasized free trade and globalization. The present century has seen the return of Peronist policies in Argentina and the continuation of globalization in Chile despite some left-leaning governments.
Economic Growth and Water (Econ/ES 150/350) (1 credit)
This course will explore the resource demands of economic growth, particularly the relationship of economic activity on water demand. The region around Mendoza is arid, lying in a rain shadow, yet is famous for its grapes and wine. Brazil is famous as the home of the Amazon River and relies heavily on hydroelectric power, but can suffer from power shortages during droughts that slow economic activity. We will study the issues of how water availability influences economic development, how water usage is controlled, and how water shortages and glacier melting affect present day life.
Community Service - For students who are interested, community service opportunities can be arranged by CELE and the resident director.
Each student will live with an Argentine host family—the best way to ensure a comprehensive language and cultural immersion experience. Homestays are coordinated by the staff of CELE, which has nearly twenty years’ experience matching host families and students. Breakfast and dinner are provided by the host families (see below).
The Argentina program is especially appropriate for students in Economics, International Relations, Spanish and Hispanic Studies and Environmental Studies.
Open to all sophomores, juniors and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5. One year (2 semesters) of college-level Spanish is required as a pre-requisite. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
The language and culture courses taught by CELE include a number of local excursions in Mendoza (including museums, wineries, and parks) along with visits to an Argentina indigenous community and a local mountain village. In addition, longer excursions to Patagonia, Iguazu Falls/Misiones and Santiago are tentatively planned.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and room fees, 2/3 board, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover credit for a four-course semester, housing and partial board, and all course-related excursions. Note that students should bring the remaining board (approximately $900) to cover meals not included. Additional expenses not covered include airfare, visa, books and other course related materials, and personal expenses (entertainment, some local ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1400 from the East Coast, and books and course-related materials at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1500 above and beyond the extra amount you need to bring to cover the meals not included. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
NOTE: This information is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.