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Courses


These are the courses that will be offered at Go ED. Andes (opening Fall 2010). Download a PDF (50KB) of the semester overview or click on the course title to download that course's full syllabus.

Course #1 - BIOL 206 (68KB): Ecological Sustainability and Community
Students will explore the myriad of relationships between animals, plants, fungi, and humans in relation to the environment. Strategies for the sustainable development of human communities and their respective ecological communities will be discussed and examined in both classroom and field settings, such as the Amazon River basin and Andean Altiplano (High Plains) of Bolivia and Peru. (3 credits)

Course #2 - INCL 341 (68KB): Andean History & Worldview
This course provides an introduction to the historical and social context of the people of the Central Andes and explores the dynamics between religious, political, and other social foundations and contemporary forces of change. The course begins with a survey of traditional Andean religious views relative to key natural elements (sun, water, mountains, etc…) and their enduring influence on culture. The course includes several excursions to cultural sites (Isla del Sol, Cusco, and Machu Picchu) to instill knowledge of the Andes with an experiential sense of place and perspective. (3 credits)

Course #3 - SOC 381 (65KB): Social Context for Community Development
This course is an introduction to development and development theory. Students will be exposed to a variety of strategies designed to involve members of the community in the process of development. (3 credits)

Course #4 - INCL 255 (85KB): Andean Cultural Arts
This course explores the Andean arts as both cultural expression and cultural epistemology. Students will be introduced to a broad array of artistic expression in Andean Latin America under the guidance of local experts including visual arts, music, textiles, and dance. Students will come to appreciate the unique role and effectiveness of the arts in cultural identity and gain a new sense of value of the arts for their life and work. (3 credits)

Practicum - 311 (55KB): Cross-Cultural Field Practicum
This course is designed to give students hands on cross-cultural experience with community development work in the field. Students will be exposed to international development and relief programs, have the opportunity to work in cross-cultural environments, and to contribute meaningfully to their assigned program. Students will begin to assess their own ability to live and work in cross-cultural settings as well as be introduced to the challenges faced in the Millennium Development Goals. Available in Bolivia, Peru, and other Latin American countries. (3+ credits)

 

Practicum


Practicum placements for Go ED. Andes will be held in Bolivia, Peru, and other Latin American countries at Food for the Hungry field sites.

Go ED. Andes is scheduled to open its doors in Fall 2010, and practicum projects are expected to revolve around the core themes of ecological sustainability and community, history and cultural arts, framed within the context of community and transformational development.

 

Community Life


Community life in the Go ED. Andes semester abroad program will focus on transforming students through the establishment and deepening of relationships with other participants, their Latin American neighbors, and the natural world. Just as Food for the Hungry seeks to transform developing communities holistically, the Go ED. Andes campus community will strive to integrate numerous spiritual, physical, and intellectual disciplines into the life of the student.

Go ED. believes that embedding students in cross-cultural environments is only part of the experience; students should engage with those cultures as often and as much as they possibly can. Some of these activities can include: Exploring Cochabamba, Bolivia
Spending time at professors' homes
Spending time with their cultural assistants
Home-cooked meals
Movie nights
Visiting local coffee shops
Rural visits during the second weekend
Shopping at local artisan markets
Rain forest expeditions in the upper reaches of the Amazon River basin
Walking the historic sites along the cobblestone
Trekking across Isla del Sol, an island in Lake Titicaca that gave rise to the Inca nation

Cochabamba is a sprawling city, but classes are held at locations that students can conveniently reach on foot or by public micros (mini-van buses). Transportation for class-related field trips will be on privately chartered buses. Students will use public transportation for non-class activities.

 

Culture


Bolivia, with its population of 9 million humans and 3 million llamas, is a land of great extremes. From the humid lowlands of the Amazon River Basin to the snow capped heights of the majestic Andes mountain range, Bolivia has served as an important setting for ancient and modern civilizations. Through a Go ED. Andes semester, students will have the opportunity to study and experience remarkable cultures, intriguing creatures, and spectacular landscapes.

The Go ED. Andes campus is located in Cochabamba, a bustling city nestled in a fertile Andean valley. At 8,000 feet in elevation, Cochabamba lives up to its reputation as the “Land of Eternal Spring,” being blessed with balmy days and cool evenings. The cultural flare of this city mixes the unique history, linguistic diversity, and rugged resilience of its endemic and Hispanic citizens. Its proximity to a full spectrum of mountain ecosystems and varying degrees of human poverty makes Go ED. Andes an engaging location to challenge university students to think critically and creatively about how they can own and end poverty.

Overview


Students spend 16 weeks in the Andean highlands of Bolivia and Peru to study strategies for sustainable development of human communities and their respective ecological environments. A study semester in both Bolivia and Peru helps students gain perspective about the complexities of the issues, community and regional initiatives, and integrated efforts towards building sustainable community-environment relationships while adapting to significant external pressures. Opportunities to experience and interact with local residents and communities in the greater central Andean region enhance understanding of the impact of changing ecological conditions and the challenges of sustainable living.

The greater central Andean region is at the cultural heart of South America and encompasses some of the highest ecological diversity found on earth. Yet in contrast to its cultural and ecological richness, the region is also one of the poorest areas of the world; more than 6 million people of Quechua and Aymara origin inhabit this area, and over 75% of the population, whose livelihoods depend on agriculture, live in poverty.

These mostly agrarian communities have traditionally relied upon the management of water, soils, and biodiversity to produce crops and livestock vital for their livelihood. However, the market economy and population increases have established a new economic framework, and traditional ways of living are viewed as no longer sustainable. Low economic productivity and environmental degradation are now the primary challenges of this region; migration and social tensions prevail.

In both Bolivia and Peru, classroom discussions, readings, and lectures focus on contextual issues of development, history and religion, community and ecological sustainability, and Andean cultural arts.

Excursions to carefully selected sites in the Andes or Coastal/Amazonian Lowlands, as well as field-based practicum placements in relief and development, complement the program studies.

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Andes
 
Semester Schedule
Week 2-5Week 6-9Week 11-15
Ecological Sustainability   Social Context for Community DevelopmentPracticum       
Andean Cultural ArtsAndean Culture, History, & World View