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Community-Based Programs

Community-based or field-based programs employ a thematic educational framework with a goal of integrating students as fully as possible into the daily life of the community. Students will study the local language as part of the program.
  • Classes are with a small group of students from other colleges and universities in the US.
  • Programs are based on a theme (e.g. Climate Change, Public Health, Social Justice, Immigration & Human Rights, etc.) and the classes are all connected to the theme.  Field programs tend to have a environmental analysis theme with hands-on research conducted ..
  • An interdisciplinary seminar provides cultural context to the program theme. The independent study or guided research project for the last month of the program allows students to pursue research in an academic area of interest or a month-long internship in some locations. All students take a class on the local language to help with cultural integration. 
  • Homestays, often in both urban and rural settings, provide a broad exposure to the culture on the community-based programs.  Housing on field-based programs may include cabins, tents, youth hostels, or small hotels depending on the location. Housing options typically involve commuting to the program and students should be prepared to use public transportation (buses) or walking with a commute of up to 45 minutes, depending on location. 
  • Students travel with the program group to encounter the richness of the local culture and investigate the program theme in rural and urban areas and sometimes multiple countries.