Mendoza, a provincial capital of approximately one million people, is a location that provides students the opportunity 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 bustling city with a pleasant, 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 easy access to interesting outlying villages, mountains and rural recreational areas and is just a one hour flight from Santiago, Chile.
About the Program
The Mendoza program is offered in partnership with 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, and HWS students have complete access to University life, including a wide range of student organizations and activities. CELE arranges courses and a variety of excursions for our program, through which students will enhance their Spanish language proficiency and explore issues of development and the historical, political, and socioeconomic realities of Argentina and neighboring countries in the Southern Cone.
All students will take two courses offered by the HWS Faculty Director and two additional courses offered through CELE and UN Cuyo. This includes a Spanish language course (according to their level of proficiency) and one class taught in English: History and Culture of Argentina.
Culinary Cultures of Argentina (1 credit)
In this course we will use anthropological tools to study sociocultural meanings, practices, histories, politics, and economics of the foods Argentine people eat. We will seek to understand how the foods people consume (and those they do not) provide more than simply nourishment - they help to constitute social identities and group formation. Worldwide, humans use the social "taste" of food to define and enforce class, race, and gender parameters. How do Argentine eaters, cooks, and food producers and purveyors construct those categories - and how have these categories, when related to food, changed over time? We will focus on Mendoza's wine industry and Argentina's beef production and consumption system and consider their environmental impact. Along the way, we will study regional and class differences in cuisine constructed through migration, colonization, and the resilience of indigenous populations.
People and Nature (1 credit)
In this course, we will question conventional perceptions of the relationship between humans and nature as we study how the ecological environment is shaped by human behavior - and vice versa. We will use an anthropological approach to study both local and global as we become acquainted with perspectives on how humans perceive, exploit, and socialize natural environments. As the course progresses, we will explore indigenous perspectives on land use and conservation in the Amazon, the enculturation of living in a polluted environment in Buenos Aires, the environmental impact of the Argentine beef industry, and the anthropology of natural disaster.
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, Córdoba, and Salta.
Spanish Language (1 credit) - This course is offered at various levels and students will be placed according to their level of proficiency.
Optional Activity—Community Service. For students who are interested, community service opportunities can be arranged by CELE and the resident director.
The Argentina program is especially appropriate for students in Anthropology, Sociology, Latin American Studies, Environmental Studies, Entrepreneurial Studies, Spanish and Hispanic Studies, and those interested in Food Studies.
This program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students must have successfully completed (with a C- or better) the equivalent of two semesters of college-level Spanish before departure. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
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.
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, Salta, and Santiago, Chile or Montevideo, Uruguay are tentatively planned.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and room fees, 2/3 board, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester, health insurance, housing and partial board, and all course-related excursions. Note that students should bring the remaining board (approximately $1000) 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 $1250 above and beyond meal expenses. 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.
HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.
This program is offered in the Fall semester of even years.
All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and will be in late September/early October (for Fall programs) and late February/early March (for Spring programs).
IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.
Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.
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