Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

"CIAPA Early Experience" written by Courtney Smith

By Annie Gibson

I am handing over my blog on the CIAPA Experience to the students participating in the program. This way you all can have a better idea of what life is like for a student at CIAPA. This blog is written by Courtney Smith. She is a freshman student who has begun her first semester of Tulane at CIAPA in Costa Rica 2012. Pura Vida, Professor Gibson

Courtney’s Blog:

When I was finishing high school, I had no idea what to expect. I wondered what college would be like constantly. After I was accepted into the CIAPA program, I found myself daydreaming about dense, foggy jungles I’d never before seen, a knot of anxiety and excitement winding tighter in my stomach each moment that drew me closer to that fabled day, August 25th, when I would be venturing out of the quiet small-town atmosphere of Harrisburg, Illinois, and into the strange new culture that is San José, Costa Rica.

Like so many of the best things in life, it caught me completely by surprise. I suppose that my first mistake was assuming that I could properly prepare myself for such a transition. The large, bustling city of San José was definitely a far cry from Harrisburg; the sheer number of people surrounding me at any one time was enough to put me on edge. The flurry of conversation around me was unintelligible to my untrained ear, and I felt very much like a lost puppy padding along these foreign streets behind my professor and some of the other students. Despite this, however, it was a very enjoyable experience. Once I became somewhat accustomed to these new conditions, I found I could not stop myself from grinning like a fool, taking all of the activity in stride. Of course, this does not even take into account my perception of the CIAPA campus. Although I was given plenty of information about it and even shown some pictures, I still had it in my head that it was much larger than what it actually was. What really surprised me, however, was the aura of tranquility that seemed to envelop me the moment I stepped foot in the dorm building. It was quiet and the sunlight streamed into the building prettily from the glass doors. This completely contradicted my characterization of a “typical” college campus, and I loved it from the start. Frankly, I could not rave enough about how much I’ve already enjoyed being here with Tulane at CIAPA. The vast majority of the people I have come into contact with here are helpful, friendly, warm, kind, and, perhaps most importantly, patient with me and my limited Spanish. Had I not joined this program, I doubt I ever would have developed any sort of interest in or appreciation for Latin American culture. Learning within that context is insightful in ways I never could have predicted. I was also surprised to find such a strong United States influence here in Costa Rica — the first time I flipped through La Nación, which is Costa Rica’s leading newspaper, I recall turning to a random page only to find a picture of U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney to the left and an advertisement for KFC on the right. The best thing about the CIAPA program, I think, is its hands-on approach to learning. There is a big difference between reading about the diversity of the cloud forest in a textbook and actually walking a trail at Monteverde, breathing in the humid air and scanning the rich foliage around you for that snake or that frog you wanted to see. It’s about connecting yourself with the culture and the people around you. That’s the way you learn, and CIAPA does that.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Annie Gibson

    Administrative Assistant Professor - Department of Global Education

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Apply for the Summer 2018 Teaching Brazil Teacher Institute

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Teaching Brazil: Expanding Perspectives on Colonial History
K-12 Educator Summer Institute

Salvador, Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paulo, Brazil | July 7 – July 17, 2018

DEADLINE TO APPLY AS A CURRICULUM WRITER EXTENDED: MARCH 9, 2018

The centers for Latin American Studies at Tulane University, Vanderbilt University, with support from the University of Georgia will take K-16 educators in various disciplines to Brazil. The institute will approach Brazilian culture from a multidisciplinary perspective focused on colonialization. The trip will include a pre-departure orientation and two weeks of overseas travel. The institute will explore the cities of Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo to focus on their respective role in colonial history.

Innovative programming and annual summer teacher institutes over the past five years by the three institutes provide the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and studying the region. Taking advantage of each institution’s strength, the institute equips teachers with multidisciplinary content, curricular resources, and methods of inquiry for deploying that approach themselves in their K-12 classrooms, creating a model that is generative of innovative approaches to K-12 education more broadly.

Objectives:

  • Advance and disseminate knowledge of Brazil by providing opportunities fro K-12 educators to experience first-hand the history, politics, language, and culture of Brazil;
  • Provide introductory Portuguese language training that emphasizes regional linguistic variations;
  • Contribute to the development of internationalizing curriculum that accurately and effectively brings Brazil into the classroom through standards-based approaches.

REGISTRATION

Thanks to a U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center grant, this program is able to provide a special opportunity for educators to participate as Curriculum Writers at a reduced program cost. There are limited spots to participate as a curriculum writer so please get your applications submitted early! Please note that curriculum writers are responsible for submitting a curriculum by August 1, 2018. See the Curriculum Writer Guidelines for more information and check below on how to apply.

Curriculum Writer program cost: $1373 + internal airfare estimated at $300
Deadline to Register as a Curriculum Writer EXTENDED: MARCH 9, 2018

Regular Program Cost: $2,744 + internal airfare (approximately $300)
Deadline to Register: MARCH 15, 2018

PROGRAM COST INCLUDES:

  • 10 nights lodging;
  • 2 meals a day;
  • gratuities;
  • in-country transportation;
  • internet;
  • liability insurance;
  • medical evacuation insurance

NOT INCLUDED:

  • International round-trip airfare TO Brazil (we meet in Salvador and leave from Sao Paulo)
  • Hotel extras;
  • Meals not included in itinerary
  • Optional activities covered by individuals;
  • Individual travel insurance;
  • Visa fees

Cards will be charged 50% on March 19, 2018 and the remainder April 19, 2018.

In order to register, please:

1) Complete the registration form
2) Apply to be a Curriculum Writer (see instructions below).

Deadlines:

  • February 26, 2018: Deadline to apply for Curriculum Writer Scholarship
  • February 28, 2018: Winners of Curriculum Writer Scholarships will be notified
  • March 5, 2018: Deadline to accept conditions of Curriculum Writer Scholarship and return letter of commitment to Denise Woltering Vargas [dwolteri@tulane.edu] and Colleen McCoy [colleen.e.mccoy@vanderbilt.edu]
  • March 15, 2018: Final Deadline to Register for Brazil Institute 2018

INSTRUCTIONS TO APPLY FOR THE CURRICULUM WRITER SCHOLARSHIP
Thanks to a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center grant, Tulane University, Vanderbilt University, and The University of Georgia are able to provide funding for K-16 teachers interested in developing a curriculum as part of their participation in this 2018 summer teacher institute to Brazil. Curriculum writers will be charged a discounted in-country program fee of $1373 + internal airfare (apx. $300) and international airfare. You must commit to writing a curriculum project – check out the Curriculum Writer Guidelines here. There are limited spots for this opportunity, please apply early. If you would like to apply to be a curriculum writer for this summer’s teacher institute in Brazil, please:

1) fill out the contact form HERE
2) submit the CURRICULUM WRITER APPLICATION by FEBRUARY 26, 2018 to crcrts@tulane.edu or mail to Denise Woltering Vargas at Tulane University, 100 Jones Hall, 6801 Freret Ave., New Orleans, LA 70118.
Please call 504-862-3143 with any questions.

La Hora del Cuento: Summer Bilingual Story Hour at the Pebbles Center

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This summer, join us for La hora del cuenta bilingual readings series at the Pebbles Centers of the New Orleans Public Libraries!

On the first and last Saturday of every month, we will read a bilingual book at the Algiers Regional Library and the Children’s Resource Center Library beginning on Saturday April 28 until Saturday, August 25. Children and parents welcome!

Story Hours Dates and Locations

Algiers Regional Branch
Saturday, May 5
2:30 PM

Saturday, June 2
2:30 PM

Saturday, July 7
2:30 PM

Saturday, August 4
2:30 PM

Children’s Resource Center Library
Saturday, April 28
12:00 PM

Saturday, May 26
12:00 PM

Saturday, June 30
12:00 PM

Saturday, July 28
12:00 PM

Saturday, August 25
12:00 PM