Study Abroad in San Salvador, El Salvador
Situated on the Pacific coast of Central America, El Salvador is between Guatemala and Honduras. The smallest of the Central American countries, El Salvador's area is equal to that of Massachusetts. Most of the country is on a fertile volcanic plateau about 2,000 feet.
San Salvador is the capital and largest city of the country. It is the center of El Salvador's trade and communications. Beer, tobacco products, clothing, textiles, pottery, ceramics and soap are produced there.
The program in El Salvador is offered through Santa Clara University, one of the 28 Jesuit universities in the United States. Classes are taught at the local Jesuit University, the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), one of the most prestigious institutions in the country. Students live together in three houses, within walking distance of the UCA.
The academic curriculum incorporates traditional classroom activities, participatory research and interaction with the local community. Students receive a total of 15 semester credits for the term. The core courses that all students usually take include: Salvadoran Society, Latin American Theology, Praxis/Field Placement, Advanced Spanish I or Advanced Spanish Conversation, and a fifth class you can choose between offerings such as politics in El Salvador and Central America, or Salvadoran Literature.
You will be paired with a fellow classmate and assigned a field placement in a local Salvadoran marginal/poor community. You will work for two full days each week with that community for the entire semester. Through this learning environment, you will become more aware of and sensitive to the realities of those who are struggling to end social injustices while working to promote human dignity. You will become a part of the Salvadoran society not as a volunteer, but as a learner.
Each semester, an outstanding group of students live together in a learning community near the University of Central America. Students live in one of three houses, Casa Romero, Casa Silvia or Casa Ita, which are located just a minute walk from one another.
Upon arrival, all the students will be invited to help create their community environment by talking about and agreeing upon a variety of community norms such as simple living, community and spirituality nights, speaking Spanish while at home in the Casa, and much more. This type of living is an opportunity to enter fully with other students into the richness of community life.
To better support the Casa students, a Community Facilitator (CF) lives on-site full time. The CF is generally an alumnus/na of the Casa program and works on staff for a year. Two UCA scholarship students ("becarios") live at each Casa house as well. The presence of the becarios gives students the opportunity to develop relationships with local Salvadorans, practice Spanish skills, and serve as a link between Casa students and the other scholarship students studying at the UCA. Most importantly, this living arrangement offers students another means to learn more about the Salvadoran reality. Each semester, the Casa becomes a lively community with connections between the Casa students and the wider community of Salvadoran becario students.
The list of courses, which are taught in Spanish and English, can be found here.
Fall Semester: August - December
Spring Semester: January - May
The total cost of the program fees, including tuition, room and meals per semester for the 2011-2012 academic year can be found here. All SLU financial aid and academic tuition scholarships apply (athletic scholarships do not apply). In addition, a mandatory $250 international insurance fee per semester will be added to the student's account.
To seek admission, which is not guaranteed, a student must meet the following requirement(s):
- 2.75 GPA
- Two years of college Spanish
- Sophomore or Junior
- Not be on academic or disciplinary probation
Please submit the following completed documents together to Des Peres Hall 102. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.