This spring’s study abroad program to Montevideo, Uruguay is full of new opportunities, both cultural and educational.
Nil Santana, originally from Brazil, has been teaching in the Department of Art and Design for the past 12 years. Santana will be accompanying students to Montevideo in spring 2013 for his first full semester teaching with a study abroad program. He has previously taught in England, Italy, Spain and France as a part of the ACU study abroad summer program based in Oxford.
Santana, who will be the faculty-in-residence at the ACU housing in Montevideo named “Casa ACU,” is excited about a new opportunity that study abroad students will experience come spring.
Santana said students will participate in a prolonged stay of about 10-12 days in Brazil compared to the previous excursions which were much shorter.
Students participating will also stay for more than a week on the island of Florianópolis and will get to participate in a different South American culture.
“Spring semester, traditionally speaking, they only go to Iguazu Falls,” Santana said. “Since I’m originally from Brazil, I thought maybe it would be interesting if we could add a little more of an academic program into the Brazil experience.”
Santana returned last week from a trip to Brazil where he spent time establishing contacts with local universities in Florianópolis, along with Montevideo resident directors Wimon and Rosalinda Walker and Stephen Shewmaker.
“We are hoping that students will be engaged in a symposium-like lecture series for five to six days engaging with the local professors and then hopefully, as the universities have already suggested, instead of just having guest speakers in our classes, our students should somehow interact with their students as well.”
Santana who primarily teaches graphic design and photography at ACU, will be teaching a Core class on identity and community and a course titled Photography and Society.
Santana said he is excited for the classes, the city, the students and the food that he has heard “is great.”
“The thing that makes me very excited about study abroad is to see how the program affects our students, how they completely change their vision in relation to the world, and that is always a fantastic thing to see,” Santana said. “It is exciting to see how student lives will be impacted by these experiences.”
Marissa Ferguson, junior family studies major from The Colony, went to Montevideo through study abroad last spring and said study abroad presented her with situations that brought out strengths she wasn’t aware she possessed.
“If you’re thinking about studying abroad, do it,” Ferguson said. “I signed up to study abroad in October and left in January. It was impulsive, but I am so glad I made that quick decision because I made so many beautiful memories.”
Kate Winsor, junior biochemistry and pre-pharmacy major from Carrollton, studied abroad during the summer in Montevideo and also said study abroad is a wonderful experience.
“I grew really close with the people I studied abroad with because we all had to discover how to live in a foreign country together,” Winsor said. “I would tell any student that is interested in going abroad to definitely take the plunge. Studying abroad is the trip of a lifetime. You will not only have a ton of fun but you will gain so much knowledge.”
Any students interested in learning more about study abroad can contact the study abroad office at email@example.com, go to the website www.acu.edu/studyabroad or visit the office in the Hardin Administration Building 124.