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Undergraduates study U.S. history in Argentina

Undergraduate recounts experience of studying in a foreign country

Posted: August 19, 2005

Hearing an Argentine perspective of United States foreign policy and elected officials provides an insight that cannot be found in most U.S. classrooms or textbooks. Students who participated in the Spanish Language and Culture Program in CA3rdoba, Argentina enjoyed such a privilege. The University if Texas" summer study abroad program opened many students eyes to realities outside of the United States.

The program is a collaboration between the University of Texas department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Universidad Nacional de CA3rdoba, Argentina. During the first summer session UT history professor Johnathan Brown gave a course for UT students as a part of the faculty led program. Brown's class focused on the international relations between the U.S. and Latin America with special attention on Argentina.

Because the course took place AT THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF CA3rdoba, students had the opportunity to develop a clearer sense of subject matter. "Studying US and Latin American relations in Argentina allowed me to gain a more profound understanding of our history. It was great to have access to points of view completely different from the ones that I had heard in the past," said Mike Heagerty, UT psychology senior.

Questions abounded during class time about obvious social tensions within the city of Cordoba AND ARGENTINA. Unfamiliar scenes of striking teachers and bus drivers sparked the curiosity of UT students. Explanations during lecture led to more questions and inspired students to think about class discussions outside of class time. "The history course in Argentina was great for me because I found myself motivated to take what I learned in class back to my host family and use it as stimulus for discussion. Between both the class and my family I was able to share in an experience that gave history a valuable context," said Rachel Kingrey, UT Latin American Studies and Spanish senior.

The course and its setting in an Argentine city facilitated unique experiences for each UT student. The stories that students heard depended upon the life that their host family had lived, AND HOW THE UNITED STATES MIGHT HAVE INFLUENCED IT. The differences between the families' reflections on U.S. RELATIONS WITH LATIN AMERICA exposed students to new ideas and opened the door to class discussions that otherwise would not have occurred. "Studying in Cordoba changed the approach I take to learning history," Heagerty said.

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