Snow in June wasn’t merely a drought-induced dream for 10 Webster students who participated in a recent study abroad trip to Mendoza, Argentina.
The timing of their trip (May 16-July 2) placed the students smack dab in the Southern Hemisphere’s winter. Coats were a necessity, and a weekend in the Andes cast them into a world of snow and ice.
Webster University partners every other year with Mendoza’s National University of Cuyo to give intermediate and advanced Spanish speakers an immersion opportunity in which they spend six weeks living with Mendozan families. Five days a week, students attend Spanish classes in reading and writing, review of grammar, pronunciation and listening, comprehension, oral communication, and Argentine literature and culture.
The 2012 participants also had plenty of time for excursions. Among them: winery tours, a weekend in the Andes Mountains’ Uspallata Valley, a visit to Argentina’s capital city of Buenos Aires, and a gaucho day in the countryside.
Sophomore Emily Kilian has vivid memories of the beautiful city of Mendoza and the white-capped mountains surrounding it. She said the educational experience of the study abroad trip was invaluable. “It was really great to be immersed in the language and to speak Spanish all the time,” she said.
Professor of Spanish Graciela Corvalán, a native of Mendoza, accompanied the students on their trip, as did the Department of International Languages & Cultures’ 2011-12 Spanish teaching assistant, Laura Farias.