UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD-Summer: Colombia: Learning and Serving in Peacetime (SPAN)

Bogota, Colombia
Cartagena, Colombia
Terms offered: 
Program Type: 
Credit Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
EA Advisor: 
Language of Instruction: 

This program will run for six weeks, four weeks in the mountainous city of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, and two weeks in Cartagena, a beautiful Caribbean port. You will have the opportunity to explore the history, politics, literature, and culture of Colombia and Latin America since the 19th century until the present while immersing yourself in the Spanish language.

The program will begin with a weekend trip to Villa de Leyva, a colonial town near the city. In Cartagena, we will work with the equally prestigious Universidad Tadeo Lozano and will be involved in a community engagement or service program with AfroColombian children. We will travel to Barranquilla to the Museum of Caribbean Culture and to San Basilio de Palenque founded by run-away slaves and a UNESCO intangible heritage treasure.

In Bogotá, we will work with the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, which was founded in 1623 and is one of the most prestigious universities in Latin America and has more than forty years of experience teaching Spanish as a second language. We will have weekly visits to places of interest in and around Bogotá. Each student will have a Colombian student as a language partner.

You must be in good academic and judicial standing and you must not have any registration blocks to participate in this program. The minimum GPA for this program is listed above.

Intermediate level Spanish is required for this program. You must have successfully completed SPAN 207 or the equivalent. 

UMD and non-UMD freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible to apply. 

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the eligibility requirements, reach out to the program director (listed in the Contacts tab) to discuss your interest in the program.

After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in the following UMD courses for a total of six (6) credits:

  • SPAN 362: Survey of Latin American and Colombian Literatures and Cultures (3 credits)
  • SPAN 301: Advanced Grammar and Composition (3 credits) or SPAN 311: Advanced Conversation I (3 credits)

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit.

You will stay in hotels/hostels in shared accommodations. 

The costs listed are current for summer 2017.

Application Fee $50
Billable Costs
Billable costs are charged to your student account. They are due based on the Bursar's payment schedule. Be sure to check your statements when they are available.
Education Abroad Fee $500
This fee is charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted" to "Committed." This fee includes Education Abroad services including registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance $80
Tuition $4,699
This fee is charged to your UMD account upon course registration. This fee includes: Tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
Housing Fee $861
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
Out-of-pocket Costs
Meals (estimate) $250
Visa $0
Passport $140
Roundtrip Airfare (estimate) 1,000
Course Materials $0
Optional Activities/incidental expenses $200
Optional trip cancelation/interruption Insurance (estimate) $180

NOTE: If you are a non-UMD graduate student, you will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD graduate school to participate in this program.

Please refer to the following resources for more information on funding study abroad

PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancelation due to low enrollment.

Dr. Chila Hidalgo is the Program Director and a native of Barranquilla, Colombia. She relocated to the United States in 1977, where she obtained her Bachelor´s Degree at Kean University in New Jersey. In 1996, she began her studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Maryland, where she earned her Master´s degree and her Ph.D. in Spanish Language and Literature. Chila completed her dissertation project under the mentorship of professor emeritus Jorge Aguilar Mora. Her thesis entitled "Political violence in the Colombian narrative" presents a study of the political violence triggered by the rivalry of the two traditional political parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives. The study reveals how the State eliminates all legal structure during the period of political violence, and how Colombia is presented as a criminal State, a State enemy of their own society.

Chila has been teaching Spanish and Latin American Literature at the University of Maryland since 2002.  She has also taught Spanish Language courses at American University, Morgan State University and Middlebury College. She has been recognized by the University of Maryland for her academic achievement and her Teaching Assistant performance. She has also been recipient of SLLC's Travel Award and has participated in several international conferences. Currently, she is a member of the Modern Language Association, Latin American Studies Association, and the Association of Colombianistas, an institution that promotes national and international academic research on Colombia in the areas of humanities and social sciences.

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact the Program Director. For general questions or assistance with applying, contact EA Short-term Programs.

As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  • Partnership with local students in Bogotá. 
  • Intensive Spanish language courses. 
  • Exploration of the mountain and beach regions of Colombia. 
Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Summerterm 2017 03/15/2017 03/11/2017 06/01/2017 07/15/2017