Thursday, March 25, 2010

LASP Spring 2010 newsletter

Check out the spring 2010 newsletter for the Latin American Studies Program in Costa Rica. This is where SNU students Paul James and Kristin Lege are studying this semester.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Going global in 2010, Part IV: Eating Spanish tapas, Iberian ham and other great stuff in Boston

At the end of January, I attended a conference in Boston that was sponsored by the overseas commerce office of the Spanish province of León y Castilla. Being a conference sponsored by a government office assigned to attract foreign business to León y Castilla, they treated us right. It was nice to go to an event where the refreshments were more than coffee, tea and cookies...a whole lot more. However, the eats were not the best part of the conference. I went specifically to look for opportunities for SNU students to study in Spain. I was very pleased with the resources and programs I found. It is way too early to start promoting anything definite. Nevertheless, I have some ideas that I hope work out. I have a lot of hope for being able to work out a "traditional" study abroad program, perhaps with a Christian university in the states that already has a program in Spain. What excites me even more is the possibility of working out an 8-week program that would allow students to study on campus for the first part of the semester, taking some intensive 8-week courses that would meet general education requirements, and then spend the second part of the semester in Spain studying Spanish culture and language. If you are a current or prospective SNU student, let me know if something like that would interest you.

A Nicaraguan reflection from Paul James

Paul James has a new blog post from his experience in Nicaragua. You can read it at Every semester, I am grateful for the lasting impression that the Latin American Studies Program (LASP) makes on our SNU students who go there. Great program for great students!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spanish heritage research project

ACTFL looking for intermediate level Spanish "heritage speakers" between ages of 18-29 for a research project. Participants get $25 and an official OPIc rating. If you are interested, check out

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Going global in 2010, Part III: Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México

[Blog post & Facebook note from]

As stated on SNU's Morningstar Institute website: "The Morningstar Institute is an international development and poverty alleviation training institute, housed in Southern Nazarene University’s School of Business. Morningstar’s primary purpose is to bring the knowledge of international development and poverty alleviation to students and to provide them with the opportunity to be empowered through receiving academic training in the classroom, analytical training through research as well as practical training on the field during international internships." January 17-20 I was in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico, exploring possibilities for SNU students to do an internship there working with Healing Waters International through the Morningstar Institute.

Healing Waters International is a faith-based non-governmental organization that helps provide clean drinking water to poor communities. One of their project sites is located in the southern part of Mexico in the state of Chiapas. The project is headquartered in Tuxtla Gutiérrez and serves Tuxtla as well as surrounding communities. Healing Waters serves over 20 different communities in the area. It do this by locating water purification facilities in churches. The facilities are inspected and licensed by the state health department and produce purified water that the churches sell at below market prices to people in the community. After covering the costs of operation, a portion of the proceeds goes back to the Tuxtla Healing Waters office (called Aguas de Unidad in Spanish) and the church uses the rest for community outreach ministries, such as providing school supplies to poor families or supporting substance abuse ministries.

Dr. Tom Herskowitz from SNU visited the Tuxtla Gutiérrez project last year and came away with the idea of working with Healing Waters by having interns serve for a semester with the program. I went down to look at housing and study options for student interns. We still have a ways to go before anything is set up, but I hope that we can get something going before the end of the year. I think it will provide a great opportunity for SNU students to get first hand experience in addressing issues of poverty in very practical and sustainable ways.

Stay tuned to hear more as this opportunity develops.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Going global in 2010, Part II: LASP, NILI and beyond

[Blog post & Facebook note from]

SNU does a good job of encouraging and helping students study abroad. There are 13 students studying abroad this semester: 6 @ QERC (I talked about that in an earlier blog post), 3 @ the Australia Studies Centre, 1 in the China Studies Program, 2 in the Latin America Studies Program (Costa Rica) and 1 @ the Nazarene International Language Institute (Ecuador). All of the programs I mentioned are great; however, since I'm a Spanish prof, I'll push the Spanish-language programs just a bit.

Kristin Lege and Paul James are in the Latin American Studies Program (better known as LASP) and Alicia Bland is at the Nazarene International Language Institute (better known as NILI). As far as I know, Paul is the only one of the three that is keeping a blog. You can follow his posts @ Kristin and Alicia are using Facebook to keep folks updated about their adventures, so you'll need to be (or become) their Facebook friend to keep up with them.

Students often ask me for advice on which program they should attend, LASP or NILI. My response is that both programs are good, they just take different approaches. In both programs, students are involved in language immersion. In LASP, students live with a Costa Rican family; in NILI, students live in a dorm with a Latin American roommate. In LASP, students study Spanish intensively for a period before moving on to their different concentrations (LASP offers four concentrations). In NILI, students study Spanish throughout the semester except when on trips away from Quito. All LASP students spend a short period in Nicaragua, and depending on the concentration, may go to Cuba, Panama or Guatemala. NILI students spend their entire time in Ecuador and travel to different locations, including the Amazon jungle and the Galapagos Islands. If you are thinking about studying abroad and wondering which program is best for you, I suggest checking out their websites, for LASP and for NILI. There are also several LASP and NILI alums on campus at SNU. Talk to them and let them tell you about their experiences. (If you need contact info, drop me an email at

One development at SNU that is just getting underway this semester is the new Center for Global Engagement. As the Center gets up and going, it will become the central location for information on all "credit-earning" international experiences through SNU. Dr. Don Dunnington is heading up the office and Rhea Woodcock (who studied at LASP last semester) is working with him. Stay tuned to hear more good news about the office. Meanwhile, the Center for Global Engagement is holding a couple of informational meetings this week: Monday, February 15, at 7:30 pm and Wednesday, February 17, at 1:30 pm. Both meetings are in the faculty lounge. If you are interested in studying abroad, you should go to one of those meetings and start checking out the opportunities.

And let's keep going global at SNU.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Language & Culture Assistant in Spain

Great (paid!) opportunity for college juniors, seniors and recent grads with at least an intermediate level of Spanish competency: Language and Culture Assistant in Spain. Check it out on the Spanish Ministry of Education website.