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January 4, 1999

Education Abroad Program announces new second-year language programs in Europe

Sites added in Bordeaux, France, and Cordoba, Spain

By Rodney B. Sangster
UC Education Abroad Program

Beginning in fall 1999, the University of California Education Abroad Program will provide semester-long intensive language and culture programs in Bordeaux, France, and Cordoba, Spain. The new programs extend the array of academic options already offered in these countries.

"Development of these programs is part of a concerted effort by the Education Abroad Program to provide foreign language training for UC students in the wake of reduced availability of language classes on the campuses," said John Marcum, universitywide director of the Education Abroad Program (EAP). "By providing venues for language study abroad, the Education Abroad Program is helping to engage more students in this vital enterprise and to revitalize foreign language study at the university."

The new programs will provide the equivalent of the entire second year of university-level language training in one semester. They are designed to accommodate potential language majors and nonmajors alike.

"In offering these programs, the Education Abroad Program is taking advantage of the social and cultural environment abroad to develop students' language abilities in areas that are not normally part of traditional classroom language training," said Rodney Sangster, regional director for EAP programming in continental Europe.

"Students achieve a different level of fluency by participating in structured activities outside of class, where the foreign language is the primary means of communication."

Sangster noted EAP is working with the National Foreign Language Center in Washington, D.C., to evaluate and measure the types of language gains that are actually made by students in EAP's language programs abroad.

The Bordeaux program will be offered during the fall beginning in 1999. Students will study French language and culture including literature, fine arts, and media studies and participate in a variety of special projects designed to activate their use of the language in different social and cultural settings.

The projects, for instance, will include the study of winemaking and merchandizing in the Bordeaux region; planning for the revitalization of the riverfront at Bordeaux; examining the Roman heritage of the Bordeaux region; and staging Racine at the Grand Theatre.

The new Bordeaux program extends the list of EAP programming in France, which began in 1963. EAP today offers academic-year programs in Bordeaux, Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, and Toulouse.

The Cordoba program in Spain will be offered in both the fall and spring beginning in the 1999-2000 academic year. Like the Bordeaux program, it will consist of 15 weeks of language and culture studies and provide the equivalent of the entire second year of Spanish. One day each week will be devoted to research on a special project that each student will be expected to complete by the end of the semester.

The two new language and culture programs add to EAP's international programs. EAP provides UC students with academic options of this nature in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Russia.

Since its inception in 1962, the Education Abroad Program has sent a total of approximately 30,000 UC students abroad. This year, some 1,850 UC students are availing themselves of EAP's diverse array of learning opportunities at 115 host universities in 35 countries worldwide.

Through its exchanges, partnerships, and initiatives, EAP globalizes a UC education and provides unique opportunities for UC students to complement their UC studies.

At most sites, EAP students are fully integrated into the academic curriculum of the foreign host university. Studying alongside local students and being immersed in their languages and cultures exposes UC students to different means of thinking that only study abroad can provide.

EAP students have access to the vast new sources of knowledge available, to special pedagogical methods and field-study opportunities, and to widely varying cultural, social, political, and economic environments.

Incorporating such expansive learning opportunities into a UC education powerfully multiplies UC's comprehensive educational impact and provides students with a distinct competitive advantage in the global career marketplace of the 21st century.

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