A group of 16 students from the University of Quintana Roo (UQROO) in Mexico are visiting UBC’s Okanagan campus this month as part of an intercultural program started last year by the two universities. This is the second visit to the Okanagan by students from UQROO. Next month, six students enrolled in UBC’s Spanish Summer Field School will head south to visit the university in Chetumal, Mexico.
The Escuela de Verano UBC/UQROO Spanish Summer Field School is intended to help UBC students improve their Spanish fluency, expand their intercultural fluency and delve into community service learning abroad by supporting Mayan community development projects.
The program consists of an anthropology course (May 9 to 27) and Spanish course (May 30 to June 21) delivered at UBC’s Okanagan campus, and a Spanish course delivered at UQROO from July 2 to 22.
“This project has created an opportunity for our students to take a UBC course in Chetumal,” says Lyle Mueller, Director of Aboriginal Programs and Services. “In addition, to enrich their experience, our students will be paired with UQROO students in Mexico.”
Mueller notes that the visiting UQROO students are studying in a UQROO course while in the Okanagan. The UBC students are paired with the UQROO students while they are here – a unique opportunity Mueller says has been made possible by the work done by UBC Spanish professor Grisel Garcia Perez and her UQROO counterpart, Caridad Macola.
During their three-week visit to the Okanagan this month, the Mexican students will participate in a variety of community service learning opportunities — including participation on a team in the May 27 United Way Plane Pull at the Kelowna International Airport.