Semester Opportunities in Bolivia with Amizade
The Bolivia semester program is facilitated in partnership with West Virginia University. Spend a semester living with a family in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Study Spanish and contemporary Latin American history and politics. Serve 20 hours per week at a local nonprofit organization. Explore the country and culture through field trips and community events.
Cochabamba has a particularly vibrant history of popular mobilization and grassroots activism to fight corruption, most famously during the Water War protests over the privatization of water. Located at the base of the Cerro Tunari mountain, it is the 4th largest city in Bolivia and home to many Quechua indigenous people. As a semester student, you will have opportunities to experience both the urban and rural aspects of the region with field trips to regional cities, Inca ruins, and local festivals.
Location: Cochabamba, Bolivia
Language of Instruction: Spanish and English
Language Requirement: None
GPA Requirement: 2.5 or higher
Flight: To La Paz or Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Key Themes: Arts & Music, Construction & Maintenance, Cultural Heritage & Traditions, Disability Services, Education & Teaching, Environmental Sustainability & Conservation, Women’s Empowerment, Global Health, Indigenous Communities
Throughout your program, you will live with a host family, volunteer at a local organization, take daily Spanish classes, learn about development and activism in Latin America, commute via public transportation, and truly immerse yourself in Bolivian culture, cuisine, and local life.
Bolivia semester students enroll in 3-4 classes to earn a total of 12 credits during the term.
Six credits are dedicated to Spanish language courses. Students are accommodated at all levels of language learning, from introductory to advanced. The remaining courses are HIST 242 and INTS 499. Together, these courses are designed to provide theoretical and historical perspectives on civil society and political concerns, with a particular focus on the role of indigenous politics in the region today. The Global Service Learning course focuses on the relationship between individual ethics, local social service efforts, and international dilemmas. The lectures and tours are given in English by local and expatriate instructors.
One of the most rewarding, challenging, and meaningful experiences during your time in Bolivia is likely to be the time you spend living with your host family. All host families are carefully vetted, enthusiastic about receiving volunteers in their homes, and will treat you like a member of the family. Bolivian host families are often large and multigenerational. Amenities at homestays vary by the household; however, all families are expected to provide a bed, safe drinking water and food, and generally sanitary living conditions for students. Electricity and running water may not be available at all sites. When possible, each participant will be placed in his or her own individual homestay unless otherwise discussed.
CULTURE & RECREATION
Experience all Cochabamba has to offer with the invaluable help of Cochabambinos Jean Carla and Ariel. With the best support system, learn the ins and outs of the City of Eternal Spring. Test out your bargaining skills in La Cancha, South America’s largest open-air market and ride or walk up to Cristo de La Concordia to take in the view of the city from nearly 1,000 feet in the air. Learn to love your scenic commute to and from service, Spanish class, your favorite shops, restaurants, parks, and more. Enjoy live music, cultural celebrations, and unbelievable excursions during your stay in Bolivia.
Possible excursions include:
Cristo de la Concordia
A colossal statue of Jesus Christ towering 869 feet above Cochabamba
The largest open-air market in South America
Bolivia’s music traditions are kept alive through boisterous, colorful street parades and celebrations
A monumental Inca site in the Cochabamba Department
OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS
FSD Bolivia seeks to achieve community-driven goals through asset-based development and international exchange. FSD Bolivia believes that the power to end poverty and achieve sustainable prosperity is in people. It’s approach focuses on mobilizing resources–human, economic, and natural–for sustainable, life-changing initiatives.
Tukuy Pacha is a non-governmental organization committed to helping disabled members of rural communities in Bolivia take control of their rights and their lives. They use a Community Based Rehabilitation structure, working at the intersection of health, education, sustainability, and government.
Alerta Verde (“Green Alert”) works in both urban and rural areas throughout the Cochabamba region. The organization aims to mitigate the effects of climate change, improve food security, raise environmental awareness, and recover ancestral environments for present and future generations.
Instituto Para El Desarollo Humano (IDH) was established in 1997 to address HIV/AIDS and related issues in Bolivia, through prevention and attention services for people living with, or at risk of contracting, HIV/AIDS in Cochabamba.
Pro Mujer supports women who live in conditions of socio-economic exclusion by offering: micro-credit and business training programs; health and human development services; access to affordable primary health care; and legal education, support, and awareness of rights to combat intra-family violence.
FSD Site Director
Jean Carla Costas
DATES & FEES
Amizade offers a wide variety of services and activities as part of our fee, including:
• Airport pickup
• One-week orientation
• Family homestay
• All meals
• Local mobile phone
• Development training workshops/ cultural activities
• A midterm retreat
• In-country support from the Bolivia site team 24/7
• Seed funding for your project
• Eligibility for additional project funding
• Traveler and health insurance
• Money for local transportation (to and from NGO)
Additional Program-Related Expenses:
• Applicable passport or visa fees
• Supplemental meals or snacks
• Personal spending money
2019 Program Start Dates
|Winter||Spring||Summer 1||Summer 2|
|January 28||March 28||May 27||June 15|