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Released March 11, 2003


HATTIESBURG - Two study-abroad programs scheduled by The University of Southern Mississippi this summer offer unique opportunities to learn the Spanish language and culture during five-week stays in Spain or Mexico.

The "Spanish in Spain" and "Spanish in Mexico" programs – set for May 16-June 22 and May 17-June 23, respectively -- were designed jointly by the Southern Miss Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and the College of International and Continuing Education. Both offer six semester hours of credit, but application deadlines loom in April.

"Students participating in the Spanish in Spain program will be able to make important progress learning the language, interacting with Spanish people, living in their homes, seeing and appreciating their ways of life – and enjoying visits to historical sites such as Sevilla, Toledo, Madrid, Segovia, Barcelona and Cordova," said Dr. Rafael Sanchez, associate professor and chair of the Foreign Languages Department and director of the program in Spain.

Sanchez said classes would be held at the ENFOREX-Spanish Language School in the heart of Madrid, Spain's capital, with easy access to bus lines and the city's subway system. He said classes meet in small groups and are led by qualified teachers who emphasize communication skills and linguistic competence from the beginning to the advanced levels.

Emphasizing that students would live with Spanish families in Madrid during their five-week stay, Sanchez added, "Living with a family is an essential part of any good overseas language program because it provides a real cultural immersion and added conversation practice. In addition, you will make friends that will last a lifetime."

The Spanish in Mexico program, led by Dr. Yvonne Unnold, Southern Miss assistant professor of foreign languages and the program's director in residence, will be held at the Universidad de las Americas – located in the state of Puebla between the state capital of Puebla and Cholula, the oldest city on the American continent. The scenic high-plateau region in central Mexico is only about 70 miles from Mexico City and is surrounded by four of the tallest volcanoes in the country – Pico de Orizaba, Popocatepetl, Iztaccihuatl and Malinche.

Unnold said she has worked closely with the Mexican university's International Center for Language and Culture to shape a "unique program with great care to meet rigid academic standards in a culturally and linguistically stimulating, productive and, quite simply, fun and entertaining setting."

Cultural workshops and sporting activities are a part of the program for students, who are housed in suites at any of four residential colleges – Cain Murray, Ray Lindley, Ignacio Bernal and Jose' Gaos.

"Whether one comes to explore the archaeological treasures, wander through the colonial cities or simply relax on the beautiful beaches, rest assured, one will take home memories and some of the magic of Mexico as well," said Susan Steen, Southern Miss' director of international programs.

Applications and deposits will be accepted until April 2 for the Spanish in Spain program and until April 14 for the Spanish in Mexico program. The costs range from $3,399 to $3,999, depending on country selected and whether the participant is an undergraduate or graduate student. To participate, students must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. university and have a 2.0 overall grade point average in all work taken to date.

For more information, contact the Southern Miss College of International and Continuing Education at (601) 266-4344, Unnold at (601) 266-4226 or Sanchez at (601) 266-4964.



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July 16, 2003 9:40 AM