A Glimpse at Dialogue of Civilizations: Peru



This post was written by Emily Brown, a reg­ular con­trib­utor to The Works and a grad­uate stu­dent in the Col­lege Stu­dent Devel­op­ment and Coun­seling pro­gram at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. She is also a Career Devel­op­ment Intern.

In the Career Devel­op­ment office I often hear the phrase “Dia­logue trips” being thrown around. But what are they exactly? Yanet Monica Canavan pro­vided some insight on the pro­gram below.

Yanet Monica Canavan is a teacher of Spanish at North­eastern and the fac­ulty leader for Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions trips to her native country of Peru. She has exten­sive expe­ri­ence teaching Spanish including teaching Spanish Lit­er­a­ture to under­grad­uate and grad­uate stu­dents at the pri­vate uni­ver­sity, “Inca Gar­cilazo de La Vega” in Lima, Peru, teaching Med­ical Spanish for the staff of Mass­a­chu­setts Gen­eral Hos­pital and has even taught pri­vate Spanish classes to former Boston Red Sox Man­ager, Terry Fran­cona. Monica will be leading her third immer­sion class (of 32 stu­dents) to Peru in Summer 1 2014.

What exactly is a Dia­logue of Civilizations?

Open to North­eastern Uni­ver­sity stu­dents of any major, the Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions is a series of “global stu­dent exchanges” between stu­dents at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and stu­dents around the world. The goal of each pro­gram is (a) to con­nect stu­dents with their peers in dif­ferent national, cul­tural, polit­ical, and social envi­ron­ments and (b) to pro­vide stu­dents with a “global expe­ri­ence” that builds upon and enhances their aca­d­emic studies and training in Boston.

Where in Peru does the Dia­logue take place?

Peru Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tion is a Spanish immer­sion pro­gram that will take place at a lan­guage center in Lima and at a Lan­guage School in Cuzco, which is the cap­ital of the Inca empire.

What kind of lan­guage instruc­tion is pro­vided on the trip?

The Spanish immer­sion pro­gram will offer inten­sive Spanish lan­guage training to solidify the stu­dents’ knowl­edge of Spanish grammar and teach them to speak the lan­guage flu­ently. The five week course includes four hours per day of instruc­tion focusing on: devel­oping all of the four lan­guage skills (speaking, writing, lis­tening and reading). Stu­dents from North­eastern will have Peru­vian lan­guage part­ners and will expe­ri­ence life in Peru as local Peru­vians. Stu­dents will stay with Peru­vian guest fam­i­lies, learning their cul­ture and using the Spanish lan­guage in their day-​​to-​​day activities.

How will stu­dents expe­ri­ence the cul­ture of Peru?

Instruc­tion includes cul­tural visits to museums, cathe­drals, and the like and activ­i­ties such as dining at fine restau­rants and expe­ri­encing Lima’s and Cuzco’s night life. It is an exciting way to expe­ri­ence another culture’s people, ideas, cus­toms and beliefs. Stu­dents will sample all that the cities of Lima and Cuzco have to offer and will com­plete a ser­vice project (in a Lan­guage School or in the Air Force School) in which they will help Peru­vian stu­dents to prac­tice speaking Eng­lish and also explain to them a typ­ical day in the life of a Amer­ican col­lege student.

What indi­cates to you that these Dia­logue trips are successful?

The rep­u­ta­tion of NEU has grown in Peru as a result of the estab­lish­ment of this cul­tural exchange. The Peru Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tion (DOC) pro­gram pro­vided the stu­dents with an immersed expe­ri­ence in a safe and secure manner plan­ning dif­ferent activ­i­ties during the whole day. Stu­dents were under my super­vi­sion inter­acting with locals, learning and acquiring the Spanish lan­guage and Peru­vian cul­ture. Stu­dents have learned about Peru­vian idio­syn­crasy, cus­toms and beliefs and have gotten to know how local Peru­vians think and act.  The full immer­sion helped stu­dents to be more involved in the Peru­vian culture.

Emily Brown is a Career Devel­op­ment intern and a grad­uate stu­dent in Northeastern’s Col­lege Stu­dent Devel­op­ment and Coun­seling Pro­gram. She is a life­long Bostonian inter­ested in the inte­gra­tion of social media into the pro­fes­sional realm.  Con­tact her at e.​brown@​neu.​edu.