January 27, 2015
Law students and law graduates from all around the world are invited to participate in the McGeorge Inter-American Summer Program in Guatemala, which starts May 28, 2015. National Jurist promoted law school summer programs in the January 2015 issue, and the magazine identified Guatemala as one of six "most adventurous countries" in which to study.
Guatemala is "adventurous" for a variety of reasons that make it an attractive place to study. It is a country still-emerging from a brutal civil war and decades of dictatorship; the legal and political issues are important and fascinating. It is a country with an enormous indigenous population of welcoming people, where many people in rural communities speak Spanish as a second language. It is also a country with enormous geographic diversity, including many active volcanoes, gorgeous lakes and rain forests, and some of the best Mayan ruins. Students who have participated in the program have returned to the U.S. with a new perspective on Latin America, on the United States, and often even on life.
Now in its seventh year, the Inter-American Program in Antigua, Guatemala offers courses from May 28 to June 20, 2015, followed by an optional field placement from June 22 to Aug. 7, 2015. Field placements are available in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Chile.
McGeorge founded the program in 2009 and partnered with the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law in 2011 to offer the innovative Inter-American Summer Program, which is distinctive among U.S. law schools because of the emphasis on a true bilingual and cross-cultural learning experience. In 2013, Gonzaga University School of Law, in Spokane, Wash., became an affiliate of the program.
Study-abroad programs offered by most U.S. law schools, including those that take place in Latin America, only teach courses in English and the students are from American law schools. By contrast, the Inter-American Program in Guatemala takes a bilingual and inter-cultural approach to legal education, offering substantive law classes about Latin America taught in Spanish to American and Guatemalan students. There is also an English-language class and an experiential course that focuses on interviewing and counseling. Students with a lower level of Spanish take language classes with their own tutor to improve their proficiency during the program.