Though summer is a break for many, some UNM students and faculty take it as an opportunity to travel the world to study and research in countries from China to Columbia.

The Office of International Program Studies and Latin American and Iberian Institute assist faculty and students engaged in study and research abroad. Faculty guide students to explore important issues in their field in the context of host countries.

Vickie Nelson, LAII associate director, said, "This summer faculty grant recipients researched topics such as monitoring climate change in northern Chile, building sustainable research capacity and collaboration in Ecuador, and looking at the incumbency advantages in ambition, career choices and strategic movements at the Argentine Municipal Level.

Most faculty and students also partake in social projects while studying abroad.

"Sometimes students volunteer in hospitals or work with kids or on coffee plantations," said Manon Robyn Côte, LAII program manager.

According to a recent study by the OIPS, Europe and Latin America are the most popular places to study.

"Study abroad can be a unique educational experience where knowledge develops rapidly through often unexpected yet exciting experiences such as finding a place to sleep for the night in a new town, crossing an unfamiliar border or carrying on a conversation with someone in another language," said Daniel Richmond, a student who traveled abroad this summer.

"The unknown and unfamiliar offer many opportunities to connect, grow and learn," he said.

International research projects this summer include:

  • Ronda Brulotte, Department of Anthropology, doing cultural research in Mexico and Latin America; Margaret Connell-Szasz, Department of History, studying Celtic history in England, Scotland and Wales

  • Mark Stone, Department of Civil Engineering, studying sustainability issues in water resources engineering in China

  • Dante DiGregorio, Anderson School of Management, researching international business in Latin America

  • Alok Bohara, Department of Economics, studying environmental and societal issues and community and regional planning in Nepal

  • Richard Schaefer, Department of Communication and Journalism, studying immigration and related issues in Central America

  • Bill Fleming, School of Architecture & Planning, studying watershed and environmental issues

  • David Craven, Department of Art & Art History, studying contemporary art in Latin America.

For more information, call OIPS at (505) 277-4032 or LAII at (505) 277-2961.

Story by Jazmen Bradford.