At the heart of CIRMA’s academics is a three-semester cycle—full-length Fall and Spring sessions, plus a six-week intensive Summer semester in Guatemala. Students stay for one, two, or even all three semesters.
CIRMA also offers week-long, credit-earning field learning experiences, customized classes or educational tours of Guatemala for professors or visiting professionals, and continuing education opportunities for groups of independent learners.
The Study Abroad at CIRMA core academic program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students who seek a profound immersion in Central American society, culture, history, literature and politics. This in-depth, multidisciplinary program combines coursework and real-world experience to provide a unique, bottom-up perspective on Guatemala's and Central America's contemporary problems and rich heritage. Located in the region's leading social science research institute, the Study Abroad in Guatemala program engages the most compelling topics of academic study in an immediate and transformational way.
The 6-week intensive Summer program and the full-length Fall and Spring semesters are tailored to provide students with a sophisticated understanding of the. Courses of study include Central American and Guatemalan history, anthropology, Mayan archaeology, Spanish language and literature, and Mayan languages, with cross-disciplinary focuses in culture, politics, geography and ethnography.
Complementing classes and Guatemalan home-stays are lectures, field trips, internships, service work and graduate advising services. Students also have privileged access to CIRMA's unique documentary and photographic collections. On weekends and holidays, our program participants explore this fascinating country on their own.
CIRMA's Study Abroad program is approved as an honors program by the University of Arizona's Honors College and is an externally approved study abroad program at Harvard and Princeton Universities, and several other universities in the United States. The program offers both undergraduate and graduate level classes. All classes are cross-referenced with other academic departments so as to offer students a variety of options for receiving credit. Students receive a transcript from the University of Arizona, and those from other universities may request transfer credit from their host institution.
The main components of the academic program are:
- SPANISH LANGUAGE AND MAYAN LANGUAGES:
CIRMA offers intermediate and advanced Spanish classes. All Spanish language courses use materials (newspapers, literature, etc.) about Guatemala and the region, providing an additional mechanism for learning about Guatemala and Central America.
SPAN 206: Intensive Spanish (4 units)
SPAN 330 / LAS 330: Intermediate Conversation (3 units)
SPAN 450: Conversation and Writing Skills (3 units)
New - LAS 207: Mayan Language: Q'eqchi'; Kaqchikel; K'iche' (3 units). Qeqchí, Kaqchikel, and K'iche' are the most widely spoken Mayan languages of Guatemala. These courses require a minimum of five students.
- LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, HISTORY, ANTROPOLOGY, & GEOGRAPHY:
CIRMA’s university classes in Guatemala offer undergraduate and graduate studies in a wide range of academic courses. Taught by leading scholars, these classes enable students to debate and reflect about diverse aspects of Central American society, culture, history, and environment. They are offered at undergraduate (400) and graduate (500) levels.
LAS 462: Special Topics in Contemporary Latin America: Central American Narratives of Identity and Nationhood (3 units)
LAS 465Z / HIST465Z: Central American History (3 units)
LAS 453A / ANTH 453A: Introduction to Mesoamerican Archaeology (3 units)
LAS 461 / GEOG 461: Biodiversity in Central America (3 units)
New – GEOG 455: Urban Culture and Development in Guatemala (3 units)
- INTERNSHIPS AND SERVICE LEARNING IN GUATEMALA:
CIRMA's internship program offers unique opportunities to undergraduates, graduate students, and visiting researchers to gain exposure to CIRMA's three main collections: The Central American Social Sciences Library, The Guatemalan Historical Archive, and the Guatemalan Photographic Archive. CIRMA also connects students with specific interests in youth, arts, health, education, and development to local NGOs in Antigua that provide volunteer opportunities for those interested in service work in virtually any field, including social services, public health and education.
LAS 493: Internship (1-4 units: 45 hours = 1 unit).
- COLLOQUIUM SERIES:
Through a weekly lecture series, students are exposed to nationally and internationally- recognized experts in such areas as history and current trends in ethnic relations, aesthetics of contemporary Central America, prospects for the peace process in Guatemala, the Central American environmental crisis, and the significance of democracy in Guatemala and the region.
LAS 495F: Colloquium in Latin American Studies (1 unit)
- FIELD TRIPS:
The cost of the program includes two guided field trips to enable students to see first-hand diverse aspects of Guatemalan culture and contemporary life.
This field trip introduces students to Guatemala City, the largest metropolis in all of Central America. Some of the places students have visited in the past are: archaeological site Kaminaljuyú, the National Palace, the Cathedral, the Central Market, the Popol Vuh Museum, the Museum of Archeology and Ethnography, the Francisco Marroquín University Campus, the Universidad San Carlos Campus and other sites of historical and cultural interest.
This field trip gives students the opportunity to visit some of the most important Mayan cities of the Classic Period. Some of the places students have visited in the past are: Aguateca, Tikal, Seibal, and Yaxha. Also, students have the opportunity to stay at a community formed by ex-combatants of Guatemala's Armed Conflict to learn about how they live. NOTE: This trip is not suitable for all students, especially those with limited hiking abilities and/or medical conditions.
- PROGRAMS FOR PROFESSORS, VOLUNTEERS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOLARS:
Groups interested in customized educational voyages and customized educational packages within Guatemala are encouraged to contact CIRMA directly. Please email Dr. John T. Way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- WEEK-LONG, INTENSIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS.
CIRMA regularly develops innovative, short-term credited classes. For example, LAS 499: HISTORICAL ORIGINS OF THE ARMED CONFLICT IN QUICHE, offers a profound immersion into the topic of the Guatemalan civil war in the Ixil highlands of Nebaj, replete with one-on-one contact with protagonists for all sides and sectors. Please check our online schedules and/or contact us directly for information on our current offerings.