5 Reasons a Location-Based Program May Be Right for You

If you’re considering one of Brown’s Pre-College summer programs, there are several on-campus options. But if learning with an international twist is more your speed, Brown also offers location-based programs in Rome, Italy, Segovia, Spain, and Monteverde, Costa Rica. Not sure if an immersive, location-based experience is right for you? Here are five reasons one of these programs might just be the perfect fit.

1.) You yearn to break out of the classroom

At all three programs, much of the learning happens outside of the traditional classroom setting. In “The Many Faces of Rome,” the city becomes the classroom as local experts take you to see many of the the historic, cultural and artistic sites the city has to offer. One day you may find yourself on a private tour of the Colosseum with the engineer who created a lift inside the ancient structure, and the next, you’re walking through the Sistine Chapel with an art historian. In Segovia, where much of the program’s economics-based learning does happen in a classroom of the IE Business School, there’s still plenty of time set aside for workshops to learn about Spain’s language and culture through hands-on activities. And in Costa Rica, you’ll study forest ecology at the source – the Monteverde Cloud Forest – where you’ll conduct field studies and take night hikes to look for nocturnal butterflies.

2.) You’d like to meet people from other countries

The Pre-College Location-Based Programs aren’t just about placing students from the U.S. in different locations. Instead, you’ll find yourself taking courses with students from other countries, giving you exposure to a range of cultures and perspectives, much like college. “The Location-Based Programs are very similar to a first-year college experience,” Program Director Rosario Navarro says. “They’re about getting out there and engaging with both the content and students from around the world, meeting people they would not necessarily meet who are just as interested in the subject matter as they are.”

3.) You’re interested in experiencing other cultures

Rome and Segovia offer plenty of opportunity to be immersed in the cultures of two of Europe’s great countries. In Rome, you’ll spend your days exploring with expert guides, visiting sites like St. Peter’s Basilica as well as stopping to shop and sample Italy’s incomparable cuisine. You’ll have a chance to visit Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast and Assisi to experience other parts of the country.

In between economics and language courses in Segovia, you’ll take part in several Cultural Workshops, where you’ll learn about Spain’s art, cuisine, geography, history, literature and music through hands-on activities like cooking croquetas and hiking part of the famed Camino de Santiago.

And when you’re not hanging among the trees, you’ll spend time in the Costa Rican city of San Jose, shopping in the Central Market to experience the locally grown food and the culture.

4.) You want to learn more about global issues

Issues-based learning led by some of the world’s leading economists at Spain’s IE Business School is at the heart of the program in Segovia. “We want students to walk away from the program understanding that global business is not just economics but understanding how decisions made about issues like austerity, for example, can affect not just one country, but the world,” Navarro says.

In Costa Rica, you’ll learn how climate change is affecting the ecosystem and have the opportunity to meet with farmers and residents to learn first-hand how locals are balancing economic development with environmental preservation.

5.) You want to brush up on your language skills

Sure, language can be taught in a classroom, but truly the best, and fastest, way to master a foreign tongue is to be immersed in it. In Rome, you’ll take your education to the streets, using the native language organically during meals, shopping, gelato crawls and other excursions. You can expect a similar experience in Spain, coupled with an intermediate Spanish course – students must have at least two years of Spanish education to be accepted – that is taught completely in the language and covers everything from grammar and syntax, to Segovian culture and history. While in Costa Rica, you’ll have opportunities to practice your Spanish-speaking skills with locals in the rainforest and the city. With all three locations, you’ll leave the program with improved verbal and written skills that you can show off to your friends when you get home.

Interested in global health? In addition to these international programs, Brown offers a location-based program at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. To learn more about all of Brown’s Pre-College Location-Based Programs, or to apply, visit www.precollege.brown.edu.

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