GSU Office of International Initatives
Clarkston Campus, CN-2102
555 N. Indian Creek Dr.
Clarkston, GA 30021
Clarkston Campus CN-2102
Peggy Curney Davis
Clarkston Campus CN 2105
Program Leaders by Campus
Margee Bright-Ragland, London
Sally Robertson, Ireland
Lauren Curtright, Paris
W. Ernie Guyton, Guatemala
Nicolette Rose, Jamaica
Stewart Goodman, Guatemala
Fred Bounds, China
Priscilla Dodds, Guatemala
The Guatemala program will be offered in Summer 2016. The detailed itinerary is below.
May 14 - May 29, 2016 (16 Days abroad with coursework to be completed online upon return to Georgia)
Guatemala is one of the most colorful and exciting areas in Central America. When it comes to ancient history, archeological sites, and cultural and linguistic diversity it is second to none in this region. The Guatemala Study Abroad program will provide students with a unique learning experience where indigenous Native Americans (Maya) and Latin American cultures coexist. Guatemala is the only country in Latin America where indigenous ethnic groups make up 50% of the country's population. Fantastic archeological ruins are scattered throughout the region, the most impressive of which is Tikal, the largest city of the ancient Maya civilization, which we will visit during our program.
The primary base of the program will be Jaibalito, located on beautiful Lake Atitlan, at 4,000 ft. in the southern Guatemalan highlands. The lake is surrounded by 4 magnificent (inactive) volcanoes and several vibrant and colorful native Maya villages. Jaibalito is a small, quiet, sequestered village nestled on the edge of the lake, accessible only by boat.
Secondary towns to be visited include Antigua and Chichicastenango, which are also located in the highlands of southern Guatemala. Both of these charming colonial villages are steeped in the cultural diversity of both Maya and Latin culture groups, and are world renowned for their colorful markets and classic colonial architecture. We will spend 3 days in Antigua and a full day in Chichicastenango.
This is a program of hybrid study abroad, meaning that a portion of the program takes place abroad while the remainder is dedicated to academic classes back at home. For the first 16 days, students will participate in a rich interactive cultural encounter with the local people and environment of Guatemala. Back home in Georgia, and for the remaining 4 weeks of the program, students will complete their academic coursework via online classes. In other words, we pack in the cultural immersion and experience with the local cultures and environment and leave most of the coursework until we return back home.
Because the travel abroad component of the program is only 16 days in length, the program is especially well suited to students whose employment and family commitments do not allow them to be away from home for extended periods of time. Additionally this keeps the cost of the program well within the financial reach of most Georgia college students. The online component allows us to reach students all across the state and region; therefore no specific residency near a GPC campus is required. Classes will start on site in Guatemala in space provided by our hotel residences. Guest lecturers, museum visits, guided field trips to volcanoes, archeological sites, and village market days will enrich and fill out the educational experience, and will be included as part of the academic contact hours for our program.
Important Dates & Deadlines
Friday, February 26, 2016 - Application to the program completed and $250 deposit due
Friday, March 4, 2016 - First half remaining program fee payment due ($850)
Monday, April 4, 2016 – Second half remaining program fee payment due ($850)
Service Learning Guatemala: Service Learning is attached to all of our GPC Study Abroad programs. Our Service Learning project for this program involves helping an economically struggling village in Guatemala named Jaibalito (population 400). We will bring down from the U.S. laptop computers for their educational use; train them on these computers, and help set up a tutoring center in the village used by local students, teachers and visiting volunteer tutors (take out) . The Principle of the primary school in Jaibalito has also requested some help in students assisting in upgrading the library on site and helping build a basketball court. There are no roads in the village (arrive only by boat or on foot). We will set aside 2 days for these projects.
Information may be subject to change
Detailed Itinerary - Guatemala Study Abroad, May 2016
May 14 – 29 Lake Atitlan/Antigua/Tikal
14th (Sun) Arrive at Atlanta Airport at 8:00 a.m. sharp. Depart for Guatemala City at 10:15 a.m., arriving at 12:35 p.m.. Board our private shuttle vans at airport to Panajachel (Pana), Lake Atitlan (3 hours in transit). Stop for lunch along highway. Take a lancha (small boat) over to Hotel La Casa del Mundo (20 minutes in transit). Get settled into hotel and village of Jaibalito. Orientation at 6:00 p.m. on lower outside porch below dining room. Dinner (optional) at 6:30 p.m. at Casa del Mundo (hotel sets this same dinner time every night).
15th (Mon) Breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m.. Morning classes from 10:00 to 1:00 at hotel. Lunch at 1:00. Social Work: 2:30 we will meet the Jaibalito village leader, teachers and students, pass out supplies, gifts & computers we are giving them and possibly how to use them. Dinner at 6:30 (your option). Slide show on Maya at 8:00 p.m. in Dining Room.
16th (Tues) Breakfast at 8:00 in dining room. Depart in lancha (boat) for Pana at 9:00 a.m.; then minibuses up mountain to Sololá (Market Day in this kakchiquel community). Shopping in market, or stroll around town, or visit cemetery on lake side of town. Return to minibuses at 1:00; return in buses to Pana for lunch, more shopping, and underwater archeology and geology museum. Buy food for dinner if looking for cheaper option than our hotel. 4:00 p.m. take private lanchas back to La Casa del Mundo. Dinner at 6:30. Live music this evening.
17th (Wed) Day for Social Work with village of Jaibalito. Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.. Activities will be assigned the night before to each of you. Classes will be held in the morning or afternoon depending on social work activities, or possibly after dinner. Lunch in Jaibalito local restaurant.
18th (Thurs) Chichicastenango (Market Day in this Kiche Maya town): Early breakfast served at 6:30. Catch a 7:30 lancha from Jaibalito to Pana; and then minibuses to Chichi (1 hour in transit). Lunch 12:30 at Hotel Santo Tomas just 2 blocks from main market plaza and church. 1:30 – option to climb the hill next to town to see outdoor shamans, or continue to site see and shop around town. Return to minibuses no later than 3:00 p.m.. Return to Lake Atitlan and Casa del Mundo. Dinner served (optional) at 6:30. Night in the group hot tub after dinner - ooh!
19th (Fri) This is a free day. Options: 1) Take a hike from Hotel to Santa Cruz; 2) mountain bike from Tzuzuman (walking distance) to village of San Marcos; 3) climb San Pedro volcano (w/ guide) or horseback around the volcano; 4) kayak around the lake; 5) scuba dive in the lake; 6) visit villages on east side of the lake via Pana; or just chill around the hotel. My best recommendations are options number 2 & 3. As usual, breakfast at 8:00, lunch at 1:00 if you’re around, dinner at 6:30 (optional).
20th (Sat) Half day free (morning). Breakfast at 8:00; Lunch at 1:00. Classes from 2:30 to 5:30.
21th (Sun) Full Day – Morning venture to Santiago Atitlan via lancha departing Casa del Mundo at 8:30 a.m. (it’s their Market day). Visit the Church, the house of living Maya god Maximon, a religious museum, revolutionary monument, and textile museum – all with local Maya expert as a guide. Enjoy the market until 1:00 and all meet at designated restaurant there in Santiago. Return to dock to take a lancha over to San Pedro around 2:00. Then hike over to the village of San Juan for a tour of some cottage industries (wood & textiles & farming). Return to Jaibalito/Casa del Mundo via lancha around 5:00. Dinner at 6:30.
22st (Mon) - Morning free to study (or explore if you’re caught up on your studies). Breakfast at 8:00; Lunch at hotel at 1:00. Classes from 2:30 to 5:30.
23nd (Tues) - Breakfast at 8:00. Depart Casa del Mundo at 9:00; take lanchas to Pana; immediately take vans to Antigua, Guatemala (2:20 minutes in transit). Lunch in Antigua at SaberRico restaurant. Check into hotel San Vicente (across the street). At 2:00 we’ll take a walking guided tour of the city until 5:30, ending up at the Café Sky for sunset views over the volcanos.
24rd (Wed) – Early Breakfast at hotel at 7:00 a.m.. 8:00 a.m. departure for active Pacaya Volcano (1 hour in transit). We’ll climb the volcano on foot, though some horses will be available for rent. Return from the volcano around 1:00 p.m. to eat our pack lunch in the village. Return to Antigua around 3:00. Rest of afternoon free.
25th (Thurs) - Departing at 9:00 we’ll take a visit to nearby village of Jocotenango to visit a Maya music & ceremony museum and a coffee finca & factory. Return to Antigua for lunch at Fernando’s Café where you’ll get a lunchtime lecture on the chocolate industry. Coffee and chocolate are big cash crops in Central America. Classes at hotel held between 2:30 & 5:30.
26th (Fri) - Free day in and around Antigua. Breakfast at 8:00. You can visit other volcanos in the area that are close by; visit the other colonial ruins in the city; visit other small cute villages in the area; horseback riding available in the area. Lunch at Fernando’s café at 1:00 if you’re around. Tag along with me in afternoon to an Eco-Lodge/Farm. Salsa dance classes at 6:00 p.m..
27th (Sat) - Very early departure from Antigua via vans to airport in Guatemala City (departing at 4:30 arriving airport at 5:45 for 6:30 flight). We’re off in our private plane to northern Petén region of Guatemala to visit the ancient Maya city of Tikal. Breakfast on the plane. Pick-up our private vans at airport for trip to Remate on Lake Petén Itza. Drop off our stuff at the hotel and complete the trip further north to the ruins of Tikal. We’ll have a short museum visit at the site then venture into the ruins. Return by foot back to park entrance complex for lunch around 1:00. Return to hotel in Remate around 3:00. Take a swim in the lake; visit the nearby outdoor zoo; go horseback riding; or just chill and relax in this tropical environment.
28th (Sun) - Breakfast at hotel at 8:00. Depart for ruins at 9:00 for another visit (can’t see whole site in one day). Leave ruins at 12:30 and on our way back we’ll stop at a restaurant. Next door to the restaurant is Canopy Tours – we’ll ride on zip-line cables through the jungle from tree house to tree house – fun stuff. Return to hotel to pick up our luggage and go straight to airport for our late afternoon flight back to Guatemala City (5:00 p.m. flight). We’ll return to Antigua via vans for our final night in Guatemala.
29th (Mon) - Late morning departure to airport from Antigua at 9:45 a.m.. Fly back to Atlanta at 1:00 p.m.
Introduction to Anthropology- ANTH 2020 (Online)
Instructor: Ernie Guyton
Cultural Anthropology is the study of us humans as socially learned and interactive beings. Our ultimate aim is to understand the diversity of human experience and behavior in the widest possible geographic, historical, and social terms. To do that, we look at both the change which humans have undergone throughout history, and the variety that is presently evident in the world. In this course you will encounter many societies you have not heard of before and many practices you find unique. We will put special emphasis on tribal and traditional peoples of the world, and for this class especially targeting the ancient and contemporary Native Americans, the Maya. In doing so, the teachings and readings of this course will hopefully give you a new appreciation of your world neighbors, human heritage, and of yourself as a cultural participant within your own human group.
Introduction Sociology- SOCI 1101 (Online)
Instructor: Ernie Guyton
Sociology is a dynamic and exciting course about human cultural diversity, largely focused on American society, but with cross-cultural examples for comparison. A student comes away from the class with a broader understanding of American society and our humanity at large. All major institutions and ideological structures of American society come to light in this class, and, studying sociology while among traditional cultures in Guatemala makes for an interesting contrast of modern and traditional cultures, offering reflective objectivity back upon our own home culture.
Elementary Spanish II- SPAN 1002 & Intermediate Spanish I- SPAN 2001 (either In-Class or Online)
Instructor: Stewart Goodman
Spanish is becoming more and more popular and spoken in the United States more than ever before. Join the classroom experience with a real full-immersion in Spanish experience and you get the perfect situation for a critical understanding of the language and opportunities to engage in real meaningful conversation in the target language. The learning and experience you will get in this program are not comparable to anything a traditional classroom can offer. It is the perfect setting to learn and practice the language: in a Spanish speaking country with the guidance of a native-Spanish speaker faculty.
Introduction to Computing - CSCI 1100 (Online)
Instructor: Priscilla Dodds
Introduction to Computing will provide an overview of selected major areas of current computing technology, organization and use. We will address exciting timely computing topics such as the digital divide and examine issues related to integration of technology in Latin American culture. We will apply computer modeling and graphing to current social, economic, political, educational, & health issues that beleaguer developing Latin American countries (specifically Guatemala) through hands-on projects. A service project to include tutoring local students at a rural Guatemalan school will be part of the course work as well.
Quantitative Skills & Reasoning - MATH 1001 (Online)
Instructor: Priscilla Dodds
Quantitative Skills and Reasoning: This course places quantitative skills and reasoning in the context of real-world experiences. We will apply basic mathematical reasoning, geometry, probability, mathematical modeling and graphing to some current social, economic, political, educational, & health issues in the Central American region. A service project to include tutoring local students at a rural Guatemalan school will be part of the course work as well. Students will be immersed in a very exciting and colorful culture and explore the mathematically based architecture of the ancient cities of the Maya.
La Casa del Mundo, an American-owned hotel at the base of Lake Atitlan, which is a unique boutique hotel in an extraordinary setting on the side of a mountain hanging out over the lake. It will be our base for the 9 days. Many cultural points of interest lie within 15 minutes to 1 hour from this location. The hotel serves 3 healthy meals a day, and has common space for classroom and leisure setting.
The Hotel la Casa Antigua is in the classic colonial town of Antigua and will be our secondary base location for the program (3 days/nights). It’s an incredibly charming and atmospheric small hotel right in the heart of the city, 1 block from the main plaza. The town has many restaurants and other tourist infrastructure, and is a good base for other points of interest in the area.
The Hotel Mon Ami will be used for our 2 day/night stay at the ruins of Tikal.
Accommodations will be in double, sometimes triple, occupancy rooms. Two meals a day (breakfast and lunch) will be included in the program fee.
Program fees do not cover tuition, registration at GPC or airport exit taxes. Cost is subject to change in the event of unanticipated increases in airfares or other program elements.
Apply Early! Students who apply before the deadline and make monthly payments find it easier to afford study abroad. Students who qualify may use financial aid and scholarships to pay for some of the costs associated with study abroad.
The CIE recommends all interested students meet with a Financial Aid Advisor as early as possible.
$ 1,950 includes:
- Round trip airfare between Atlanta and Guatemala
- Round trip airfare between Guatemala City & ancient Tikal
- All Accommodations in 3 star hotels
- Breakfast and Lunch
- Transportation to and from all program related excursion sites and points of interest
- Travel health insurance for the duration of the program
Price does NOT include (What else you should budget for):
- GPC tuition and books
- Personal spending money ($250+ recommended)
Download: [Budget Worksheet for Study Abroad Students]