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Not your typical study abroad experience

Casa de la Solidaridad

The genius of the Casa program lies in the way our students are changed for the rest of their lives by relationships with people who suffer most. Truly, that is what the martyrs understood and lived. On every one of my visits to El Salvador, I’ve been deeply touched.

Michael Engh, S.J. President, Santa Clara University

I think Casa represents the most innovated and effective initiative that the Society of Jesus has at its disposal to “educate the whole person of solidarity for the real world."

Steve Privett, SJ, Chancellor, University of San Francisco

Casa de la Solidaridad has many characteristics that were important in the lives of the UCA martyrs.

Andreu Oliva, SJ, President University of Central America (UCA)

Curriculum

The curriculum of the Casa de la Solidaridad program is designed with most undergraduate majors in mind, and will enable you to meet your academic requirements with academic credit granted through Santa Clara University or your home institution.  Students should always consult with their home institution academic advisors and study abroad staff to verify which courses will count at your home institution.

Not able to stay a whole semester? Explore our innovative 10 unit Summer Public Health program.

Course Offerings - 

Not all courses are offered each semester.  Email Co-Director Kevin Yonkers-Talz at kyonkerstalz@scu.edu for updated information.

Professor Course Syllabus Quarter Units
Manuel Fernando Velasco  INTL 130: Salvadoran Literature (82k PDF) 5
Knut Walter INTL 131: The Sociology of Development in El Salvador (81k PDF) 5
Gene Palumbo  INTL 132: Perspectives on El Salvador's Civil War (121k PDF) 5
Kevin Yonkers-Talz INTL 139: Praxis Seminar (80k PDF) 5
Cruz Portal SPAN 110: Advanced Spanish Conversation (89k PDF) 5
Peggy O'Neill, SC, EdD RELS 120: Latin American Theology (151k PDF) 5
Pedro Martin POLI 136A: Political Structures and Processes in El Salvador and Central America 5
Virginia Rodriguez PHSC 170: Health Care and Public Health in El Salvador (130k PDF) 5
Marina Najarro SPAN 100: Advanced Spanish I (106k PDF) 5

Your Semester Schedule

Spanish Course 5 units
4 Casa Elective Courses 20 units
Total Quarter Units 25 units

Program Dates

Semester Schools
Spring Semester - January 10,2018 – May 9, 2018
Fall Semester – August 15, 2018 – December 12, 2018

New Winter Quarter Option

Starting in winter 2018, we are offering a winter quarter option specifically for students at Quarter schools.  This will run parallel to the Spring Semester above.   Winter quarter dates are from January 10, 2018 – March 25, 2018. 

Excursions

In addition to classes, praxis and community living, Casa offers students a variety of unique opportunities to get to know El Salvador.

Included in the program fee are:

Praxis-Based Pedagogy

For over 18 years, this unique praxis-based educational program rooted in the Ignatian tradition has transformed students’ lives by integrating rigorous academic scholarship and reflection and direct engagement with Salvadorans living in poverty.  As a part of the curriculum, students enter a marginal Salvadoran community (we refer to them as praxis sites) two full days a week for the entire semester.  Casa students enter these communities humbly as learners our Salvadoran partners are the educators.  Over the course of the semester, students get the opportunity to experience the reality of life in a marginal Salvadoran community.  Explore our many praxis sites.

Summer Program

The summer program focuses on health care and public health in El Salvador and provides students with a unique opportunity to integrate direct immersion with people living in poor communities (praxis sites) and academic study. This intensive program will focus on what the health problems are in El Salvador, why the country has these health issues, and how they are being handled from both a medical response to disease and public health programs, which try to reduce the frequency of disease before people need medical care.

Students participate in two academic courses: PHSC 170 - Health Care and Public Health in El Salvador- 5 units and either SPAN 102H: Advanced Spanish I (106k PDF) or Spanish 21H - Spanish for the Health Professions (Intermediate) - 5 units. These courses are designed to intentionally integrate students’ experience in their praxis site with the academic discipline.

Program Cost

Tuition: $15,704
Room & Board: $4,307
TOTAL - $20,011

*The price of quarter, semester, and summer study abroad programs is set by the SCU Board of Trustees in March/April of each year. Study abroad fees for 2017-2018 will be set in April 2017. To review current program costs, please click  here.

Note: Casa de la Solidaridad is a level B program at SCU.

Additional estimated expenses:

Weekend Meals: $200

Books & Supplies: $100

Tourist Visa (upon entering El Salvador) - $10

Visa Renewal Fee ($25)

Personal Expenses: $500

Airfare: $800

Living Expenses: $500

Notes: The program cost covers full tuition for 15 semester/25 quarter units, housing in a shared room at the Casa, meals during the week, and also includes many excursions and field trips, cultural activities, extended orientation and re-entry programs, as well as coverage on Santa Clara's travel insurance policy. This does not include travel to El Salvador, books, and other incidentals listed in the "additional estimated expenses." If you are not a Santa Clara student, please be aware that the actual cost of the program and credit accepted is determined by your home institution. Please check with the appropriate officials on your campus for the cost of the program and academic credit policies.

Financial Aid: If you are a Santa Clara student then all of your financial aid is usable. If you attend the program in the fall semester, you can apply one quarter of your SCU aid package. If you attend the Casa in the spring, you can apply two quarter's worth (both Winter and Spring). Students who rely on financial aid at SCU should keep this in mind when determining what term to apply for the Casa. If you are not a Santa Clara student, however, there is unfortunately no additional "Casa Financial Aid" from Santa Clara offered to students from other home campuses. You should check with your home campus to see if your existing financial aid will transfer to the Casa de la Solidaridad program. We are happy to complete any paperwork (often called "consortium agreements") that will assist you in this process. After checking with your home school, inquiries can be directed to the Santa Clara University Study Abroad Office.

Kevin and Trena’s Scholarship Fund

If you are a student in need and would like to apply for a scholarship, please be sure to fill in the scholarship packet in Terra Dotta.

Casa de la Solidaridad Withdrawal information is located here

Information on tuition insurance is available through the SCU Bursar's Office site.

Safety and Security in El Salvador

The safety and security of our students is our top priority.

  • We follow the best practices related to health and safety in keeping with the Forum on Education Abroad's Standards of Good Practice and the Association of International Educators (NAFSA).

  • We have excellent sources of information regarding national security issues, including relationships with many organizations like the Jesuits at University of Central America and the Salvadoran Government.

  • We have strong relationships with our Salvadoran partners in the local communities at our Praxis sites.

Most recently, an independent security assessment team went down to El Salvador to conduct a thorough analysis of the safety and security situation.  Based on this assessment, Dennis Jacobs, the Provost of Santa Clara University, informed SCU's community on November 29, 2016, that beginning in Fall 2017, the Casa program would be restarted.

Read more about our Safety and Security practices.

Romero Program

Casa students have the privilege of living in community with peer Salvadoran scholarship students (becarios) who are studying at the Jesuit-run Central American University (UCA).  The Romero Program, which is operated through Casa de la Solidaridad, supports 12 Salvadoran scholarship students who come from poor communities in their pursuit for higher education. 

Gene Palumbo is one of the many experts on Latin America that you will have as a professor on the Casa de la Solidaridad program. He is the NYTimes’ local correspondent and has also reported for NPR, BBC, Time Magazine, and more.

  

Learn about our other professors in El Salvador
Hola mi nombre es Andrea Gomez, vivo en Armenia Sonsonate. Mi familia la componen Mi madre, 2 hermanas y 3 sobrinos. En mi pasatiempo me gusta mucho jugar futbol. Estoy terminando mi segundo año de Ing. Industrial en la UCA, siendo becaria del programa Martires de la UCA.

Andrea is one of our Romero students, an El Salvadoran student at UCA.  You would live in community with our Romero students at Casa.

Hear Andrea's Full Story
FUNDESO is a local NGO that provides a focus on medical care, community outreach and education to about 350 people every day. The foundation has a number of different health care projects. Most El Salvador clinics have only primary care, meeting with specialists can have months long wait lists.

Here you'll experience and analyze the realities of the health care field in El Salvador.

Read about our other Praxis sites to choose from.

Casa's Educational Foundation is supported by Four Pillars

Community

Coming to the Casa, in my own experience and from talking with Casa peers, is often the first time where people feel safe and comfortable to truly be themselves. I felt like we were in true relationship with one another, paying attention to and dialoguing about what actually mattered.

- CASA Alum

Academics

I loved the academic program, because while it was rigorous, it was fully integrated with what we were experiencing. The academic aspect of the Casa was very important, because it gave structure to our experiences and reactions.

- CASA Alum

Spirituality

The Casa certainly drove my understanding of myself, the role of spirituality in my life, and the way I think about personal and professional commitments that are driven by a commitment to justice.

- CASA Alum

Accompaniment

I would say that one of the main characteristics of the Casa is that it gives honor to its name, solidaridad. It’s not just theory but practiced. Students are inserted into the reality of the people, and learn about the reality of how people are living and how they are feeling.

Anita Landaverde, Praxis site partners from San Ramon

Summer Public Health Internship

 - PHSC 170 - Health Care & Public Health in El Salvador Link to file

The summer program focuses on health care and public health in El Salvador and provides students with a unique opportunity to integrate direct immersion with people living in poor communities (praxis sites) and academic study. This intensive program will focus on what the health problems are in El Salvador, why the country has these health issues, and how they are being handled from both a medical response to disease and public health programs, which try to reduce the frequency of disease before people need medical care.

Students participate in two academic courses: PHSC 170 - Health Care and Public Health in El Salvador- 5 units and either SPAN 102H: Advanced Spanish I (106k PDF) or Spanish 21H - Spanish for the Health Professions (Intermediate) - 5 units. These courses are designed to intentionally integrate students’ experience in their praxis site with the academic discipline.

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