Course: MOT 510 Special Topics or MOT 587 Field Experience in Pediatrics (three credits)
Instructor: Dr. Theresa Schlabach, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy
Dates: December 26, 2014 - January 14, 2015
Primary Location: Cuenca, Ecuador
For over a decade, St. Ambrose University and CEDEI have offered a successful short-term program designed to provide serious college students, teachers, and other interested adults with an opportunity to study the language and culture of Latin America. The program includes formal classroom instruction, the opportunity to live with and learn from an Ecuadorian family, and numerous field trips to sites of cultural, geographical, and historical interest.
This course is intended for occupational therapy students to integrate their academic learning with a hands-on service-learning project. The students will study the differences in culture related to health, illness, and occupation. The occupational therapy students will increase their knowledge and experience working with typically and atypically developing children with a pediatric occupational therapist in a community setting in Ecuador. Students will gain language and interpersonal communication skills by participating in a survival Spanish course, living with a host family, and studying the issues of cultural diversity in Ecuador. The students will also gain experience working with an interpreter, which is a very useful skill to have in clinical practice in the United States.
The Setting: Cuenca, Ecuador
Ecuador lies on the equator along the Pacific coast of South America. It is a country of spectacular geographical and cultural contrasts, tropical coast and beautiful beaches, snow-capped Andean volcanoes, and lush Amazon rain forest. Located high in Ecuador's southern Andes, Cuenca is the third largest city in the country. Nourished by mountain rivers, Cuenca enjoys spring-like temperatures year round.
Because of its tradition of achievement in scholarship and the arts, Cuenca has been called the Athens of the Andes. Today Cuenca is the site of three major universities, several study abroad programs, many museums, and numerous research and cultural organizations.
Cuenca was founded in 1557 on the Inca city of Tomebamba and continues to preserve its Spanish colonial heritage. The many churches dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, the colonial residences, the cobblestone streets, and several nearby artisan villages make Cuenca one of the most charming cities in Ecuador.
With a population of 250,000, the city is large enough to provide health, educational, and recreational services, yet small enough to offer personal hospitality.
Students attend classes Monday through Friday mornings for three to four hours each day. Attendance is strictly required. In most courses, field trips will supplement class time. In addition to coursework, students are encouraged to participate in cultural and social activities in the community and to take advantage of the extracurricular afternoon events including lectures, videos, and dance classes. The Program includes visits to special sites including the Inca fortress of Ingapirca, El Cajas National Park, the resort town of Baños de Ambato, the Old City of Quito, La Mitad del Mundo, the weaving and crafts centers of Otavalo, San Antonio de Ibarra, and Calderón.
Complete the online application and submit $500 application deposit to the Center for International Education (313 Ambrose Hall) by September 9.