Classical and Modern Languages Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs

Truman students expand their learning communities across physical and cultural borders choosing from many exciting study-abroad destinations. Here are some study-abroad programs led or organized by faculty members int he Classical and Modern Language s Department.


China ProgramImmerse yourself in the language and culture of China in this four-week summer adventure. The program features Mandarin language training and traditional Chinese cultural workshops on weekdays at Soochow University, weekend excursions to Suzhou and Shanghai, and a final six-day tour of Beijing. All courses are taught by the faculty at Soochow University, including a Chinese language course (either Elementary Chinese or Intermediate Chinese) and a Chinese cultural practicum. For the Chinese language course, students will be assigned to Elementary Chinese or Intermediate Chinese, depending on the results of a placement test given prior to the start of classes. This program provides students with an opportunity to learn Chinese at an appropriate level intensively for three weeks, comprehensively working on listening, speaking, reading and writing; gain first-hand experience of Chinese culture, including Chinese gardening, Tai chi, Chinese calligraphy, the Chinese tea ceremony, Chinese paper cutting and Chinese cuisine, through a cultural practicum; travel to cultural and historical sites in Suzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.

Students earn up to six credit hours upon completion of the requirements of the two courses. For more information, please contact Dr. Zhijun (David) Wen,

Costa Rica

Costa RicaThis is an 8-week program of complete linguistic and cultural immersion, based in San Jose, Costa Rica, where each student lives with a host family. Students take four courses at the Costa Rica Language Academy (CRLA) in grammar and composition, conversation, Latin American culture and civilization, and Costa Rican literature, taught by both Truman professors and CRLA professors. As part of this program, students also have many opportunities to travel and experience weekend excursions to bio-diverse sites such as Monteverde and Tortuguero. Experience trips to volcanoes, hot springs, colonial-era churches, zip lining, waterfalls, a crocodile tour, and end the trip on the relaxing beach in Manuel Antonio.

Students earn 12 hours of 300-400 level credit. For more information, please contact Dr. Óscar Sendón,  or Dr. Matt Tornatore,


Japan: Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Tokyo
Join us on this two-component, faculty-led summer program. In the first three weeks, you will learn Japanese intensively with instructors from Kyoto University of Foreign Studies along with Truman faculty, and experience tutorship from peer native speakers of Japanese.  In the following three weeks, you will explore modern and traditional culture of Japan.  In Kyoto, you will visit centuries-old Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and Japanese gardens, and practice Zen meditation at a highly revered Zen temple.  In Hiroshima, you will hear (in English) stories of atomic bomb experiences from the second generation of atomic bomb survivors.  In Tokyo, you will explore modern Japanese pop culture, including Akihabara (Anime, video games, AKB48, and cat cafes), the Studio Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki’s museum), sushi and fresh fish from Tokyo’s central fish market, and Kabuki art performances.  Throughout this program, you will be deeply immersed in the miraculous society of Japan.

Students earn 3 or 6 credit hours of the Japanese Minor. For more information, please contact Dr. Masahiro Hara,

Teaching English to high school and college students in Kyoto
Are you interested in teaching English abroad?  Are you looking for a study abroad experience that is different from and more invigorating than a traditional one?  In this faculty-led, summer study abroad program to Japan, you will teach English to high school and college students in two ways: one is to assist Japanese teachers of English and the other to conduct classes completely on your own.  Prior to departure to Japan, you will learn about Japanese people and society along with concepts and methods concerning teaching English to Japanese-speaking learners.  During the program itself, you will meet with Truman faculty daily to improve your teaching and gain a deeper understanding of Japanese society.  Over this four-week-long program, you can practice Japanese if you wish (note that no knowledge of Japanese is required to participate in the program) and can visit numerous cultural sites in Kyoto.

Students earn 3 credit hours of the Japanese Minor, the BS Linguistics Major, the Linguistics Minor, or the Applied Linguistics Minor. For more information, please contact Dr. Masahiro Hara,


Mexico ProgramSpend New Years in Mexico!  Participants travel to Mérida, Mexico in the Yucatán Peninsula for two weeks during the winter interim for a full immersion experience in Spanish language and culture.  Designed for majors and minors who have completed Spanish Grammar and Composition, this program fosters development of oral skills and an understanding of culture through readings and conversation topics focused on Mexican and Yucatecan culture.  In addition to coursework, students live with a Mexican family, practice with native-speaker language partners, and travel to exciting cultural and historic sites such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal, and Tulum.

Students earn three hours of major/minor credit for SPAN 360, while experiencing the language, people and culture of the Yucatan. For more information, please contact Dr. Matthew Tornatore,


This eight-week program provides language, conversation, literature and cultural instruction at one of the most renowned language schools in Salamanca–Academia Mester. After a ten-week course of intensive preparation on the Truman campus, students travel to Spain where they visit Madrid and Toledo, then journey on to Andalusia for their first week in Spain. After visiting Seville, Granada and Cordova, they transfer to Salamanca to attend classes, live with Spanish families, travel to five more cities around Castile and Leon, and take part in many group activities for a period of six weeks (plus). Upon completion of coursework in Salamanca, students visit the region of Cantabria for several days, where they enjoy the sun-drenched beaches of Santander and visit a replica of the prehistoric caves in Altamira. Participants’ total immersion in and interaction with Spanish society provides them with a truly intercultural perspective — one which focuses on cultural processes as they occur in particular historical, environmental, social, and political contexts. The resulting growth in life skills and language proficiency helps students thrive in the global community.

For more information, please contact Dr. Sergio Escobar,, or Prof. James Hammerstrand, jhammerstrand@truman.eduanate.

Other CML Study-Abroad Opportunities

Burgos, Spain

Burgos Exchange ProgramLocated in historic Burgos in north-central Spain, the Universidad de Burgos offers students intensive language training and advanced Spanish content courses along with coursework in other fields of study. Surrounded by a gorgeous ancient provincial city in the heart of Old Castile, students are always in close proximity to cultural events. Burgos is only a short train or bus trip away from Spain’s thriving capital, Madrid.  Students’ Spanish level is determined by online evaluation prior to arrival in Spain. Prerequisites for Spanish majors and Romance Language majors participating in the exchange program include SPAN 362 and one 400-level Spanish course.  Pre-approval of coursework by the Spanish or ROML faculty is required prior to registration.  To submit a pre-approval form (available at, contact Dr. Dan Doman at  (Spanish majors)  or Dr. Stacy Bryant at (ROML majors).  You can visit the Center for International Education/Study Abroad website for more information about the Universidad de Burgos and course offerings.

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

GuatemalaThe Asociación Pop Wuj in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, offers a six-week practicum experience for Truman students who are minoring in Spanish for the Professions and have a background in health professions. The goals of Pop Wuj’s Medical Program are to increase the student’s linguistic and cultural competency while delivering health care in a compassionate and effective manner to the area’s Hispanic and indigenous populations. To this end, students take four hours per day of individualized language instruction with a medical Spanish focus; complete a cultural component with lectures, films and discussion; and participate in a clinical experience in the Pop Wuj clinic 2-5 hours each day. Lodging is with Guatemalan families, who provide three meals per day.

Students earn 6 hours of credit toward the Spanish for the Professions.  For more information, contact Dr.  Dan Doman,

Consortium Opportunities: Center for International Education

Consortium OpportunitiesThrough the Center for International Education Abroad at Truman, students may link up with a number of programs abroad in Spain and Latin America. These are in addition to the faculty-led and other programs organized by Classical and Modern Language faculty.  For details, contact Center for International Education Abroad .