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Brazil: Honors Global Service Learning
Santarem, Brazil (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Program Cost Summer
Fact Sheet:
Academic College: Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Best Fit Majors: Honors
Language of Instruction: English Program Options: Faculty-Led, Service Learning
Credits Earned: 3 Faculty Leader: Sean Whittacre
Program Description:


Brazil: Honors Global Service Learning
brazil honors
This opportunity has been opened up to all students! Apply today!

This program takes place primarily in Santarém, Brazil, providing students with an opportunity to understand healthcare delivery in Amazonian Brazil. Beyond visiting Afro-Brazilian or riverine villages in the Amazon on a medical boat, students will be exposed to the rapidly growing economy of Northern Brazil. Students will complete service activities with Amizade’s community partner, Fundação Esperança. The first week will be spent doing service work at a local partner organization while the second week will be spent on a medical boat travelling along the one of the tributaries of the Amazon river delivering medical services to rural villages. Students will shadow doctors, nurses, dentists, and a pharmacist. Amizade was founded in Brazil in 1994 and has maintained a presence in Santarem since that time.

Service: Public health initiatives, and environmental efforts.
Housing: dormitory-stye housing and river boat hammocks on medical boat portion of the program.
Travel Highlights: Program includes an Amazon boat trip, a guided Amazon jungle hike, and visits to regional historic sites.


City: Santarem

Country: Brazil

Population: 205,711

Information: Santarém is a municipality in the western part of the state of Pará in Brazil. Located at the confluence of the Tapajós and Amazon Rivers, it has become a popular tourist destination. It is the second-most important city in the state, and the financial and economic center of the western part of the state. It leads the Santarém Metropolitan Area, made up of Santarém, Belterra and Mojuí dos Campos. It was once home to the Tapajós Indians, a tribe of Native Americans after whom the river was named. They were the leaders of a large, agricultural chiefdom that flourished before the arrival of Europeans.It is located some 800 km (500 mi) from the two largest cities in the Brazilian Amazon: Manaus, upriver in the state of Amazonas, and the Pará state capital Belém, located downriver at the mouth of the Amazon on the Atlantic Ocean. Santarém has an estimated population of 299,419 people (2012 Census), and is the third most populous city of the state. The city occupies an area of 22 887,087 km2² (14 304,42 sq mi), of which 77 km2 are urban areas.

The city was founded by Portuguese colonists in 1661 as New Santarém (after the city in Portugal). It is one of the oldest cities in the Brazilian Amazon. This is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santarém.
Because of the crystalline waters of the Tapajós River, Santarém has more than 100 km (62 mi) of natural beaches, such as those of the village of Alter do Chão, known as the "Caribbean in Brazil." The Guardian ranked the latter beach as one of the most beautiful in Brazil and the most beautiful beach on fresh water. Alter do Chão is also home to Sairé, one of the most important folklore festivals of the region, which is held annually in September.
Some political activists have lobbied to create a new Brazilian state by dividing the enormous state of Pará into western and eastern regions. The new state to be established in the west would be called Tapajós, with Santarém serving as the capital.

Places of Interest:
Amazon River
Alter do Chao


EXPH 499 - Global Service Learning in Brazil - 3 credits *Non-honors students with at least a 3.5 GPA will be considered if space allows.

Intercultural Immersion Activities.  Students will participate in the daily life of the community in activities such as social gatherings, holidays, special events and time spent with locals.  They will have the opportunity to hear from local community members and these lectures are part of the academic experience.  They are expected to prepare questions for speakers and to actively engage in learning from locals throughout the course. These questions will be recorded in students’ journals in advance of each presentation.  Field trips to sites with local cultural meaning, history and attraction are also part of course activities.

Readings. Scholarly readings as well as those culled from popular media will provide the bedrock for this course.  The readings are chosen selectively, with the goal of introducing the students to the culture of the host community and helping them to reflect on the complexities of social life.  This course assumes that students will approach critical readings, such as editorials and opinion pieces, as active readers, interpreting the authors’ views while also comparing and testing these views as they relate to  their experiences 

Journal Writing.  Regular journal writing functions as a tool for students to reflect on course content and experiences as well as develop writing skill and technique.  The journal should merge theory with personal reflection in order to deepen knowledge about the topic at hand. 

Class Dialogue.  Students will participate in regular dialogue in class meetings.  Readings and journal assignments will often provide the focal point for dialogue but examination of experiences at the service site and in the community are encouraged as well.  Students are expected to create a learning environment where diverse viewpoints, emotional learning and academic discourse are respected and promoted.
Attendance. Students who make the commitment to participate in this course make the commitment to the instructor and to each other to attend all class meetings, in Morgantown, online, and in Brazil, and to participate in all service activities.  Absences will be excused only when unavoidable.  An unexcused absence from a class session will result in loss of participation credit for that session. (Reading and journal writing requirements are not waived when absences are excused.)

Final Reflective Paper.  The sequence of writing prompts concludes with a short formal essay due soon upon return.  In this assignment, students are expected to draw upon and revise their journal writing to synthesize the academic and experiential components of the course.

Capstone Project.  The capstone project synthesizes the course and intercultural learning experiences.  The capstone is a group project with the goal of representing community: both the physical one in which the course took place and the overall learning community.  It hones skills in communication because it requires students to find a creative way to translate their experience to an audience (usually in their home community).  In addition, it should address the concepts that guided our course dialogue particularly that of global citizenship and associated ethics for a global community.

Measurable Learning Goals and Outcomes:

Intercultural Learning:  Students engage in active, meaningful participation in the life of the host community.  
Learning Outcomes:
* Students will actively participate in service and all designated program activities. 
* Students will demonstrate an increasing knowledge of the host community. 
* Students will demonstrate an increasing ability to draw upon, analyze and synthesize diverse sources of information, extending from course readings to their own research and to collaborative learning while in the host community.  

Critical Reflection: Students develop critical thinking skills by examining diverse perspectives on course topics and comparing these perspectives with the lived experience of the host community. 
Learning Outcomes:
* Students will demonstrate how they have applied theoretical concepts, skills, and/or aptitudes to their experiences of social life in the host community and, especially, during their service work.
* Students will demonstrate an ability to test and evaluate the knowledge they have gleaned from their studies of and in the host community by applying the knowledge and frameworks and aptitudes of the course content to their daily experience of service and life in the host community. 
* Students will demonstrate ability to present information to an audience both through discussion and written materials. 

Global Citizenship: Students explore the meaning of service and global civic participation in their own life. 
Learning Outcomes:
* Students will demonstrate thought and exploration of global citizenship concepts and frameworks.
* Students will each develop a critical, if provisional, assessment of the importance of service and civic participation in their own home communities.


Students in this course are required to travel to and participate actively in the life of the host community during the duration of the program.  This participation includes a minimum of 40 hours of service work in collaboration with our community partner organizations in Santarem, Brazil.  While the students are required to perform this service work and additional designated activities in order to receive a passing grade for the course, they do not receive further academic credit for service activities.  The intercultural service experience serves as a basis for course discussion and student writing.


Sean Whittacre


Total program cost: $4,950

* Round Trip airfare
* 3 WVU Course Credits
* Lodging and Most Meals
* Comprehensive Travel and Health Insurance
* Programmatic Excursions and ActivitiesStudents are personally responsible for all passport and visa fees.


Visa Required for US Citizens? Yes

Useful Links:
How to Apply for a US Passport

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 03/15/2018
Rolling Admission 05/20/2018 06/02/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed