Intercultural Experiences in Music: Teaching in and Learning from Diverse Communities

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Study Abroad in Guatemala

With the objective to create a meaningful practical experience of teaching and learning in an international setting, the Music Education Department will offer an international practicum experience in Guatemala between April 22 and May 7, 2017. This study abroad experience will be led by Dr. Patrick Schmidt and Dr. Cathy Benedict

Who Can Apply?

In this initial year, 15 slots are being offered. The target is year 4 Music Education students in the Don Wright Faculty of Music, and Year 2 Bachelor of Education students at the Faculty of Education. Music Education students will need to register for Music Education in Action (Fall or Winter). Faculty of Education students will use this as their alternative practicum (available to students in the Urban and International tracks).

Don Wright Faculty of Music students will have their traditional/normal interaction with course content in both Fall and Winter (Music Education in Action), and those electing to also engage with the international practicum would sign up for that extended experience. Two preparatory workshops will be delivered to both groups.  

Students in both cohorts will not have to re-register for the summer, nor would they have to pay registration for extra courses. Students signing up for the study abroad will purchase a travel package covering all the aspects of their two weeks in Guatemala. Students will be responsible for purchasing their own tickets from London to Guatemala City to London (today's cost around $800 Canadian). Detailed costs for the whole 2 weeks will be available in August. 

The Experience

This two-week intensive experience will be framed under the umbrella of culturally relevant teaching and learning practices. The course will be organized in such a way that every morning students will meet and work with children and youth in schools, community centers and non-governmental organizations (ONGs). Ever afternoon we will meet at the Universidad Del Valle, the top university in Guatemala. There we will work in collaboration with two local professors and students enrolled in their music and general education programs-your counterparts in Guatemala. 


Visit Guatemala

We will also travel to and work with underserved and native communities in Panajachel lodged in the middle of an amazingly beautiful volcanic lake.  We will visit Antigua Guatemala, a beautiful, colonial town in the mountains and we will fly to and tour Tikal, the largest ancient Mayan city site in the Americas. This is an amazing experience!!

The program will be bilingual. Knowing Spanish is not a requirement. An informational session will be held in early Fall. 

How to Apply

Interested students need to write a 400-word abstract talking about their interests in Culturally Relevant Teaching and how they think this experience will impact them as music educators. 

View the program application through ATLAS.  

There are only 15 slots available, please contact Patrick Schmidt,, if you are interested in the program.