Each year the University of the Azores (UAc) offers Summer Courses, with focus on promoting the university and its region, as well as the Portuguese language and Azorean culture.
The courses are organized by the International Relations Office (IRO) within the frame of the Vice-Chancellorship for International Relations and Institutional Cooperation. It has the cooperation of several units of the university, namely the Departments of Modern Languages and Literature, of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences, of Geological Sciences, of Biology, of Oceanography and Fisheries and of Agricultural Sciences.
The Portuguese language has three levels of proficiency, whether as foreign language or second one. The main goal is to develop the communication skills of all participants, focusing as much as possible on their individual needs.
This year, for the first time, there will a module dedicated to the Portuguese Literature.
The ones whom are interested have the opportunity to visit the islands of Faial and Terceira, for one week courses on 'The Azorean Sea - uncovering the mysteries' and 'The Land and the rural perspective'.
According to Rhode Island College Professor Marie Fraley, the Summer Courses at the University of the Azores are an excellent opportunity for participants of all ages and backgrounds to study and practice the Portuguese language while experiencing the beautiful Azorean culture and environment firsthand. When asked on the benefits for the participants, Prof. Marie Fraley said that they "benefit not only from the intensive and daily nature of the coursework, the field trips and visits to local attractions but also from meeting other students from all over Europe. This is gives the participants the added dimension of learning about other cultures as well." She adds that Rhode Island College has sent two groups of participants in the past and are planning to send another one this year. "It is a perfect situation for our students to have the study abroad experience within a short period of time without jeopardizing the jobs upon which they are dependent to earn funds for their tuition payments during the year. It also whets their appetite for future study abroad and employment opportunities outside of the United Stated. All of the students who attended the Curso de Verao in 2009 and 2010 had a positive experience and felt that they enhanced their knowledge of the Portuguese language and Azorean culture but moreover described their experience as "life changing". Most of our students are immigrants or descendants from continental Portugal and from other Lusophone countries including Brazil and Cape Verde. Spending time in the Azores expanded their experience to another part of Lusophone world."
Mónica Ferreira, a participant from the 2010 edition, describes her experience as "one of the most amazing opportunities that I was ever given in my life. It is definitely an opportunity no one would want to miss."
Thus, we may conclude that these courses have become an unforgettable experience, as well as an achievement that benefit's its participants both academically and professionally.
The applications for the 2012 edition are open until the 30th of March and must be submitted to the IRO of the UAc.
Gabinete de Relaçoes Internacionais
(International Relations Office)
Universidade dos Açores
Edifício da Reitoria Piso - 1
9501-855 Ponta Delgada
Tel. + 351 296 650 406 / 800 (ext. 1406)
Fax. + 351 296 650 005