Learning Agreement / Poverty and Development in Chile 2019-2020


Approaches to Poverty and Development is a multi-disciplinary course combining experiential and service learning with social analysis, and ethical viewpoints. The course is taught in Santiago, Chile at the Jesuit University Alberto Hurtado, which has many graduate and undergraduate academic resources in the social sciences, theology, and new forms of education.

The course is open to Notre Dame students who are accepted into Notre Dame’s Santiago, Chile semester abroad program through Notre Dame International. Students accepted into the course are required to participate in a one-credit preparatory seminar offered by the Center for Social Concerns the semester before they leave to Chile.

The course at the Alberto Hurtado University follows the Chilean school calendar, beginning the first week of March and ending in early July for those there in our Spring semester, and beginning in August and ending in December for those there in our fall semester. Upon arrival, students will engage in a program of “field education” (en terreno), a three-plus hour a week commitment in a small supervised service-learning opportunity. These projects can take place at any time during the week based on the organization and the students’ schedules. Students attend once a week, a two and a half hour seminar at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado, in which instructors and guest speakers provide different perspectives about poverty and development in the country from varying academic disciplines such as social science, political science, development, etc. There is also space for questions and opportunities to link issues that emerge from the experiential and service learning with the theoretical presentations. In Chile, the readings, presentations, and written assignments are all in Spanish.

As written above, students accepted into the Approaches to Poverty and Development course are required to participate in a one-credit seminar offered on the Notre Dame campus by the Center for Social Concerns the semester before they leave for Chile. The one-credit preparatory seminar (CSC 33975) will provide the necessary information to facilitate a richer and more meaningful experience while in Chile.

Notre Dame departments that accept the five credits (3 graded, 2 S/U) from the Approaches to Poverty and Development in Chile course are ANTH, LAST, IIPS, KSGA. More information may be found in the Learning Agreement. Students may ask their advisors about receiving credit from other disciplines.

Following are the learning goals and responsibilities of the one-credit preparatory seminar offered by the Center for Social Concerns:

Learning Objectives

Begin to thoughtfully engage course subject matter on cultural, social, economic, and political issues well before arrival in Chile.

Become comfortable with basic terms and premises for the course in English before using them in Spanish.

Build fellowship and community and facilitate discussion among the course participants to lay the foundation for a supportive learning environment during the semester abroad.

Academic Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the one-credit seminar include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Punctual arrival and attendance at all scheduled classes, and active participation in discussions.
  • Completion of all the assigned readings before each class session.
  • Posting of thoughtful analysis of readings for each class that includes one or two insights gained.
  • Class facilitation and participative small group presentation of additional resources that demonstrate a high level of understanding of the readings and of that evening’s class topic.
  • Completion of 5-7 page reflection paper toward the end of the course.

Additional Resources for this Seminar

Students are encouraged to discuss the Universidad Alberto Hurtado program with professors in their major to explore readings, etc. before and after the experience. Both at Universidad Alberto Hurtado and in other parts of Santiago, there are persons with comprehensive experience related to the issues dealt with in the course.


There is a $50 application fee associated with the Poverty and Development course. If you are invited to participate in the course, it will be non-refundable. The $50 will be charged against your student account.

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