This three week course has been one of the most rewarding and dynamic courses i have participated in, and i urge anyone considering it to APPLY!!! What sets this course apart from the numerous other summer courses on offer is the jam-packed and wide ranging activities it has to offer.
To start, mornings were spent being taught by world renowned scholars from the University of Los Andes, covering the history of the conflict, the economics, the role of narcotics as well as the sociological impacts the conflict has had on the wider population. Therefore, as you can see, various disciplines are covered on this course and no previous knowledge is required. Although having studied Politics and International Relations for the past three years, i came into this with a very limited knowledge of the political landscape in Colombia, but rest assured you are in safe hands learning from experts in the field. You will also get a first hand experience of the conflict from ex FARC combatants and from visits to Government agencies which are helping forward the peace process. This part of the course was vital, and helps reinforce what we were learning about in the morning lectures and importantly helps bring home the very real suffering that has taken place.
Asides from the jam-packed academic schedule, the weekends are filled with fun and cultural activities should you wish to participate. From hiking up Colombia's highest waterfall to playing the popular sport of Tejo (which is definitely something you should experience at least once) there is always something going on. My favourite activity, by far, was the bike tour of Bogotá!
The support given by Red Tree, and in particular, by Alex, was second to none. They were extremely helpful, with everything from booking flights, to recommending the best places to eat and drink in Bogotá and this really makes the course unique.
Just apply and see for yourself.
What would you improve about this program?
The only suggestion i have would be to make this course a bit longer in duration, as the days can be quite busy. However, what is good is the amount of free time you have on the weekends, meaning there is ample time for exploring the wonderful sights of Colombia.