Peacebuilding in Colombia Academic Summer Program

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About

Apply now to take part in this prestigious program and explore the contemporary history of this fascinating country. 'Armed Conflict, Peace Processes and the challenges of Peacebuilding in Colombia' will be delivered by the Political Science department at Colombia's top university, Universidad de los Andes, in Bogota.

The course is open to undergraduate students from a range of arts and humanities subjects, and has three modules:

1. History of the Colombian Armed Conflict: from the 1960s to today
2. Peace negotiations in Colombia
3. Building a lasting Peace

The program also includes practical and sociocultural activities, such as site visits to cultural, governmental and educational organizations in Colombia, and additional social activities.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 26 reviews
  • Academics 9.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 15 of 26
Louise
10/10

An extremely interesting course about armed conflict and peacebuilding

This peacebuilding course is one of the most interesting, as well as intense, courses I have participated in. It included a perfect mixture of both lectures and field visits. We covered many different areas of the conflict, everything from the history and different causes to how we have to work to solve all the different consequences in the future. We have discussed the economic, social and political factors as well as many different perspectives and experiences. We have been visiting agencies, NGOs, victims and former fighters and child soldiers, members from the FARC political party and many others.
The best thing with this course is that we have been able to talk and discuss with people from many different areas and with many different perspectives and opinions about the conflict. The stories and experiences we have been told is nothing we could have received from home or from studying the literature about this conflict. We have talked to people that usually don't take students or other people as visitors, and we have received first-hand information that we can use in our future studies and careers.
The Red Tree Study staff has been extremely helpful and supportive during the course, and they made sure that we had many fun social activities to join after the studying, as well as helped us with anything we needed to feel satisfied and comfortable in Bogotá. I can definitely recommend this course to anyone who is interested in this conflict, who wants to experience a bit of Colombia and who wants to make new friends from all over the world!

How can this program be improved?
One of the few things that could be improved is that I wish the course would have been longer. We had very busy days, but everything was very interesting and I would have loved to stay longer.
Yes, I recommend
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Jonathan
10/10

An absolutely amazing trip

I would recommend this trip to anyone, it was a unique and insightful experience. The academic content was provided by professioners at the University of Los Andes who have been very closely involved with the peace processes in Colombia. This gave the course a really personal perspective. The range of academic content covered was enormous, which made the site visits in the afternoon perfect to balance the workload and provide content to the issues we were investigating during the lectures.
The cultural trips organised were brilliant, I found the guided graffiti tour of Bogota really helped bring some of the issues we were learning about come to live. There was also a langauage exchange evening that was a great opportunity to improve my Spanish. These events really helped to get to know other people on the trip and immerse myself in Colombian culture.
The coordinators were great! Daniel and Mathias were extremely friendly and always willingly to help. Their personal experiences of Colombia also added a extra really interesting dynamic to the trip.
I really can’t say enough good things, an amazing opportunity that should not be missed!

How can this program be improved?
I wish it could have lasted longer
Yes, I recommend
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Daniel
9/10

Fantastic Introduction to Colombia and Its peace process

Looking back on my time during the Peacebuilding in Colombia course evokes a great sense of accomplishment and appreciation for what I have learnt about the complexities of building peace. As the program is structured with morning lectures which provide a historical and theoretical background and afternoon field visits to governance agencies and NGOs, it was able to provide a fantastic introduction to the dynamics and challenges that Colombia will face to create a sustaining peace. The quality of teaching was top-notch and carried out by very knowledgeable academics and practitioners so it felt identical to being in a university setting but far more fun!

Personally, I was particularly impressed with how the course engages with all the major parties to the conflict including former guerrillas members from the FARC, ELN and EPN and ex-combatants from the paramilitary group AUC. I found this very interesting as I was able to learn about the different experiences of armed actors which gave me an insight into the social-psychological impact of the conflict and how it affects the day-to-day lives of people.

More generally, studying abroad has given me the opportunity to develop a new language and learn about a different culture and the many fruits it brings. One key takeaway that will stick with me is how happy, friendly and resilient Colombian people are despite the hardship many have been through. This was a truly immersive experience which I throughly recommend to anyone interesting in peacebuilding, politics and history. However, it was taught In such a way that anyone, regardless of their background, would be absolutely fine even without prior knowledge of the subject area.

Yes, I recommend
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Carlos
9/10

Unforgettable

My experience in Bogotá has been outstanding. The course has enabled me to understand in a much better way the Colombian conflict and the current sociopolitical situation in the country. What I like the most of this course is its balance between lectures and field visits, which gave us the opportunity to engage deeper with the topic of study of the day. We had the chance to visit places such as the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, the UN Office of Migration and the office of the UN in Colombia, moreover, we could speak to excombatants and even to members of the FARC party, so we were able to study the conflict from every point of view.

Moreover, not just the academic part of the course was great, also the social activities were so fun and enjoyable. I have been able to meet a lot of fantastic people during my stay in Colombia, and the team of Red Tree Study was always there for us if we needed anything. This is an experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in studying abroad and getting to know other countries, especially if you are interested in politics, I can assure that you won’t regret it.

Yes, I recommend
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katie
10/10

An amazing experience

This course is absolutely amazing! It covers a wide range of topics from the role of women in the conflict to the economic aspect, all taught by experts in their fields. While the lectures are intensive they are all fascinating and vital for understanding the different elements of the conflict.

The lectures were combined with site visits in the afternoons. We went to places such as the Victims Unit and JEP offices. These visits helped to shape a more rounded knowledge of the conflict as we could talk to the people directly involved in the day to day running of the peace process.

Of course, there was also the cultural aspect of the trip which included activities such as learning to play Tejo or walking around the city during the graffiti tour. They helped to balance the rigorous academic aspect and added a more social element.

Everyone at Red Tree Study was incredibly friendly and helped to make the experience ten times better. In the course, there was a wide mix of different people from all around the world, all with different academic backgrounds. This helped to make class discussions lively and engaging as everyone brought something distinctive to the table.

Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Colombia and the Peacebuilding course. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone interested. It really is a life-changing experience!

How can this program be improved?
The only criticism I have is that it needs to be longer!!!
Yes, I recommend
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Maria Camila
8/10

Peacebuilding in Colombia

This program combines unique lectures by world-renowned professors and field excursions with special cultural and social activities. The academics allow you to learn about the history of the conflict in Colombia and the process of obtaining peace in the country. The program is extremely interdisciplinary, allowing you to learn about economics, education, women's studies, all in relation to the Colombian armed conflict. This program has undoubtedly reassured my passion for Foreign Policy and Security and Latin American studies. I recommend this program to anyone who is interested in pursuing Conflict Studies, International Relations, or Political Science.

How can this program be improved?
Longer program
Yes, I recommend
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saima
10/10

Memorable

The three week armed conflict, peace process and challenges to peacebuilding in Colombia program was intense yet gratifying. The course was split over the three weeks, based on 3 themes; the origins and transformation of the Colombian armed conflict, peace negotiation in Colombia (grasping Colombian history in the making) and challenges for peacebuilding in Colombia. The academic excursions and course content complimented each other well and provided extra support in understanding and contextualising the content in a practical environment. The program itself was taught well and advanced our theoretical, practical and social knowledge on the armed conflict as well as give us the chance to develop ourselves on a personal level, by way of introducing us to different perspectives and allowing us to converse and discuss topics with people from various different backgrounds. Moreover, studying abroad can advance our ability to diverse scenarios whilst being able to problem solve. Most importantly being able to study abroad broadens future career in addition to life opportunities.

How can this program be improved?
n/a
Yes, I recommend
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Prisilla
9/10

Many Faces of Colombia

The Peace building program in Colombia has proved to be a dynamic course. WE were able to learn about the history of Colombia and how events in the past, still exist today such as the peace process and guerrilla groups. The Red Tree study were also able to adapt our timetable to watch Colombia's live and watch the varying affects it would have on the nation.
Learning about the history of Colombia through academic experts, ex-combatants, the British ambassador and victims of the conflict has been a humbling, yet enlightening experience as all these individuals have had a close link in shaping the peace agreement.
The course it self despite being academically challenging, provided students with effective resources to stay up-to-date with the program in addition to the academics being avail if questioned needed to be asked. The most effective part of the course was being able to talking to speak to both the innocent and guilty of the conflict and get an in-depth understanding how they came to fall into the categories of demobilised or ex-combatants. For example, we spoke with two MA students who were previously members of two opposing armed groups that now study together and both explained how they did not have a choice but to join guerrilla groups as it was the only option for them, when growing up. It was extraordinary to understand where they started and see where they are now.

this first hand and interactive method to learning is a once in a life time opportunity. The program was not just focused of theory and statistics, students were able to visit multiple organisations and individuals who played a direct role in either helping ex-combatants reintegrate or re-cooperate into society or were dedicated to implementing certain aspects of the peace accord.

How can this program be improved?
Informing Students of Weather Conditions
Letting Students know that Bogota doesn't have heaters/heating in general
Yes, I recommend
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Mariana
10/10

What A Wonderful Life Experience!

This program is outstanding! It's jam-packed with academics while also allowing time to immerse oneself in the beautiful country that is Colombia. My one and only complaint is that it wasn't long enough and thus it would have been awesome to get to know the country better! This program allows you to learn soooo much academically while also giving you the opportunity to have amazing social interactions and experiences--it was a great balance and you definitely get your money's worth even if just from the amount of information you are taught. Plus, Red Tree Study (shoutout to Alex Jones!) is super accommodation and responsive which makes you feel very comfortable and safe. I highly recommend this program--it's a great life experience that you get to enjoy with some of the coolest people.

How can this program be improved?
Longer! Haha but other than that, it's great as is!
Yes, I recommend
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Hermione
10/10

Unlike any other academic course!

Such an interesting and dynamic course! The coordinators had even adapted our timetable to account for real time developments in the peace process. To be learning about a history that is still unfolding, in the country that it is happening, is to really experience what Colombia is living.

I feel humbled to have been taught by experts on the subject: professors, heads of government institutions, heads of NGOs, ex-combatants, the President’s communications team, victims of the conflict; all of whom have had a substantive role in shaping how the peace agreement was formed and how it will be implemented. Many of the Los Andes professors have been closely involved in the negotiation process and policy reform.

Equally, the course never felt inaccessible, or that too much prior knowledge was expected. Even the experts who have worked on this process for years were happy to explain the rudimentary aspects of the conflict.

For me the most interesting part of the programme was the opportunity to talk to people who have experienced the conflict first-hand. We spoke with two MA students who were previously members of two opposing armed groups, and “despite their differences”, are now friends. It was fascinating to understand what compelled them to join these groups, what compelled them to leave, and even what their mundane day-to-day lives were like while members.

The approach to learning is also unique in that we only ever spent half the day in the classroom. For the second half of the day we spoke with the multitude of organisations and individuals who focus on one specific aspect of the implementation, which gives insight into the complexity of a successful peace process.

One trip involved going to a demilitirsed zone where the FARC members had handed in their weapons only days earlier. We spoke to UN employees who explained the demobilisation process, and then had the opportunity to chat to several members of the FARC. I don´t know of any other academic course that offers so many different perspectives on one subject.

Finally, I think it´s important to add that the other students on the course make it particularly stimulating. Everyone is there because they have a real interest in the Colombian peace process, and as a result, there was always a lot of energy and inquisitiveness in the classes. It was a really amazing experience!

Yes, I recommend
Katie
10/10

Excellent Program!

Peace-building in Colombia was hands down one of the greatest programs I have ever experienced. I went to Colombia not knowing the political climate, peace negotiations, or even the language, and I can honestly say I feel extremely confident in explaining the topics to anyone who would ask. The class was well organized, with staff members who were very qualified in their areas of expertise. Even topics that I didn't think would be of my interest grabbed my attention. The professors, coordinators, Red Tree Staff, and university student assistants genuinely cared and tried their hardest to make sure we had all our questions answered, were well taken care of, and safe. Besides academics, the country and the people in it are wonderful. I have never seen a country so full of natural beauty, and the people were so welcoming. Also, I can honestly say I have made lifelong friends with the other participants who enrolled in the program. We still talk daily, and I can't wait for a reunion! All I can say is do this program. Everyday was a new adventure, learning new and worldly things, while seeing beautiful sights, and being with lovely people.

Yes, I recommend
Rita
10/10

great course

Both the academic and non-academic sides of the program were better than I even expected. It was academically challenging, informative, interactive, and, of course, super fun. I barely knew anything about Colombia and the conflict the country has had for decades but thanks to the course I have solid expertise in the field of peacebuilding, especially as applied to Colombia, now. The program included many cultural and social activities and I only wish I could stay in Colombia with Red Tree for longer.

How can this program be improved?
make the course one week longer
Yes, I recommend
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Jack
10/10

Highly Reccommended

To anyone considering taking part in this program, I would say go for it! Every aspect of this course was top notch. The accommodation was great, and Bogotá is an excellent city with lots to see and do. The Red Tree co-ordinators are all incredibly friendly, helpful and professional, as are the Uniandes staff and students who helped run the course. The academic content was very well selected and taught. We had lectures and talks with leading experts in the topics, as well as meetings with those directly involved in the conflict (including ex-combatants and victims) and with the FARC peace agreement. The mix of academic lectures, trips to various agencies involved in peace building, and cultural and social activities like visits to the Botero museum, meant that the course stayed fresh and active. It was a very good introduction to peace building and the Colombian conflict, taught entirely in English with the help of some wonderful translation by Uniandes students and staff. Many of those we spoke to shared their contact details, inviting those who were doing further research into the topic in the future to get in contact with any questions, providing a great resource for anyone doing so.
The social aspect between the participants was amazing also. Spending so much time together, we got to know each other very well, very quickly. In these three weeks, we made great friends with people from all over the world, with a massive variety in perspectives. Many of us have kept in contact, some travelling together to other parts of Colombia after the end of the program.
So if you want an unforgettable experience, with great people and great support in a beautiful country, and want to learn more about Colombia or peace building from experts in both topics, I highly recommend giving Red Tree Study a chance, because you won't regret it for a second.

How can this program be improved?
More time!
Yes, I recommend
Maxim
10/10

Peacebuilding in Colombia

This program is simply outstanding.

While academically challenging, it is also incredibly rewarding. Lectures are in the morning, while field trips are held in the afternoon. Different professors teach about their area of expertise and I can honestly say that they are all experts in their field, who make their subjects interesting to students with any background, even if it may not be one’s area of expertise. The real highlight of the course are the field trips in the afternoon, which go to places such as the Victims Unit. These visits help you comprehend and put into the context the content of the lectures.

Beside the academic part, Colombia is an amazing country, and the social aspect of this course helps you explore the countries cultural aspects, from Botero to Tejo. The group this year consisted of intelligent, kind and funny people, making the whole experience one which will not be forgotten anytime soon. Some long-lasting friendships have been formed for sure.

I would recommend this program to anyone with an interest in the subject. You will learn so much while also having a fantastic time!

Yes, I recommend
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Sophia
10/10

10/10 Best Program Ever

This was the best experience I have had studying abroad. Not only were the classes and lectures fascinating, but the excursions – both academic and not – expanded my knowledge of the subject and also my perspective of the world in general. Not only did we get to learn about every aspect of the Colombian conflict, but we got the opportunity to talk to former child soldiers, victims of the conflict, and eat lunch with former members of the FARC. The activities outside of class time were also incredible, from experiencing Gringo Tuesday in Zona T, to being taught how to salsa dance by local couples in a bar, to paragliding in Salento, this trip left me with memories that I will never forget. I was able to form friendships with all of the other people on the trip that I know will last forever, and that is something that is so so important and valuable to me. All in all, I wish I could do it all over again because those three weeks were some of the best in my life.

How can this program be improved?
I would have loved to have an additional week in Bogotá! I feel like there was a lot more to see and do that we just didn't end up having enough time for.
Yes, I recommend

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We specialise in Spanish courses, Academic programs and Film Internships in Colombia. We are proud of the excellent support we provide to our students. We run a great social and cultural activity program, and encourage our students to explore...