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 16 - 26 of 26
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Gareth
10/10

Peacebuilding in Colombia, a dynamic and challenging in classroom and field.

Put simply, this program is incredible!

Colombia is a rich and varied country, but the oldest democracy in Latin America has ravaged by conflict for over fifty years.

The country is living through a time of peacebuilding, as the world's oldest guerrilla group FARC-EP lay down their arms and pursue a political avenue.

This program studies that peace process, while giving a broader education on Colombia with the use of leading academics such as Rodrigo Mezu who was a negotiator during peace talks between the goevernment and the FARC and outstanding field visits.

Universidad de los Andes is an incredible institution, its campus nestled in the west of the city, amongst La Candelaria, Bogota's oldest district. Here you engage with the academic side of the course in world class facilities.

Afternoons are dedicated to field visits, as university staff accompany you to a variety of engaging and inspiring locations. These include the Victims Reparations Unit (whose director was a FARC hostage for over 7 years), the Centre for Memory and the Centre for Reintegration.

The finest field visit was the visit to the Demobilized Zone in Icononzo. Here the FARC have laid down their weapons, and the visit consists of meeting the United Nations team who oversee the peace process and the demobilised guerrillas, some of who have served against the state for over thirty years.

Throw in the optional extras of a visit to Salento, a beautiful area famous for its coffee production where you can hike, mountain bike, paraglide or horseride, and you have all the necessary ingredients for the experience of a lifetime.

The program attracts students from across the world, with UK and US universities making up the majority of students, I found myself studying with people from over 15 different nationalities. Not to mention mixing with the incredible Colombian students who are on hand to help out every day.

This course is an incredible opportunity to study the intricacies of peace negotiations, in a country where they are happening, right here, right now. The blend of academic experts from economists, to psychologists and political scientists, and incredible field trips make it one of the finest study abroad options for anybody interested in politics, IR or conflict. All I can say is: "Thank you Red Tree Study and UniAndes, I'll use what I've learnt for the rest of my life!".

How can this program be improved?
The only improvement I could suggest is that I wish the course had been longer! Other than that, it's just outstanding.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Crystal
9/10

Enriching

I learnt multiple valuable lessons; both academic, salsa and communication. It was an honour being a part of such a varied group in such a beautiful city supported by state-of-the-art university facilities. Even more so considering how pertinent our study was to Colombia's current political situation.

I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in international relations or peace and conflict studies. A fine balance between productive and fun.

How can this program be improved?
- more relevant field studies

Otherwise it was virtually spot on. Loving it
Yes, I recommend
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Vanessa
10/10

AMAZING

Peacebuilding in Colombia has been one of my favorite courses that I have taken during undergrad. I have learned so much about Colombia, and the conflicts that it faces. The lectures are taught by very professional and educated professors, and the excursions around town are as academically stimulating. Red Tree does a spectacular job at selecting a really diverse, interesting, and intelligent group of people. My cohort had definitely made this trip one of the best!

Yes, I recommend
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Jess
10/10

What an experience!

The course itself was brilliant and of such a high standard. Each lecturer brought something new to the conversation, covering a variety of fields such as politics, history, economics, law, geography, sociology and my personal favorite- psychology. By the end of the course you felt like you yourself were a specialist in the Colombian conflict and its peace resolution. Of course, we aren't, far from it, but the lecturers made us feel so, and really seemed to value our contributions and conversations about the issues and that's something i really appreciated.

The afternoon field trips gave us opportunities that we would never have experienced otherwise. I was definitely the source of envy for some of my university friends having talked to the Presidents team and met with the UN's development agency. The trip's really brought the whole learning experience to life and was a good reminder that the contents we were covering weren't just of academic interest, but is very real and very current and very important to Colombia as a country.

The social activities were hilarious- i loved the bike ride around Bogota when the city shuts out cars once a week, and watching Colombia beat Peru in the America Football Cup was honestly such an experience when you're surrounded by hundreds of Colombians going wild with every goal. In fact, you'd only have to wander round the city for 20 minutes in your spare time to come across some sort of street celebration, or march, or protest- Colombians seem to find any excuse to celebrate!

The RedTree team were incredible! We all had a great laugh with them and I definitely felt them to be helpful and concerned for our well-being throughout the trip, which I definitely appreciated in a hustling bustling city like Bogota. The co-ordinator Alex was brilliant- from day one of my application she was easy to communicate with and answered all my questions via email within the same day. A few of us decided to go to the coastal city of Cartagena for one of the weekends during the three weekends and I really appreciate her taking the time to help us with our planning despite it not being part of her job. Big up to our day to day facilitators too, Tom and Hannah! They were amazing, so much fun to be around but I always felt very safe with them, and they really helped the sometimes exhausting and intense days pass by easily.

All in all a pretty unforgettable three weeks, with outstanding lecturers and really admirable fellow students. With just 14 of us, it was a small group but i couldn’t have enjoyed their company more, and I’ve got to say I found it very refreshing to be surrounded by genuinely interesting people with noble career ambitions and intentions- and I think the three weeks gave each of us in different ways that extra bit of inspiration and determination needed to achieve these.

How can this program be improved?
Having access to the course readings earlier would be great- there's a lot of them and all very interesting, but just no time to read them during the three weeks as we were so busy!
Yes, I recommend
Sara
10/10

Once in a lifetime trip!

I was incredibly apprehensive about going to Colombia with a group of strangers for 3 weeks who were to be the first people take the course. Was met at the airport by a driver which was organised by the program and was driven to the hotel in Candelaria. The location of the hotel was perfect; minutes away from the university and in one of the more interesting districts in Bogota.

The apprehension soon faded away once I met up with one of the program organisers and the rest of the students as they arrived. The group of people this course attracts seem to come from a wide variety of backgrounds and has been one of the best assets to the course. The course itself was very interesting and the field trips provided insight into potential careers in the field of peace-building. It was also a great opportunity to network with other students who had very strong aspirations to enter into this field.

I would recommend to anyone thinking of taking the course to first learn at least a minimal amount of Spanish and also to take advantage of being in such a beautiful country and travel either before or after.

10/10 highly recommend

Yes, I recommend
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Mari
10/10

A well-balanced combination of academia and social life

It was very good course indeed. The classes didn’t assume any prior knowledge in either conflict studies or the Colombian case more specifically. This is not to say, however, that prior knowledge wouldn’t be beneficial, as the lecturers scheduled in time for questions and conversation. Thus, the more you know about the subject matter, the better they can tailor the class to suit you.
The standard of lectures was excellent and the lecturers seemed quite excited about the project themselves. Aspects covered varied from the Colombian political party system to the implementation of peace, and from transitional justice to international aid. And a whole lot more. The wide variety of academics from different backgrounds were indispensable in helping us to put the jigsaw puzzle of the conflict together, while the academic coordinator Simone, from her part, did a superb job at facilitating the lectures and avoiding overlaps in the fields covered – not an easy job in the first year of the course.
The programme coordinators were friendly and helpful and the afternoon activities varied, taking us to visit various social, cultural and political institutions, as well as to cycling, social dinners and armchair football.

Highlights:
A visit to the Foundation Ideas for Peace consultancy firm.
A chat with the President’s communication team.
A hike through the stunning countryside to the Colombia’s highest waterfall.

How can this program be improved?
I’d suggest is to send the reading materials (of which there was a lot!) well in advance of the beginning of the course next year, as the busy social schedule doesn’t allow enough time for homework. A lecture on the environmental aspects of the conflict and peacebuilding would also fit nicely into the otherwise well rounded programme.
Yes, I recommend
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Arabella
9/10

Peace building in Colombia

Having just spent 3 weeks in Bogota on the Peace building course I am very sad to be leaving. Whether being taught by leading professors in the field, touring round the cities graffiti or watching the football with thousands of Colombians the overall experience has been fantastic and eye opening. The academic teaching is the best I have ever received and I have learnt so much in a short space of time. The organisation by Red Tree Study was seamless with the coordinators being constantly on hand for any worries. The organised social activities were all fantastic and offered a real taste of Colombian culture.

For me, the visit to the Transitional Justice centre was a particular highlight as it changed my previously resolute ideals about what exactly justice encompassed. The ability of the course to challenge and change my political and ethical standpoints has surprised me the most. This I had not previously experienced within my studies at university and is something I feel anyone with a keen interest in politics would benefit from.

Studying a peace process in the country of implementation has been a unique experience and the fact that the peace agreement was signed during the course, made my academic work real in a way that I have not previously experienced.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in politics and will be sad to leave this beautiful country

Yes, I recommend
Lindsay
9/10

Wonderful Program

Peacebuilding in Colombia through Red Tree Study was a fantastic three weeks. We were located very centrally in Bogotá which allowed us to get to Universidad de los Andes with ease as well as to explore the city on our own time. The professors were extremely knowledgable and engaging and the support staff was always helpful and professional. I look forward to keeping in touch with many whom I met along the way. The field visits as well allowed the group to experience all aspects of Colombian life and different perspectives on the conflict. My experience in Bogotá was unique and enriching, and I would absolutely recommend this course.

Yes, I recommend
Teddy
10/10

Amazing, fun and intellectually stimulating experience

This course has taught me so much about peacebuilding, Colombian history, international law and major philosophical debates. Of course, it has been intensive but totally rewarding. The quality of teaching is excellent and the staff are all really nice and friendly. I'd encourage anyone to take this once in a lifetime opportunity to visit institutions such as Congress, United Nations, while also being able to speak with them. Also, as I don't speak Spanish I was concerned that it could impact on my time here, but it was absolutely fine - I had no problems whatsoever; the course is in English, there are translators, and many Colombians can speak English too.

However, Red Tree Study is what makes this experience so amazing. They have made sure we have had the best time in Colombia, and not only on an academic level. So many social activities were organised, such as the Ciclovia, graffiti tour, salt cathedral and waterfall hiking. We also went out for dinners and drinks many times and thats what made this 3 week program so social and fun. The best memory would be when we went to a bar and watched Colombia play Peru at football. The atmosphere was absolutely incredible, and it made me realise how fun Bogota really is.

So if you're considering taking this course, I totally encourage you to take this opportunity. Colombia is amazing, and this course will enrich you with its culture!

Yes, I recommend
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Emma
10/10

Excellent program!

A really excellent program! I came here knowing absolutely nothing about the Colombian conflict but I've learnt so much in the past three weeks. The course schedule is jam packed with classes and field visits. Professors assumed no prior knowledge so everything was explained in detail, very informal classes, most more of a discussion than a lecture.
The course was arranged to be classes in the morning and field visits in the afternoon. Field visits included the Communications Team of the President, UNDP, the Victims' Centre and International Centre for Transitional Justice, all of which expanded our knowledge of the peace process. One particular field visit which stood out was the visit to the UNDP project in Soacha, where we got to see firsthand the work that the UN is doing in the country.

A knowledge of Spanish could prove very useful, however not essential since there is always someone around to translate during field visits etc. I speak no Spanish and have managed quite well.

I've made some really great friends here. The number of students on the course is relatively small so everyone gets the chance to bond with the whole group.

The social activities are extremely fun, knowing exactly what to do and where to go. Social activities included tejo, a traditional Colombian sport, a party bus and a hike to Colombia's tallest waterfall. The Red Tree Study team are organised and very helpful.

Overall an excellent program and Bogota is an amazing city to do this. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

Yes, I recommend
Carina
8/10

Great Opportunity

It was a really fun experience. I got to make new friends and explore Bogota for the first time. The lectures where great, especially for someone coming in with very little prior knowledge on Colombia or the armed conflict.
Have a basic knowledge of the Spanish, being that it is a Spanish speaking country and very few outside the university speak English. If you are going out without staff it will make the trip much smoother.
Overall it was a fun experience that I will always remember and learned so much in such an important time in Colombian history.

How can this program be improved?
More Spanish speaking staff for those who are not fluent
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...