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Washington State University

Study Abroad Programs

Hearts in Motion – Zacapa, Guatemala

From Spokane to Zacapa! ~ The faculty-led Hearts in Motion medical mission to Guatemala took place during spring break this March and was directed by Dr. Ana Maria Rodriguez-Vivaldi, associate dean of student affairs and associate professor of Spanish. More than 25 students participated in WSU’s most relevant international service missions and learning experiences. From measuring blood pressure and testing blood to determine iron-based anemia, to dental extractions and other care, our students made a difference in the lives of hundreds of people with minimal access to health care. This year, students were able to shadow surgeons and nurses at the hospital while surgeries were taking place and help with pre- and post-operative care. Most of all, our Spanish-proficient students were key in the success of the mission, helping bridge communication between volunteers and our patients, to the benefit of all.

The Hearts in Motion program was brought to our department by two visionary and truly caring Coug alums: Howard Wright (Spanish) and Mark Paxton (biology). We are very sorry to say that Dr. Paxton passed away a few weeks before the mission was set to depart this year.

Committed to ensuring this program thrives and continues to grow in its services and scope, we dedicated our 2018 trip to Dr. Paxton. We will continue to work hard to support his vision and commitment to help the impoverished yet truly deserving population. We miss him greatly and promised to not let his years of dedication and generosity be lost. As always, Cougs help Cougs, and Cougs help make a difference in the world!

Hearts in Motion Photo Gallery

Hearts in Motion patient is being examined by medical staff assisted by WSU students.

Paris, France

This summer, Clinical Assistant Professor of French Dr. Insook Webber will be leading students on the second year of this faculty-led program to Paris in May. This six-week experience isn’t about becoming a fluent French speaker, it’s about studying the language and culture outside of the classroom. Students will be directly immersed in the French culture—the perfect opportunity to understand the area’s rich history. Students will get the chance not only to explore the city but also to experience the culture and landscape independently during their free time.

Vienna, Austira

Professor of German and Department Chair Dr. Jolyon T. Hughes is taking a record 15 students on a six-week study abroad trip to Vienna in June. The upper-division courses offered in Vienna can count toward a major or minor in German. Vienna is an ideal place to study the German language and culture and offers a great experience for seeing the rest of Austria. It is also the cultural and political capital of Austria, with 1.8 million people. Students will also enjoy weekly excursions to explore fascinating historical and political places and immerse themselves in cultural experiences.