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  • Locations: Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala; Izabal, Guatemala; Livingston, Guatemala; Puerto Barrios, Guatemala; Santiago Zamora, Guatemala; Vuelta Grande, Guatemala; Xela, Guatemala
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Elon applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Winter
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

BEFORE APPLYING TO THIS PROGRAM, please submit a Practicum Application to the Human Service Studies Practicum Coordinator, Phil Miller.

Course DescriptionHousingItineraryEligibility / DeadlinesPre-Departure CourseCancellation PolicyCostScholarships / GrantsLinksMore Information

Course Description


This course introduces students to the biophysical model of understanding human systems in a cross-cultural environment. Three weeks of direct practice and observation in a human services organization allows students to apply and conceptualize various aspects of human services delivery, particularly cross-cultural practice, using this approach. Student learning will be guided and enhanced through course readings, weekly seminars, written assignments, and faculty site visits. Students also will explore the development of the social service system and current social problems through guest lectures and class field trips. As a result of this course, students will be more effective cross cultural helpers. 

  • Grades count toward an Elon GPA.

  • Study abroad courses may not be taken on an audit or pass/fail basis.

  • This course counts as a program requirement for majors of both Human Service Studies and Public Health Studies. Priority is given to declared majors and minors in Human Service Studies/Public Health Studies. Other majors are welcome as long as they complete pre-requisites before travel.
  • Prerequisites: HSS 111, 2.1 cumulative GPA 2.1, and submission and approval of the application for practicum. 


Human services concerns in Guatemala: Prior to departure, students will research social problems confronted by the population they intend to serve in community agencies in Antigua Guatemala, such as children, older populations, people with disabilities, and indigenous populations.

Service delivery in intercultural environments: Students will deliver services to specific populations at agency settings in a manner that is culturally appropriate while developing intercultural competence skills, which may be transferable in service delivery in the U.S. and other countries.

Ethical decision-making in international settings: Using theory learned and by participating in discussions with faculty, students learn to make ethical decisions with the special populations they are serving, and in the particular Guatemala agency they have been selected and/or assigned. 

Civic engagement and community organizing: The practicum provides the opportunity to visit diverse regions outside Antigua Guatemala to learn how different communities and populations organize to address their social problems, and how they promote human rights, equality, and fairness for all people, particularly those in greater disadvantage or marginalized. 


Students will be housed in shared homestay accommodations. Some meals included.

GUA Pract

Tentative Itinerary

  • Antigua exploration 

  • Xela - activities with the Women's Association of the Highlands (building environmentally friendly cooking stoves improving community health and empowering women)

  • Practicum with local agencies (a hospital for children with special needs, a school for children with learning disabilities, and a hospital for treating malnourished children)

  • Ecological & cultural days - ecotours with hiking and line zipping, and eating garden-to-table meals

  • Livin'gston (Atlantic Coast) with the Guatemala Fundation and the Aktenamit Association (support physical improvements of girls' school for low-income indigenous and Garifuna children and youth)

Note: Itinerary is subject to change due to availability of local facilities and scheduling issues. We will be traveling by plane, train, bus, subway, and other public transport. We will also do a great deal of walking, but it is worth it!

Eligibility & Application Deadlines

The eligibility requirements specific to this program are listed in the Fact Sheet at the top of this brochure.

See the Deadlines and Events Calendar for the most up-to-date deadline information. 

  • February 28, 2017:  All Fall 2017 travel-embedded and Winter Term 2018 Study Abroad and Study USA programs are announced.
  • March 6, 2017: Priority period begins for all programs. 
  • 11:59 PM, March 16, 2017: Priority period deadline.  All applications received during priority period are reviewed for eligibility and merit rather than time of submission. 
  • March 28, 2017: Notification begins.  The GEC will send notifications via email for all applications received by priority period deadline.
  • March 28, 2017: Change period begins.  Students that submitted applications during the priority period can switch into available programs by submitting a Change Form (available March 28). 
  • March 30, 2017: Rolling period begins.  New applications will be accepted and reviewed on a space-available basis.
  • August 31, 2017: Final deadline for Study Abroad programs.
  • September 4, 2017:  Deposit refund deadline for Study Abroad programs.  Students accepted to Study Abroad programs that cancel after this date will not have the deposit refunded.**
  • September 14, 2017:  Final deadline and refund deadline for Study USA programs.  Students accepted to Study USA programs that cancel after this date will not have the deposit refunded.

Students are required to take the fall pre-departure course associated with this Winter Term course. All students will automatically be registered for the pre-departure course but must register themselves for the Winter Term course during pre-registration for Winter Term.

Pre-departure Course: GBL 138

This Winter Term course has a required one semester-hour fall pre-departure course associated with it. Students accepted into the Winter Term course will be automatically registered for the associated fall course. There is no additional cost for the pre-departure course for students who are registered full-time even if the one credit creates an overload for a student's registration.

It is Elon University policy that students who are registered part-time for the fall semester will be charged the additional one credit hour of tuition for the fall pre-departure course. Students will also be charged four credit hours of tuition for winter term in addition to the program fees. If students contact the Bursar's office to verify that they will be enrolled full-time in the spring semester, the four hours of winter term tuition will not be collected. 

Spring Meeting Information

The spring meeting date, time and location to be determined.

Fall Course Meeting Information

This course will be held on the following Fridays in September and October (beginning Sept. 1) from 3-5 P.M., locations to be announced. 

Cancellation Policy

To cancel your participation in a program, complete the Winter Term Withdrawal questionnaire in your application.

Per the Study Abroad Policies webpage, please note the following payment and cancellation deadlines:
  • September 4 - October 2, 2017:  Students accepted to Study Abroad programs that cancel within these dates will not have the deposit refunded.
  • September 15 - October 2, 2017:  Students accepted to Study USA programs that cancel within these dates will not have the deposit refunded.
  • October 2, 2017: Full payment deadline.
  • October 3 - 9, 2017: Students that cancel within these dates are responsible for 50 percent of the cost of the program.
  • October 10 - 18, 2017: Students that cancel within these dates are responsible for 75 percent of the cost of the program.
  • Oct. 19, 2017: Students that cancel on or after this date are responsible for the full program cost.
Note: You are responsible for the costs noted above if you cancel regardless of whether you have paid the program fees at the time of cancellation.

Deposit Refunds - If you have paid the deposit and are cancelling your participation prior to the deposit refund deadline, the amount will remain as a credit on your account to be applied towards the following semester’s billing. If you have any questions about your deposit, you may contact the Bursar’s office at or 336.278.5300.

*All students are automatically enrolled in a travel insurance policy through iNext, an outside insurance provider. This policy covers students who must cancel their participation due to serious health issues that occur after October 1. In some instances (evaluated on a case-by-case basis) the travel insurance may insure against changes in mental health. The insurance does not cover any other changes in circumstances such as disciplinary or academic status; job, internship, graduate school or theatrical performance opportunities; leadership opportunities on campus; fear; other personal issues. Students who must cancel their participation after the final day to have the $400 deposit refunded may be able to seek a refund through the travel insurance company.

If airline bookings have already been made by the time of a student's cancellation, some airlines may issue the student a voucher for the value of the ticket less some penalty fee for change in ticketing. These are usually valid for 12 months with the airline issuing the ticket. The airline can provide specific details.


Costs for study abroad vary program to program and are in addition to the tuition for Winter Term (included in fall semester tuition/bill). 

Basic cost information is available on the Cost and Credit Chart.

Detailed cost information is available on the budget sheet (link at top of page).

Scholarships/Travel Grants

Students seeking need-based financial support are encouraged to apply for the GEC Access Scholarship.

For additional information on scholarships or other funding for study abroad, see the Funding for Study Abroad page.

If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your study abroad program. Visit the Deadlines and Events Calendar for travel grant deadlines.

Additional Links

Read the most recent blog posts from students on this program.

Read blog posts from students on this program in years past and access blogs for Faculty-led programs on the Study Abroad Blog.

Want to know more?  Like the Global Education Center Facebook page to chat with alumni and prospective students and receive study abroad updates.

Global Ambassadors are GEC student representatives that have participated in one or more study abroad programs and have been trained to speak about their experiences. You can be in touch with current Global Ambassadors via email--they are looking forward to hearing from you!

For More Information

Program Leader: Carmen Monico
Assistant Professor of Human Service Studies
Alamance Building 213-B
2338 Campus Box

Isabella Cannon Global Education Center
CB 2375, Global Commons 360
Elon, NC 27244
336.278.6700 (phone)
336.278.6692 (fax)


It has taught me so much about myself and my own limitations and boundaries. It really made clear that I want to help people for a living.
     — Zoe Ross-Nash, Winter 2015
Read what others have said about this program.
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2018 08/31/2017
Rolling Admission 01/02/2018 01/23/2018
  • March 6: Priority period begins.
  • 11:59 PM, March 16: Priority deadline.
  • March 28: Decision date; Change period begins.
  • March 30: Rolling period begins.
  • 11:59 PM, Aug. 31: Study Abroad final deadline. Application deposit is non-refundable after this date.
  • 11:59 PM, Sept. 14: Study USA final deadline. Application deposit is non-refundable after this date.
  • See the Deadlines and Cancellation Policy page for full deadline information.

    The start date is the date students are expected to meet at the U.S. departure airport. The end date is the date students will meet back at that same airport.

    These dates reflect the best information available to the GEC but are subject to change. Please do not purchase domestic flight tickets based on the dates listed here.

    ** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis and applicants will be notified of their application status within two weeks of submission.

    Indicates that deadline has passed

    This program is currently not accepting applications.