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Rehearsing Change rethinks what study abroad is, and what it can be. Years of experience in international education led our founders to the realization that we are barely scratching the surface of its potential.  While well-intentioned, study abroad can actually perpetuate the top-down (or outside-in) development model, perhaps even hindering community empowerment.  When this occurs, we refer to it as colonial education or colonizing study abroad.


Being able to study for a semester or year in another country needs to be seen as both a privilege and responsibility, especially when we consider that people in the communities we visit do not have access to the same opportunities.  Additionally, for almost all smaller communities, it is impossible to access quality education.

Thus, almost everything about our program is different:


  • The program is integrally linked to an organizational mission and practical application of sustainable community development. In other words, community development empowers study abroad, and study abroad empowers community development

  • Fair Trade Study Abroad: This program creates a new model for educational exchange, in which the tuition of one pays for two in the same program of study. An international student’s participation funds the education of one or morecommunity counterparts, with whom the student lives and learns with in their community.

  • Decolonizing Education: There is no top-down or outside-in methodology, we respect multiple ways of learning and producing knowledge. All participants are treated as equals and all work is co-created between international students and local counterparts.

  • Our research indicates that this is the first semester-long, community-based, language immersive program in the Amazon Region (certain semesters).

  • Our research indicates that this is the first semester-long program in the world with a primary focus on Arts for Social Change. Our world has complex problems that require creative solutions, and creativity must first be practiced. 

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