Santa Clara University

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Casa Argentina

Program Description

LMU's signature program in Latin America is located in Córdoba, Argentina. The first LMU study abroad program directly reflecting the Jesuit values and our institutional mission, "Casa Argentina" engages the Ignatian ideal of "well-educated solidarity" on all levels from the types of courses offered to the ways in which students are housed and engage with one another and with host country citizens. In LMU's "Casa Argentina" program, you will spend a semester immersing yourself in the complex social, political, historical reality of Argentina, learning to accompany those living on the margins, and challenging yourself to grow and develop as a person for others.

argentina1Originally designed by Santa Clara University, "Casa" programs are rooted in four “pillars”: Accompaniment, Academics, Community and Spirituality. Currently there are three programs that have been established in this model and constitute the Casa Network, the original Casa de la Solidaridad program in El Salvador through Santa Clara University as well as Casa Bayanihan through the University of San Francisco. LMU's Casa program offers a rare and transformative opportunity for students to experience praxis, community living, critical analysis and reflection, and spiritual formation in the dynamic city of Córdoba, Argentina.



Córdoba is the second largest city in Argentina and the main urban development in the central region of the country. It is surrounded by breathtaking towns, mountains, rivers and lakes only a few kilometers away. This beautiful city has a large student population and is also a major tourist destination because of its fascinating history, impressive landscapes, eye-catching sites and rich culture. Casa Argentina collaborates with the Universidad Católica de Córdoba, which is the oldest private university in Argentina. Founded in 1956 by the Jesuit Order, the traditions of educational excellence and service to others guide all UCC programs. As a critical partner with Casa Argentina, students will take coursework from both LMU and UCC faculty. Additionally, UCC has over 9,000 students with whom Casa Argentina students can engage and learn

Argentina is a beautiful and geographically diverse country that offers many opportunities for exploring its breathtaking nature and cosmopolitan cities. The country combines Latin American and European traditions into a distinctive, edgy and captivating culture. With so much to explore throughout Argentina and its neighboring countries, you won’t want to leave!

Praxis Sites

argentina4A significant aspect of your Casa experience will include field placement or what we refer to as "praxis site". In the praxis site, you will be placed within a small community where you will accompany and develop unique relationships with the local Argentine people. Through this immersive learning environment, you will become more aware of and sensitive to the realities of those who are struggling to end social injustices while working to promote human dignity. You will become part of this Argentine community not as a volunteer, but as a learner. Your praxis site will be one of the most important aspects of your immersion experience. Students typically spend two days a week throughout the semester in their assigned praxis site.

Housing and Meals

Another key element of this program is communal, simple living. Students will be housed in safe, but simple communal situations with one another. This means that students will share bedrooms, have group meals and are likely to conduct many of the daily functions of life (laundry, cleaning, etc.) in simple ways. Each house will also have a "CC" or community coordinator along with other local staff to aid in navigating daily life in Córdoba.


Students will typically take a total of 13 - 17 units (17 units expected for most students), which includes the credit-bearing praxis experience. Some courses will be required and others will be elective in nature. 

Meet the Team

In-Country Director: Santiago Bunce


Santiago was a student at the Casa de la Solidaridad in 2005 while studying Theology at Boston College. Since his undergraduate degree, Santiago has worked in nonprofit consulting, corporate social responsibility consulting and international infrastructure development. In June 2012, Santiago completed a Master’s degree in International Economics, Development and Nonprofit Management.

Faculty Directors: Jennifer Abe /  Douglas Christie

jen and doug, casa argentina co-directors

Jennifer and Douglas are both faculty at LMU in the Psychology and Theological Studies Departments, respectively. Jennifer received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from UCLA in 1992. Her research examines help-seeking and cultural competence in mental health service delivery to ethnically diverse populations. Douglas received his doctorate in 1988 from the Graduate Theological Union in Christian Spirituality. Douglas is the author of the award-winning book, The Word in the Desert, and is editor of the journal Spiritus. He has recently published a new book, The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology. Both Jennifer and Douglas will be moving to Cordoba for three years with four of their five children. They will also co-teach a course entitled, “Contemplatives in Action: Psychology, Spirituality and Liberation” while in Argentina.

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How do I know if Casa Argentina is right for me?

By taking a moment and reading the four pillars of any Casa study abroad opportunity, a student can see the deep intellectual and spiritual commitment needed for this particular type of program. If you are interested in experiencing a spiritual and intellectual journey, while earning credits overseas in the unique context of Argentina, then LMU's Casa program is right for you!

Application Process

Interested students can learn more about Casa Argentina through the Study Abroad Office at their home institution or at LMU. To begin your application, please visit the LMU Study Abroad Page here or contact either Darielle Horsey, Santiago Bunce, Jennifer Abe or Douglas Christie. The application deadline is February 25, 2013.


Class Eligibility: Sophomore, Junior, Senior.

Language of Instruction: English

Language Prerequisite: Conversational level of Spanish (Demonstrated through placement test or completed course work).


In-Country Director: Santiago Bunce

Faculty Directors: Jennifer Abe /  Douglas Christie

Study Abroad Advisor: Darielle Horsey