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Ginette and James (right) with an unknown Chilean admirer in the middle.
Ginette and James (right) with an unknown Chilean admirer in the middle.
Ginette (left) and Erica carrying a banner saying “Inglaterra esta contigo” - "England is with you"
Ginette (left) and Erica carrying a banner saying “Inglaterra esta contigo” - "England is with you"

Internal News - 27 January 2006

Students celebrate Chilean presidential success

Three IMML Spanish students witnessed the making of history when they took part in the national celebrations following the election of Chile’s first woman president last week.

Erica McIntosh, Ginette Boobier and James Cowling, who are living in Chile as part of the year abroad in their International Management and Modern Languages (IMML) degree, took to the streets of Santiago after Michelle Bachelet swept to victory.

Bachelet, who will be inaugurated in March, was a victim of torture under the Pinochet dictatorship and is keen to bridge the gap between rich and poor whilst maintaining the country’s swift economic revival.

“The fact that Erica, Ginette and James are in the country at such an historic moment in Chilean history, and are also actively participating in it with Chileans, reflects the kind of total immersion in a culture that we hope students can achieve on their year abroad,” said Dr Peter Lambert, a senior lecturer in the Department of European Studies and Modern Languages.

”A key rationale behind the year abroad is gaining first hand experience of working, studying and living in a Spanish-speaking country, putting into practice all they have learnt in terms of language and business.

“We encourage the students to fully immerse themselves in the local culture, speak only Spanish and get involved in local communities, in order to make the most of the experience.”

The IMML Spanish course has been highly successful since its launch in 2000 and has enabled the University to build links with universities in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Spain. Students have had placements in all of these countries, as well as Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Ginette and Erica are studying for a semester at the prestigious Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile - one of the top universities in Latin America – and James is working for Deloitte and Touche for the year.

They are part of a group of eight students currently in Chile through the IMML Spanish course.

Dr Lambert said, “More than anything, this course not only provides students with a first class education, and a springboard into international business, but it allows them to fulfil their potential in terms of work, study and living abroad in the third year.”

Silvana Stanford, Placement Officer for IMML Spanish and Academic Exchanges Coordinator for the School of Management, said, “ We are also delighted to receive students from Spain, Chile and Argentina as part of the exchange programme with universities there.

“They integrate fully into our courses in the School of Management and their presence enhances the international flavour of the IMML degree”.