Students study in Chile

The opportunity to learn a foreign language in a country where that language is predominant has been a reality for several Henderson State University students.

Katie Smith, a Spanish/communications major from Bee Branch, and Bruce Fuller, a Spanish major from Bismarck, are back at Henderson after spending a semester at Universidad del Pacifico in Santiago, Chile. They participated in Henderson’s Study Abroad program.

Smith was recently featured in a story published on the website Marketplace Advance(

Henderson has an agreement with Universidad del Pacifico that allows students to attend the South American university while earning credits for their degree. The program has been in place for about five years, according to Dr. Maryjane Dunn, assistant professor of Spanish at HSU.

Students can enroll in 12 hours of Spanish Independent Study and get Henderson credit without paying additional tuition to Universidad of Pacifico, Dunn said.

The agreement also allows students from Chile to attend Henderson for a semester.

“Lots of students say they want to travel abroad but don’t have the money. I always tell them, you can either have the money or you can have the time, but it will be a long time before you have both of those together,” Dunn said. “Being able to study abroad for one semester while using your regular tuition is the best of both worlds.”

Dunn said there are a few extra expenses such as travel. “But the experience that you gain and the people that you meet, it’s a life-changing event for most students,” she said.

Marci Reid Rogers was the first Henderson student to attend classes in Chile, according to Dunn. Rogers, who now teaches Spanish at Arkadelphia High School, is entering her final semester of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at Henderson.

HSU graduate Sydney Dowlashahi enjoyed the program so much, she returned to Chili to teach English after earning her degree at Henderson.

For more information about the program, contact Dunn at 870-230-5268 or