Active Learning Abroad

Comments from American Faculty who have worked with Dr. Arturo Jarque and ALA

I have three decades of experience developing and leading unique and innovative study abroad programs in Cuba, Mexico and Spain, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. In all that time I have not come across a more dedicated professional than Arturo Jarque. At the head of ALA, he runs a tight ship committed to providing tailored-made programs for the most demanding of clients. Indeed, his is a nimble operation at the vanguard of educational innovation.

My programs require arranging face-to-face meetings with the leading political figures in the country, and visits to sites of historical relevance that are sometimes far from the beaten path. These are all highly sensitive matters in a country that struggles to make sense of its past. Doctor Jarque works behind the scenes to orchestrate these arrangements and deliver a first-rate learning experience. No doubt this is in large part due to his extensive web of contacts and diplomatic skills, his deep knowledge of the land and the history of its peoples, and his vision of and commitment to experiential learning in all its promise and potential.

Moreover, Arturo, as he likes to be called by colleagues and students alike, is a hands-on leader who is always there to make sure that all operations run smoothly, guaranteeing both the safety and the highest quality. His staff is equally superb in their professional demeanor, educational qualifications, sensitivity, and responsiveness.

Beyond the mechanics of running such a smooth operation, the real reward of choosing ALA over any other service provider is the immense pleasure that is derived from working with Arturo and his team. I cannot say enough about how much fun we all have learning from all of them and engaging in experiences designed to be truly meaningful and always unforgettable.

Prof. José Buscaglia
Director of the MA Program in Caribbean Cultural Studies, University at Buffalo (1997-2015)
Director of “Challenges to the Nation State: Spain”, Northeastern University (2021-present)

Last Summer I had the opportunity to work with Arturo Jarque and his colleagues at ALA, as I oversaw a study abroad program with a group of 27 undergraduate students visiting Barcelona and Madrid for a month. Thanks to this collaboration, we were able to secure residential and teaching spaces in both cities, guest lecturers, full day tours to nearby locations, and other events that were perfectly organized and supervised by ALA.

Arturo's dedication and resourcefulness made the program successful in all circumstances. When we found ourselves with a small group of students who were unhappy about the residential unit they had just moved in, he was able to swiftly find an alternative on a Sunday evening! His colleagues in Barcelona were equally attentive, very friendly to students, and ready to take care of any detail related to the program.

I would recommend ALA for any educational project to take place in Spain. From the starting steps of defining the structure and itinerary to the final moments of making it happen, Arturo Jarque provides an excellent support and advice, as he is widely knowledgeable and experienced about all aspects related to these study abroad programs.

Xavier Costa-Guix, PhD, Professor
School of Architecture
Northeastern University
Boston, MA 02115

I have been working with Dr. Arturo Jarque and ALA for a number of years to develop opportunities for Carroll University students to study abroad. Our first group traveled to Spain in May of 2016, and we had an outstanding experience. Dr. Jarque and his staff are extremely organized, professional and responsive, and the students instantly connected with them. We spent an educational and very enjoyable 10 days in Sevilla, Granada and Córdoba in a tailor-made program that focused on historic Christian, Jewish and Muslim influences and interactions. The only complaint at the end of the trip was that it was too short! Along with the students, I, too, was impressed from start to finish, especially with ALA's flexibility and concern for students' wellbeing.

In addition to group programming, I have also worked with Dr. Jarque to arrange internships at Mester Language School in Salamanca for students travelling independently. Dr. Jarque's partnership with this school has tremendously benefited students interested in the field of education. As a result of these very positive experiences and successful programs to date, I have begun working with Dr. Jarque to develop new programs and partnerships as well, specifically for students interested in the Health Sciences and looking to complete health care internships abroad.

To anyone looking to plan high-quality, impactful experiences abroad for college students, I cannot say enough about Dr. Jarque and ALA. I HIGHLY recommend working with them.

Jessica Boll, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Associate Director of the Honors Center
Carroll University

I had the pleasure of taking 27 students from Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy to Spain for a Travel Study Program in June 2016. The three week adventure was a most memorable experience for everyone. Dr. Arturo Jarque, Director of Active Learning Abroad made the trip seamless. All arrangements were meticulously taken care of from travel, accommodations, food, adventure, tours, and academics. Dr. Jarque was with us for a large portion of the trip making sure that every detail was arranged. When Dr. Jarque was not with us, his capable team was there. The academic experience was rigorous and provided the students with an extensive view of pharmacy and the healthcare system of Spain. The cultural exploration included the cities of Salamanca, Madrid, Toledo, Granada, and Avila. All of the tours were well organized and top quality. I strongly recommend using ALA and look forward to another collaboration.

Elizabeth Frenzel Shepherd, B.S.Pharm., MBA, Pharm.D., FASCP
Assistant Dean for Experiential Education and Student Services
Nova Southeastern University
Health Professions Division
College of Pharmacy

In June 2016, I led a group of 12 students to Alicante, Spain on a University of Delaware Study Abroad program. The focus was on the Mediterranean Diet, wellness and food and beverage. Arturo Jarque and his staff at ALA were fabulous hosts. The educational tours he planned were amazing and over the top. We visited the 5 star SHA Wellness Clinic -Medical Spa-, and had a presentation and guided tour there. We also visited the University of Alicante- where two Professors there did a class on diet and health and wellness tourism. We spent time in two different vineyards for tastings and food pairings, and also visited the number one baker in Europe Paco Torreblanca. A student highlight was where our students were able to prepare the famous dish of Spain- Paella- over a wood fire outdoors.

Arturo was very organized, planning all of our transportation from arrival at the airport to return to the airport post; the educational trips and every bus tour arranged in between. Arturo is very professional, punctual and interacted very well with my students. The educational trip evaluations were amazing, scoring 4.9 out of 5 on the student evaluations. We are currently planning another educational tour with ALA with Dr. Arturo Jarque. I highly recommend ALA. They know Spain and the key players that work and live there!.

Frederick J. DeMicco, Ph.D., R.D., CGSP
Aramark Chaired Professor
Department of Hospitality Business Management
The Lerner College of Business and Economics
The University of Delaware

I have known Dr. Arturo Jarque for over ten years and worked with him to develop faculty-led and custom study abroad programs at two institutions where I worked. While working at Northeastern University Dr. Jarque organized programs for several faculty members. In each case the programs were a great success. He has an attention to detail and concern for safety and security to be expected from an education abroad professional. In each case feedback from faculty and students was excellent. At my current institution Dr. Jarque assisted in developing a summer program for our Honors Living and Learning Community students in Salamanca. Of course the organization and logistics were flawless. I was impressed by how he interacted with our students. He presented the onsite orientation personally and worked closely with FAMU faculty to guarantee the well functioning of the program. ALA and Mester are excellent partners for developing programs in Spain. We are currently planning at least two programs for next summer.

Dr. William T. Hyndman II
Assistant Vice President for International Education and Development
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL 32307-3100

During my tenure at Northeastern, I had the privilege to take students to Spain to study Spanish and International Health Care Management for three years (2010, 2011, and 2013). Our program was organized and planned through Arturo Jarque of Active Learning Abroad in conjunction with Mester Language School.

I highly recommend working with Arturo Jarque. He always provided a complete program including daily school activities, field trips, and interaction with local agencies. Arturo Jarque also is very responsive about planning the curriculum that will satisfy your school and course requirements. Our students studied Medical Spanish along with general Spanish. Arturo Jarque is well connected and respected in many communities in Spain. We were able to visit a variety of health care institutions and have guest speakers from all branches of health care. He knows how to talk with college students about cultural issues and how to model being a good citizen. His sense of humor makes students comfortable.

We always felt well prepared, cared for and safe during our programs. Students rated their learning and growth very highly and we developed a great reputation at Northeastern for having a top study abroad experience.

Margaret Emerson, RN, PhD
Retired Associate Professor
Northeastern University, Boston

I wanted to provide some information about Dr. Arturo Jarque, Active Learning Abroad and our experiences with this organization. They are outstanding in every regard. In my position here at Western Kentucky University, we place approximately 500 student teachers in local schools each year for their student teaching experience. Approximately one third of those opt for placement each semester in an international location for the final four weeks of their sixteen week student teaching experience. Since I have been in my present position, we have sent student teachers to international locations all over the world and have active contracts with numerous vendors/agencies/institutions in over 13 different countries. Active Learning Abroad is our favorite vendor and the CEO, Dr. Arturo Jarque, has visited with us on our campus and we have visited with him and his representatives in Barcelona, Spain while our students were in local schools there.

We have had an agreement with Active Learning Abroad for almost seven years and, during that time that organization has successfully placed from 10 to 20 WKU students in various schools in Barcelona each semester. Dr. Arturo Jarque goes above and beyond in making arrangements for our students, even arranging home stays for them to increase their enjoyment and cultural knowledge. He or his representative will meet our group each semester at the airport in Barcelona, will provide an orientation for the student teachers, will transport them to the schools where they are assigned, will arrange for them to meet with their host families, will explain how the metro works, will arrange for their international travel on weekends, and the list goes on and on. They are honest, caring, and student-focused.

I cannot say enough great things about Dr. Arturo Jarque and Active Learning Abroad.

Dr. Fred P. Carter
Director of Teacher Services and School Relations
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1031

In summer of 2014 I took 36 students from the NSU College of Pharmacy to Salamanca and Madrid for a three-week, tailor-made course with Dr. Arturo Jarque, Director of Active Learning Abroad (ALA). ALA took care of all details, including lodging for students, another professor, and me; cultural visits; and coordination of the academic program. They are very professional, efficient, and cordial. They were on top of things all the time. I am very glad I contracted with them for this endeavor.

Manuel J. Carvajal, Ph.D., Professor and Chairperson
Department of Sociobehavioral and Administrative Pharmacy
Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328-2018

My experience with Arturo Jarque from ALA was simply amazing and excellent. For three years my colleague and I took our students from Northeastern University in Boston, and we were so pleased. ALA provided our students with everything they needed in Spain. The orientation to Spain and this new culture given to the students by Arturo Jarque was very well done and prepared them so well for what they experienced. The home stays were organized well as were all the extracurricular, cultural activities. But most importantly the education was academically rigorous as well as exciting for the students.

ALA and Arturo Jarque are so experienced in study abroad it was wonderful to work with them. Several other Northeastern professors worked with Arturo Jarque and ALA and they were equally impressed. One of the study abroad administrators made a field visit to Spain to review our program and she said it was the best organized and academically appropriate program she had seen.

Ann G Hill, MS, RN
Adjunct faculty and retired nursing professor
Northeastern University

Study Abroad with Active Learning Abroad ! After researching extensively, Study Abroad Programs , I found that there were many of them! However, Active Learning Abroad offered the program that I was seeking for my college students.

This study abroad program is personalized to meet the needs and cost of each program. The program that we selected was Spain. The Spanish host families were respectful of our students and experienced. All of my students felt at home with their host families. The academic part of the program was excellent. The Spanish professors were vibrant and very friendly. The travel portion of the program was beyond words. We traveled in comfort, air conditioned bus, excellent and safe drivers. With each of our travels, ALA provided a local Guide, to explain the points of interest in each Spanish city that we selected in our personalized Study Abroad program. Traveling with ALA was stress free. If there are any problems abroad, you can be certain that Dr. Arturo Jarque and his team of experts will resolve those and continue to move forward with the Study Abroad program. I strongly recommend that you travel with ALA, a company that has the experience and knowledge in the Study Abroad field!

Prof. Evangeline V�lez-Cobb
Palo Alto College
San Antonio, Texas

I took a group of 16 journalism students from Northeastern University to Spain in spring 2014. Our goal was to work as a traveling press corps, covering news, arts, business, politics, culture, religion and sports. And with the help from Arturo Jarque we were wildly successful there. My students wrote astonishing articles - about bull fighting, about protests, about the Spanish health care system, about the famous local cuisine - and had the time of their lives doing it. Arturo Jarque and ALA took good care of us at every step. He made our work possible, and for that, we are so grateful.

Carlene Hempel
School of Journalism
Northeastern University
Boston, MA 02115

Active Learning Abroad (Arturo Jarque) and Mester continuously exceeded our expectations and made our study abroad in Salamanca stress-free. Our students loved their teacher, Bea, so much they wanted to pack her up and bring her to our home institution. Our special-purposes program had many unique requests, but the staff at ALA/Mester expertly responded to each one. Any problem that arose for our students was handled swiftly and professionally. I look forward to collaborating with Mester and Active Learning Abroad again soon!

Susann Davis
Spanish Instructor, Academic Advisor
Department of Modern Languages/ FAC 260
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1029