Kansas University officials said Monday they will attempt to develop a student exchange program in Paraguay that could rival a popular Costa Rican program.
"The Costa Rica program has become so popular that we have more students than we can handle. We're hoping that this (Paraguay) presents an alternative," said Charles Stansifer, professor of history.
Stansifer said participating students all state university students are eligible will attend National University or Catholic University in Paraguay.
While in Paraguay they will pay resident tuition rates instead of non-resident tuition. The same holds for students from Paraguay who attend state universities in Kansas through the program, he said.
Stansifer said KU and the Kansas Board of Regents had agreements in place for 15 years that would have allowed for development of a Kansas-Paraguay exchange program, but political instability in Paraguay kept students away.
At the same time, he said, the political stability of Costa Rica led to development over 35 years of a popular program among KU students. The Costa Rica exchange evolved from an agreement between KU and the University of Costa Rica.
Stansifer said the next year certainly will be interesting to students of political science, history and other disciplines. A coup in Paraguay removed a dictator from power three years ago and the country is preparing for a national election in 1993, he said.
"This is an excellent period to study in Paraguay. We're looking for 12 to 15 students to start the program in the spring semester," he said.
He said Kansas students in the Paraguay program would be encouraged to create their own independent study program. That differs from the students' structured study regimen in Costa Rica, he said.
Jim Stinson, director of international student admissions, said student exchange programs that link Kansas to Costa Rica and Paraguay not only benefit students, but also help Kansas in the long run.
"It helps the state of Kansas economically through various kinds of trade arrangements with agriculture and industry," Stinson said.
The new program in Paraguay will be administered through the KU Office of Study Abroad.