For the past two years I have contemplated taking a Chicano Studies class based on Service-Learning in the Chicano/Latino Community. This class is basically built around the idea that there are many limitations within schools in the US/Minnesota that hinder educational opportunities for Latino students.
I have been attracted to this class based on the fact that the class is very applicable to my current life/our current society and it provides the opportunity to volunteer in an educational setting with Latino youth. I also have a minor in Spanish Studies and having the ability to practice speaking outside the classroom is very appealing. The University of Minnesota provides several unique learning opportunities such as this one that students are able to take advantage of. I finally decided to take this Chicano Studies class this year since I brought my car to campus and can easily drive to my service learning site. However, many students take buses/carpool to their service learning sites as well.
I was placed in La Escuelita (this means 'little school' in Spanish) which is an after school program for Latino students where they can go every afternoon when they get out of high school or middle school. At La Escuelita we hang out with the students and help them with any difficulties they are having with their school work. It is eye-opening to see how disadvantaged some of these kids are in our educational system given the fact that many are still struggling with English and have to work extremely hard to catch up. Getting out of the classroom and learning about language usage and educational methodologies first hand is a unique opportunity that I would suggest you consider taking if you have the time.
There are also many other unique educational opportunities at the University of Minnesota from directed research with a faculty member to freshman seminars based on several interesting topics. One interesting freshman seminar this fall semester is based on the psychology of eating and the body and is taught by Professor Traci Mann. This class is solely reserved for first year students who want to learn in a closer setting with twenty other students. As you can see, there are several opportunities waiting for you here at the University of Minnesota.