Colombia: Barranquilla Named American Capital of Culture for 2013

Barranquilla was just named the American Capital of Culture for 2013. If that not enough of a reason to consider Colombia, how about 10 more reasons why ISA’s newest program location is a superb destination for study abroad?

1. Amazing ecological diversity – Colombia features an incredibly diverse ecosystem and dynamic topography. In fact, Conservation International named Colombia one of 17 “megadiverse” countries in the world.

2. Colombia is affordable – It is one of the most affordable destinations in South America. Your dollar will go far here.

3. Carnaval de Barranquilla – The gathering is one of the largest Carnaval celebrations in the world (rivals Rio’s Carnaval) and is such a powerful representation of the country’s cultural diversity that it is a UNESCO honored event.

4. Academics – ISA students will enroll in courses at the Universidad del Norte, considered one of the best universities in the entire Caribbean region.

5. Cumbia and salsa – There is plenty of new music in Barranquilla and it’s a great way to learn about a people and their culture. The city is the birthplace of pop singer Shakira and the dance Cumbia.

6. Coffee – Colombia has arguably the best coffee and is one of the leading coffee producers in the world.

7. Gabriel García Márquez – Students will explore Aracataca, the hometown of this Colombian Nobel Prize winning novelist, short-story writer and journalist. Students can experience the Colombia that inspired Márquez’s “magical realism” style.

8. Colombian food – From arepas to fresh seafood to buñuelos, Colombian food is delicious.

9. Caribbean beaches – Barranquilla is situated on the Caribbean coast, which is dotted with beautiful and pristine beaches. Santa Marta, the famous beach town is only 1.5 hours away from Barranquilla.

10. Cartagena – this is the colonial “gem” of Colombia and the cobblestone streets of the city are lined with ornate and gorgeously constructed architecture. It is only 1.5 hours to the west of Barranquilla and sure to be one of ISA Barranquilla student’s most memorable excursions.