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U of A campus tours now available in Spanish

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Don't speak English but want a tour of The University of Arizona? No problem!

The University of Arizona now offers Spanish-speaking campus tours. These tours cater to prospective students, parents, families and even current students who do not speak English.

“It's primarily for parents and family members who want to know about the University of Arizona,” said Scott Kirkessner, coordinator of Campus Tours and Recruitment Programs.

These Spanish-speaking tours began in the fall of 2008 and are led by UA student ambassadors who speak fluent Spanish.

Argelia Benavides, a physiology junior, is one of two Spanish-speaking ambassadors. She has been a part of the program for almost a year and plans to continue next year.

“There are people from around the world who would love to tour the universities but don't do it because they only offer it in English,” Benavides said.

Kirkessner hopes these Spanish-speaking tours not only continue next year but also continue to improve.

“Currently, we only have two tour guides that speak Spanish and we're looking to increase that to five next semester,” he added.

Spanish-speaking tours must be requested and can be scheduled by calling the UA's Office of Admissions general information phone number.

“The tours usually last for 90 minutes or so," said Iris Martinez, a nursing junior and the other Spanish-speaking ambassador. "We talk about campus, its history, meal plans, residence life, safety along with other information."

According to Benavides, these tours can range in size from two people to more than 20.

Martinez said her largest tour group was around 15 people and that groups typically consist of high school students and their parents.

“I know a lot of parents who only speak Spanish and want to tour the U of A, so this is a great opportunity for them to come out and visit us,” Benavides said.

The university has publicized the Spanish-speaking tours through a pamphlet delivered to prospective students in the area.

“When we found out that a lot of Hispanic students' primary language at home is Spanish, we realized that we weren't really exposing the university in all the accessible ways that we wanted to,” said Kirkessner. “So we wanted to make this more accessible to family members so they understand where their student is going.”

Currently there are no Spanish-speaking tours scheduled, Kirkessner added.

For information and to register for a tour online, visit The University of Arizona Office of Admissions Web site.

Written by Lauren Harper You are reading U of A campus tours now available in Spanish articles

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