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South American Students Participate in Program at UVA - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

South American Students Participate in Program at UVA Center for Politics

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Students from Argentina and Chile, many who have never visited the United States before, are getting a unique lesson in American politics. Students had the chance to square off with University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato.

The hour-long seminar was hosted at UVA's Center for Politics as part of a week-long program focused on youth leadership.

Wednesday's discussion gave students the opportunity to talk about democracy from a global perspective. Some of the topics discussed were American presidencies, war and civic engagement. But the students seemed especially interested in voter participation and the social factors that play into low voter turnout in their respective countries compared to numbers in the United States. 

UVA's Center for Politics says it wants the students to understand and appreciate the differences within government systems.

"The most important thing they can take away is the importance of discourse, debate, and compromise, which we need to learn in America today and we're trying to teach that to the youth," said Daman Irby, director of global initiatives at the UVA Center for Politics.

The students will be in Charlottesville until Friday before traveling to Kansas City and Dallas to participate in home-stays.

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