Language & Society
Language learning isn’t only grammar and composition. Expand your Spanish skills a a means to understand culture and to interact with real people in real contexts.
Block 1 (5 Weeks):
Study in San Jose and the Central Valley. Students live in San Jose with Costa Rican families, and study Spanish for four hours daily in the morning. In the afternoon students learn about different topics pertinent to the Central American context such as globalization, health care systems, environmental issues, and history, among others. A constantly evolving reading anthology, expert guest speakers and local field trips are the tools used in getting at these topical issues. One week in Block I is spent in Nicaragua or Panama where students are able to see first hand the current economic and political conditions in Nicaragua or Panama, and are challenged to compare and contrast its reality with neighboring Costa Rica. Students prepare for their practicum experience during this first month by choosing the organization in which they will work and by planning their particular practicum in consultation with faculty advisors who are experts in the culture of the Costa Rica and in the students’ areas of interest.
Block 2 (8 Weeks):
In Block II, participants in this program continue to take formal language classes four hours each day, but also commence with a structured and personalized language-related practicum during the afternoons.
Practicum experiences include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Doing translation work to help organizations promote their mission
- Assisting at any of a number of human rights organizations in the San Jose area
- Working at a soup kitchen in a shanty town: serving food and spending time with children
- Assisting teachers at local public schools
- Supporting the work of doctors and nurses at local clinics
Block 3 (1 Weeks):
Upon completion of the eight-week practicum, students spend a week at ICADS completing written work and oral presentations in Spanish, while processing their experiences as a group and together with their faculty advisors (including a reentry workshop).