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Department of Languages offers study
tour of Spanish language, Costa Rican culture
March 20, 2009 --
A group of Arkansas State University students as well as
members of the community will have the opportunity to spend four weeks
studying Spanish and experiencing culture in Costa Rica this summer at
two different campuses of El Centro Panamericano de Idiomas (CPI) in the
Central American country.
Dr. Ruth Owens, associate professor of Spanish in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, will accompany the group. Several
sightseeing excursions are
included in the program cost, which is $3,299 plus tuition. The price
includes roundtrip airfare, the cost of classes and class materials in
Costa Rica, ground transportation to all included activities, all of the
sightseeing excursions, lodging and two meals a day with host families,
and an authentic Costa Rican mid-morning snack on school days.
While the priority deadline for the program has passed, students and
community members are still invited to join the group. No prior knowledge of Spanish is required, and placement in Spanish classes will
be based on each participant’s current level of enrollment or
previous experience in Spanish.
The first three weeks of the program will take place in the Central Valley
of Costa Rica in San Joaquín de Flores, a town approximately half-an-hour from the
capital city of San José. Students will use public buses and taxis to visit San
José and the smaller city of Heredia. Classes at the San Joaquín campus
of El Centro Panamericano de Idiomas are limited to no more than
four students each. The students will focus on developing oral
proficiency in Spanish as well as acquiring knowledge about Costa Rican
Sightseeing excursions in the Central Valley include visits to San José, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, and Café Britt. These half-day trips will give students
the opportunity to learn about Costa Rica’s urban development, natural
beauty, and most important export products. The highlight of the
sightseeing program is a weekend trip to Manuel Antonio National Park on
the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
For the fourth week of the program, the group will move to the rustic
cloud forest area of Monteverde, where students will continue in the
academic program of CPI at its Monteverde campus. Each participant will
have a new host family and experience the slower pace of a rural
area. The students will visit El Trapiche, a working farm, where they
will learn about sugar cane and a variety of other crops. Participants
may also choose to try some more adventurous optional activities,
such as horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and aerial rope-sliding,or
zip-lining, through the cloud forest.
Also included in the program are various cultural activities, such as
Costa Rican cooking classes, Latin American dance classes, Spanish film
nights, and soccer games with local children.
Anyone interested in joining the group can pick up a brochure in the
Department of Languages, or call (870) 972-3887. Dr. Ruth Owens can also
be reached at (870) 972-3481 or via e-mail at
de Flores campus. Above right, ASU students gather near a Costa
Rican waterfall. Photos courtesy of Dr. Ruth Owens.