In recent years I have led or co-led academic study abroad courses in Chile (2005), Mexico (2007-10), and Puerto Rico (2008). I consider study abroad courses an indispensable way for students to become better acquainted with the Spanish language as well as the fascinatingly complex layers of Latin American culture.
I am currently planning a study abroad course entitled “Spanish Studies in Costa Rica and Panama” with my colleague in GSU’s Dept. of Modern & Classical Languages, Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste. Here is a sneak peek at this exciting new course:
The Georgia State University program of Spanish Studies in San José, Costa Rica and Panama City, Panama is an exciting six-week program in two vibrant Central American capital cities. While immersed in the language and culture of Costa Rica, participants will study at the Universidad Veritas in San José. This portion of the program lasts five weeks. Participants will take two courses, each with a language or content component taught by Veritas instructors, plus a culture component taught by GSU program directors. The culture component will include optional field trips, excursions and visits to historical sites. The language or content components will vary according to the students’ needs and proficiency levels (e.g., Intermediate Spanish, Advanced Grammar, Advanced Conversation, Latin American Cultural Heritage, etc.). The final phase of the program includes a five-day excursion to Panama. There participants will visit:
• Panama City
• Canal Zone
• The ruins of Old Panama City
• Taboga Island
• Altos de Chiriquí
Universidad Veritas will serve as Host University for a 5-week academic program for Georgia State University. The tentative program dates at VERITAS are set for June 4th thru July 7th, 2012. Students may participate in two different VERITAS courses or GSU faculty led courses. Intensive language courses run from 8 until 12 m.d. (76 contact hours). VERITAS will also offer a choice of 2 electives chosen by GSU for the program and VERITAS will provide a classroom for the group. Another group of students will take a VERITAS elective, 40-contact hour course. This course will be scheduled Monday thru Thursday so students can take advantage of the weekend for excursions.
Students may participate in all free campus extracurricular activities such as: Tropical dance lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays nights, intramural soccer games on Mondays 1 p.m., Martial Arts classes on Wednesday afternoons, Bible Youth group, Cooking or Artisan classes (do have a fees) on Wednesdays and Yoga classes (does have a fee) from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Students may also participate in optional weekend excursions and day trips as part of the program. VERITAS will provide a guide for these excursions.