Costa Rica 2015

Wheaton in Costa Rica

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Program Overview

Wheaton in Costa Rica is an eight-week summer program that combines language study and practice, cultural immersion, and travel and service learning. It provides students a unique opportunity to live in and learn about the culture, language, and people of Costa Rica. After the first week of orientation, students live with Costa Rican families in San Rafael, Heredia for the duration of the program. In addition, students have the opportunity to travel to other regions including the interior of Costa Rica, both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica, as well as to neighboring Nicaragua.

  • Sponsoring Department: Foreign Languages
  • Program Leader: Dr. Nestor Quiroa
  • Term: Summer
  • Travel Dates: May 30 - July 25, 2017
  • Estimated Cost: $5,800.00 (airfare not included)
  • Prerequisites: SPAN 331: Spanish Conversation.
  • Eligibility: Priority is given to Spanish majors and minors; Participation will be limited to 16 students. Non-Wheaton students are eligible to participate if they have met the language requirement. 
  • Highlights: Actively participate in community life in San Rafael, Herdia as you learn about the social, cultural, political and historical issues of this Central American country from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Explore the socio economic and environmental implications of coffee production, banana plantations, and the tourism industry.  Students spend seven weeks in Costa Rica and one week in Nicaragua, participating in a service learning project with Nicaraguan national hosts to help serve the community.

Course Offerings

Students earn 8 credit hours toward the Spanish major or minor.

Required Courses:

Spanish 338: Intensive Advanced Spanish   (4 credit hours) 
Students build and  further perfect their conversation, vocabulary, grammar and composition skills in Spanish as they are immersed in Costa Rican culture. In addition, the course is conducted in a non-traditional format with a relaxed atmosphere, in order to resemble, as much as possible, the socio-cultural life in Costa Rica. The course consists of daily assignments and intensive class discussions covering the topics of the Costa Rican family, society, education, culture, economy, and religion.  At the end of the course, students are expected to have a deep understanding of Costa Rican and of Central American cultural life.

Spanish 489: Topics - Central American Culture  (4 credit hours)
The course focuses on the historical development of Costa Rica as a nation from the nineteenth century to present, analyzing the different cultural and social events that have shaped this country into a modern state with political and economic stability. The course highlights fundamental differences between Costa Rica, neighboring Nicaragua, and the rest of Central America, within the context of United States’ political and economic intervention in the region. Students are introduced to three historical processes: a) banana production, b) coffee production, and c) tourism. These topics are explored through the analysis of literary texts, visual art, and discussion of past and ongoing social debates, particularly environmental issues. Students are encouraged to engage in theological discernment in order to articulate a Christ-centered response to patterns of poverty, violence, injustice, and ethnic discrimination that such industries have created in Costa Rica and Central America.

This program fulfills the study abroad requirement for the Spanish major at Wheaton College.

Program Fees

The estimated program fee of $5,800.00 includes tuition, fees, orientation materials, most texts, transportation to and from the airport in Costa Rica, group land travel in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, excursions, lodging, and all meals. Program fees do not cover the cost of airfare to/from Costa Rica, visa (if needed), airport exit fees, nor any other personal expenses. We recommend a minimum of $500 for personal expenses and souvenirs.

Learn More

If you have questions or would like to know more about the Wheaton in Costa Rica program, contact Dr. Nestor Quiroa, Associate Professor of Spanish, for further information.

How to Apply

To apply, visit GoGlobal, Wheaton College's registration system for off-campus study and international travel, research, and internships.

Wheaton in Costa Rica

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