Imagine being surrounded by students who are learning the Spanish language for school credit while also indulging in the culture of Costa Rica with excursions to waterfalls, beaches and plantations. All this can become a reality with a study abroad scholarship from Weber State University’s Department of Foreign Languages.
The Department of Foreign Languages will be hosting a study abroad program to Costa Rica in 2018. It will run from May 13 to June 10. The deadline for scholarship applications is Nov. 3.
As part of the program, students will live in Costa Rica with host family, and they will spend their time earning college credit by taking six credits of Spanish and three credits of ecotourism and adventure recreation, receiving up to nine credits in total.
According to John Trimble, director of the Costa Rica study abroad program, this particular program partners with a language institute in Costa Rica. Student participants can expect to be in class learning the Spanish language on weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon.
On weekends, students will be able to do outdoor activities to satisfy their ecotourism and adventure recreation credit. Among the outdoor excursions are white water rafting and a tour of the La Paz waterfalls and the Doka Coffee Plantation.
Any student who has taken high school Spanish classes or the Spanish 1010 course in college can apply for the Costa Rica study abroad program. Trimble also encourages students who are interested in the program to speak with him to see if the program is a good fit for them.
Weber State students Dallas Johnson and Jack Hyer shared their experiences of studying abroad with the help of scholarships. Through the foreign language study abroad program, they were able to travel to Spain in 2017.
Johnson said one of her favorite experiences from Spain was jumping over eight waves and five fires on a beach during the la Fiesta de San Juan — a tradition to promote good luck for the year. She said as far as she can tell, she’s had good luck ever since.
For Hyer, his favorite experience in Spain was exploring the night life. He recalled that on one particular night during the trip, he and his friends toured the streets of Spain and were able to see street performers and even grab ice cream at a local ice cream shop at 2 a.m.
Hyer mentioned how studying abroad can help benefit students on their transcripts and resumes because it gives them a diversity experience.
“Studying abroad makes you a more colorful person,” Hyer said.
With the help of the foreign language department, Hyer was awarded a $1,000 study abroad scholarship that helped him cover the program costs.
Students can also gain an experience like Johnson and Hyer by applying for the foreign language department’s study abroad scholarship for the Costa Rica program. The scholarship application can be found on the Weber State University Department of Foreign Languages’ website.