GUANACASTE, COSTA RICA


Guanacaste

PARTNERS IN PROGRESS SHORT-TERM INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM (SPA 305 & 405)

Almost everyone I met truly cared about me and wanted to . . . see me succeed in the country and at the school where I taught English.- Abby N., 2016 participant

In partnership with the Fundacion Progreso Guanacaste, Berry College offers a seven-week program in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. Up to 12 students serve as English-language tutors in primary schools in the canton of Santa Cruz. Monday through Friday Berry students assist classroom teachers at several grade levels. At its core, the program is about working with the schools to help the students get ahead in their study of English. Students are usually placed in different towns from each other.  Resilience and motivation are qualities necessary for succeeding in this program.

Academics
In Costa Rica, students also take SPA 350 and SPA 405 with the Berry College faculty member directing the program. Rising juniors and seniors applying to the program will need to have completed SPA 290. This is an immersion experience that provides an opportunity to serve in an important capacity, learn about Costa Rican culture and greatly enhance Spanish language skills. 

Instructors
This program has been led by Dr. David Slade, Dean of Academic Services and Associate Professor of Spanish, for many years.  He usually accompanies the group to Costa Rica, and then another instructor arrives to continue directing the program.  Previous directors have been Dr. Julee Tate, Associate Professor of Spanish, and Dr. Julia Barnes, Chair, Department of Foreign Languages and Associate Professor of Spanish.

Housing and Meals
Participating Berry students live with families in the towns, many of them remote, where they will be working in the schools.  Many times the families are the school teachers', and all have been vetted by the Fundacion.  Students take their meals with the families unless they are on excursions with their classmates.


Calendar
This program usually takes place from mid-May to early July.  Several meetings are scheduled during the preceding spring semester to prepare students.  The next program is scheduled to take place in summer 2017.