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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Spanish students could be Costa Rica-bound

Students+trek+past+La+Paz+Waterfall+in+Costa+Rica+during+last+summer%E2%80%99s+study+abroad+trip.+%0D%0APhoto+courtesy+Alejandro+Garza
Students trek past La Paz Waterfall in Costa Rica during last summer’s study abroad trip. Photo courtesy Alejandro Garza

By Bethany Peterson/nw news editor

Students trek past La Paz Waterfall in Costa Rica during last summer’s study abroad trip.
Photo courtesy Alejandro Garza

Last summer, six TCC students traveled to Costa Rica for four weeks. They studied Spanish at the Universidad de Costa Rica, lived with a Costa Rican family and traveled around the country seeing the sights and talking to the locals.

This summer from May 26-June 11, students have the opportunity to do the same.

“If you’re bilingual and globally aware, you’re more marketable,” said Alejandro Garza, NW assistant professor of Spanish and the trip sponsor.

The trip costs an estimated $3,000, which includes six hours of transferable credits from the Universidad de Costa Rica, two meals a day, laundry, airfare, international health insurance, tours around San Jose, the Museo Nacional and Museo de Arte Costarricense and excursions to Volcan Poas and La Paz Waterfall.

The deadline for registration to join this year’s trip is March 1.

Studying abroad gave Nikki Pagdanganan, one of last year’s participants, a much better grasp on the Spanish language and an appreciation of the culture.

He took intermediate Spanish classes in Costa Rica.

“We all got so comfortable [in the classes], we would just spout whatever off and hope it’s right,” he said.

Students mainly take intermediate Spanish, but if they qualify, they can enroll in upper-level courses on Spanish literature and culture, Garza said.

Pagdanganan said he became good friends with the other TCC students as well as students from across the U.S.

“I still keep in touch with most of them,” he said.

When they weren’t in class, students hung out with their host families or explored the country.

“[The host families] were just enjoying time helping American students,” he said. “Through them, we got to meet about 200 people.”

One day, he and some friends went to another city on their own.

“We spent a whole day with locals,” Pagdanganan said. “They took us up to their swimming hole, to where they eat and to the grocery store.”

While traveling in other countries can be dangerous, students do not have to worry much in Costa Rica.

“It is a safe country and has so much to offer,” Garza said. “It is also considered one of the happiest countries in the world.”

Such a close look at another culture taught Pagdanganan a lot too.

“They have so much less, but they really take advantage of what they have,” he said.

For more information on the trip or to register, contact Garza at 817-515-7762 or at alejandro.garza@tccd.edu.

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