The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC offers Costa Rica trip

By Bethany Peterson/nw news editor

Students can see another country and knock out those foreign language credits with a study abroad trip to Costa Rica.

From May 24 to June 26, TCC students can improve their Spanish, live with a local family and tour the sights around the city of San Jose, Costa Rica.

“In this global culture, if you are not bilingual, you are not competitive,” said Alejandro Garza, NW Campus assistant professor of Spanish, who is putting the trip together.

It is no longer uncommon for a job interviewer to ask if an applicant is bilingual, and a student who is has an advantage, Garza said.

This Costa Rica trip is a way to gain that advantage with a little fun, he said.

Garza estimates the trip will cost students about $3,000, plus extra trips, meals or souvenirs.

Trip costs include international health insurance good only while the student is in Costa Rica.

The trip is open to anyone, whether they speak Spanish or not. Classes in beginning, intermediate and advanced Spanish as well as Spanish history, literature and composition will be offered at the University of Costa Rica.

Intermediate and advanced Spanish classes will transfer to TCC as foreign language credits needed for an associate degree.

The students will live with pre-screened host families. All the families live within walking distance of the university, so students will either walk or ride public transportation to school every morning.

“If [students] get lost, they will have to practice their Spanish,” Garza said.

Costa Rica is a very safe country, he added, and the university seldom has problems with students getting lost.

The host family will also supply laundry and two meals a day. Students will use their own money for lunch.

This close look at the culture is part of what attracts students like Nikki Pagdangana.

The close-knit family structure he has seen in U.S. Hispanic families made him curious what it would be like to live with one.

“I am an only child,” he said. “I really want to see what it is like in a Hispanic family.”

Classes will run 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday. In the afternoon, students can participate in university-arranged activities like lunch at a local restaurant or trips to local markets and theaters.

The university will also arrange tours to local sites such as Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall
Gardens and elsewhere around San Jose, including the National Museum and the Museum of Costa Rican Art. Other optional tours are available for an extra fee.

NW student Christine Lopez wants to explore the country, so the field trips are an exciting part.

“My parents are from Cuba,” she said. “I want to see a country like Cuba.”

NW student Josh Dees is looking forward to every part of the trip but especially living completely surrounded by Spanish speakers.

“There, you can’t ask a buddy for the correct [Spanish] word,” Dees said.

The trip is being arranged through Modern Language Study Abroad. Students must register by March 1 to avoid a $100 late fee.

More information can be found at or by calling Garza at 817-515-7762.

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