2019 UCA in Costa Rica: Spanish Language Immersion

 Program Description
The main goal of the UCA Spanish Immersion in Costa Rica is to improve the oral proficiency and the cultural awareness of students majoring or minoring in Spanish (who have completed at least Span 2320) by studying Spanish 5 hours a day during four weeks in an immersion program, by living with a Costa Rican Host family, by exploring firsthand the cultural richness of this small Central American nation and by providing the students with the opportunity to do volunteer work in the fifth week. This program aspires to be an AVID–academic vitality, integrity, and diversity–response to the university’s goals.

This experience abroad plays a significant role in the growth of both cultural knowledge and language acquisition. In Dr. Zambrano’s experience the majority of the students he has taken to Costa Rica describe the study abroad as very positive experience. Most research shows that when students studying a language are immersed in the culture and the language abroad, they exhibit a significant improvement in language proficiency acquisition.

Students will get credit for six (6) hours of electives. Normally those courses required for the major or minor in Spanish must be taken in residence.  Approval by Dept. of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures is required.

In addition, the Costa Rica Language Academy offers the following services for UCA students:
Latin Dance Classes, Weekly Conversation Classes, Weekly Costa Rican Cooking Classes, 24-hour airport pick-up, Books and class materials, Internet service & Wireless internet access, Telephone for local calls & Mail service, Fresh coffee & fruit refreshments, Wholesaler tour rates for students (optional excursions/activities), Travel arrangements, bus ticket purchase and hotel reservations.

 Course Offerings
SPAN 3398 & SPAN 3340 (Only for students who have completed at least SPAN 2320 at UCA)

Honors College credit available with approval from Dr. Zambrano and Dr. Patrica Smith.

 Important Dates
Interest Meeting Dates to be announced.
Faculty Leaders

Dr. Jaime Zambrano, Associate Professor of Spanish

Jaime Zambrano joined the University of Central Arkansas in 1991, after teaching at the University of Missouri and Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. He is currently an Associate Professor of Spanish. He completed his undergraduate work at the Universidad de Colombia where he received a bachelor’s degree (1980). He received a master’s degree (1986) in Spanish and a Ph.D. (1993) in Romance Languages from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has been the assisting faculty leader with the UCA Spanish in Costa Rica program for more than 15 years.

Dr. Zambrano has published the book, La Violencia en Colombia: La Ficción de Alvarez Gardeazábal y el Discurso Histórico, in Kathleen March’s series, “Wor(l)ds of Change: Latin American and Iberian Literature,” New York: Peter Lang, 1997; also, the article “La Nueva Narrativa de Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazábal.” in Hispaméria Revista de Literatura, vol. XXVI, nos. 76/77 (April-August 1997). His research area of interest is contemporary Spanish American narrative.



Program Cost
Official 2019 Program Cost to be announced soon. For reference, please see our previous year budget:

Costa Rica Program Cost 2018

Cost Includes:

Course tuition, home stay accommodations with a Costa Rican family, all breakfasts, dinners and laundry service.  Participants will also have International Medical Insurance, Emergency Coverage, San Jose Airport Pick-up Service and 6 credit hours Spanish Language transferable to UCA.

Cost does not include:

Airfare & Transportation Fees while abroad, Lunches (available for purchase within walking distance or at the school), Weekend Excursions & Optional Activities.

For information about international insurance coverage: https://uca.edu/studyabroad/health-and-safety/