For students in the Spanish Language Intensives, ICADS offers a variety of activities during the time that you are not in class. You will have the opportunity to visit quality local museums, hear from expert lecturers on a variety of topics, taste-test a buffet of tropical fruit in ICADS’s fabulous Fiesta de Frutas, learn Latin dancing, volunteer in marginalized communities, and more.
While you’re here, check out San Jose’s cultural events, farmers’ markets, nightlife, and activities with your host family. Take advantage of weekends to travel to many of the nearby mountains, volcanoes, beaches, and other destinations – both popular and off the beaten track.
Here is a list of possible lectures and activities in which students may participate during the month:
Possible lecture topics:
- Environmental Issues in Costa Rica
- Sustainable Development
- Regional Human Rights Issues
- Third World Debt and Debt Restructuring
- Gender Issues in Latin America
- Costa Rican Health and Health Care Systems
- Banana, Pineapple or Coffee Plantations and their Effects on Local Communities
- The Social and Economic Situation of Indigenous Groups in Central America
- National Parks and their Management in Costa Rica
- Music and Culture in Latin America
- Poverty and Housing in Costa Rica
Activities and Field Trips:- Latin dance class
- Cooking class
- Fruit festival
- Trip to a theater or concert
- Museum visits
- Trip to Cartago and surrounding area
- Visit to an organic farm
- Trip to a banana plantation
Community Service:- Helping at a children’s soup kitchen
- Projects in an immigrant settlement
- Working with kids in local schools
- Activities with the homeless or elderly
- Bed-building projects
In months with a total enrollment of fewer than four students, formal lectures may not be presented, and an individualized schedule of volunteering and cultural activities will be created based on student interests and needs.
The Semester and Summer Programs have similar cultural activities built in during the time students are in Spanish courses.
«The time we spent with the children in the Nicaraguan neighborhoods and the things I learned about their lives really changed my perspective. At home it was easy for me to push the stories of discrimination and poverty out of my mind since it seemed so far away, but now I am so grateful that I saw these neighborhoods first-hand because it is something that I will never forget and an experience that changes my actions and choices today... Spending time in Costa Rica opened my eyes to many more issues and also makes me more aware of people and their feelings/needs around me today.»
-ICADS Student, 2011
Universtiy of Michigan.