Kelsey Adams of Calhoun; Tyler Aulds of West Monroe; Sarah Green of Farmerville; Brianna Hansbrough of Glenwood, Ill.; Zach Johnston, of Ruston, Walter Kipp of New Iberia; Yvetta Mazzanti of West Monroe; Keith Parker of West Monroe; Morgan Smith of West Monroe; Jake Vercher of Alexandria; and Robert Wofford of Monterey studied at the Instituto para Estudiantes Extranjeros.
Students were housed by local families in San José. Johnston said, "The Tican families who housed us allowed us to experience the unfamiliar culture in a welcoming environment and to better understand the Costa Rican identity as we observed daily life and lived in the hectic city."
The students worked on their skills and practiced conversation in classes and with teachers. Teachers accompanied them to visit Cartago, the old capital, to explore the ruins left by earthquakes, and to visit the modern Basílica de la Virgen de los Angeles which replaced earlier churches.
"After class we explored San José, visited museums and attended performances in the Teatro nacional," Johnston continued. The students also spent a weekend in the province of Heredia at the foot of the Arenal volcano, and were introduced to Costa Rica’s rich animal and plant life during a day on the River Sarqapiqui and national forest of Braulio Carrillo.
In Braulio Carrillo they took advantage of the teleférico, a gondola which carries passengers to the floor of the rainforest and then over the canopy for a bird’s eye view.
Johnston pointed out that ULM’s study abroad program offers a variety of lessons for student travelers.
"Those of us who participated in this program, and the students who choose to participate in the future, return with not only a stronger oral proficiency, but with a better understanding of another culture."
The ULM Department of World Languages will offer a study abroad opportunity in the summer of 2015 in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. For more information contact Dr. Charles Holloway, at firstname.lastname@example.org.