This program begins with intensive language training and specialized seminars in history and culture, globalization issues, or literature. Students then begin an eight week supervised internship in Costa Rica or Nicaragua. Students may choose a research internship where they work with a professional researcher on a project of interest to them. For those who prefer a less research-oriented focus, there is the option to work with highly trained international professionals on projects of a more applied nature, i.e., working with environmental experts, public health and medical professionals, community organizers, classroom teachers, etc. The program gives students the opportunity to "try out" international career possibilities in a low risk, supportive environment. There is only one student placed at each internship site in order to maximize community integration and continued intensive language learning.
Students will be placed in either Costa Rica or Nicaragua (various locations).
ICADS offers a 14-week program each semester: Spring (February-May) and Fall (September-December). Each program includes a classroom and a field internship component. During each semester, students have the option of doing an internship in either Costa Rica or Nicaragua. In accordance with the program's emphasis on language as the key to in-depth understanding of the culture, the language courses are taught entirely in Spanish. In all other courses, Spanish is used as the language of instruction to the fullest extent possible and students may elect to write their papers in either Spanish or English.
Each student will live with either a Costa Rican or Nicaraguan family. Family placements are supervised by housing coordinators in each country. As an integral part of the program, the home stay experience facilitates language learning and active participation in the culture and society of the host country.