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Learning in Costa Rica

June 29, 2016 In Lakeland University Blog
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Three Lakeland College Spanish program students are in the midst of a two-month study abroad experience in Costa Rica, where they are taking classes at the University of San José in San Pedro.

Making this cultural and educational immersion even more rewarding is the financial assistance these students earned – from two organizations, a Lakeland graduate and the company she works for.

Lakeland Spanish majors Emily Lensmire, Chloe Reed and Janel Weir are living with a host family while taking classes that will transfer seamlessly when they return to Lakeland. The trio was recently awarded diplomas for graduating from a 90-hour course titled Advanced Spanish Grammar.

"Costa Rica is amazing, and I am so blessed to be able to use my Spanish skills in another country, while also making friends and memories,” said Lensmire.

Added Weir: “Studying abroad is an amazing experience. We have been able to practice the language we have been studying for years. Not only are we earning credits, but we making friends and memories, and truly living and seeing the beautiful culture Costa Rica has to offer.”

Reed and Weir each earned $2,500 scholarships from the Spanish National Honor Society, in addition to $500 each from Modern Language Studies Abroad, a third-party company that has planned and carried out study abroad programs for Lakeland for 14 years. Contributing additional funding for the three students to split was Lakeland graduate Pratikshya Bhandari ’11, whose employer, Northwestern Mutual, then matched her donation.

“I strongly encourage all of my students to study abroad,” said Katie Fronczak, Lakeland Spanish instructor. “It really makes their resumes stand out, because it shows they’re flexible enough to go overseas to learn about another culture, while also honing their Spanish-speaking and writing skills.”

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