CAC offering two Spanish immersion programs this summer in Costa Rica and Cuernavaca, Mexico

By Guy Harrison, Media & Marketing Specialist

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - Central Arizona College is offering two Spanish immersion programs, one in Cuernavaca, Mexico and one in Costa Rica to help improve language skills.

Designed to vastly improve the Spanish comprehension and speech of the participants, these 14-day classes will run from June 1-14 or June 15-28 in Costa Rica and June 29-July 12 or July 13-July 26 in Cuernavaca.

Students will be housed with local Mexican or Costa Rican families so they may improve their language skills through interaction in the home.

Each two-week adventure is worth three credit hours at Central Arizona College.

"This program is ideal for teachers, school administrators, medical professionals - anyone who works with the high Spanish-speaking populations in Arizona and the neighboring border states," John Prevost, the Central Arizona College professor who runs the program, explained. "It is a terrific opportunity for people to improve their education, increase their marketability, and earn continuing education credits. There is definitely a need for this type of program in our communities, especially among professionals and students learning the Spanish language."

Prevost, the instructor of record for the classes, has been affiliated with Universal, the language school in Cuernavaca, for more than 20 years. Students choosing to travel to Costa Rica will study at the Costa Rican Spanish Institute (COSI).

"Local students have gone in groups or studied individually in the program for many years," he explained. "The on-site instructors - who have a strong academic background in teaching Spanish to foreigners - implement an innovative approach to teaching the language using a cultural background."

Students may enroll in one class or choose two and spend a total of four weeks in either Costa Rica or Mexico.

Learning the language is just part of the program.

"The excellent cultural and sightseeing trips are designed to immerse participants in the Latin American culture so their knowledge and understanding of the language grows," Prevost added.

At no additional cost, the program offers exotic trips to Mexico City, Taxco, Tepotzlan, archeological ruins, the Poas Volcano Museums, rain forests, coffee plantations and many other fascinating places.

Businesses also could send employees to Cuernavaca or Costa Rica to enhance their language skills and create global opportunities for improved commerce. Law enforcement officials, government workers, military personnel and medical professionals all interact with large Hispanic populations in Arizona and would be ideal candidates for the program.

San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica with a population of 380,000 and is centrally located in the mountains, where students can expect spring-like temperatures. Manuel Antonio Beach is located on the Pacific Ocean. This national park area boasts some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the country, along with forests, mangrove swamps and lagoons. Sloths, iguanas and the rare and adorable squirrel monkeys are just a few of the 109 species of mammals and 184 types of birds that inhabit here.

Known for its temperate climate, impressive archaeological ruins, and spectacular mountain scenery, Cuernavaca is 90 minutes from Mexico City. At 5,000 feet above sea level, it boasts a pleasant year-round temperature in the mid-70s and provides a summer respite from the triple-digit heat in Arizona.

Students will receive a total of 40 hours of class instruction by highly qualified native-language instructors. These instructors utilize a cultural backdrop in an immersion format to teach Spanish - proven to be the best way to learn a foreign language. Students enroll in one or two classes for the duration of the two or four week program of their choice.

The registration deadline for the program is May 8, 2014. There is limited space available so participants are urged to sign up quickly.

For more information on registration or to receive a detailed brochure about the program and its costs, please contact John Prevost by e-mail at john.prevost@centralaz.edu, or by phone at 520-494-5386.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814