Opening Doors, Opening Opportunities, & Opening Minds

Costa Rica

PSU students in Costa Rica

 

A note from Brett Smith:

Students at Pittsburg State University have seen many doors opening which is offering new opportunities to learn and study culture.  As Pittsburg State continues to provide more opportunities for its students to study abroad they are giving students a chance to open their minds, and in turn, learn in a way they may have never thought possible. 

On December 26th 2010 eleven students from various backgrounds walked through one of those doors on a three week trip to study abroad in Costa Rica.  It gave the students the opportunity to study outside the world they experience here at the University.  Led by Modern Languages Spanish Instructor Brett Smith, the students attended a private Spanish language school, and lived with host families to learn the Spanish language and culture. 

During their stay, in addition to making trips to the; rain forest, cloud forest, volcanoes, museums, the beach, and so much more, the students took classes from El Instituto Para Estudiantes Extranjeros Monday through Friday from 8:00-12:00.  They learned from Native Spanish speakers opening their minds to what it is like to learn another language in full immersion.  For some of the students, this was their first time to leave the United States, so they faced not only the challenges of language and culture, but also the challenge of overcoming their own fear.  We should remember that even though Pittsburg State opens the door, it takes brave students to decide to pass through it.

Having braved through all the obstacles that were in front of them, students had time to explore the culture and spend time with their host families.  Students experienced birthday parties with their families, learned about cultural differences, and enjoyed celebrating the New Year through the eyes of a different culture.  This is just one more example of how Pittsburg State University is opening up doors of opportunities for its students to learn outside the confines of the university and learn concepts of language and globalization in real life settings.

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