Thomas Nelson Community College to Offer Interdisciplinary Course with Study Abroad Experience

Published: October 16, 2006

Beginning in the spring semester, Thomas Nelson Community College students will have the opportunity to enrich and change their lives through an interdisciplinary course that offers a study abroad experience in Costa Rica. Students interested in participating in this course can enroll under any one of the following course designations:

  • HUM 295.01H: Topics in Humanities:  Costa Rican Culture, Language and Ecology
  • BIO 295.01H:  Topics in Biology:  Costa Rican Culture, Language and Ecology
  • SPA 295.01H:  Topics in Spanish:  Costa Rican Culture, Language and Ecology

Students who register in one of the above courses will be placed into a Community of Learning course that contains three interrelated components: Biology, Humanities and Spanish. This four-credit course is transferable and could apply toward an elective requirement.

In Biology, students will examine the philosophy of conservation as it relates to Costa Rican ecosystems and culture taking into consideration the diversity and ecology of rainforest and marine organisms. In Humanities, students will study the culture, politics, religion, literature and the ethics of ecology unique to Costa Rica. In Spanish, students will be introduced to the basics of spoken Spanish together with a study of Costa Rican mores and customs. They will also examine the relationships among language, literature and culture.

As part of this course, students will travel to Costa Rica to explore first hand the three disciplines included in this course. They will explore Costa Rica’s coastlines, rainforests, volcanoes, gold and jade artifacts and visit many of the country’s historical sites. They will also visit La Suerte Biological Field Research station located in the rainforest to observe howler monkeys and poison-dart frogs.

The first eight weeks of the course will be offered at the College’s Hampton campus. The study abroad experience in Costa Rica is planned during the College’s Spring Break scheduled for March 8 – 18, 2007.

“In today’s world, providing a study abroad experience for our students is essential to their education. It is also one of the most effective learning experiences since it allows students to experience first hand what they have learned in the classroom,” said Mitchell Smith, Dean of the Communication and Humanities Division and advisor for the Study Abroad Program. “I am very proud of the work that our faculty is doing to assure that these opportunities are available for our students.”

The following Thomas Nelson faculty members are spearheading the Study Abroad Program: Brenda Allen, Humanities; Dr. Ellis Long, Spanish; Jennifer Martin, Biology and Heath Scott, English.

Students interested in registering for this course must obtain written permission from faculty member and program coordinator, Brenda Allen. They also need a completed study abroad application and a passport. Students’ travel expenses are approximately $1,750 to $2,000.

For additional information and permission to register contact Brenda Allen at 825-3664 or by e-mail at

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