Ashland University Partners with Conversa Language Institute in Costa Rica

10/17/16 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University has signed an agreement with the Conversa Language Institute in Costa Rica to provide AU Spanish language courses for credit at the Conversa Language Institute, a residential program in Santa Ana, Costa Rica, as well as other online courses taught through Conversa Conmigo.

“Ashland University and the Conversa Language Institute have a long standing relationship and this is the next natural step toward allowing students from all over the world to complete AU coursework in Spanish online or residentially through the Conversa Language Institute in Santa Ana,” said Dr. Dawn Weber, dean of the AU College of Arts and Sciences. “We are proud of this project, which is just one of many international partnerships the university is pursuing under the direction of Provost Dr. Eun-Woo Chang.”

Dr. Barbara Schmidt-Rinehart, professor of foreign languages at AU and coordinator of the partnership with Conversa, said the agreement will take effect on Nov. 1, 2016.

“It is exciting to extend our partnership with Conversa’s quality programs. They provide the ideal learning environment, both online and on campus. Their instruction is characterized by individual attention and high support, two aspects that mirror what we do here at AU,” Schmidt-Rinehart said.
“Our philosophies about language instruction are very similar, so it was not difficult to align our courses for credit. They will be offering elementary, intermediate and conversation classes. I would encourage anyone who is interested in additional coursework in a unique environment to consider Conversa.”

Andy Kaufman, director of the Conversa Language Institute, said Conversa has been working closely with Ashland University for many years now, starting with a small group that came to Costa Rica in 2009. 

“We’re very excited about being able to offer Ashland students -- and students from other universities -- the opportunity to take our online and full immersion Spanish courses while earning credit directly through Ashland University. We also feel that this is a very significant step toward building new programs for Ashland students in Costa Rica,” Kaufman said.

Conversa Conmigo is a live, one-on-one Spanish Training Partner that has been offering Spanish instruction since 2007. Its approach to teaching Spanish online has always been to offer students a number of different ways of absorbing the material.

The residential program at Conversa Language Institute has operated at the Santa Ana campus since 1980. The "language park" is run on a former dairy farm on a hillside above Santa Ana and is one of the most respected Spanish language schools in the business. The six-acre campus boasts three small lodges, a 45-foot swimming pool, 25 small classrooms, a cafeteria, an administration building, a basketball hoop, a paddle tennis court, a ping pong table, a TV lounge, educational walking trails, a mock travel agency, convenience store, restaurant, hotel, bank, pawn shop and infirmary (for practicing Spanish in different situations).

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.                                                                                ###