’90 Day Fiancé’: What Was Tania Really Studying in Costa Rica?

Tania Maduro and Syngin Colchester have had one conflict after another on TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé Season 7. Syngin’s arrival in the U.S. from South Africa only seemed to make things between the international couple, both 29, worse.

90 Day Fiancé fans were surprised at many of Tania’s actions on the show, from pushing Syngin to have a child with her right away to lying about the unfinished shed behind her mom’s backyard where the couple had to stay when he arrived. But what many viewers found most shocking was Tania’s sudden monthlong trip to Costa Rica in the middle of their first 90 days together. 

Reddit users were able to find the herbalism school where Tania completed a 30-day intensive in order to launch a business creating natural remedies. Tania’s workshop included courses on indigenous herbal medicine, plants native to the South Caribbean region, and more. 

Tania Maduro
Tania Maduro | Tania Maduro via Instagram

Tania made headlines for her choices to leave Syngin in the U.S. during her trip

Tania and Syngin clashed about Tania’s decision to leave for a full month in the middle of their first 90 days before marriage in the United States. In particular, Syngin worried that Tania might be unfaithful while she was away. He also said he felt “abandoned” by Tania’s lack of communication during her trip.

On a 90 Day Fiancé episode, Tania admitted she sometimes liked to flirt with guys in Costa Rica when she went out drinking and dancing with her roomies. “I like to flirt, and I like to talk to other guys that I think are cute. I can’t really do anything more than look. But I can still look,” she told TLC producers.

The couple also argued over their very different communication styles. Syngin wanted Tania to call him at least once a day and to let him know when she got home after a night out, while Tania thought that was excessive. “You keep asking for more commitment than I can give,” she told him during a FaceTime session.

The ‘90 Day Fiancé’ star allegedly crowdsourced for the tuition

Her troubles with Syngin weren’t the only reason that some fans were scandalized by Tania’s Costa Rica trip

Soap Dirt reported that, in Feb. 2019, Tania asked for donations for her Costa Rican adventure. Her Facebook appeared to include crowdsourcing posts as she asked her friends and family to help her pay for the trip. “It’s my birthday y’all!” Tania’s post read. “And the charitable foundation I’m raising funds for- is myself and some healing! But anything I ever do, I always bring back to the community- so it’s really a family affair!”

If real (as the 90 Day Fiancé star has never confirmed the posts are legit), it looks like the course wasn’t exactly cheap. “My next journey is a monthlong herbal intensive in Costa Rica,” a second Facebook post said. “The cost, including a BIPOC discount, is $2,488 including housing and 5 days a week meals. Flight is also extra. Please donate if you’re able and share, share, share. Thank you so much and I can’t wait to share what I learn!”

Some fans saw nothing wrong with Tania’s reported attempts to solicit donations, while others thought she should have saved up the money herself, especially when she was leaving her fiance behind for the class.

Courses included herbalism, plant walks, astrology, social justice, and more

A Reddit user claimed to have found the herbal center where Tania completed her apprenticeship in 2019. Sure enough, Tania appeared in some of the school’s photos after she completed her “Tropical Herbal Medicine Apprenticeship” at the Wild Ginger Herbal Center, off the Talamancan Coast in Costa Rica.

On the center’s website, a related intensive’s course description reads, “Our immersion program focuses on providing a strong foundation in folk herbal medicine, and includes an engaging balance between field studies to local indigenous and traditional herbalists and farms, practical and theoretical classes at our center, and time spent exploring plants with amazing teachers who have dedicated their lives to plant medicine both local from Costa Rica as well as those who have immigrated here.”

At the herbal center, participants like Tania live in “rustic lodging” with classmates. Along with five days a week of classes in subjects like tropical herbal medicine making, herbal first aid, social change, astrology and herbalism, tropical flower essences, and starting your own natural medicine business, students go on field trips to learn about the region’s plants. On weekends, students can do as they please, which is probably when Tania went dancing with her roommates on 90 Day Fiancé episodes.

Students are also required to produce a final project once they successfully complete the course. Tania posted about her final presentation on Instagram, sharing that she’d made her botanical creation for Syngin. “For part of my final project, I made Marigold Essence for Syngin. I also made a salve for muscle aches, bitters to help with digestion, and a lip balm,” she wrote alongside a short video of her presentation.