Program Details

This program combines academics, service-learning, and cultural immersion to provide students with the opportunity to acquire in-depth knowledge of human rights, analyze challenges to environmental sustainability, and understand human development.
Location:
San Jose, Costa Rica
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Fall Semester, Spring Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:

Students choosing to study at the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) complete their coursework in both English and Spanish with other American study abroad students on the campus of the Universidad Latina, Costa Rica’s largest private university. The campus is located northeast of downtown in an area of San José known as Lourdes de Montes de Oca. With its modern facilities, advanced equipment, and experienced and efficient staff, the Universidad Latina provides the perfect learning environment for the ICDS programs. Students have full access to all facilities at the Universidad Latina, including libraries, bookstores, coffee shops and a food court. Intimate class sizes provide students with ample opportunities to participate and explore areas of particular interest to them, and students who desire greater interaction with local students can seek friends from among the general Universidad Latina student population.

Social justice, sustainability, gender issues, social cohesion, the dichotomy of exclusion and inclusion, as well as the relationship between Latin America and the United States, are just some of the many themes of development explored in this program. The analysis of case studies and hands-on engagement with the local community are features of this program.

The program features two core courses that all students will complete. “Community Engagement and Sustainable Human Development” is a service-learning course in which students participate in community-based volunteer work followed by guided reflection sessions to properly contextualize their experiences. Additionally, students will complete a Spanish language course to further develop their language skills. Though all courses other than the language class are taught in English, students can choose to progressively incorporate Spanish into their coursework. Students may elect to complete readings in Spanish and submit all papers and other projects in Spanish as well. As of the fall of 2016, coursework in Spanish will also be available if a minimum number of participants are interested in this option. These features give this program a bilingual character which, combined with living with local families and numerous field trips to sites throughout the country and to Nicaragua, provide students with an excellent opportunity for linguistic and cultural immersion.

Teaching for the standard, semester program takes place at the Universidad Latina in Lourdes de Montes de Oca (San José), both a business and residential area to the northeast of downtown San José. Universidad Latina de Costa Rica is the country’s largest private higher institution of learning. With a student body of 16,000, the university features a very modern infrastructure, including libraries, bookstores, copy shops, coffee shops and a food court.

Academic Field Trips:

  • To illustrate and better understand the subject of study, students benefit from several field trips where they can observe such varied activities as nature tourism, applied biological research, wildlife management and other examples of sustainable human development at work.
Setting Description:
Located in the central valley of Costa Rica, San José is a vibrant urban center in the heart of a serene and beautiful nation. Three volcanoes surround the city, and quaint villages, farms and coffee plantations dot the hillsides. Though the metropolitan area is home to 36% of the nation’s population, one can easily explore the smaller central area of the city and discover its neighborhood markets and local restaurants. Cultural opportunities including theater, music, cinema and dance are also abundant in San José. Visit the Museo Nacional; the Museo de Oro Precolombino, with its sparkling collection of pre-Columbian gold; or the Museo de Jade, which boasts the world’s largest collection of jade.
Cost:
Pre-departure, On-site, and Re-entry services included, such as advising and online resources, airport reception, resident directors, housing, tuition, tutoring, medical & life insurance, excursions, social & cultural activities, alumni network, Learning and Engagement Badge Program and more!

Additional Program Information

Requirements:
Minimum 2.75 G.P.A. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors No previous knowledge of Spanish is required, but one semester is recommended
Scholarships:
Yes
Scholarships Description:
API awards approximately $500,000 in study abroad scholarships annually ranging from $250 -$1,000 per student.

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