In previous semesters students have explored comparative political systems; tropical and/or organic agriculture, aquaculture and reforestation; rural development, underdevelopment and the role of cooperatives; nutrition and public health; journalism in so
- Heredia, Costa Rica
- Program Type:
- Volunteer Abroad
- Degree Level:
- Work Types:
- Arts, Environment, Health, Social Services, Translation, Women's Rights
- 4-6 months
- Program Description:
- Semester and year-long, experiential programs in Spanish immersion, cultural and independent studies. The program includes homestays, internships, seminars, numerous field trips within Costa Rica and to other areas in Central America, and guest speakers.
The Costa Rica Center hosts the freshman year of LIU Global. The freshman year provides students with an introduction to experiential education, Latin American studies, and global issues. In addition to attending regularly-scheduled seminars and Spanish language classes, students learn how to plan, evaluate, and document their field work under the supervision of faculty members based at the Costa Rica Center in Heredia.
All students have the opportunity to interact with the local population in Costa Rica through homestays, service learning, field trips, internships, and field research. During excursions to Nicaragua and Panama, students explore the tension between environmental and economic issues and begin to understand how individuals at the local level are affected by decisions made at the global level.
In previous semesters students have explored comparative political systems; tropical and/or organic agriculture, aquaculture and reforestation; rural development, underdevelopment and the role of cooperatives; nutrition and public health; journalism in social change; workers and trade unions; street children; dance, theater and ethnomusicology; women’s issues such as violence and self-esteem; and human rights and peace studies. During the fall semester, students take courses such as Freshman Seminar, Latin American Studies, Writing, Research and Documentation, elective seminars and different levels of Spanish to earn 16 credits. Non-matriculated and spring semester LIU Global students must take Spanish language and Latin American Studies. To create an integrative educational experience, subject courses are linked to the writing and Spanish courses. Thus, topics covered in other courses become subject matter for writing projects in English and discussion topics in Spanish. According to the student’s progress in her/his level of Spanish during the first weeks of the semester, field projects or internships are available in the second part of the semester. We find that when students are confident in their language ability, they feel motivated to do "more interesting" things outside of the center, and in turn, adjust more quickly to the experiential nature of our program and enjoy greater success. The experiential learning approach, even though it is present during the first semester, is more strongly emphasized during the second one. Students plan with their faculty advisors what they want to do, where, how, with what resources, etc. Independent projects and internships are pursued by students in the fall or spring semesters.
Included in the program costs are tuition, fees, scheduled field trips, housing and some meals, and international travel. Students are responsible for insurance and personal expenses.
- Setting Description:
- LIU Global's Costa Rica Center is located in the northeast part of Heredia City, across the street from the National University. Heredia, named after a Spanish Captain in 1763, is 10 miles north of San José, Costa Rica’s capital city. The Center’s facilities include an administrative area, computer room, a small library, a garden, a hall for Community Meetings, small and quiet study rooms, and rooms for seminars, Spanish classes, and academic advising. The Costa Rica Center has eight IBM-compatible computers as well as one MAC for student use, and two (laser) printers connected to all of them. Students can access the Internet from any of those computers or from their laptop through our wireless network. Students also have access to a multimedia projector.
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