Costa Rica Waterfall 1

This summer study abroad program at the Instituto San Joaquín de Flores focuses on intensive language and culture for students at the intermediate level of Spanish and higher. Students complete up to two classes for a total of 6 semester credits per session. Each student will complete a placement exam administered upon arrival by the Instituto San Joaquín de Flores.

What's Included?

Highlights

Pre Departure Services

Advising

@api Online System

Orientation Materials and Resources

Access to International Phone Plans

API Alumni Network

Social Networking

Scholarships

On Site Services

Airport Reception

API Center

On-Site Orientation

Excursions (overnight, day, international)

Tuition

Medical and Life Insurance

Resident Directors

Social and Cultural Activities

Welcome and Farewell Group Meals

Volunteer Opportunities

Tutoring

Housing (including meals and laundry)

Language and Culture Tools

Re-Entry Services

Re-Entry Materials and Support

Post-Program Evaluation

Transcript

Alumni Network and Global Leadership Academy

View all opportunities and amenities

Application Requirements

  • Minimum 3.0 G.P.A.
  • Open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors
  • Open to intermediate, advanced, and superior-level Spanish speakers
  • Completed API application
  • University contact information form
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Official transcript
  • Entry requirement: valid passport with supporting documents
  • Applicants who are not U.S. citizens are encouraged to contact API prior to applying for more specific information about entry requirements.

What You’ll Study

TOTAL CREDITS - 6 credits per session (up to 12 total)

This summer study abroad program at the Instituto San Joaquín de Flores focuses on intensive language and culture for students at the intermediate level of Spanish and higher. Students complete up to two classes for a total of 6 semester credits per session. Each student will complete a placement exam administered upon arrival by the Instituto San Joaquín de Flores.

TRANSCRIPTS

API students will receive a transcript from the U.S. accredited Fairfield University upon completion of the program.

Courses

COURSE OFFERINGS

Students complete two courses during each summer term. It is important to note that not all courses at the advanced level are offered during each summer session. All courses are subject to minimum enrollment requirements. Students are notified of their course placements prior to departure.

CREDIT INFORMATION

The Instituto San Joaquín de Flores operates on the contact hour system; the number of credits earned depends on the time spent in class with a professor. To determine the conversion of Costa Rican contact hours to U.S. credits, divide the contact hours per course by 15. Almost all courses at the Instituto are the equivalent of 3 U.S. semester credits.

Intermediate Spanish Grammar I

The objective of this intensive course is the development of four basic skill areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The course is centered on the improvement of the student’s vocabulary, the teaching of grammatical rules and the promotion of a better understanding of the Hispanic culture so as to allow for more effective communication. This course is subject to minimal enrollment.

View Syllabus

Intermediate Spanish Grammar II

The objective of this course is the further development of four basic skill areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The course is centered on the improvement of the student’s vocabulary, the teaching of grammatical rules and the promotion of a better understanding of the Hispanic culture so as to allow for more effective communication.

View Syllabus

Advanced Spanish Grammar

In this course, Spanish grammar as a second language is studied. The indicative and subjunctive moods are also reviewed. The more in-depth study covers the lexical, grammatical and semantic aspects. This course emphasizes class participation, and students are expected to read assigned texts, discuss them in groups and make class presentations. They are expected to make written reports on the contents of the reading and discussions. The professor gives lectures on each grammatical point and students complete oral and written presentations of each of the points.

View Syllabus

Business Spanish

This course focuses on the business world in Latin America. The class also includes helpful vocabulary related to business, how-to information, and common business practices and formalities that are useful to know, such as how to write a formal business letter in Spanish. It is helpful to have some knowledge of the business world, economics, or general concepts related to these topics.

View Syllabus

Contemporary Hispanic Texts

This course is designed to emphasize reading, discussion, and enjoyment rather than literary criticism. Students will be exposed to texts of the following types: colloquial, newspaper articles, literary, administrative, political, and publicity. They deconstruct and reconstruct texts, in addition to exploring the structure of the Spanish language and analyzing the consequences of any changes made.

View Syllabus

Contemporary Latin American Literature

In this course, students study the trajectory of 20th-century Latin American literature through the analysis of texts corresponding to different historical moments of writing systems. The group analyzes the literary techniques and aesthetics of some of the most representative writers, in addition to applying some theoretical considerations to the possibilities of literary work in Latin-America and discussing the particular political, economic, and social circumstances of the region.

View Syllabus

Contemporary Latin American Short Stories

This course offers an overview of the culture and society of Latin America through its literary works. Students read a selection of short stories representative of 20th-century literature and, at the same time, consider certain fundamental cultural changes in the construction of Latin American societies in that time period. Through a close reading of the texts, students study the configuration of beliefs about national identity at the end of the 20th century, focusing in on how these transform into the complex and contradictory spaces of marginality and counter-culture in the final decades of the 20th century.

View Syllabus

Cultural History of Central America

This course explores the complex and diverse nature of Central American culture. The content includes: Indigenous Central America and its geographical context; Spanish conquest of Central America; the colonial consolidation system; economy and society; national identities and modern Central American states; contemporary dynamics of culture and education in Central America.

View Syllabus

Entomología Tropical (Tropical Entomology)

The course is aimed at students interested in the natural history of insects and arachnids. The course consists of lectures and interactive activities, both in the classroom and outdoors. Studies are complemented by a visit to one of the Costa Rican national parks for direct observation of individual species and groups. During the progression of the course, the student will also visit (virtually or physically) some of the country’s most important ecosystems such as tropical dry forest, tropical rainforest, tropical cloud forest, and wetlands. For each of these ecosystems, different themes of importance with be explored, such as observation and identification of our diversity, the natural phenomenon of pollination and how it helps us in everyday life, as well as other lesser-known phenomena such as mimicry, migration, nutrient cycling, predation and parasitism, demonstrating the multiple and close relations of insects and spiders in the natural environment. In short, the participant will personally witness the role of balance within ecosystems and how this balance relates to and has implications for issues such as human health, biological indicators and other potential uses of importance.

View Syllabus

Geomorfología de Costa Rica (Geomorphology of Costa Rica)

This course deals with the geomorphological processes and agents that modify the Earth’s surface. The course will seek to characterize morphological units, highlighting their importance in shaping the various landscapes found in Costa Rica. Throughout the course, the student will gain a basic understanding of endogenous and exogenous processes that shape the earth’s surface, with special emphasis on the latter’s effects. Beyond managing the fundamentals of this science, the student will be able to apply geomorphological analysis techniques used in cartographic mapping. Among the skills that the student will highlight the location and understanding of the main geomorphological units that make up the country.

View Syllabus

Introduction to Cultural Studies of Latin America

This course introduces the analysis of culture as a concept, practice, and representation, including consideration of the debates that the idea of culture has provoked in different contexts. The course provides analytical and methodological tools to discuss a full range of cultural forms and to develop key skills in the analysis of culture. Special emphasis is given to issues of culture and representation, as well as to the notion of cultural difference(s). While the theoretical and critical texts studied represent diverse geographical and cultural locations, special emphasis is given to materials that explore cultural issues in the context of Spain, Latin America, and U.S Latinas/os.

Introduction to Linguistics

This course is an introduction to the analysis of the basic characteristics of the Spanish linguistic system. Linguistics is the scientific study of the human language. In this course, students address the following questions: What is language? How does language work? Students compare and contrast the Spanish language to other languages, especially English. The class studies the Spanish language’s sound system (phonology), the formation of words (morphology), construction of sentences (syntax) and considers the history of the Spanish language, including the different varieties of Spanish (social, historical and regional).

View Syllabus

Introducción al Análisis Literario y la Literatura Latinoamericana (Introduction to Literary Analysis and Latin American Literature)

This course provides students with the tools necessary to formulate informed critical readings of literary texts. Emphasis is placed upon close reading and critical analysis of texts representing different genres, such as fiction, poetry, and drama, and major historical periods of literature in Spain and Spanish America.

Latin American Cinema

This course uses film to study Latin American identity. Students are encouraged to use a world perspective in identifying distinct textual expressions of the social function of art. The films introduced in class promote discussion of the changes that have affected a majority of Latin Americans, and also the phenomena that negatively affect the so-called ‘minorities.’

View Syllabus

Latin American Music

In this course, students analyze the New Latin American song and its importance in current Costa Rican culture. Students identify songs’ basic characteristics, origin, syncretism and production diversity. Studies include identifying different music genres and determining consistencies presented in the New Latin American song that make it different from others.

View Syllabus

Manejo forestal y de cuencas hidrográficas (Forest and Watershed Management)

The purpose of the course is to provide students with the knowledge and necessary tools, both methodological and theoretical, to understand the management, protection, and conservation of tropical forests and watersheds. It also seeks to demonstrate the importance of striking a balance between natural processes and socioeconomic activities linked to human development. To these ends, students will study the current state of tropical forests and watersheds in Costa Rica, as well as ecological, biodiversity, and sustainable management methodologies and issues that cause the loss or destruction of natural resources in the ecosystems.

View Syllabus

Phonology

This class offers students a complete study of the structure and expression of the Spanish language. Other social and dialectical variants of Spanish will be compared and contrasted to standard Spanish, as will other languages, especially English. Topics covered include: the architecture and the double articulation of the language, acoustic phonetics; the acoustic components of the sounds of the language; acoustic parameters and formulations, notions of phonetics and the diachronistic phonology of Spanish, etc.

View Syllabus

Spanish Composition

The purpose of this course is to help students improve their style and skills writing in Spanish. The course addresses punctuation, orthography, and accent marks. Students have written activities in class as well as papers to be written outside the classroom. Throughout the course, different types of texts will be written: letters, résumés, poems, short compositions, and essays on various topics.

View Syllabus

Spanish Conversation

This community-based learning course is designed to promote interaction between institutions of the community and students of the Institute of San Joaquín de Flores while helping students improve fluency in conversational Spanish. Students have the opportunity to learn about the dynamics of the community, to practice Spanish, and to deepen their understanding of daily life in San Joaquín de Flores. Each student completes a total of 20 hours of service within a community organization (schools, libraries, retirement homes). In class, students share their experiences and reflect upon their contact with the community.

View Syllabus

Tropical Ecology

This course will provide students with the basis to understand the ecological processes that take part in an ecosystem. In order to accomplish this, the main ecological theories that explain the distribution and abundance of organisms in function of abiotic resources, environmental conditions and the interactions between species (competition and predation) are reviewed. Additionally, the way in which these factors alter the functioning of the ecosystem as a whole will be studied. The intervention of human beings will be studied in different subjects, considering how this is altering the dynamics of populations and natural ecosystems and even human survival.

View Syllabus

Intermediate Spanish Grammar I

The objective of this intensive course is the development of four basic skill areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The course is centered on the improvement of the student’s vocabulary, the teaching of grammatical rules and the promotion of a better understanding of the Hispanic culture so as to allow for more effective communication. This course is subject to minimal enrollment.

View Syllabus

Intermediate Spanish Grammar II

The objective of this course is the further development of four basic skill areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The course is centered on the improvement of the student’s vocabulary, the teaching of grammatical rules and the promotion of a better understanding of the Hispanic culture so as to allow for more effective communication.

View Syllabus

Advanced Spanish Grammar

In this course, Spanish grammar as a second language is studied. The indicative and subjunctive moods are also reviewed. The more in-depth study covers the lexical, grammatical and semantic aspects. This course emphasizes class participation, and students are expected to read assigned texts, discuss them in groups and make class presentations. They are expected to make written reports on the contents of the reading and discussions. The professor gives lectures on each grammatical point and students complete oral and written presentations of each of the points.

View Syllabus

Business Spanish

This course focuses on the business world in Latin America. The class also includes helpful vocabulary related to business, how-to information, and common business practices and formalities that are useful to know, such as how to write a formal business letter in Spanish. It is helpful to have some knowledge of the business world, economics, or general concepts related to these topics.

View Syllabus

Contemporary Hispanic Texts

This course is designed to emphasize reading, discussion, and enjoyment rather than literary criticism. Students will be exposed to texts of the following types: colloquial, newspaper articles, literary, administrative, political, and publicity. They deconstruct and reconstruct texts, in addition to exploring the structure of the Spanish language and analyzing the consequences of any changes made.

View Syllabus

Contemporary Latin American Literature

In this course, students study the trajectory of 20th-century Latin American literature through the analysis of texts corresponding to different historical moments of writing systems. The group analyzes the literary techniques and aesthetics of some of the most representative writers, in addition to applying some theoretical considerations to the possibilities of literary work in Latin-America and discussing the particular political, economic, and social circumstances of the region.

View Syllabus

Contemporary Latin American Short Stories

This course offers an overview of the culture and society of Latin America through its literary works. Students read a selection of short stories representative of 20th-century literature and, at the same time, consider certain fundamental cultural changes in the construction of Latin American societies in that time period. Through a close reading of the texts, students study the configuration of beliefs about national identity at the end of the 20th century, focusing in on how these transform into the complex and contradictory spaces of marginality and counter-culture in the final decades of the 20th century.

View Syllabus

Cultural History of Central America

This course explores the complex and diverse nature of Central American culture. The content includes: Indigenous Central America and its geographical context; Spanish conquest of Central America; the colonial consolidation system; economy and society; national identities and modern Central American states; contemporary dynamics of culture and education in Central America.

View Syllabus

Entomología Tropical (Tropical Entomology)

The course is aimed at students interested in the natural history of insects and arachnids. The course consists of lectures and interactive activities, both in the classroom and outdoors. Studies are complemented by a visit to one of the Costa Rican national parks for direct observation of individual species and groups. During the progression of the course, the student will also visit (virtually or physically) some of the country’s most important ecosystems such as tropical dry forest, tropical rainforest, tropical cloud forest, and wetlands. For each of these ecosystems, different themes of importance with be explored, such as observation and identification of our diversity, the natural phenomenon of pollination and how it helps us in everyday life, as well as other lesser-known phenomena such as mimicry, migration, nutrient cycling, predation and parasitism, demonstrating the multiple and close relations of insects and spiders in the natural environment. In short, the participant will personally witness the role of balance within ecosystems and how this balance relates to and has implications for issues such as human health, biological indicators and other potential uses of importance.

View Syllabus

Geomorfología de Costa Rica (Geomorphology of Costa Rica)

This course deals with the geomorphological processes and agents that modify the Earth’s surface. The course will seek to characterize morphological units, highlighting their importance in shaping the various landscapes found in Costa Rica. Throughout the course, the student will gain a basic understanding of endogenous and exogenous processes that shape the earth’s surface, with special emphasis on the latter’s effects. Beyond managing the fundamentals of this science, the student will be able to apply geomorphological analysis techniques used in cartographic mapping. Among the skills that the student will highlight the location and understanding of the main geomorphological units that make up the country.

View Syllabus

Introduction to Cultural Studies of Latin America

This course introduces the analysis of culture as a concept, practice, and representation, including consideration of the debates that the idea of culture has provoked in different contexts. The course provides analytical and methodological tools to discuss a full range of cultural forms and to develop key skills in the analysis of culture. Special emphasis is given to issues of culture and representation, as well as to the notion of cultural difference(s). While the theoretical and critical texts studied represent diverse geographical and cultural locations, special emphasis is given to materials that explore cultural issues in the context of Spain, Latin America, and U.S Latinas/os.

Introduction to Linguistics

This course is an introduction to the analysis of the basic characteristics of the Spanish linguistic system. Linguistics is the scientific study of the human language. In this course, students address the following questions: What is language? How does language work? Students compare and contrast the Spanish language to other languages, especially English. The class studies the Spanish language’s sound system (phonology), the formation of words (morphology), construction of sentences (syntax) and considers the history of the Spanish language, including the different varieties of Spanish (social, historical and regional).

View Syllabus

Introducción al Análisis Literario y la Literatura Latinoamericana (Introduction to Literary Analysis and Latin American Literature)

This course provides students with the tools necessary to formulate informed critical readings of literary texts. Emphasis is placed upon close reading and critical analysis of texts representing different genres, such as fiction, poetry, and drama, and major historical periods of literature in Spain and Spanish America.

Latin American Cinema

This course uses film to study Latin American identity. Students are encouraged to use a world perspective in identifying distinct textual expressions of the social function of art. The films introduced in class promote discussion of the changes that have affected a majority of Latin Americans, and also the phenomena that negatively affect the so-called ‘minorities.’

View Syllabus

Latin American Music

In this course, students analyze the New Latin American song and its importance in current Costa Rican culture. Students identify songs’ basic characteristics, origin, syncretism and production diversity. Studies include identifying different music genres and determining consistencies presented in the New Latin American song that make it different from others.

View Syllabus

Manejo forestal y de cuencas hidrográficas (Forest and Watershed Management)

The purpose of the course is to provide students with the knowledge and necessary tools, both methodological and theoretical, to understand the management, protection, and conservation of tropical forests and watersheds. It also seeks to demonstrate the importance of striking a balance between natural processes and socioeconomic activities linked to human development. To these ends, students will study the current state of tropical forests and watersheds in Costa Rica, as well as ecological, biodiversity, and sustainable management methodologies and issues that cause the loss or destruction of natural resources in the ecosystems.

View Syllabus

Phonology

This class offers students a complete study of the structure and expression of the Spanish language. Other social and dialectical variants of Spanish will be compared and contrasted to standard Spanish, as will other languages, especially English. Topics covered include: the architecture and the double articulation of the language, acoustic phonetics; the acoustic components of the sounds of the language; acoustic parameters and formulations, notions of phonetics and the diachronistic phonology of Spanish, etc.

View Syllabus

Spanish Composition

The purpose of this course is to help students improve their style and skills writing in Spanish. The course addresses punctuation, orthography, and accent marks. Students have written activities in class as well as papers to be written outside the classroom. Throughout the course, different types of texts will be written: letters, résumés, poems, short compositions, and essays on various topics.

View Syllabus

Spanish Conversation

This community-based learning course is designed to promote interaction between institutions of the community and students of the Institute of San Joaquín de Flores while helping students improve fluency in conversational Spanish. Students have the opportunity to learn about the dynamics of the community, to practice Spanish, and to deepen their understanding of daily life in San Joaquín de Flores. Each student completes a total of 20 hours of service within a community organization (schools, libraries, retirement homes). In class, students share their experiences and reflect upon their contact with the community.

View Syllabus

Tropical Ecology

This course will provide students with the basis to understand the ecological processes that take part in an ecosystem. In order to accomplish this, the main ecological theories that explain the distribution and abundance of organisms in function of abiotic resources, environmental conditions and the interactions between species (competition and predation) are reviewed. Additionally, the way in which these factors alter the functioning of the ecosystem as a whole will be studied. The intervention of human beings will be studied in different subjects, considering how this is altering the dynamics of populations and natural ecosystems and even human survival.

View Syllabus

Intermediate Spanish Grammar I

The objective of this intensive course is the development of four basic skill areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The course is centered on the improvement of the student’s vocabulary, the teaching of grammatical rules and the promotion of a better understanding of the Hispanic culture so as to allow for more effective communication. This course is subject to minimal enrollment.

View Syllabus

Intermediate Spanish Grammar II

The objective of this course is the further development of four basic skill areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The course is centered on the improvement of the student’s vocabulary, the teaching of grammatical rules and the promotion of a better understanding of the Hispanic culture so as to allow for more effective communication.

View Syllabus

Advanced Spanish Grammar

In this course, Spanish grammar as a second language is studied. The indicative and subjunctive moods are also reviewed. The more in-depth study covers the lexical, grammatical and semantic aspects. This course emphasizes class participation, and students are expected to read assigned texts, discuss them in groups and make class presentations. They are expected to make written reports on the contents of the reading and discussions. The professor gives lectures on each grammatical point and students complete oral and written presentations of each of the points.

View Syllabus

Business Spanish

This course focuses on the business world in Latin America. The class also includes helpful vocabulary related to business, how-to information, and common business practices and formalities that are useful to know, such as how to write a formal business letter in Spanish. It is helpful to have some knowledge of the business world, economics, or general concepts related to these topics.

View Syllabus

Contemporary Hispanic Texts

This course is designed to emphasize reading, discussion, and enjoyment rather than literary criticism. Students will be exposed to texts of the following types: colloquial, newspaper articles, literary, administrative, political, and publicity. They deconstruct and reconstruct texts, in addition to exploring the structure of the Spanish language and analyzing the consequences of any changes made.

View Syllabus

Contemporary Latin American Literature

In this course, students study the trajectory of 20th-century Latin American literature through the analysis of texts corresponding to different historical moments of writing systems. The group analyzes the literary techniques and aesthetics of some of the most representative writers, in addition to applying some theoretical considerations to the possibilities of literary work in Latin-America and discussing the particular political, economic, and social circumstances of the region.

View Syllabus

Contemporary Latin American Short Stories

This course offers an overview of the culture and society of Latin America through its literary works. Students read a selection of short stories representative of 20th-century literature and, at the same time, consider certain fundamental cultural changes in the construction of Latin American societies in that time period. Through a close reading of the texts, students study the configuration of beliefs about national identity at the end of the 20th century, focusing in on how these transform into the complex and contradictory spaces of marginality and counter-culture in the final decades of the 20th century.

View Syllabus

Cultural History of Central America

This course explores the complex and diverse nature of Central American culture. The content includes: Indigenous Central America and its geographical context; Spanish conquest of Central America; the colonial consolidation system; economy and society; national identities and modern Central American states; contemporary dynamics of culture and education in Central America.

View Syllabus

Entomología Tropical (Tropical Entomology)

The course is aimed at students interested in the natural history of insects and arachnids. The course consists of lectures and interactive activities, both in the classroom and outdoors. Studies are complemented by a visit to one of the Costa Rican national parks for direct observation of individual species and groups. During the progression of the course, the student will also visit (virtually or physically) some of the country’s most important ecosystems such as tropical dry forest, tropical rainforest, tropical cloud forest, and wetlands. For each of these ecosystems, different themes of importance with be explored, such as observation and identification of our diversity, the natural phenomenon of pollination and how it helps us in everyday life, as well as other lesser-known phenomena such as mimicry, migration, nutrient cycling, predation and parasitism, demonstrating the multiple and close relations of insects and spiders in the natural environment. In short, the participant will personally witness the role of balance within ecosystems and how this balance relates to and has implications for issues such as human health, biological indicators and other potential uses of importance.

View Syllabus

Geomorfología de Costa Rica (Geomorphology of Costa Rica)

This course deals with the geomorphological processes and agents that modify the Earth’s surface. The course will seek to characterize morphological units, highlighting their importance in shaping the various landscapes found in Costa Rica. Throughout the course, the student will gain a basic understanding of endogenous and exogenous processes that shape the earth’s surface, with special emphasis on the latter’s effects. Beyond managing the fundamentals of this science, the student will be able to apply geomorphological analysis techniques used in cartographic mapping. Among the skills that the student will highlight the location and understanding of the main geomorphological units that make up the country.

View Syllabus

Introduction to Cultural Studies of Latin America

This course introduces the analysis of culture as a concept, practice, and representation, including consideration of the debates that the idea of culture has provoked in different contexts. The course provides analytical and methodological tools to discuss a full range of cultural forms and to develop key skills in the analysis of culture. Special emphasis is given to issues of culture and representation, as well as to the notion of cultural difference(s). While the theoretical and critical texts studied represent diverse geographical and cultural locations, special emphasis is given to materials that explore cultural issues in the context of Spain, Latin America, and U.S Latinas/os.

Introduction to Linguistics

This course is an introduction to the analysis of the basic characteristics of the Spanish linguistic system. Linguistics is the scientific study of the human language. In this course, students address the following questions: What is language? How does language work? Students compare and contrast the Spanish language to other languages, especially English. The class studies the Spanish language’s sound system (phonology), the formation of words (morphology), construction of sentences (syntax) and considers the history of the Spanish language, including the different varieties of Spanish (social, historical and regional).

View Syllabus

Introducción al Análisis Literario y la Literatura Latinoamericana (Introduction to Literary Analysis and Latin American Literature)

This course provides students with the tools necessary to formulate informed critical readings of literary texts. Emphasis is placed upon close reading and critical analysis of texts representing different genres, such as fiction, poetry, and drama, and major historical periods of literature in Spain and Spanish America.

Latin American Cinema

This course uses film to study Latin American identity. Students are encouraged to use a world perspective in identifying distinct textual expressions of the social function of art. The films introduced in class promote discussion of the changes that have affected a majority of Latin Americans, and also the phenomena that negatively affect the so-called ‘minorities.’

View Syllabus

Latin American Music

In this course, students analyze the New Latin American song and its importance in current Costa Rican culture. Students identify songs’ basic characteristics, origin, syncretism and production diversity. Studies include identifying different music genres and determining consistencies presented in the New Latin American song that make it different from others.

View Syllabus

Manejo forestal y de cuencas hidrográficas (Forest and Watershed Management)

The purpose of the course is to provide students with the knowledge and necessary tools, both methodological and theoretical, to understand the management, protection, and conservation of tropical forests and watersheds. It also seeks to demonstrate the importance of striking a balance between natural processes and socioeconomic activities linked to human development. To these ends, students will study the current state of tropical forests and watersheds in Costa Rica, as well as ecological, biodiversity, and sustainable management methodologies and issues that cause the loss or destruction of natural resources in the ecosystems.

View Syllabus

Phonology

This class offers students a complete study of the structure and expression of the Spanish language. Other social and dialectical variants of Spanish will be compared and contrasted to standard Spanish, as will other languages, especially English. Topics covered include: the architecture and the double articulation of the language, acoustic phonetics; the acoustic components of the sounds of the language; acoustic parameters and formulations, notions of phonetics and the diachronistic phonology of Spanish, etc.

View Syllabus

Spanish Composition

The purpose of this course is to help students improve their style and skills writing in Spanish. The course addresses punctuation, orthography, and accent marks. Students have written activities in class as well as papers to be written outside the classroom. Throughout the course, different types of texts will be written: letters, résumés, poems, short compositions, and essays on various topics.

View Syllabus

Spanish Conversation

This community-based learning course is designed to promote interaction between institutions of the community and students of the Institute of San Joaquín de Flores while helping students improve fluency in conversational Spanish. Students have the opportunity to learn about the dynamics of the community, to practice Spanish, and to deepen their understanding of daily life in San Joaquín de Flores. Each student completes a total of 20 hours of service within a community organization (schools, libraries, retirement homes). In class, students share their experiences and reflect upon their contact with the community.

View Syllabus

Tropical Ecology

This course will provide students with the basis to understand the ecological processes that take part in an ecosystem. In order to accomplish this, the main ecological theories that explain the distribution and abundance of organisms in function of abiotic resources, environmental conditions and the interactions between species (competition and predation) are reviewed. Additionally, the way in which these factors alter the functioning of the ecosystem as a whole will be studied. The intervention of human beings will be studied in different subjects, considering how this is altering the dynamics of populations and natural ecosystems and even human survival.

View Syllabus
Highlights
  • All classes taught in Spanish
  • Transcript from U.S. accredited institution (Fairfield University)
  • Community service opportunities

Faculty

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    Esteban Lopez

    Esteban Lopez will be your Resident Director in San Joaquin de Flores and a resource for you on-site.

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    Hannah Stack

    Hannah Stack will be your Program Coordinator and prepare you to go abroad!

    Email - hannah.stack@apiabroad.com

API students participate in several excursions per session designed to help familiarize them with areas of their host city, country, and surrounding region. The following is a listing of all excursions for API San Joaquín de Flores programs. All excursions are subject to change.

  • Cartago

    Cartago was Costa Rica’s first capital until 1823 and is home to Costa Rica’s patron saint, Our Lady of the Angels “Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles” or “La Negrita.” Students visit the most important sites in the city, as well as the Orosi Valley, founded by the Franciscan monks in 1561. It is home to the country’s oldest church still in continuous use, built in 1735.

  • Lankester Gardens

    Internationally recognized for its outstanding collections of epiphytes (air plants), the Jardín Botánico Lankester was established in 1973 as a center for the display, education, conservation and research of tropical plants. Almost 3,000 species of plants live in its 27 acres of gardens.

  • Monteverde

    The area around this world-famous cloud forest is idyllically pastoral, with emerald green mountain pastures grazed by black-and-white Holstein cattle. Students will hike through the rainforest during the day and will also take a night walk in order to see the fauna that only comes out at night. Lying at 1500 meters above the sea level and with a population of around 5,000 people, Monteverde is recognized worldwide for its ecological contribution in the production of oxygen and for sheltering one of the richest and more fragile ecosystems: the cloud forest. This Cloud Forest Preserve has more than 400 species of birds and more than 3000 species of plants.

  • Rio Celeste & Guanacaste

    The beautiful river “Rio Celeste” is named for the light blue waters caused by the presence of sulfur and calcium carbonates. The river winds through the rainforest of Tenorio Volcano National Park, where students will enjoy incredible views and a wide variety of flora and fauna.

  • San José

    Students will spend one night in the historic capital of San José and will visit local attractions such as the Museo Nacional, the Museo de Oro Precolombino, and the Museo de Jade.

  • Cartago

    Cartago was Costa Rica’s first capital until 1823 and is home to Costa Rica’s patron saint, Our Lady of the Angels “Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles” or “La Negrita.” Students visit the most important sites in the city, as well as the Orosi Valley, founded by the Franciscan monks in 1561. It is home to the country’s oldest church still in continuous use, built in 1735.

  • Lankester Gardens

    Internationally recognized for its outstanding collections of epiphytes (air plants), the Jardín Botánico Lankester was established in 1973 as a center for the display, education, conservation and research of tropical plants. Almost 3,000 species of plants live in its 27 acres of gardens.

  • Monteverde

    The area around this world-famous cloud forest is idyllically pastoral, with emerald green mountain pastures grazed by black-and-white Holstein cattle. Students will hike through the rainforest during the day and will also take a night walk in order to see the fauna that only comes out at night. Lying at 1500 meters above the sea level and with a population of around 5,000 people, Monteverde is recognized worldwide for its ecological contribution in the production of oxygen and for sheltering one of the richest and more fragile ecosystems: the cloud forest. This Cloud Forest Preserve has more than 400 species of birds and more than 3000 species of plants.

  • Rio Celeste & Guanacaste

    The beautiful river “Rio Celeste” is named for the light blue waters caused by the presence of sulfur and calcium carbonates. The river winds through the rainforest of Tenorio Volcano National Park, where students will enjoy incredible views and a wide variety of flora and fauna.

  • San José

    Students will spend one night in the historic capital of San José and will visit local attractions such as the Museo Nacional, the Museo de Oro Precolombino, and the Museo de Jade.

  • Arenal & Fortuna

    Arenal Volcano National Park is located in central Costa Rica. The park is surrounded by rainforests and cloud forests with waterfalls and hot springs (heated by the volcano) nearby.

  • Cartago

    Cartago was Costa Rica’s first capital until 1823 and is home to Costa Rica’s patron saint, Our Lady of the Angels “Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles” or “La Negrita.” Students visit the most important sites in the city, as well as the Orosi Valley, founded by the Franciscan monks in 1561. It is home to the country’s oldest church still in continuous use, built in 1735.

  • Lankester Gardens

    Internationally recognized for its outstanding collections of epiphytes (air plants), the Jardín Botánico Lankester was established in 1973 as a center for the display, education, conservation and research of tropical plants. Almost 3,000 species of plants live in its 27 acres of gardens.

  • Rio Celeste & Guanacaste

    The beautiful river “Rio Celeste” is named for the light blue waters caused by the presence of sulfur and calcium carbonates. The river winds through the rainforest of Tenorio Volcano National Park, where students will enjoy incredible views and a wide variety of flora and fauna.

  • San José

    Students will spend one night in the historic capital of San José and will visit local attractions such as the Museo Nacional, the Museo de Oro Precolombino, and the Museo de Jade.

  • Arenal & Fortuna

    Arenal Volcano National Park is located in central Costa Rica. The park is surrounded by rainforests and cloud forests with waterfalls and hot springs (heated by the volcano) nearby.

Students in San Joaquín de Flores live with local host families. Host families serve as a unique introduction into Costa Rican culture and may be made up of a married couple with children, a divorced or widowed woman with children still at home, or a family with some members living at home and others living outside of the city during the work week. As API places one student per family, all students have a private bedroom. Students are provided with 2-3 meals per day, as well as laundry service once per week.

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Session Program Dates Program Cost Application Deadline Payment Deadline
Summer 1 May 14, 2019 - Jun 29, 2019 $5,480 Apr 1, 2019 Apr 15, 2019
Summer Combined May 14, 2019 - Aug 17, 2019 $9,880 Apr 1, 2019 Apr 15, 2019
Summer 2 Jul 2, 2019 - Aug 17, 2019 $5,480 Apr 1, 2019 Apr 15, 2019