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When the Four Mamas founded API together more than 20 years ago, they dreamed of creating high-quality, safe, life-changing study abroad programs they would feel good sending their own kids on. With dedication, hard work, and a lot of love, their dream became reality. Thousands and thousands of students have chosen API to support them on their own life-changing study abroad experiences, with the Four Mamas cheering them on every step of the way. No matter who you are or where you come from, API will support you on your journey.
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Students in this study abroad program will complete two courses and earn a total of six semester credits. The core course, entitled “Communication for Medical Professions,” is designed to help students to communicate more effectively with Spanish speakers requiring medical attention and to learn how cultural norms can influence interactions between medical professionals and their patients. Students will extensively study the Costa Rican healthcare system. In addition to the core course, students will complete a standard advanced Spanish grammar course. Students who have already completed advanced grammar courses at their home university are welcome to select a culture course from the Intensive Language and Culture Program. Students are advised, however, that the “Communication for Medical Professions” course is very time-intensive and culture course options may be limited due to scheduling conflicts.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TOTAL CREDITS - 6 semester credits
API students will receive a transcript from U.S. accredited Fairfield University upon completion of the program.
Esteban Lopez will be your Resident Director in San Joaquin de Flores and a resource for you on-site.
Laura will be your Program Manager and prepare you to go abroad!
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.
Language of Instruction: Spanish
Language Level Required: Advanced
Recommended US semester credits: 3
The purpose of this course is to help students improve their style and skills writing in Spanish. Grammatical topics covered vary based on the student’s level, as demonstrated by completion of an on-site placement test.
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.