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Study Abroad + Options
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 in greater complexity. 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.
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 José programs. All excursions are subject to change.
ICDS students will also participate in one additional weekend excursion, in addition to several field trips and class site visits throughout the semester as part of their academic program.
Within the park you will find beautiful botanical gardens and more than 125 species of animals, among them birds, mammals and reptiles that have been rescued and, due to health or behavioral reasons, cannot be fully rehabilitated for reintroduction into their natural habitat. The large enclosures are naturally designed to offer these animals quality of life and enrichment
Adventure Park is a private natural reserved on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, a perfect place to enjoy a pic-nic day, walk the trails and do outdoor activities: frisbee, playing with a ball, etc. Then we will visit the Popular culture and folklore museum in Barva de Heredia. Located on an old Coffee hacienda, there we will learn about the typical life on a coffee plantation at the end of the XIX century and beginning of the XX.
The Carara Carara National Park, which in indigenous Huetar language means "River of lizards", has the only transition forest in Central Pacific, resulting in diversity of flora and fauna, where converge typical species of dry and humid forests.
This National Park is a worldwide known birding destination as it has very diverse birdlife, where stands out the Scarlet Macaw (Lapa Roja - Ara macao - ), a species that is in danger of extinction, being the second largest species of Psittacidae of Costa Rica.
It is certainly one of the major sites in the country for birdwatching, so it will be included in the next guide made by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute in this segment of tourism at national level.
La Flor Agroecological Farm is a project established for over 20 years by ASODECAH (Association for the Development of Environmental and Human Consciousness), a non-profit organization that seeks to complement the country's environmental education and strengthen the relationship between human beings, animals, environment and well being. Students will have the opportunity to experience a lifestyle that is in contact with nature.
The farm is located in the highlands of the Central Valley, in the mountains, and has an incredible view over the Orosi valley as well as the Turrialba volcano.
The community of people who come to work on the farm lives in the nearby village and have many years of collaboration with the project.
On the farm you can walk the paths of the 10 hectares (25 acres) of regenerated forest, observe and learn in organic and medicinal gardens, enjoy the presence of farm animals (chickens, horses, goats, ducks) and meditate or practice in the yoga studio.
To illustrate and better understand the subject of study, students benefit from several field trips where they will observe such varied activities as nature tourism, applied biological research, wildlife management and other examples of sustainable human development at work.
Students enjoy a nature field trip to Costa Rica’s North-Atlantic region to visit the Pacuare and Tortuguero areas. The trip is complemented by community work as students contribute to the improvement of the community –previous projects have included restoration of school paths, improving the facilities of the local school, and assisting local wild-life conservation organizations.
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.
Costa Rica and Nicaragua have a lot of things in common but also many differences. During this international trip students will be in contact with the nicaraguan culture as they will try their typical food and be around their people. Students will also learn about history by visiting Granada city and islands, Masaya and San Juan del Sur
Bocas del Toro was the last piece of land discovered by Columbus on his 4th journey to the New World. This is our international destination. During this excursions students will get the chance to dolphin watch, snorkeling on beautiful coral reefs and swim on the Caribbean sea.
Depending on the session, students will participate in either the Nicaragua or Panama excursion.
TOTAL CREDITS - 15 semester credits
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. 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.
Transcripts are issued jointly by the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica and the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS). Universidad Latina is accredited by the National Council of Higher Education, National Accreditation System for Higher Education (SINAES) and Red Iberoamericana para la Acreditación de la Calidad de la Educación Superior (RIACES). Universidad Latina also is a Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center for project management education programs.
Francy Orozco will be your Resident Director in San Jose and a resource for you on-site.
Laura will be your Program Manager and prepare you to go abroad!
All students will complete the equivalent of fifteen (15) U.S. semester credits during the program. All fall and spring semester students will complete the two required courses: Spanish Langauge, and Community Engagement and Sustainable Human Development: A Service-Learning Course.
Students will then select three of the elective course options. Some courses may enroll local Costa Rican students, in addition to your fellow American peers. A minimum enrollment of six students is required to offer any elective course listed below.
The International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) issues credit according to the American system; the majority of courses are equivalent to 3 U.S. semester credits. Some language courses meet for a total of 60 contact hours and are equivalent to 3-4 U.S. semester credits.
A Spanish placement test will be given at the beginning of the program to determine the student’s level of proficiency. As this course introduces the student to the Spanish language, previous knowledge of the language is not required. The course aims to develop basic linguistic skills for use in daily and simple situations. Vocabulary and expressions are taught for use in restaurants, stores, transportations, banks, etc.
Language of Instruction: Spanish
Language Level Required: Beginner
Recommended US semester credits: 3
A Spanish placement test will be given at the beginning of the program to determine the student’s level of proficiency. The course is aimed at students with a basic knowledge of Spanish. Students learn to gain efficiency in both oral and written communication.
Language of Instruction: Spanish
Language Level Required: Intermediate
Language of Instruction: Spanish
Language Level Required: Advanced
Language of Instruction: English
Language of Instruction: English
Students participating in a semester program with the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) have the option to live either with a host family or in a new student residence as part of the standard program fee. Within the residence, all students have their own bedroom and bathroom within a larger suite of rooms that includes a kitchen (shared among a total of 3-4 residents). These suite-style accommodations may be shared with students outside of API. Students who prefer an efficiency-style suite (i.e., not shared) may do so for an additional fee. Unlike the host family placements, students selecting the student residence are not provided with meals as part of the program fee. API can recommend local restaurants with modestly priced breakfast and dinner options for students who do not wish to prepare all of their meals.