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Participants will begin the program in San José. Students will complete a Spanish course, as well as community service, for the first three weeks in the capital. During this time, participants will live with a local Spanish-speaking family. Students will complete the second course, Sustainability Practices, at Finca (property/farm) La Flor in Cartago. The course centers on recycling, forestry, medicinal plant gardening, permaculture, organic agriculture, forestry, clean energy and water management. Participants will live on-site at the local finca (farm). They also work alongside community members as a part of an inclusive employment program. During this time, participants use the Spanish they learned and continue to improve their language skills through Spanish Conversation Sessions. At the conclusion of the program, students will travel to the central Pacific coast for a visit to a national park and a local beach.
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.
Participants will visit the northernmost Pacific coastal rainforest remaining in Costa Rica and enjoy hikes in the biological reserve with a local guide, getting to know the wildlife in the area. The park is particularly well known for its macaws and other tropical birds. Following the visit to the National Park, students will enjoy visiting a nearby beach.
TOTAL CREDITS - 6 semester credits
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!
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.
Language of Instruction: English
Recommended US semester credits: 3
Students in San José live with local host families. Host families serve as a unique introduction into Costa Rican culture and may be a married couple with children, a divorced or widowed woman with or without children still at home, or a family with some members living at home and others living outside of the city during the work week. Students may be housed with other API or international students, and in all cases will have an individual room. Students are provided with two meals per day, as well as laundry service once per week.
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.
The student residence is not available to ICDS students who select the summer Spanish and Sustainability Practices in Costa Rica program, as time spent in San José will be too short to accommodate a stay at the residence. Summer participants in the Spanish and Health in Latin America program may select the student residence but will be assessed an additional fee to do so. Contact the API Program Coordinator for more information.