- All classes taught in Spanish
- Transcript from U.S. accredited institution (Fairfield University)
- Community service opportunities
- 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
Add on a Volunteer Program!
- API students completing a study abroad program (particularly in Latin America) may be interested in extending their stay on an API volunteer abroad program. Click on the link below for more information on options and pricing.
- Volunteer Add-On Options
Dates & Fees
If you require syllabi that are not listed below, please contact your API Program Coordinator.
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.
Intermediate Level Courses
Intermediate courses are available during the Summer 1 and Summer 2 sessions provided they meet enrollment targets.
Intermediate Spanish Grammar I (6) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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.
Intermediate Spanish Grammar II (6) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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.
Advanced Level Courses
Advanced Spanish Grammar (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
In this course, Spanish grammar as a second language is studied. The indicative and subjunctive moods are also reviewed. 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.
Business Spanish (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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.
Contemporary Hispanic Texts (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
This course is designed to emphasize reading, discussion and enjoyment rather than literary criticism. Students are 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.
Contemporary Latin American Literature (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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.
Contemporary Latin American Short Stories (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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 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.
Cultural History of Central America (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
This course explores the complex and diverse nature of Central American culture. The content includes: indigenous Central America and its geographical context; the Spanish conquest of Central America; the colonial consolidation system; economy and society; national identities and modern Central American states; and contemporary dynamics of culture and education in Central America.
Entomología Tropical (Tropical Entomology) (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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, 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.
Geomorfología de Costa Rica (Geomorphology of Costa Rica) (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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.
Introduction to Cultural Studies of Latin America (3) – Conducted in Spanish
This course introduces the analysis of culture as 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 (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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), 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).
Introducción al Análisis Literario y la Literatura Latinoamericana (Introduction to Literary Analysis and Latin American Literature) (3) – Conducted in Spanish
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 (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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.’
Latin American Music (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
In this course students analyze the New Latin American Song and its importance in current Costa Rican culture. Students identify song 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.
Manejo forestal y de cuencas hidrográficas (Forest and Watershed Management) (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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.
Phonology (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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.
Spanish Composition (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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.
Spanish Conversation (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
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.
Tropical Ecology (3) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
This course will provide students with the basis to understand the ecological processes that take part inside 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.