- Classes taught in English and Spanish
- Volunteer and internship opportunities
- International excursion
- Minimum 2.6 G.P.A.
- Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors
- No previous knowledge of Spanish is required, but one semester is recommended
- Completed API application
- University contact information form
- One letter of recommendation
- Official transcript
- Additional supplemental materials
- Entry requirement: valid passport with supporting documents (more information provided post-acceptance)
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 may select a total of four courses listed below. One of the courses must be an intensive Spanish language course or an additional course fee will be assessed.
Students may select a total of five courses listed below. At least one of the courses must be an intensive Spanish language course, though students are welcome to complete as many as four intensive Spanish courses (one each month of the program). During the fall semester, an intensive language course must be completed during the first month. During the spring semester, the mandatory intensive language course must be completed during the fourth month.
ACADEMIC YEAR PROGRAMS
Students selecting the early-start program will begin their experience abroad with an intensive Spanish language course the first month and then continue with additional language or elective courses for the next three months. Students selecting the standard academic year program will begin their experience in late September with any combination of language and elective offerings
CERTIFICATE PROGRAM OPTIONS
- Artistic Development
- Environmental Policy and Sustainable Awareness
- Global Leadership
- Healthcare Approaches and Systems
- Human Rights and Conflict Resolution
- International Marketing and Communication
- Latin American Politics
- Tropical & Environmental Sciences
To earn a certificate, students must complete select courses in the subject area. For details on specific certificate requirements, please contact your API Program Coordinator.
Basic Spanish I (5) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
This course is an introduction to Spanish for beginners with no previous knowledge of the language. Students develop basic linguistic skills necessary in order to communicate in common situations. The course covers basic grammatical structures, vocabulary, communicative expressions and frequent situations in settings such as restaurants, stores, buses and others. Emphasis is given to understanding, speaking, reading and cross-cultural perspectives.
Basic Spanish II (5) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
This course is for students who have completed a minimum of 60 contact hours in Spanish studies and already have a command of elementary grammatical tenses. Students advance their previous experiential knowledge and further develop their oral, reading, written and listening skills. Students expand their vocabulary and language usage in order to facilitate interaction with the Costa Rican environment and be able to express themselves in the past.
Intermediate Spanish I (5) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
Students in this course should have good command of communicative skills for everyday situations and a structural command of the present tense. The objective of this course is to develop the student’s oral and written skills and emphasizes more complex grammatical structures. Students should develop a good command of all past indicative tenses.
Intermediate Spanish II (5) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
This course emphasizes discourse enrichment, specifically related to description and simple narrations. The content of the course includes vocabulary building and detailed wok with the subjunctive mode and other complex grammatical structures. Students also learn idiomatic expressions used in Costa Rica.
Intermediate Conversational Spanish (5) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
This course is for students who already have a high intermediate level of Spanish and wish to better their communication skills and pronunciation. The course emphasizes situational, everyday conversations and certain cultural issues. The methodology enhances structured speech to provide a firm foundation in patterns of spoken Spanish with progression toward unstructured conversation.
Advanced Spanish I (5) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
This course is based on grammatical analysis, expansion of vocabulary, idiomatic expressions through readings, and student compositions at a complex level. The objective is for students to acquire a high level of communicative Spanish that will permit them to express their opinions and thoughts on complex and controversial subjects.
Advanced Spanish II (5) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
This course is designed for students who wish to perfect their oral and written skills. Students should have a high linguistic level and full knowledge of grammatical structures in order to work on polishing stylistics. Students practice narrative constructions, reactions within non-expected contexts, and how to report compiled information. The course also covers important aspects of myths, as well as cultural issues in Latin America.
Advanced Conversational Spanish (5) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
This course is based on acquiring the skills of self-correction. Students acquire higher levels of diction and fluency through the exposure to oral contexts idiomatic language and the varieties of Spanish spoken in different Spanish-speaking nations. This course develops skills in reading discussion, analysis, self-correction and research. Emphasis is placed on pragmatic production and students must be prepared to spend a minimum of 2 extra hours per day on assignments.
Oral Expression Techniques (5) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
This course focuses on advanced communication and presentation skills. Students work on communication techniques and efficient oral expression in formal contexts.
Advanced Writing (5) – Conducted in Spanish [Syllabus]
This course is for high advanced-level students who want to further develop their written skills through different composition practices and techniques. The course covers complex and difficult questions of syntax. Special attention is given to stylistics and composition structure.
Quarter students will enroll in up to three electives to complete along with their Spanish course. Semester students can select up to four electives. Each course is the equivalent of 3-4 semester credits. Students may choose to take an additional elective for an additional fee. Students may select electives in Spanish only if they test into the advanced level on the Veritas placement test.
ELECTIVE OPTIONS IN ENGLISH
ART AND HUMANITIES
ARCH 3112 – History of Latin American Architecture and Art (3) [Syllabus]
A chronological overview of the main inventions and influences that contributed to the making of past and present architecture in Latin America, analyzing the artistic manifestations.
ARCH 3200 – Tropical Architecture and Design (4) [Syllabus]
This course teaches students to develop the skill to analyze a particular architectural situation and be able to offer adequate design solutions that will guarantee a good quality environment. It is offered to all students with no previous knowledge of design projection and means of graphic expression, who want to learn about tropical design.
ART 1301 – Basic Principles of Drawing (3) [Syllabus]
This studio art course introduces basic principles of drawing. The course includes model drawings, landscape drawings, and experimental (abstract) drawings. The focus of this course is on the development of expression and observational drawing from still life, a model and landscapes.
ART 2100 – Art Fundamentals: Theory and Practice (3) [Syllabus]
This course is designed for the beginner student to help find personal meaning in works of art and develop a better understanding of the nature and validity of art as visual and space language (line, shape, volume, light, space, time, motion, color, and texture). This means that you will learn about the essentials of art through experience and experimentation. Through determination and an open mind, you will increase your creativity and discover more interesting ways to understand and judge the visual arts. Emphasis is on the diversity of form and content in artwork. With willingness to work and an open mind, your experiences in this class will be memorable in a positive way. Upon completion, students should understand the basics of art materials used and have a basic overview of the history of art and how art represents its society, especially, Latin American culture.
ART 2130 – Mural Painting and Public Art (4) [Syllabus]
This studio art course introduces theoretical and practical aspects of large-scale painting, murals and public art. The course includes an actual practicum in large-scale media and experimentation of early and contemporary techniques including drawing, fresco, painting, aerosol and various industrial materials. The objective of this course is for students to develop understanding about some of the social roles of art and the impact of murals in communities, based upon its historical and contemporary applications. The course will enable student to control scale, color, specific techniques and safety measures aimed at public spaces. Students will incorporate a Service Learning component by either conducting a collective workshop with children from a rural location or actually painting a collective mural as a donation to a community. The Students fine arts background will help with the complexity of the final collective project but the course does not require previous painting knowledge.
CTV 3400 – Documentary Appreciation (3) [Syllabus]
Documentary Appreciation will focus on the critical analysis of audiovisual documentaries, exploring film and photography mediums in traditional and new media. Class interactions will comprise academic learning, viewing and discussion of material, practical exercises and written assignments.
DNCE 2500 – Introduction to Latin American Tropical Dance (3) [Syllabus]
This course explores the technique, rhythm and movement style of Latin American Tropical dance. History, anthropology, folklore videos and songs are part of this experiential course. This course will provide students with a general overview and a better understanding of the folklore and history of Latin American dance. They should also be acquainted with some of the basic rhythms in various countries.
ENG 150 – College Writing (3)
This course is for the development of basic invention practices such as brainstorming, free writing, outlining, and journaling. Students will have to develop skills in personal narrative, exposition, as well as analytical, descriptive, argumentative writing. The course works with the process-based writing and also explores creative sources such as reading, thinking, analyzing, and discussion.
ETH 3100 – Selected Topics in Afro-Caribbean Studies (3) [Syllabus]
This course examines a particular topic, theme, issue, or problem concerning the Black presence in Costa Rica and Central America. Sample offerings could include Central America and ethnic politics, history and Culture, Blacks in Central American governments, Contemporary Black literature, History of the Black experience in Costa Rica.
PFA 3000 – Performing Arts Production Workshop (6)
This workshop is a studio class in which participants explore – and practice – the distinctive components of the production, mounting and staging of an acted/choreographed/musicalized production. This course gives participants a rare opportunity to develop their competencies for the performing arts. Our goal is to explore artistic risk-taking in an uplifting environment. The heart of the program is teaching young aspiring performers – and participants in general – how to deliver a performance that connects deeply and authentically with themselves and their audience.
PHIL-3100 Philosophy and Integrated Thought of the Classical World (3) [Syllabus]
This course is an overview of the history and selected concepts in major eastern and western philosophical movements and systems from ancient to the middle age periods. Students will reflect on certain topics such as mind-body, concept of God, knowledge of self and others, predestination and free will, cause and effect and other fundamental ideas in classical knowledge.
PHOT 2100 – Ecological Photography (4) [Syllabus]
This course offers general and basic knowledge and skills about the possibilities and stages of digital photography applied to ecological exploration. Through practice exercises and field trips students will apply the information provided in lectures. Students will be able to consciously create and manipulate digital photographic images while exploring Costa Rican ecological systems.
PHOT 2130 – Cultural Photography (3) [Syllabus]
The course offers the acquisition of basic photographic skills as a means of cultural exploration. Through practice exercises and field trips aiming to apply the information provided through lectures, students will consciously explore Costa Rican culture through the creation of photographic images and essays. Students will be able to consciously create photographs that document aspects of Costa Rican Culture through Portraiture and Landscapes.
SOCY-3050 Diversity and Sexual Identity in Latin America (3) [Syllabus]
This course will study the LGBTQ+ community and related social issues in the Latin American Context. Special attention will be given to the Costa Rican case study where sexuality, identity, expression, health, community, family, and other social, political and lifestyle issues will be discussed. This course offers students one of the only opportunities to study LGBTQ+ Latin American dynamics and issues. It is one of the first of its kind in the region and a pioneering offer for study abroad students in the Costa Rican setting. This is a young, but growing field of study in Latin America and defiantly one that deserves much attention, especially as the Latin American region is home to some of the most homophobic countries in the world and at the same time undergoing radical change in terms of its acceptance of the complete spectrum of sexuality and identity expression. This course has three main objectives: 1) students will be invited to explore LGBTQ+ Latin American community issues, 2) to appreciate how particular countries are advancing in relation to equality before the law while studying the social groups pushing for change, and 3) to critically assess present day contexts that are struggling with recently developed anti-discriminatory frameworks.
THEO 3100 – Habitudes: Habits and Attitudes from Emerging Christian Leadership (3) [Syllabus]
In this course, the instructor with use the book “habits: shaping the leadership habits and attitude of the image” to guide the team to discuss. In today’s society, students cannot just seek to survive in school. If campus life is to prepare students to meet the unknown future, they must learn to lead.
This means that they must first lead themselves, in the field of their interest, such as the leader of the general thinking. Over the past six years, the “Leadership Growth” program of the Higher Education Institute, sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation, has conducted a survey of thousands of students from the new millennium. We will also study the development of student leadership in-depth study.
THEO 3120 – Revolution, Spirituality, and Religion in Latin America (3) [Syllabus]
This course provides students with a panoramic view of the influence of gods and religions on Latin America. The Latin American region represents some of the richest religions in the world, and religiosity runs through the entire Latin American continent, including Brazilian Budu to teach emerging Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The region also has a significant impact on sustainable development and ecological thinking.
We will review the Latin American region’s successful combination of religion and sustainable development and the most influential thinkers, such as Leonardo Boff. The course also covers historical analysis and the impact of various tendencies on cultural, social and political aspects of Latin America.
THEO 3150 – Major World Religions (3) [Syllabus]
In this course, we will study the world’s major religions: Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. We will discuss the following questions: What is the core belief? Is there a future? What is the expectation of religious believers? Each religion represents the people of God, and understanding the different worldviews of religion will help us to better respect and love religion.
BUSINESS, ECONOMICS AND COMMUNICATION
COMM 3070 – Creative Conflict Resolution (4) [Syllabus]
A multicultural, gender sensitive course is designed for students who wish to learn strategies and techniques in thought and behavior transformations for conflict resolution. The course focuses on techniques to bring about positive focused changes through continuous experiences in community building and self-improvement. The course is based on the Alternatives to Violence Project; a program started in NY State in the seventies. Fundacion CEPPA, Center for Peace Studies, has implemented this program in Costa Rica, Switzerland and other Latin American countries since 1990. Using a participatory and interactive methodology, emphasis is made on the following themes: Self-esteem and self-care, communication skills, cooperation, community building and conflict resolution, including mediation, bias awareness and cultural diversity. Mandatory fieldwork sessions will be conducted at a school, a communal group or a penal institution.
COMM 3200 – Intercultural Communication (3) [Syllabus]
This course addresses issues of diversity and commonalities amongst human beings, implications and applications according to each situation and professional context. Students will develop skills for intercultural competence.
ECON 3403 – Introduction to International Economics & Latin America (3) [Syllabus]
Pre- Requisite ECON 1000, or ECON 2010 and 2020.
Examines Latin American policies that affect the international economy, with attention to trade barriers, economic nationalism and regionalism, international political economy, exchange market intervention and international transmission of economic perturbations.
GEB 3350 – Introduction to International Business (3) [Syllabus]
An overview of cultural environment of international business and the institutions which affect business today. The Latin American perspective with regard to the U.S., Asia and Europe is examined: NAFTA, Merco Sur, the EC and other common market areas and agreements.
MGMT 3030 – Creative Leadership Skills (3) [Syllabus]
Provides the opportunity to learn about and practice the skills required for managerial excellence. These skills include leadership, negotiation, conducting performance appraisals, delegation, effective communication, interviewing and making hiring decisions and effective human resource management.
MKTG 3010 – International Marketing Management (3) [Syllabus]
This course is designed to give the student an understanding of international marketing in terms of both the challenges and opportunities. The course assumes that students are familiar with basic marketing terms and have a basic to mid understanding of marketing concepts. The course will examine the concepts related to international marketing, while students analyze case studies and propose ideas through assignments to attain the objectives of the course.
TECH 2100 Introduction to Programming and Coding: Java (4)
This course is an Introduction to programming and coding, focused on teaching the basics in programming to develop projects. The programming language that will be used is Java because of its ease to use and powerful applications in online applets. After understanding the general concepts of programming, at least one project will be developed by the students in order to demonstrate the knowledge gained in an assisted manner with the professor and fellow students.
CHEM 1050 Introduction to the Physical and Chemical Basis of Everyday Life (4)
This course is designed for students of non-scientific fields that strive to understand the chemical and physical (PChem) basis of everyday life. The goal is to deliver information and promote their own interest in scientific and technical issues through a question/answer approach.
Class demonstrations and fields trips are included to illustrate specific subjects. The course concentrates on simple but important aspects of modern day societies, such as X rays and CAT scans, the production and utilization of gasoline and polymers, the chemical fate and impact of chemicals on the environment and a variety of technical and scientific aspects related to human life concerns.
ENV 2500 – Introduction to Genetics: Current Applications (4) [Syllabus]
This course is an introduction to genetics, focused on its applications for current issues related to the diagnosis of human diseases, paternity, taxonomy, ecology, conservation, agronomy and the environment. After having gained a general understanding of the concepts related to genetics, students will perform research projects in Costa Rica, which will then be presented and discussed in order to learn what types of questions science can answer using genetics as a tool. Field trips and laboratory practice will provide an opportunity for students to study how samples are collected, processed and analyzed.
ENV 3005 – Environmental Impact And Social Development (4) [Syllabus]
This course is an introduction to the study of major environmental problems and issues confronting modern society. Students will examine ecosystems, population patterns and dynamics; use and misuse of resources; population and environmental quality; environmental citizenship and economic incentives and Costa Rican initiatives in eco- tourism.
ENV 3044 – Tropical Ecology (4) [Syllabus]
Students will learn about the interactions between earth and land and how these interactions or processes affect our life and the stability of the planet. Emphasis will be given to the study of the most relevant tropical ecosystems such as: tropical rain forest, cloud forests, coral reefs and mangroves. Field trips to selected environments will provide on site examples of some of the issues learned through class work and readings. All field trips are mandatory.
ENV 3020 – Marine Molecular Biology (4) [Syllabus]
This course focuses on the use of molecular markers based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA to highlight the importance
of conservation genetics and the implications on a global scale to manage marine species in danger of extinction.
Activities and conferences will be carried out at the CPI Biomolecular Laboratory (BIOMOL). In addition, students will experience field activities to understand some controversial conservation issues related to the endangered trapezoidal marine species in Costa Rica, such as sea turtles and sharks, gathering Tissue samples and later performing hands-on activities in the laboratory such as DNA extractions, PCRs, electrophoresis, and introduction to bioinformatics analysis. This is a theoretical-practical course and it seeks to clarify the following question: How to apply molecular biology techniques in addressing problems regarding the conservation biology of endangered marine species in Costa Rica?
ENV 3050 – Biology of Edible Insects: A Sustainable Food Source (4) [Syllabus]
This entomology course explores the use of insects as food sources for human and animal feeding. In an era of a food crisis, climate change, habitat loss, air pollution and so many environmental problems, the look for more sustainable solutions is pushing to look back into ancient traditions, technical strategies and the scientific integration of both to supply the nutritional needs for human development. One of these possible solutions is the use of insects as food sources. Entomophagy is the practice of consuming edible insects. Latin America, South Asia, and African countries have engaged on entomophagy since ancient times. However, this is a disappearing practice. This course is theoretical and practical look at the origins of entomophagy, its current state and how to use it for a sustainable future. This course will be based on the study of multimedia, literature, visits and practical contact with edible insects whenever possible. Therefore, this course is aimed at any professional with an interesting sustainability, gastronomy, anthropology, and biology.
ENV 3100 – Tropical Birds (Tropical Ornithology) (3) [Syllabus]
This course provides an introduction to the main topics of ornithology, with an emphasis on neotropical avifauna. Major topics include the unique features that make neotropical avifauna a highlight of bird studies, including its evolutionary relationships, the extremely high species diversity of the neotropics, and the natural history of Costa Rican birds. With more than 900 bird species, Costa Rica provides a unique introduction to Neotropical ornithology and birding. Two field trips will introduce the main bird groups present in Costa Rica, their behavior, and the skills needed to identify them.
ENV 3120 – Land Vertebrates of Costa Rica (4) [Syllabus]
This course is an introduction to the zoology of terrestrial vertebrates in Costa Rica. Students will gain insight about various biological characteristics of the groups of land chordates in the country. Costa Rica has an immensely rich animal biodiversity, with an influence of both North American and South American fauna and is a world-renowned hot spot for animal research and conservation.
Emphasis will be given to the study of Costa Rican species, but others will be discussed as well.
ENV 3150 – Tropical Botany (4) [Syllabus]
This course will provide students with a general overview of Neotropical useful plants. Students will gain insight about basic botanical concepts and will be able to explore a variety of tropical ecosystems and life zones, their flora and the multiple and complex ecological interactions that can be found in these areas, as well as the most important uses of plants in the Neotropics. Costa Rica is a tropical country with an immensely rich biodiversity and for this reason a very representative area to these studies. Emphasis will be given to the most common plant families in Costa Rica, but other Neotropical families will be discussed as well.
The course includes four laboratory practices about Phytomorphology (Plant Morphology), Plant reproduction, and Plant Diversity. Field trips provide an important experience with different Neotropical ecosystems and the Flora diversity of Costa Rica, where important plant adaptations and ecosystemic interactions are easily observed. A Field practice using quadrants and transects to compare plant diversity and forest strata is included in one of the field trips during the Spring course.
ENV 3160 – Conservation Biology and Endangered Marine Species (4) [Syllabus]
This course is aimed to highlight the importance of conservation biology in managing endangered marine species by emphasizing recent conservation efforts of umbrella species such as sea turtles and sharks in the Pacific of Costa Rica. Marine ecosystems of the eastern tropical Pacific provide a baseline source for species of high commercial interest in satisfying humans’ demand for food worldwide. However, numerous marine species are threatened by unsustainable human activities, such as overfishing and habitat destruction. This course will help students develop a critical understanding of conservation biology, by emphasizing the general concept of biodiversity and in current case studies that focus on scientific investigations to answer critical life history aspects, recovery programs, species management, community conservation actions and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
ENV 3170 – Freshwater Ecology (Limnology) (4) [Syllabus]
Water is a vital resource and limited resource that is in danger, and demand for this resource is growing. The goal of this course is to help students understand the physical, chemical and biological properties of inland aquatic environments (wetlands, lakes, rivers, mangroves, and reservoirs). It aims to emphasize the problems and conservation efforts for water resources, and to review methods for monitoring aquatic environments through field trips and laboratory work.
ENV 3190 – Tropical Marine Biology (4) [Syllabus]
The course studies the balance between ecosystems and human stress and demands on the constant changing Marine environment. All field trips are mandatory. Certified Divers may pay a $100 fee in order to complete 2 immersions in each field trip (4 immersions total).
ENV 3200 – Marine Mammals of Costa Rica: Biology and Conservation (3) [Syllabus]
This course is an introduction to the biology of marine mammals of Costa Rica, including whales, dolphins, manatees fur seals and sea lions. Topics covered include the evolution, physiology, behavior, and ecology of marine mammals. Particular attention is paid to current topics in the management and conservation of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) in Costa Rica within marine protected areas or with local coastal communities. Fieldwork will focus on basic ecological monitoring techniques and primary care on marine mammals strandings.
ENV 3740 – Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations (4) [Syllabus]
This course is an introduction to renewable energies and their impact on development and future needs of the planet Earth. Mankind is facing serious natural disasters and events caused by global warming and climate change. These phenomena are related to the population growth and the increase in fossil fuels burning, particularly after the industrial revolution. There is a general concern and interest of societies to change gradually toward the implementation of renewable energies to meet human needs in the future. This course will be focused on Costa Rica’s potential for renewable energies.
ENV 4030 – Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (4) [Syllabus]
This course will examine agricultural and food systems from an ecological systems perspective. After establishing a foundation of basic ecological concepts (relationships and interactions between abiotic/non-living and biotic/living components of an ecosystem), different applications of these concepts to agricultural systems will be investigated. Consumption and production issues related to food system sustainability will be analyzed, and students will explore their own role in the food system. Field trips will provide opportunities for direct observation of (and interaction with)different approaches to food production and distribution in Costa Rica.
ENV 4040 – Sustainable Development and Environmental Awareness (4) [Syllabus]
This course is an introduction to current world problems related to natural resource management and conservation, and their effects on sustainable development efforts in tropical countries. Current issues that impact the possibility for development, such as poverty, global warming, deforestation and access to potable water will be analyzed.
ENV 4100 – Biotechnology and Sustainability (3) [Syllabus]
This course emphasizes the vast possibilities offered by biotechnology for sustainable development through the study of specific cases in Costa Rica. Fundamental and applied concepts of biotechnology will be explored and discussed in terms of life, environmental and social sciences. Work will be heavily based on the study of cases in which biotechnology has become into the best solution for social and environmental situations. The course is for students in many areas such as engineering, scientific and social sciences.
GEB 3500 – Ecotourism: The Costa Rica Case (4) [Syllabus]
The course will offer the chance to analyze this dynamic process from different socio-economic perspectives. It will discuss the economic importance of ecotourism for the Costa Rican national economy, the stimulation of grassroots, community ecotourism projects, and the role of ecotourism in securing environmental protection. The advances and limitations of ecotourism will be explored.
MKTG 3150 – Sustainable Consumption and Production (3) [Syllabus]
Sustainable consumption (SC) and production is a holistic approach to minimizing the negative environmental impacts from consumption and production systems while promoting quality of life for all. This course will help students acquire the knowledge, capacities and values to help them contribute to shaping a better tomorrow as more responsible consumers. It will trace the history and the justification for the focus on sustainable consumption. This course will provide students with a) an understanding of our responsibilities as consumers to critically analyze the life-cycles of any consumer products in the face of marketing techniques that induce unsustainable consumption; b) an understanding of the need for innovative solutions to many of our unsustainable consumer habits; and c) hopefully, the desire to become proactive citizens in assuming more sustainable lifestyles.
SUSD 2500 Biomimicry: Learning from Nature’s Strategies (4)
This course is designed to introduce students from different backgrounds, interests and careers the basic fundamentals of Biomimicry, its methodology and its application as a design tool in creative processes. Participants have the opportunity, through dedicated time and access to sources of interest, to explore the application of these basic foundations in their own field, or area of interest. The course offers the opportunity to connect, see, feel and touch local biodiversity, and to experience the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary nature of biomimicry, learning how to access and communicate with people from diverse perspectives and experiences.
SUSD 3000 – Sustainable Lifestyles (3) [Syllabus]
This course builds upon the results of the Global Survey on Sustainable Lifestyles (GSSL), established in the 2011 document Visions for Change: Recommendations for Effective Policies on Sustainable Lifestyles, which incorporates the voices of 8,000 young adults from 20 different countries.
With half the world’s population under 30 years of age, Visions for Change stresses the importance of listening to youth and provides valuable insight into how to build sustainable lifestyles (SLs) with a youth-centered focus. Sustainable lifestyles, which promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, represent an essential component of sustainable development.
The main objective of the course is designed to give youth a voice and work together to better understand and educate young adults, therefore empowering them to create their own positive versions of SLs and become agents of change.
SUSD 3100 – Gender and Sustainable Development (3) [Syllabus]
This course will study the intersection between gender, socio-economic discrimination and the shift toward sustainable development. The following themes are among many that will be addressed throughout the course: Women and natural resources use, women and the forests, women’s role in conservation, women and land use and agriculture, rural women, women and the built environment, women and environmental policy, women in relation to poverty, risk, mitigation, adaption for climate change, female civil society and political actors pushing for change, women the environment and sustainable innovations. The aforementioned issues will be explored in the context of the Latin America and Caribbean case study with special emphasis on the Costa Rican context where possible. Students will be encouraged to compare the region with their home land experiences and situation and be strongly encouraged to critically assess the advances, challenges, and propose solutions. The issue of gender will be thoroughly introduced, gender dynamics profiled, and gender policy contemplated. There will be a special emphasis on the situation of Latin American and Caribbean women, the environment and sustainable development, however this course aims to be inclusive, and recognizes that there are many gender identities and that gender issues touch everybody’s lives. Students are welcome to participate and study the environment and sustainable development throughout the course according to any or all gender identities and therefore be active participants in the unravelling and improvement of sustainable development itself. We will work with local women in the community and gain hand-on practical experience during farm and forest project work.
Students will carry out surveys, develop in research projects and participate in two field trips to help them to understand the dynamics and complexities of gender and sustainable development.
HEALTH AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
HHD 1020 – Physical Therapy and Rehab Exercises for Common Sport Injuries (3) [Syllabus]
This course will introduce basic concepts of human anatomy, an overview of the most common injuries and illnesses that require physical therapy, and an introduction to the different tools and methods used to treat them. The course will consist of lectures about the theoretical concepts, and also laboratory practice, which will allow the student a hands-on experience of the different techniques given during the lectures. At the end of the course the student will have general knowledge on various areas of expertise, and on techniques such as massage therapy, electrotherapy, and therapeutic exercises, among others.
HHD 1050 – Holistic Health Approaches (3) [Syllabus]
This course will introduce basic concepts of alternative medicine. Also this course will explore, and evaluate alternatives approaches and philosophies to personal health and wellness. Some of the topics included are: Homeopathy, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Acupuncture, Herbal and Nutritional Therapies, Massage, Chiropractic, Electromagnetic Therapy, Breathing Exercise and others.
HHD 1100 – Principles of Medical Entomology in the Tropics (4)
This course focuses on knowing and recognizing the basic biology, identification, classification, impact, and management, of insects that represent hazards to human health. To date, mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals around the world, with more deaths caused by mosquito-vectored diseases than from the attack of any wild animal. In the past several methods have been used to control the outbreaks of these insects, specially pesticide-based which in turn just aggravated the problem because of insecticide resistance. The tropics have been particularly affected by insects with human health impacts. For this reason, several private and public initiatives focus on developing ways to palliate these insects. This course will cover basic and applied aspects of Medical Entomology, with an especial focus on the ecological and socio-economic conditions of the tropics. This course will be based on field trips, talks, the study of multimedia, literature, visits and practical contact with people working on these subjects. Therefore, this course is aimed at any student with an interest in human health, biology, economics, sustainability, and anthropology.
HHD 3070 – Conflict Resolution and Health Care (4) [Syllabus]
This course will introduce basic concepts of alternative medicine. Health service delivery today encounters frequent conflicts, disputes, and other difficult situations, many of them derived from larger changes occurring in the health systems of the world. These conflicts include differences due to multiculturalism; the appropriateness and quality of care; gender issues; power disputes and providers and recipients over institutional and funding policies. Violence, its effects and costs will be part of this course, particularly under the WHO definition and perspectives. Costa Rican health care systems will be part of the course. This interactive, hands-on course offers a framework to integrate professional experience with functional communication and mediation skills. Students are encouraged to explore and develop their leadership into progress on matters of public health importance. Mandatory fieldwork sessions will be conducted at a medical facility, community or school.
HIS 3293 – Costa Rican Health Care System and Tropical Medicine (4) [Syllabus]
Costa Rica’s health care system is unique due to the fact that it’s socialized and has achieved excellent health indicators. The course focuses on the history and development of the public health care system within the context of the Costa Rican sociopolitical and economic situation. It also gives a strong emphasis on how the system actually works and points out not only the strongholds of the systems, but also its weak points. A third objective, of fundamental importance in order to understand this system, is the study of Costa Rica as a tropical country. Students will learn about the prevention and transmission of relevant tropical diseases.
PSY 2200 – Health Psychology (3) [Syllabus]
The World Health Organization defines health as being “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well- being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Based on this definition, the concepts of health and illness have changed. Nowadays, health care professionals have to tackle the health from a bio-psycho-social concept. For this reason, it is extremely important for health care professionals (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, just to mention some) to have general information about Health Psychology, which studies how biology, behavior, and social context influence health and illness. In this way, health care professionals can have an integral approach to the patients under their treatment. This will discuss some of the most common topics related with Health Psychology and pertinent to practice in the health care professions.
PSY 3050 – Cultural Psychology (3) [Syllabus]
This course introduces students to the field of psychology that examines the influence of culture upon human behavior and cognitive processes. “Culture” is defined as the shared norms, values, and behaviors of groups and of the individuals in those groups. We will focus on such topics as cultural factors in self-concept, gender roles, motivation, cognition, emotions, relationships, and social values. Our exploration will be based on psychological theories, research, guest lecturers, and field experiences.
HISTORY, POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
HIS 2302 – Contemporary Latin American History (3) [Syllabus]
This course is a survey of the main events in Latin American History after its independence. Topics include the historical causes and effects of the independence, some of the main issues on social, economic and political problems and the main historical leaders in modern Latin America.
HIS-3130 Sustainability and Resources Management in the Ancient World (3) [Syllabus]
Students will learn about the relationship ancient civilizations like Egypt, China, Mesopotamia, India, Greece, Rome, the Celts, and the Pre-Colombian Americans had with their environment. Students will explore how these cultures interacted with nature and its resources, as land, forests, water and minerals. In addition, they will be able to identify the main characteristics that allow civilizations to create a sustainable relationship with their surroundings and habitat, if this is the case. This historic overview will allow students to liken and contrast our present day societies with the Ancient World.
HIS 3290 – Costa Rican Economic and Human Development (3) [Syllabus]
This course introduces the principal socio-economic and political features that have shaped and defined the history and development of Costa Rica.
HUM 3513 – Costa Rica Colloquium: History and Culture (3) [Syllabus]
This course provides general survey of the complex heritage and social evolution of Costa Rica, using a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach and focusing on the historical development and present day dynamics of economy, society, politics, natural resources and culture. Emphasis will be placed upon different topics throughout the course, based on participating students’ diverse backgrounds and expectations.
POL 2500 – Human Rights in Latin America (3) [Syllabus]
A particular emphasis will be given to the case of Costa Rica, giving the students an opportunity to explore the development of human rights in the following areas: women’s rights, children’s rights, HIV/AIDS, the CAFTA agreement and labor rights, indigenous groups and human rights, disability and age issues, and the prison environment.
POL 3100 – Costa Rican Tradition: Peace and Democracy (3) [Syllabus]
The general objective of this course is to discuss, with students, the social, economic and political issues of the process of construction of peace and democracy in Costa Rica and Central America (1948-2005).
POL 3220 – Migration, Globalization, and Social Change (3) [Syllabus]
The course introduces students to the theories and practices of international human migration as a phenomenon that, while present throughout history, has particular emphasis in today’s world. With human ramifications, its strong societal effects are evident on both ends of the issue—the nations from which people leave, and the targeted destinations. We will review the phenomenon based on its most prominent manifestations: forced migrations, voluntary migrations and internal displacements of groupings of people, and the motivational underpinnings that provoke such drastic actions as the uprooting of home and family in pursuit of presumably better opportunities.
Migration is perceived by peoples in despair as an alternative to heavily weighing social, political and/or economic conditions, even when factoring in risks such as personal safety and adaptation to an unknown culture. Within this framework, we will analyze issues such as return migrations, the effects of remittances, the formation of diaspora communities, and the myriad of problems brought about by cultural adaptation and assimilation.
POL 3420 – Costa Rican Environmental Policy (3) [Syllabus]
This course will explore the dynamics of environmental management, environmental histories, policy, politics and action in the case study of Costa Rica and beyond. It will study environmental history and policy at a regional and national level; it will explore the emergence of Costa Rica’s cutting edge environmental politics and governmental commitments (the greening of the public sector and carbon neutrality and others); it will look back at Costa Rica’s conservation history and critically review its conservation and sustainable development model; it will present an understanding of the ‘state of the nation and region’ in regard to environmental indicators (land use methods and statistics, deforestation and reforestation data, contamination and waste indicators); it will identify the individuals and organizations working on taking authentic action in environmental protection; it will take a close look at how government policy translates into practice by reviewing cases studies of community and grassroots action in forestry, organic farming, recycling, cooperatives, and women’s environmental groups; and lastly, it will address some of central issues and challenges facing these activities and the resultant environmental conflicts.
POL 3450 -International Relations in Latin America (3) [Syllabus]
The course will analyze the aspects of the Economic Integration, globalization and conditions for a successful integration between economies and the effects of free trade in the region as well as the effects of protectionism. There will be a special treatment on foreign investments and joint ventures in the Latin America.
COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
TECH 2100 – Introduction to Programming and Coding (4) [Syllabus]
This course is an Introduction to programming and coding, focused on teaching the basics in programming to develop projects. The programming language that will be used is Java because of its ease to use and powerful applications in online applets. Students will develop at least one full project assisted by the professor and fellow students to demonstrate the knowledge gained.
TECH 3100 – Digital Media Installations (4) [Syllabus]
This course will focus on the conceptual role that an artist or a multidisciplinary creative director has in the Digital Media field. Students will work on three creative projects. A film-animation, a website-portfolio and a digital painting project. Throughout the course many team management skills will also be practiced including daily icebreakers, ideation-brainstorming, team leading and following, selling pitch presentations, sketching and fast Prototyping.
ELECTIVE OPTIONS IN SPANISH
SPN 1002 – Comunicación Oral Básica (Basic Oral Communication) (3) [Syllabus]
Este curso está diseñado para estudiantes de español como segunda lengua que cuentan con un dominio elemental del idioma en los aspectos morfosintácticos, léxico-semántico y fonético-fonológicos, por lo que deben haber aprobado el nivel básico 1. A lo largo del curso, desarrollará su competencia comunicativa oral, que le permitirá desenvolverse de manera efectiva y eficaz en situaciones cotidianas.
SPN 3000 – Introducción al Análisis Literario (Introduction to Literary Analysis) (3) [Syllabus]
El curso ofrece una introducción por parte de los estudiantes al estudio de la literatura en español y presenta los recursos básicos para la elaboración de un comentario o análisis literario. El estudiante adquirirá la terminología necesaria así como métodos críticos que le permitan generar comentarios y explicación de textos informados.
SPN 3020 – Lecturas Selectas de la Literatura Latinoamericana (Select Readings from Latin American Literature) (3) [Syllabus]
Estudio panorámico de autores, corrientes literarias o particularidades de género en la literatura Latinoamericana.
SPN 3050 – Fonética y Fonología (Phonetics and Phonology) (3) [Syllabus]
En este curso se aprenden métodos y herramientas de la lingüística descriptiva aplicada a la fonética y articulación.
SPN 3070 – Introducción a la Traducción (Introduction to Translation) (3) [Syllabus]
Una introducción a las herramientas teóricas y prácticas para el proceso de traducción del inglés al español. Los estudiantes aprenderán a hacer traducciones de textos sencillos de complejidad intermedia y avanzada tratando de mantener la mayor fidelidad posible con la intención y estilo del autor.
SPN 3520 – Dialectología Latinoamericana (Latin American Dialectology) (3) [Syllabus]
Este curso explora una perspectiva socio-histórica de la lengua como un aspecto de estudio importante, para comprender el mecanismo lingüístico actual dentro de diferentes contextos sociales de habla. El enfoque de este curso es analizar la variedad dialectal que se refleja en los diferentes países latinoamericanos mediante rasgos: fonológicos, morfológicos y léxicos que toman en cuenta elementos culturales.
Además, el curso pretende como objetivo primordial conocer y poner en práctica estrategias dialectales para fomentar elementos comunicativos auténticos que enriquezcan el uso del idioma español.
SPN 4110 – Escritoras Contemporaneas Costarricenses (Contemporary Costa Rican Writers) (3) [Syllabus]
El curso aborda la principal producción literaria femenina en Costa Rica. Se enfoca en el análisis de temáticas presentes en los diferentes textos y su relación con la realidad nacional.
SPN 4330 – Tópicos Selectos en la Literatura Española (Select Topics in Spanish Literature) (3) [Syllabus]
Este curso es una panorámica de la literatura española, desde sus inicios hasta la primera mitad de la literatura contemporánea.
Presenta una visión general de cada período en los que se ha dividido la literatura española, así como sus principales características. También se estudian los textos más representativos de los exponentes de cada período.
SPN 4390 – El Cine y Literatura Latinoamericana (Latin American Literature in Film) (3) [Syllabus]
Este curso es un estudio de algunas producciones cinematográficas basadas en textos literarios de reconocidos escritores latinoamericanos. El curso se basa en el análisis y discusión de las principales características de la cultura, valores y temáticas de la realidad Latinoamericana presentes en dichasmuestras literarias y cinematográficas.
SPN 6100 – Herramientas de enseñaza para profesores de español (4)
Course description currently unavailable.