July in San Jose, Costa Rica

Courses in English and Spanish with local professors on an urban campus minutes from the heart of San Jose. Spend 5 weeks exploring the city, as well as picturesque mountain villages, beautiful nearby national parks and relaxed beach towns.

Program Overview

During your July in San Jose, Costa Rica program, you will be studying at one of Central America’s best private universities – Universidad Veritas.

Located in the heart of vibrant San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, you will be able to experience the following:

  • World-class location – The urban capital of San Jose offers students the best of both worlds! From museums and pre-Columbian culture to live music, a butterfly garden, colonial architecture, colourful markets and live theatre – you won’t be short of things to do!
  • Magnificent landscapes – To the north of San Jose, tranquil Heredia hosts Braulio Carillo National Park and Barva Volcano, two of the region’s greenest and most beautiful outdoor offerings.
  • Classes with international students – Your fellow students will come from many countries around the world.
  • Study Spanish in Costa Rica – Study Spanish abroad at any level with local professors. Use your Spanish in the markets, restaurants and salsa classes of San Jose, and you’ll really learn the language.
  • Perfect location – You’ll be just minutes from the heart of San Jose, so you can easily explore the city, as well as the stunning nearby national parks, scenic mountain villages and relaxed beach towns that make Costa Rica famous.
  • Awesome classes in English – Study the Costa Rican health care system, ecotourism, human rights in Latin America, cultural photography, history, human rights, communications, management, politics, international relations, leadership and international economic integration in Latin America, all in English.
  • Great excursions – A day trip and a weekend excursion with your fellow international students are offered during the program. Take a city tour, wander through the local markets and try some exotic tropical fruit as you explore the rain forest for the perfect summer abroad in Costa Rica.

Highlights

During your July program in Costa Rica, you will be able to experience some of Central America’s best landscapes and cultural activities.

Here are just a few highlights that make this program unique:

  • One of the most biodiverse countries on the planet
  • Live with a local family and really get to experience the Costa Rican culture
  • Courses taught in English and Spanish – learn to speak Spanish in small classes
  • A vast range of courses ranging from business to photography and tropical ecology
  • Live in one of Central America’s most lively cities – minutes from all the best entertainment and cultural amenities
  • Cooking classes, dance classes and sports events so you can bond with both your classmates in your new international location!

Choose Your Course

July in San Jose, Costa Rica at Universidad Veritas offers a variety of Spanish language courses and English-taught electives to transfer as credit to your home university in Australia. This program is a great opportunity to improve your Spanish and learn more about Costa Rica’s history, culture, environment, politics and more.

Course Offerings: There are 3 study options to choose from:

  • 4-week Spanish language program (for all levels of Spanish)
  • 5-week language and culture short course from early July to early/mid-August, in which you will take 1 Spanish language course and 1 elective course
  • 8-week language and culture short-course from early July to late August, in which you will take 2 Spanish language courses and 1 elective course

On all 3 programs, you can study any level of Spanish from complete beginner to advanced.

NOTE: Should you wish to take a level of Spanish that is higher than beginner, you will sit a Skype interview with a staff member at Veritas to assess your ability level.

Course Load: 1-3 courses

  • Depending on your Australian university, “courses” may be referred to as “subjects” or “units”.
  • Each course/subject/unit you undertake on a CISaustralia program is designed to be a full-time, semester course that has been condensed to fit into an intensive, short-term program. As such, for any 1 course you study abroad, you should receive the credit points for 1 full-time course/subject/unit at your Australian university.
  • Many universities work off of a 1-for-1 equivalency (1 course abroad = 1 course in Australia), but ultimately credit approval is the decision of your faculty and Australian university.
  • CISaustralia strongly recommends that you have any overseas courses pre-approved for academic credit before you depart for your program. Some documentation that may be useful are the course outline/syllabus, program overview and the contact hours.
  • It is best to get 3-4 elective classes approved by your Australian university before you depart for your overseas program. This way you will have plenty of classes to choose from and some flexibility in setting up your schedule.
  • Your CISaustralia Program Advisor can assist with any questions or details your university needs to make a decision.

How to Choose Your Courses: Now this is the fun part. As part of your application you will complete a CISaustralia Course Selection Worksheet. The instructions provided will assist you through the steps involved in selecting your courses.

Course Approval and Placement Exam for Spanish Language: When selecting a Spanish language course, choose the description that best reflects your current Spanish abilities. Once you are accepted into the program, we will send you instructions for taking an online placement exam so that Universidad Veritas can begin to assess your level of Spanish language. Following the online (written) placement exam, you will be assessed orally by staff in Costa Rica via Skype, allowing you to be placed in the most appropriate language level before you arrive in Costa Rica. Students who select Beginner Spanish will be exempt from placement tests.

NOTE: While Spanish language levels from beginner to advanced are offered, it is assumed that students will have very basic knowledge of the language, even when attending beginner’s classes. As such, CISaustralia recommends that students take the time to learn basic Spanish in advance of the program. This will help greatly when attending first classes and communicating with host families. Past students recommend Spanish-English dictionaries or language apps like Duolingo.

Academic Requirement: To qualify for this program, students must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 4.5 (out of 7) or equivalent. If your current GPA falls below the requirement, you may still be considered for the program but will need to be prepared to provide supporting documentation. Please contact us to discuss your situation and we will work with you to help find another suitable program if required.

2019 Course Descriptions: Please note that not all courses may be offered as availability is based on enrolment.

COURSE: ART2100
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course is designed for the beginner to help the student find personal meaning in works of art and develop a better understanding of the nature and validity of art as a visual and space language (line, shape, volume, light, space, time, motion, colour 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 placed on the diversity of form and content in artwork. Upon completion, students should understand the basics of art materials used and have a basic overview of the history or art and how art represents its society, especially in Latin American culture.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: ART1301
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

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.

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COURSE: PHOT2130
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course covers basic photography as a means of cultural exploration. Through practical exercises that apply the information covered in lectures, students can consciously explore the Costa Rican culture through the creation of photographic images and essays, documenting aspects of Costa Rican Culture through portraiture and landscapes.

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COURSE: CTV3400
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

In this course, students will critically analyse audio-visual documentaries and explore film and photography mediums in both traditional and new media. Class time will include academic learning, viewing and discussion of material, practical exercises, and written assignments.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: PHOT2100
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

In this course, students will gain a general understanding of the possibilities and stages of digital photography as applied to ecological exploration. Through practical exercises and field trips, students will gain the basic skills needed to consciously create and manipulate digital photographic images, while exploring Costa Rican ecological systems.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: ARCH3112
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

A chronological overview of main inventions and other factors that influenced past and present architecture in Latin America, analysing the artistic manifestations.

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COURSE: ART2130
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This studio art course introduces the theoretical and practical aspects of large-scale painting, murals and public art. The course includes a practicum using large-scale media. Students will also experiment with early and contemporary techniques such as drawings, fresco, paints, aerosol and various industrial materials. Students will develop an understanding of the social roles of art and the impact of murals to communities, based on both historical and contemporary applications. Students will learn to control scale, colour, specific techniques and safety measures in public spaces.

A Service Learning component will be incorporated, either by facilitating a workshop for children in a rural community or painting a collective mural as a donation to the community. A fine arts background will help students grasp the complexity of the final project; however, no previous painting experience is required.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: DNCE2500
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course explores the technique, rhythm and movement of Latin American tropical dance. History, anthropology, folklore, videos and songs will all play a role in this experiential course. Students will come away with a general understanding of the history and folklore of Latin American dance, and will become familiar with the basic rhythms of various Latin American countries.

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COURSE: HIS3290
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course introduces the principal socioeconomic and political features that have shaped and defined the history and development of Costa Rica.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: MGMT3030
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course provides students with the opportunity to learn and practice the skills required for managerial excellence. These include leadership, negotiation, conducting performance appraisals, delegation, effective communication, interviewing, making hiring decisions, and effective human resource management.

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COURSE: GEB3500
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This course provides students with an opportunity to analyse the dynamic process of ecotourism in Costa Rica from various socioeconomic perspectives. It will discuss the economic importance of ecotourism for the national economy, the stimulation of grassroots, community ecotourism projects, and the role of ecotourism in securing environmental protection. The advancements and limitations of ecotourism will also be explored.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: MKTG3010
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of international marketing – both its challenges and opportunities. Students enrolling in this course should be familiar with basic marketing terminology and have a basic-intermediate understanding of marketing concepts. We will examine the concepts of international marketing through the analysis of case studies, and will propose ideas through class assignments.

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COURSE: POL3450
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

The course will analyse aspects of economic integration, globalisation and conditions needed for successful integration between economies, and the effects of free trade and protectionism in the region. Special focus will be given to foreign investments and joint ventures in Latin America.

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COURSE: GEB3350
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course provides an overview of the cultural environment of international business and the institutions that affect business in the modern world. We will examine business from the perspective of Latin America with regard to its interaction with the US, Asia and Europe, including NASTA, Merco Sur, the EC and other common market areas.

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COURSE: ECON3403
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

Prerequisite: ECON1000, or ECON2010 and 2020

In this course, students will examine Latin American policies that affect the international economy, focusing on trade barriers, economic nationalism and regionalism, the international political economy, exchange market intervention and the international transmission of economic perturbations.

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COURSE: COMM3070
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This multicultural, gender sensitive course is designed for students who wish to learn strategies and techniques for transforming thought and behaviour for the purpose of resolving conflict. The course focuses on techniques that bring about positively focused changes through consistent experiences in community building and self-improvement. The curriculum is based on the Alternatives to Violence Project, which began in New York State in the 1970s. For more than 20 years, CEPPA Foundation’s Center for Peace Studies has implemented this program in Switzerland, Costa Rica and other Latin American countries.

Using an interactive, participatory methodology, we will focus on themes such as self-esteem and self-are, communication skills, cooperation, community building and conflict resolution – including mediation, bias awareness and cultural diversity.

Mandatory fieldwork sessions will be held at a local school, a communal group or penal institution.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: CTV3400
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

In this course, students will critically analyse audio-visual documentaries and explore film and photography mediums in both traditional and new media. Class time will include academic learning, viewing and discussion of material, practical exercises, and written assignments.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: COMM3200
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course addresses issues related to diversity and commonalities amongst human beings, and the implications and applications of each situation or professional context. Students will develop the skills needed for intercultural competence.

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COURSE: ENV3050
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

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 interest in sustainability, gastronomy, anthropology, and biology.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: HHD3070
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

Health service delivery today encounters frequent conflicts, disputes and other difficult situations, many derived from larger changes occurring in health care systems around the world. These conflicts include differences due to multiculturalism; the appropriateness and quality of care; gender issues; power disputes; and arguments between providers and recipients over institutional and funding policies.

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COURSE: HIS3293
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

Costa Rica’s health care system is unique in that it is socialised and ranks excellent in health indicators. The course focuses on the history and development of the public health care system within the context of the Costa Rican socio-political and economic situation. A strong emphasis is placed on how the system works, pointing out both its strong and weak points. An additional objective of fundamental importance in understanding this system, is the study of Costa Rica as a tropical country, specifically the prevention and transmission of relevant tropical diseases. The costs and effects of violence will be part of this course, particularly in regards to the WHO definition of health. Costa Rican health care systems will also be touched on.

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 on matters of public health. Mandatory fieldwork sessions will be conducted at a medical facility, community or school.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: PSY2200
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

The World Health Organisation defines health as “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. Today, health care professionals (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, etc.) must have a bio-psycho-social approach to patient health. It is extremely important that they have a general understanding of health psychology, which studies how biology, behaviour and social context influence health and illness. This provides a truly integrated approach to treating patients. In this course, we will discuss some of the most common topics related to health psychology that are pertinent to the health care professions.

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COURSE: HHD1050
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

NOTE: Must be a Health Sciences student to undertake this course.

This course will introduce basic concepts of holistic medicine (traditional medicine, complementary and holistic medicine; T/CAM). Also this course will explore, and evaluate holistic 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.

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COURSE: HHD1020
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

Physical therapy ranks in Costa Rica and the USA as one of the most desirable careers. Physical Therapists play essential roles in today’s healthcare environment. They contribute along with all health care providers to maintain, restore, and improve movement, activity and health, enabling individuals of all ages to have optimal functioning and quality of life. During this course the student will learn history of Physical Therapy, PT core values and principles, mechanical principles applied to human body, an introduction to exercise therapy, massage therapy and physical therapists approach after a stroke.

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COURSE: HIS2302
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course provides a survey of the main events in Latin American history after its independence. Topics include the historical causes and effects of independence, social, economic and political issues, and key historical leaders in modern day Latin America.

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COURSE: HUM2513 / HIS3513
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course will provide students with an introduction to Costa Rican history and culture. The outstanding socio-economic and political features that have shaped and defined the history and development path of Costa Rica will be explored. The major social issues that have emerged since Pre-Columbian times to the present day will be uncovered to provide the student with an understanding of how Costa Rica’s present day culture has been shaped. Students will have the opportunity to explore 3 main areas: 1) the historical dynamics that have influenced contemporary Costa Rica’s cultural profile 2) the global and regional dynamics that have influenced the history and cultural development of Costa Rica, and 3) the characteristics of Costa Rica’s present day society and culture.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: HIS3290
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course introduces the principal socioeconomic and political features that have shaped and defined the history and development of Costa Rica.

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COURSE: SPN 310
CREDITS: 5 US credits / 80 hours

This course is based on acquiring the skill of self-correction. Students will 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 given to pragmatic production and students must be prepared to spend a minimum of 2 extra hours per day for assignments.

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COURSE: SPN 210
CREDITS: 5 US credits / 80 hours

Prerequisite: SPN 202

This course is for students who already have a high intermediate level of Spanish and wish to better their communicative skills and pronunciation. The emphasis is set on situational everyday conversation and certain cultural issues. The methodology enhances structured speech to provide a firm base in patterns of spoken Spanish with progression towards free conversation.

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COURSE: SPN 304
CREDITS: 5 US credits / 80 hours

This course is for students with an advanced level of Spanish who wish to learn general information about the development and processes of some of Costa Rica’s main entrepreneurial settings. By the end of the course students will have a general knowledge of business vocabulary and usual business practices in Costa Rica.

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COURSE: SPN 330
CREDITS: 5 US credits / 80 hours

Prerequisite: SPN 301

Dirigido a estudiantes que hablan español como lengua nativa, pero que necesitan profundizar en el estudio de estructuras gramaticales complejas y enfatizar las destrezas de escucha, escritura y lectura. El objetivo es adquirir las herramientas necesarias para lograr una comunicación eficaz tanto a nivel oral como escrito.

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COURSE: SPN 320
CREDITS: 5 US credits / 80 hours

Prerequisite: SPN 301

This course introduces relevant topics and issues in the development of Latin America’s cultural heritage. Students will develop an understanding of intellectual, artistic, social and historical perspectives in Latin America with emphasis on Costa Rica.

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COURSE: ARCH3112
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

A chronological overview of main inventions and other factors that influenced past and present architecture in Latin America, analysing the artistic manifestations.

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COURSE: THEO3150
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

In this course, students will learn about the major world religions: Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and others. Questions such as: “What are the core beliefs?”, “Is there an afterlife?”, “What is expected of a follower?” and more will be explored. Each religion represents a population of God’s sons and daughters, and understanding their worldview will help us to better know how to respect and love them.

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COURSE: PHIL3100
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course provides an overview of the history and selected concepts of major eastern and western philosophical movements from ancient times to the middle ages. Students will reflect on topics such as the mind-body experience, the concept of God, knowledge of self and others, predestination versus free will, cause and effect, and other fundamental ideas found in classical knowledge.

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COURSE: THEO3120
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course will provide students with a panoramic view of the influence that spirituality and religion have had in Latin America. The Latin American region represents some of the most diverse spiritual expression in the world, ranging from Budu in Brazil to the more recent expressions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity throughout the entire continent.

The region has also had a tremendous influence on sustainability and ecological thinking. We will review the region’s most influential thinkers who have successfully combined religion with sustainability, such as Leonardo Boff. The course will include a historical analysis of various tendencies, and how they have affected the culture, society and politics of the region.

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COURSE: SPN 301
CREDITS: 5 US credits / 80 hours

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 concerning and controversial subjects.

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COURSE: SPN 302
CREDITS: 5 US credits / 80 hours

This course is for students who want to polish their oral and written skills. Students should have a high linguistic level and full knowledge of grammatical structures in order to work on polishing their style. Students will practise narrative constructions, reactions on non-expected contexts, how to report compiled information. The course also covers important aspects about myth, beliefs and other cultural issues in Latin America.

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COURSE: SPN 101
CREDITS: 5 US credits / 80 hours

This course is an introduction to Spanish for beginners to no previous knowledge of the language is required. Students will develop the basic linguistic skills in order to communicate in common simple 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 on understanding, speaking, reading and cross-cultural perspectives.

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COURSE: SPN 102
CREDITS: 5 US credits / 80 hours

This course is for students who have completed a minimum of 60 contact hours in Spanish studies and already have a command on elementary grammatical tenses. Students will advance in their previous experiential knowledge and further develop their oral, reading, written and listening skills. Students will 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.

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COURSE: SPN 201
CREDITS: 5 US credits / 80 hours

Prerequisite: SPN 102

Students in this course should have a good communicative command of usual everyday situations and a structural command of the present tense. The objective of this course is to develop the student’s skills emphasizing on oral and written presentations and more complex grammatical structures. Students should develop a good command of all past indicative tenses.

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COURSE: SPN 202
CREDITS: 5 US credits / 80 hours

Prerequisite: SPN 201

This course emphasizes the discourse enrichment on contexts related to description and simple narrations. The contents include vocabulary building and detailed work with the subjective mode and other complex grammatical structures. Students will also learn idiomatic expressions used in Costa Rica.

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COURSE: SPN 340
CREDITS: 5 US credits / 80 hours

Prerequisite: SPN 301

This course focuses on advanced communication and presentation skills. Students will work on communication techniques and efficient oral expressions in formal contexts.

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COURSE: ENV3050
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

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 interest in sustainability, gastronomy, anthropology, and biology.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: HUM2513 / HIS3513
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course will provide students with an introduction to Costa Rican history and culture. The outstanding socio-economic and political features that have shaped and defined the history and development path of Costa Rica will be explored. The major social issues that have emerged since Pre-Columbian times to the present day will be uncovered to provide the student with an understanding of how Costa Rica’s present day culture has been shaped. Students will have the opportunity to explore 3 main areas: 1) the historical dynamics that have influenced contemporary Costa Rica’s cultural profile 2) the global and regional dynamics that have influenced the history and cultural development of Costa Rica, and 3) the characteristics of Costa Rica’s present day society and culture.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: HIS3290
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course introduces the principal socioeconomic and political features that have shaped and defined the history and development of Costa Rica.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: POL3420
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

In this course, students will explore the dynamics of environmental management, history, policy, politics, and beyond. We will study environmental history and policy at a regional and national level, and will explore the emergence of Costa Rica’s cutting edge environmental politics and government commitments (the greening of the public sector, carbon neutrality and others). The course will look back at Costa Rica’s conservation history and critically review its sustainable development model, and will explore 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). The course will identify the individuals and organisations taking authentic action in environmental protection, and will take a close look at how government policy translates into practice by reviewing case studies of community and grassroots action in forestry, organic farming, recycling, cooperatives and women’s environmental groups. Lastly, the course will address some of the central issues and challenges facing these activities and the resulting environmental conflicts.

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COURSE: POL3100
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

The objective of this course is to discuss with students the social, economic and political issues of the process of building peace and democracy in Costa Rica and Central America (1948-2005).

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COURSE: PSY3050
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course introduces students to the field of psychology, and examines the influence of culture on human behaviour and cognitive processes. “Culture” is defined as the shared norms, values and behaviours of groups, and of the individuals within 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.

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COURSE: PSY2200
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

The World Health Organisation defines health as “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. Today, health care professionals (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, etc.) must have a bio-psycho-social approach to patient health. It is extremely important that they have a general understanding of health psychology, which studies how biology, behaviour and social context influence health and illness. This provides a truly integrated approach to treating patients. In this course, we will discuss some of the most common topics related to health psychology that are pertinent to the health care professions.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: POL2500
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course will focus on the case of Costa Rica, giving 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 labour rights, indigenous groups and human rights, disability and age issues, and the prison environment.

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COURSE: POL3450
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

The course will analyse aspects of economic integration, globalisation and conditions needed for successful integration between economies, and the effects of free trade and protectionism in the region. Special focus will be given to foreign investments and joint ventures in Latin America.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: POL3220
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

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.

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COURSE: ETH3100
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course will examine a specific topic, theme or issue related to ethnically black communities in Costa Rica and Central America. Examples include:

  • Central America and ethnic politics in history and culture
  • Blacks in Central American governments
  • Contemporary black literature
  • History of the black experience in Costa Rica
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COURSE: ENV500

Course description coming soon! Contact CISaustralia for more details.

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COURSE: ENV3050
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

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 interest in sustainability, gastronomy, anthropology, and biology.

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COURSE: SUSD2500

Course description coming soon! Contact CISaustralia for more details.

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COURSE: ENV3740
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

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.

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COURSE: ENV3160
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This course aims to highlight the importance of conservation biology in managing endangered marine species, emphasising recent conversation efforts for umbrella species such as sea turtles and sharks in the Pacific waters bordering Costa Rica. Marine ecosystems of the eastern tropical Pacific provide a baseline for species of high commercial interest that meet the global demand for food. However, several marine species are threatened by unsustainable human activities such as overfishing and the destruction of habitat. Students will develop a critical understanding of conservation biology, emphasising the general concept of biodiversity and examining present-day case studies that focus on scientific investigations to answer critical aspects of the history of life, recovery programs, species management, community conservation and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Students will also be introduced to a wide range of practical activities by visiting field stations and “natural laboratories” throughout Costa Rica.

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COURSE: POL3420
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

In this course, students will explore the dynamics of environmental management, history, policy, politics, and beyond. We will study environmental history and policy at a regional and national level, and will explore the emergence of Costa Rica’s cutting edge environmental politics and government commitments (the greening of the public sector, carbon neutrality and others). The course will look back at Costa Rica’s conservation history and critically review its sustainable development model, and will explore 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). The course will identify the individuals and organisations taking authentic action in environmental protection, and will take a close look at how government policy translates into practice by reviewing case studies of community and grassroots action in forestry, organic farming, recycling, cooperatives and women’s environmental groups. Lastly, the course will address some of the central issues and challenges facing these activities and the resulting environmental conflicts.

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COURSE: GEB3500
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This course provides students with an opportunity to analyse the dynamic process of ecotourism in Costa Rica from various socioeconomic perspectives. It will discuss the economic importance of ecotourism for the national economy, the stimulation of grassroots, community ecotourism projects, and the role of ecotourism in securing environmental protection. The advancements and limitations of ecotourism will also be explored.

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COURSE: ENV3005
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

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 recourses; population and environmental quality; environmental citizenship and economic incentives, and Costa Rican initiatives in ecotourism.

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COURSE: ENV3170
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

Water is a vital resource for human beings. It is also a limited one, which has suffered degradation, while demand is ever growing. Freshwater ecology, otherwise known as limnology, helps us to understand the physical, chemical and biological properties of inland aquatic environments (wetlands, lakes, rivers, mangroves and reservoirs). This course emphasises the problems and conservation efforts related to water resources. Through field trips and laboratory work, students will learn methods for monitoring aquatic environments.

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COURSE: ENV2500
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

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 analysed.

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COURSE: TECH2100
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course is an introduction to programming and coding, focused on teaching the students 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 to apply the knowledge learned, in an assisted manner with the teacher and fellow students.

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COURSE: CHEM1050

Contact CISaustralia for course description.

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COURSE: ENV3120
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

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 hotspot for animal research and conservation. Emphasis will be given to the study of Costa Rican species, but others will be discussed as well.

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COURSE: ENV3200
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

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, behaviour, 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. Field work will focus on basic ecological monitoring techniques and primary care on marine mammals strandings.

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COURSE: ENV3020
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

The use of molecular biological approaches has revolutionised marine science research over the last decades. Therefore, these approaches offer extraordinary potential to address ecological questions in the marine realm, ranging from the identification of species to the understanding of the connectivity among populations. This course is focus in the use of molecular markers base on the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA to highlight the importance of conservation genetics and global-scale implications to manage endangered marine species. Hang on activities and lectures will be run in the Biomolecular lab (BIOMOL) from the CPI. In addition, the students will experience activities in the field to understand some controversial conservation issues related to keystone and endangered marine species in Costa Rica, such as sea turtles and sharks, collecting tissues samples and performing practical activities in the lab for DNA extractions, PCRs, electrophoresis, and the introduction to bioinformatics analyses.

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COURSE: MKTG2150
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

Sustainable consumption (SC) and production is a holistic approach to minimising 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. The educational content will be provided through an examination of value systems and the life-cycle assessment of selected consumer items involving their economic, environmental, and social aspects – the latter involving an introduction to product responsibility, labour practices, human rights and societal perspectives. These items will be chosen for their social, environmental and economic relevance and potential for critical reflection at different levels using an integrated, holistic framework to facilitate a clear understanding of impacts at a local and global level.

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COURSE: ENV4040
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

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 analysed.

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COURSE: SUSD3000
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This course builds upon the results of the Global Survey on Sustainable Lifestyles (GSSSL), established in the 2011 document Visions for Change: Recommendations for Effective Policies on Sustainable Lifestyles, which incorporated the voices of 8000 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. In September of 2015, the United Nations General Assembly approved the post-2015 development agenda Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity over the next 15 years, and includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that provide a holistic framework and the basis for the development of SLs. 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.

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COURSE: ENV3100
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

An introduction to the main topics or ornithology, with an emphasis on neo-tropical avifauna. Major topics include the unique features that make neo-tropical avifauna a highlight of bird studies, including its evolutionary relationships; the extremely high species diversity of the neo-tropics, 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 behaviour, and the skills needed to identify them.

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COURSE: ENV3150
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This combined lecture and field course will provide students with a general overview of tropical plants. Students will gain knowledge of basic botanical concepts and will explore a variety of ecosystems, their plants and the multiple and complex ecological interactions that can be found in these areas. Costa Rica is a tropical country with an immensely rich biodiversity, providing a very representative area for these studies. Emphasis will be given to the most common plant families in Costa Rica, but others will be discussed as well.

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COURSE: ENV3044
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

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 rainforest, 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.

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COURSE: ENV3190
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

The course studies the balance between ecosystems and humans’ stress and demands on the constantly changing Marine environment. All field trips are mandatory. Certified divers may pay a $100 fee in order to complete two immersions in each field trip (four immersions total).

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COURSE: ENV3060
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

Costa Rica has a high diversity in mammals, the former as a result of the role played by this country as a biological bridge. Felines are an important part of this group, their importance is focused on the role they play as predators and therefore as controllers of energy flows in the ecosystems they inhabit. The objective of the course is to learn about the 6 species of wild cats found in Costa Rica, their natural history and the current challenges to ensure their conservation.

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Excursions

During your study abroad program in Costa Rica, you will be given the opportunity to take a day and overnight excursion. CISaustralia encourages students to participate in these trips to experience the country and to socialise with other international students. Here are a couple of the places you might visit during your stay:

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Explore the tropical treetops of Costa Rica on this canopy tour in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. You’ll walk high above the forest floor along a 60-meter high suspension bridge, crossing separate ecological zones that support an abundance of wildlife including several hundred species of birds!

Tamarindo
Located on the northwest Pacific coast, Tamarindo bay is definitely the place if you are looking for an adrenaline rush or simply some relaxing in the sun. On the numerous beaches there is plenty of surfing, swimming, sailing, kayaking, jet skiing and even ocean horseback riding! Plus, when you get into town you’ll discover that Tamarindo is extremely multi-cultural and laid back.

Poas Volcano
For those who want to peer into an active volcano – without the hardship of hiking one – Volcán Poás is the place! This volcano offers the wonderful opportunity to watch the bubbling, steaming cauldron belch sulphurous mud and water hundreds of meters into the air. There are two other craters as well, one of which contains a sapphire-blue lake ringed by high-altitude forest.

Cataratas
One of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets – Cataratas del Toro is located in the Bajos del Toro Amarillo mountains. This magnificent 300ft (91m) waterfall pours into an extinct volcanic crater, creating a truly spectacular sight to be explored!

Location

With inviting warm weather year round, Costa Rica is often labelled one of the most eco-friendly and happiest countries in the world!

Costa Rica, meaning ‘rich coast’ in Spanish, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Costa Rica is home to an assorted variety of plants and animals. The country contains 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Around 25% of the country’s land area is in protected national parks and protected areas – the biggest percentage of protected areas in the world!

With a population of 4.3 million, Costa Rican locals (also known as Ticos), are known for their friendly, laid-back demeanour. Costa Rica’s official language is Spanish, though a large number of its citizens are at least moderately bilingual (Spanish and English).

English, due to its status as the international language for tourists, is the most common second language in Costa Rica. Interestingly, many residents along the Caribbean coast speak Patois, a Jamaican Creole with English roots.

The University

You’ll be studying at Universidad Veritas, one of the best private universities in Central America. The university is located in San Jose, the cultural hub of Costa Rica, famed for its National Theatre, busy market life and easy-to-use public transportation.

Universidad Veritas has a cosy size of about 1,500 Costa Rican students and 300 international students from all over the world. You will be able to take classes in both English and Spanish.

There are plenty of international restaurants from across Europe and other parts of South America, in addition to local sodas where you can eat large helpings of gallo pinto, the delicious national dish. After class, you can head to one of the many local theatres, concert venues, cinemas and salsa clubs.

You’ll find Costa Ricans to be very accommodating and patient with your Spanish, no matter how rudimentary, and you’ll have a blast communicating with a combination of dictionary words and lively charades.

San Jose is a vibrant cosmopolitan city with all the modern conveniences – department stores, Internet cafes, shopping malls, fast food chains and universities. It is also home to excellent fresh food markets, museums and gardens, city parks and restaurants. The San Jose nightlife is exciting and diverse – sip martinis in upscale bars, dance the night away to techno music, learn to salsa or check out one of the city’s best museums.

Accommodation

Accommodation for the duration of this program is a homestay. This gives you the perfect opportunity to truly immerse yourself in the local culture and lifestyle. During your stay, you are provided with bed linen, blankets and pillows. Other homestay inclusions include:

  • Private bedroom
  • Daily breakfast and dinner – what better way to experience true Tico cooking! (Families are accommodating about providing vegetarian meals when asked)
  • Weekly laundry service, including ironing
  • Hot water*
  • Internet connection
  • Towel for the house (please bring your own beach towel)
  • Toiletries: shampoo, soap, toothpaste (if you require a particular brand, please bring your own)
  • Security box/safe in bedroom

*Please be aware that having no hot water is not uncommon in Costa Rica. Most host families should have hot water facilities for their house, but sometimes they may not be the most reliable.

Lunch is on your own. There are many restaurants and cafes in the area where students usually eat lunch. There are also a few restaurant options close to campus. The homestays are located in a residential urban area that is fairly close to downtown (approximately a 30-minute walk) and are within close access to public transportation. There are grocery stores, a mall and other places of interest in the area.

Homestays are allocated with reference to information provided by the student about their level of Spanish and living preferences. The same families have been participating in the homestay program for years and all are vetted and regularly checked. Most families will have two or even three international students staying in the house.

Students will be treated as an adult during their time with the host family. Please be aware there are no curfews in place for students, but it very important to always remain respectful of your family. Always let your host family know if you will not be attending a meal for any reason, and clean up after yourself when appropriate. Always communicate with them, or your Site Director, if an issue arises. Most host families have hosted international students before and are sensitive to cultural differences, and will expect the same in return.

Try to do your best to spend time with your host family and get to know about them and the Costa Rican culture. The idea is not to act as if you are staying at a hotel, rather that you can share with them and spend time with them as part of the family.

Program Fee & Dates

June 2020: 4-Week Intensive Spanish Language
Note: 4-week Spanish language programs are offered throughout the year, month-to-month, for all levels of Spanish. If the offered dates don’t suit your availability, please contact CISaustralia for additional dates.
Application Deadline04 May 2020
Arrival Date30 May 2020
Departure Date27 June 2020
Program Fee A$ 4,999
OS-HELP A$ 6,913
July 2020: 4-Week Intensive Spanish Language
Note: 4-week Spanish language programs are offered throughout the year, month-to-month, for all levels of Spanish. If the offered dates don’t suit your availability, please contact CISaustralia for additional dates.
Application Deadline08 May 2020
Arrival Date04 July 2020
Departure Date01 August 2020
Program Fee A$ 4,999
OS-HELP A$ 6,913
July 2020: 5-Week Language and Culture
Take one Spanish language course and one elective course.
Application Deadline08 May 2020
Arrival Date04 July 2020
Departure Date08 August 2020
Program Fee A$ 6,599
OS-HELP A$ 6,913
July 2020: 8-Week Language and Culture
Take two Spanish language courses and one elective course.
Application Deadline08 May 2020
Arrival Date04 July 2020
Departure Date29 August 2020
Program Fee A$ 8,399
OS-HELP A$ 6,913

 

Program fees include the following:
  • Tuition fees
  • CISaustralia support services before, during and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial advice
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Medical and accident insurance (if requested)
  • Pre-departure guide and session
  • Airport pick-up (on specified program arrival date within designated arrival times)
  • Universidad Veritas orientation
  • Orientation, city tour and welcome meal
  • Homestay accommodation with a local family
  • Breakfast and dinner with your host family
  • Weekly laundry
  • On-campus internet access
  • One day and one weekend excursion (some costs may apply)
  • Optional social / cultural activity – these vary from year to year. Some examples from previous years include a visit to the museum, a dance lesson or cooking class
  • CISaustralia 24/7 on-site support – Site Director
  • Universidad Veritas official transcript
  • CISaustralia Certificate of Completion

Please note:

  • Digital and Cultural Photography course (5 and 8 week sessions) requires an additional fee.
  • 4 Credit (60 hours) courses, including field trip and lab time (5 and 8 week sessions) require additional fees.
  • 5-week language and culture program: Students will take one Spanish language course and one 3 credit elective course.
  • International students (non-Australian citizens) may also be required to pay an additional A$250 visa processing fee – pending their home country of origin. This can be confirmed on enrolment. There is no visa fee for Australian students.

What is not included:

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Vaccinations (if required)
  • Meals (unless mentioned above)
  • Extra travel/excursions (other than those mentioned above)

Dates are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

CISaustralia reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.

Adventure Awaits

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