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.

2020 Course Descriptions: Please note that not all courses may be offered as availability is based on enrolment.

COURSE: PHOT2100
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

The basic functions of a photographic camera are studied in the course, in order to have an efficient control when making a photographic shot in any scenario, emphasising issues related to nature and ecology. In addition, students explore the diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica, understanding their differences and the resources that make them unique. Terms related to the golden number and fractals are analysed, basic geometry present in nature, and the importance of photography in the processes of environmental conservation as well as the documentation of the direct damages of development and consumerism over it.

COURSE: MGMT3030
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

The course aims to develop the personal creativity and its uses for leadership and communication; as well, as the understanding of different leadership theories in order to become better leaders and be able to interact and manage with different groups. This course is designed to give the student the concepts and tools for the understanding of the art of creativity and leadership; for a better communication, social interaction and personal development. The course will explore concepts such as human behaviour, leadership, creativity, etc. while students propose ideas through assignments to attain the objectives of the class.

COURSE: GEB 3120
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

The Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management’s course will provide students with the skills necessary to succeed as an entrepreneur. It will also prepare students for career opportunities in small businesses including nonprofit organisations. This course develops student abilities in evaluating small business ideas and market opportunities, technical and management skills, and understanding the resources necessary to start a business. Students will have the opportunity to visit several successful local small businesses.

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.

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.

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. The course will combine both theoretical concepts and practical applications of operating in a global environment. And, because issues in this environment change rapidly, we will focus on current events through use of national and international publications. This is a practice-oriented course designed to help students achieve an understanding of how commerce is conducted in an increasingly global supply chain.

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

The Latin American region is today in a particular dynamic, where growth and development go hand in hand with economic, social and environmental phenomena. Where the understanding of the current Latin American context, involves the analysis of these elements, and also identify the present characteristics in terms of aspects such as: geography, migration, trade, among many others, present in the countries of the region. For this course, all these elements will be addressed in an integral way through case studies, aimed at developing a clear idea of the current reality of the Latin American countries.

COURSE: MGMT 3020
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This course provides an introduction to renewable energy resources and resource management, with an emphasis on the use of alternate energy sources such as solar, wind power, geothermal, and hydrogen. This course will consider society’s present needs and future energy demands, examine conventional energy sources and systems, including fossil fuels and then focus on alternate, renewable energy sources and how to manage them. We will cover the economic and social impact that both, conventional and renewable energy resources have on society. Students will have the opportunity to visit several projects related to hydrogen production’s plants, windmills and solar panels all national and multinational projects dedicated to the supply of energy.

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 behavior 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-care, 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.

COURSE: MGMT3030
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

The course aims to develop the personal creativity and its uses for leadership and communication; as well, as the understanding of different leadership theories in order to become better leaders and be able to interact and manage with different groups. This course is designed to give the student the concepts and tools for the understanding of the art of creativity and leadership; for a better communication, social interaction and personal development. The course will explore concepts such as human behaviour, leadership, creativity, etc. while students propose ideas through assignments to attain the objectives of the class.

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.

This course provides an introduction to the field of intercultural communication, enhances the development of intercultural competence and explores implications and applications towards shaping one’s cultural identity and worldview. The course also examines theoretical aspects of culture and worldview; communicative and intercultural competence; intercultural contact and entry processes; issues of diversity and commonalities among human beings; and implications and applications for work settings and for oneself as a member of multicultural groups.

This course is a part of the social psychology, cultural – historical psychology, developmental psychology, and cognitive psychology fields.

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 interesting sustainability, gastronomy, anthropology, and biology.

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

Costa Rica’s healthcare system is unique due to the fact that it’s socialised 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 socio-political 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.

During this course we will discuss different tropical diseases, some very common for countries not developed. Students will learn about the prevention and transmission of relevant tropical diseases.

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

Through this course each student will have a better overview of the holistic health perspective and the efficacy of some of their practices in order to open doors for a future deepening in these subjects and open an option for inter-professional practices. Also, students will explore and evaluate different holistic approaches and philosophies in order to improve personal health and wellbeing. Moreover, students will be able to build their own comparison with their general health concepts –usually from the Western medicine (WM, also known as allopathic or conventional medicine). Some of the topics included are Homeopathy, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Acupuncture, Herbal and Nutritional Therapies, Massage, Chiropractic, Electromagnetic Therapy, Breathing, and Energy, among others.

It is recommended, but not required, that students come from a field related to health.

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 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 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: (i) the historical dynamics that have influenced contemporary Costa Rica’s cultural profile, (ii) the global and regional dynamics that have influenced the history and cultural development of Costa Rica, and (iii) Costa Rican characteristics in its present day society and culture.

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.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
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.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
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.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
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.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: SPN 3050
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

Este curso está dirigido a estudiantes que desean conocer los principales conceptos de la fonética y la fonología, con sus aplicaciones prácticas y niveles de análisis del lenguaje. Además, se estudian la articulación, representación gráfica y pronunciación de los fonemas del español americano, incluidas algunas variantes dialectales.

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.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: SPN 3070
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

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.

COURSE: SPN 4390
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

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 dichas muestras literarias y cinematográficas.

COURSE: SPN 3020
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

Este curso está diseñado para ofrecer una visión global de los principales autores latinoamericanos y de la literatura latinoamericana en general. El curso empieza con los autores contemporáneos y continúa hasta los primeros representantes de dicha literatura.

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

This course will touch on the major world religions, such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and more. We will focus on the dialogue and discussion of the following aspects: origins and mythology, main beliefs, concepts of God, sacred texts, rituals, main differences and similarities.

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.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
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.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
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.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
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.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
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.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
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.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
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.

  Contact CISaustralia For Syllabus
COURSE: SPN 4330
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

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.

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 interesting sustainability, gastronomy, anthropology, and biology.

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 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 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: (i) the historical dynamics that have influenced contemporary Costa Rica’s cultural profile, (ii) the global and regional dynamics that have influenced the history and cultural development of Costa Rica, and (iii) Costa Rican characteristics in its present day society and culture.

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

In this course, we will explore the dynamics of environmental management, history, policy, politics and action in Costa Rica 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).

We 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). We 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, we will address some of the central issues and challenges facing these activities and the resulting environmental conflicts.

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

This course is a general survey of the complex social and political heritage of Costa Rican society, examined through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary view focusing on the historical development and present-day dynamics of economy, society, polity, natural resources and culture. This course analyses the growth of Costa Rican culture through its history, studying the development of those elements that relate to the values of peace and democracy, which have become the standard bearers that identify this society. Emphasis is paid to the way these basic principles are enriched, highlighted and respected in different periods of history, to the point of becoming firmly entrenched in the value systems of society. Special attention will be given to contemporary issues of peace, democracy, environment, economic and political trends, population, and the emergence of old and new paradigms and ideological movements.

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 behavior 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-care, 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.

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.

COURSE: POL2500
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course will provide students with an introduction to the issues surrounding the development and abuse of human rights in Latin America. Students will explore the most recent advances in this field along with the most pertinent problems pertaining to their adoption and implementation. A particular emphasis will be given to 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. Specific attention will be given to testimonies of human rights abuses and the development of the Costa Rican legal framework in relation to these aforementioned areas. By analysing these cases and the issues involved, students will gain an understanding of how human rights are being implemented through Costa Rica’s laws, policy framework and its institutional commitment to human rights.

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.

This course provides an introduction to the field of intercultural communication, enhances the development of intercultural competence and explores implications and applications towards shaping one’s cultural identity and worldview. The course also examines theoretical aspects of culture and worldview; communicative and intercultural competence; intercultural contact and entry processes; issues of diversity and commonalities among human beings; and implications and applications for work settings and for oneself as a member of multicultural groups.

This course is a part of the social psychology, cultural – historical psychology, developmental psychology, and cognitive psychology fields.

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.

COURSE: SOCY 3050
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course will study the LGBTQI+ 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 definitely 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 LGBTQI+ 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.

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.

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 analyse 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.

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 interesting sustainability, gastronomy, anthropology, and biology.

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

Climate change is dramatically affecting the future of our planet. In this course, students will learn about global climate changes and how these are impacting plant and animal populations, people, and ways of life. Emphasis is placed on learning and understanding the overwhelming evidence for human-induced climate change, and address its misconceptions. Students will also study how natural populations are affected by climate change, how can they adapt, and their likely future.

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 conservation 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. We 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.

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

In this course, we will explore the dynamics of environmental management, history, policy, politics and action in Costa Rica 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).

We 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). We 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, we will address some of the central issues and challenges facing these activities and the resulting environmental conflicts.

COURSE: PHOT2100
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

The basic functions of a photographic camera are studied in the course, in order to have an efficient control when making a photographic shot in any scenario, emphasising issues related to nature and ecology. In addition, students explore the diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica, understanding their differences and the resources that make them unique. Terms related to the golden number and fractals are analysed, basic geometry present in nature, and the importance of photography in the processes of environmental conservation as well as the documentation of the direct damages of development and consumerism over it.

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

This course provides an introduction to the major environmental problems and issues confronting modern society. Students will examine ecosystems, population patterns and dynamics, the use and misuse of resources, population and environmental quality, environmental citizenship and economic incentives, and ecotourism initiatives in Costa Rica.

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

Water is a vital resource for human beings, but it is a limited resource that have been degraded and the demand for this resource is growing. Freshwater ecology, also known as limnology, is a course to help us understand the physical, chemical and biological properties of inland aquatic environments (wetlands, lakes, rivers, mangroves, and reservoirs). It aims to give emphasis to the problems and conservation efforts for water resources, for that we will learn methods for monitoring aquatic environments with field trips and laboratory work.

It is recommended, but not required, that students complete a basic biology course prior to entering this course.

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 knowledge of 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.

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

The use of molecular biological approaches has revolutionized 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.

COURSE: MGMT 3020
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This course provides an introduction to renewable energy resources and resource management, with an emphasis on the use of alternate energy sources such as solar, wind power, geothermal, and hydrogen. This course will consider society’s present needs and future energy demands, examine conventional energy sources and systems, including fossil fuels and then focus on alternate, renewable energy sources and how to manage them. We will cover the economic and social impact that both, conventional and renewable energy resources have on society. Students will have the opportunity to visit several projects related to hydrogen production’s plants, windmills and solar panels all national and multinational projects dedicated to the supply of energy.

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.

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.

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

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 behaviour, and the skills needed to identify them.

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.

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

In this course, students will learn about the interactions between earth and land, and how these processes affect our lives and the stability of our planet. Emphasis will be given to the study of the most relevant tropical ecosystems, such as tropical rain forests, cloud forests, coral reefs and mangroves. Field trips to selected environments will provide on-site examples of some of the issues we learn about through class work and readings. All field trips are Mandatory.

It is recommended, but not required, that students complete a basic biology course prior to entering this course.

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

This course studies the balance between ecosystems and the human stress and demands that are placed on the constantly changing marine environment. All field trips are mandatory.

For a $100 additional fee, certified divers may complete 2 immersions during each field trip (4 total).

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$ 5,499
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$ 5,499
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$ 6,999
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$ 8,999
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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