AIFS Abroad

AIFS Study Abroad in San Jose, costa Rica
Summer 2017
Course Descriptions

   

Below is a sample list of courses that have been offered on previous programs. Courses may change at the discretion of Veritas University. Recommended credits are shown in parentheses. Prerequisites may be required.

Spanish Language Courses (Required for Sessions 1, 2 and 5)

Courses are recommended for 5 credits. Students may take additional language hours for 1 extra credit (6 in total) for a supplemental fee in Session 2 only. Please discuss with your Admissions Officer upon application.

Spanish Language Courses
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 101 (5)
Course Title: Elementary Spanish I
Course Description:
This course is an introduction to Spanish for beginners with no previous knowledge of the language. Students will develop basic linguistic skills necessary in order to communicate in common situations. The course covers basic grammatical structures, vocabulary, communicative expressions and frequent situations in settings such as restaurants, stores, buses and others. Emphasis is given on understanding, speaking, reading and cross-cultural perspectives.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 102 (5)
Course Title: Elementary Spanish II
Course Description:
This course is for students who have completed a minimum of 60 contact hours in Spanish studies and already have a command of elementary grammatical tenses. Students will advance on 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.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 201 (5)
Course Title: Intermediate Spanish I
Course Description:
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.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 202 (5)
Course Title: Intermediate Spanish II
Course Description:
This course emphasizes the discourse enrichment on contexts related to description and simple narrations. The contents include vocabulary building and detailed work with the subjunctive mode and other complex grammatical structures. Students will also learn idiomatic expressions used in Costa Rica.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 210 (5)
Course Title: Intermediate Spanish Conversation
Course Description:
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 every day conversation and certain cultural issues. The methodology enhances structured speech to provide a firm base in patterns of spoken Spanish progression towards free conversation.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 301 (5)
Course Title: Advanced Spanish I
Course Description:
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 opinion and thoughts on complex and controversial subjects.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 302 (5)
Course Title: Advanced Spanish II
Course Description:
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 stylistics. Students will practice narrative constructions, reactions on non-expected contexts, how to report compiled information. The course also covers important aspects about myths, beliefs and other cultural issues in Latin America.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 304 (5)
Course Title: Spanish for Business
Course Description:
This course is for students with an advanced level of Spanish who wish to gain a basic understanding of Costa Rica’s main entrepreneurial settings. By the end of the course, students will have a general knowledge of business vocabulary and common business practices in Costa Rica. Coursework is complimented by field visits to developing businesses.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 310 (5)
Course Title: Advanced Spanish Conversation
Course Description:
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.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 320 (5)
Course Title: Cultural Heritage in Latin America
Course Description:
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.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 330 (5)
Course Title: Spanish for Heritage Speakers
Course Description:
This course is for heritage speakers who need to acquire proficiency in the use of complex grammatical structures. Emphasis will be given to listening, writing and reading skills.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 410 (5)
Course Title: Advanced Composition
Course Description:
This course is for highly advanced students who wish to further develop their written skills through various composition practices and techniques. The course studies complex and difficult syntax topics, with special attention to stylistics and composition structure.


Additional Courses Taught in Spanish
Spanish SPN 305 (3)
Phonetics and Phonology

Spanish SPN 439 (3)
Latin American Cinema and Literature

Spanish 411 (3)
Contemporary Costa Rican Writers

Spanish for Health Care Professionals and Health Care Electives Program

Students take one of the following Spanish courses for a total of 80 hours and one health care elective for 48 or 60 hours. Recommended credits are listed after the course code.

Specialized Spanish Language Courses
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SSP 141 (5)
Course Title: Basic Spanish for Health Professionals
Course Description:
This course is designed to provide health care professionals without any previous Spanish experience with the tools necessary for interacting with and interviewing Spanish-speaking patients. During this course, students will work through simulated interactions with Spanish speaking patients to acquire the basic linguistic knowledge and skills that will allow them to comfortably tackle these interactions when they return home.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SPN 241 (5)
Course Title: Intermediate Spanish for Health Professionals
Course Description:
This course is designed for health personnel that have an advanced background in Spanish and who need to improve theirlinguistic competency in order to interact with their Spanish speaking patients and their families. The goal at the end of this course is to be able to communicate in an effective and fluent form with Spanish speaking patients and families.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish SSP 341 (5)
Course Title: Advanced Spanish for Health Professionals
Course Description:
This course is designed for health care professionals with an advanced background in Spanish, who wish to improve their linguistic competency in order to interact with Spanish speaking patients and their families.
Course Code and Credits: Health 102/HHD 1020 (3)
Course Title: Alternative Health Approaches
Course Description:
This course introduces the basic concepts of alternative medicine. We will also explore and evaluate alternative approaches and philosophies to personal health and wellness. Topics include: Homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Acupuncture, Herbal and Nutritional Therapies, Massage, Chiropractic Therapy, Electromagnetic Therapy, Breathing Exercise and others.
Course Code and Credits: Health 307/HHD 3070 (4)
Course Title: Conflict Resolution and Health Care
Course Description:
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. The costs and effects of violence will be part of this course, particularly in regard 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.
Course Code and Credits: History 323/HIS 3293 (4)
Course Title: Costa Rican Health Care and Tropical Medicine
Course Description:
Costa Rica’s health care system is unique in that it is socialized 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 sociopolitical and economic situation. A strong emphasis is placed on how the system works, pointing out both its strong and weak points. An additional ob- 48 | Scholarships available - see page 14 jective, 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.
Course Code and Credits: Psychology 220/PSY 2200 (3)
Course Title: Health Psychology
Course Description:
The World Health Organization 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-psychosocial approach to patient health. It is extremely important that they have a general understanding of health psychology, which studies how biology, behavior 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.

Spanish Language, Liberal Arts and Environmental Science

In addition to a Spanish language course students can choose one 3 or 4 credit elective taught in English. A limited number of courses are available in Spanish for students at an advanced level.

Elective Courses Taught in English (For Session 5)
Course Code and Credits: Architecture 311/ARCH 3112 (3)
Course Title: History of Latin American Architecture and Art
Course Description:
A chronological overview of main inventions and influences that contributed to the making of past and present architecture in Latin America analyzing the artistic manifestations.
Course Code and Credits: Art 210/ART 2100 (3)
Course Title: Art Fundamentals: Theory and Practice
Course Description:
This course is designed for beginners. You will find personal meaning in works of art and develop a better understanding of the nature and validity of art (line, shape, volume, light, space, time, motion, color, and texture). Students learn about the essentials of art through experience and experimentation. Emphasis is 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 of art and how art represents its society, especially Latin American culture.
Course Code and Credits: Art 213/ART 2130 (4)
Course Title: Mural Painting and Public Art
Course Description:
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, color, 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 a community. A fine arts background will help students grasp the complexity of the final project; however, no previous painting experience is required.
Course Code and Credits: Economics 340/ECON 3403 (3)
Course Title: Introduction to International Economics in Latin America
Course Description:
The course will analyze aspects of economic integration, globalization 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 Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 304/ENV 3044 (4)
Course Title: Tropical Ecology
Course Description:
Students will learn about the interaction between earth and land and how this interaction affects our life and the stability of the planet. Students will gain an insight into basic ecological concepts, natural environments, organisms and their interactions, and about human impacts on the environment. Emphasis will be given to the study of the most relevant tropical ecosystems such as: tropical rainforest, cloud forests, coral reefs and mangroves.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 305/ENV 3005 (4)
Course Title: Environmental Impact and Social Development
Course Description:
This course covers major environmental problems and issues confronting modern society. Students will examine ecosystems, population patterns and dynamics; use and misuse of resources; population and environmental quality; environmental citizenship and economic incentives and Costa Rican initiatives in ecotourism.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 312/ENV 3120 (4)
Course Title: Land Vertebrates of Costa Rica
Course Description:
This course is an introduction to the zoology of terrestrial vertebrates in Costa Rica. Students will gain insight about various biological characteristics of the groups of land chordates in the country. Costa Rica has an immensely rich animal biodiversity, with an influence of both North American and South American fauna and is a world-renowned hot spot for animal research and conservation. Emphasis will be given to the study of Costa Rican species, but others will be discussed as well.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 315/ENV 3150 (4)
Course Title: Tropical Botany
Course Description:
This lecture/field course will provide students with a general overview of tropical plants. Students will gain insight about basic botanical concepts and be able to 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 and for this reason a very representative area to these studies. Emphasis will be given to the most common plant families in Costa Rica, but others will be discussed as well.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 319/ENV 3190 (4)
Course Title: Tropical Marine Biology
Course Description:
The course studies the balance between ecosystems and human stress and demands on the constantly changing marine environment. All field trips are mandatory.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 374/ENV 3740 (4)
Course Title: Climate Change and Renewable Energies
Course Description:
This course is an introduction to renewable energies and their impact on the current development and future needs of our planet. Mankind is facing the threat of serious natural disasters and events caused by global warming and climate change. These phenomena are linked to population growth and the increased use of fossil fuels, particularly after the industrial revolution. There is a general interest among societies to gradually move toward renewable energies to meet future human needs. The course will also focus on Costa Rica’s potential for renewable energies.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 403/ENV 4030 (4)
Course Title: Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
Course Description:
This course will examine agricultural and food systems from an ecological systems perspective. After establishing a foundation of basic ecological concepts (relationships and interactions between abiotic/non-living and biotic/living components of an ecosystem), different applications of these concepts to agricultural systems will be investigated. Consumption and production issues related to food system sustainability will be analyzed, and students will explore their own role in the food system. Field trips will provide opportunities for direct observation of (and interaction with) different approaches to food production and distribution in Costa Rica.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 404/ENV 4040 (4)
Course Title: Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Development
Course Description:
This course considers current worldwide problems in natural resources management and conservation, and their effects on sustainable development efforts in tropical countries. Current issues that condition the possibility for development such as poverty, global warming, deforestation and potable water will be analyzed. It presents a multidisciplinary approach to environmental issues that pertain to the concept of sustainable development and its applicability.
Course Code and Credits: Marketing 301/MKTG 3010 (3)
Course Title: International Marketing Management
Course Description:
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 Code and Credits: Photography 260/PHOT 2600 (3)
Course Title: Digital Photography
Course Description:
The course offers the acquisition of technical knowledge and skills in the capture and manipulation of digital photographic images. Students will apply the information provided in the lectures consciously through the creation and manipulation of digital photographic images.
Course Code and Credits: Politics 342/POL 3420 (3)
Course Title: Costa Rican Environmental Policy: A History of Policy, Politics and Action
Course Description:
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 organizations 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.

Additional Courses

For a full and current list of available courses, please contact your AIFS Admissions Officer. Courses may change at the discretion of Veritas University.

Other courses which may be offered include:

ARTS AND HUMANITIES

Architecture 320/ARCH 3200 (4)
Tropical Architecture and Design

Art 130/ART 1301 (3)
Basic Principle of Drawing

Art 250/ART 2500 (3)
Experimental Printmaking

Spanish 301/SPAN 3010 (3)
Latin American Literature in Translation

BUSINESS, ECONOMICS AND COMMUNICATIONS

Communications 307/COMM 3070 (4)
Creative Conflict Resolution

Communications 320/COMM 3200 (3)
Intercultural Communication

Business 335/GEB 3350 (3)
Introduction to International Business

Business 350/GEB 3500 (4)
Ecotourism: The Costa Rica Case

Business 312/GEB 3120 (3)
Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Management 303/MGMT 3030 (3)
Creative Leadership Skills

Marketing 315/MKTG 3150 (3)
Sustainable Consumption and Production

Psychology 305/PSY 3050 (3)
Cultural Psychology

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Environmental Sciences 250/ENV 2500 (4)
Introduction to Genetics

Environmental Sciences 300/ENV 3005 (4)
Environmental Impact and Social Development

Environmental Sciences 310/ENV 3100 (4)
Neotropical Ornithology: Birds of Costa Rica

Environmental Sciences 312/ENV 3120 (4)
Land Vertibrates of Costa Rica

HISTORY, POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

History 230/HIS 2302 (3)
Contemporary Latin American History

Politics 310/POL 3100 (3)
Costa Rican Tradition: Peace and Democracy