Study Abroad in San José, Costa Rica

Study Abroad in San José: Courses

View and print all course descriptions

Spanish Language Courses (Required)

Recommended credits are shown in parentheses. Please note that some specialized Spanish courses and electives are not available every month. For students on the Spring semester who require a 6-credit language course instead of the standard 5-credit course there is the option to add a 1-credit conversation course for a supplemental fee. Please check course descriptions with the AIFS Admissions Officer for details.

Spanish Language Courses (Required)

Spanish 101 (5)/Spanish 102 (5) | Elementary Spanish I/Elementary Spanish II

Students with no previous Spanish study or with only one semester in college usually place at these levels. Focus is on functional uses of the language as well as grammar, lexicon and cultural themes. Included are introductions, giving and receiving information, writing letters, indicative, past perfect and preterit tenses, expressing likes and dislikes and imperative forms of “tú” and “usted”.

Spanish 141 (5) | Basic Spanish for Health Professionals

This course is designed to give health personnel, who do not have any previous Spanish experience, the tools necessary for interacting with and interviewing Spanish speaking patients. Students will acquire the linguistic knowledge and skills that will permit them to communicate at a basic level with Spanishspeaking patients.

Spanish 151 (5) | Basic Spanish for Law Enforcement Professionals

This course is designed to give general law enforcement professionals, who do not have any previous Spanish experience; the tools necessary for interacting with and interviewing Spanish speakers. During the four weeks of the course the students will acquire the linguistic knowledge and skills that will permit them to communicate at a basic level in simulated situations with Spanish native speakers.

Spanish 201 (5)/Spanish 202 (5) | Intermediate Spanish I/Intermediate Spanish II

Prerequisite SPN 102. Students who have studied Spanish throughout high school and continued with one semester in college, or students who have two to four semesters of college Spanish, usually place into these levels. Focus is on overall communicative skills: perfect tenses, preterit versus imperfect, telling stories, the future and the conditional, the imperative uses of the subjunctive mood, and transmission of messages (verb tenses).

Spanish 210 (5) | Intermediate Spanish Conversation

Prerequisite SPN 202. This course is for students with a high Intermediate level of Spanish who wish to improve their communicative skills and pronunciation. Emphasis is placed on day-to-day conversation and cultural issues. The methodology enhances structured speech to provide a firm foundation in patterns of spoken Spanish, progressing towards free conversation.

Spanish 241 (5) | Intermediate Spanish for Health Professionals

Prerequisite: minimum of two semesters of college-level Spanish. This course is designed for health personnel that have taken a minimum of 100 elective hours of Spanish as a second language. The goal of this course is to deepen the knowledge of medical-related Spanish and increase the competency of communications in specific situations with Spanish-speaking patients.

Spanish 251 (5) | Intermediate Spanish for Law Enforcement Professionals

Prerequisite: minimum of two semesters of college-level Spanish. This course is designed for law enforcement professionals that have taken a minimum of 100 elective hours of Spanish as a second language. The goal of this course is to deepen the knowledge of law-related Spanish and increase the competency of communication in specifically simulated situations with native Spanish speakers.

Spanish 301 (5)/Spanish 302 (5) | Advanced Spanish I/Advanced Spanish II

Students with at least six semesters of college Spanish, experience living in a Spanish-speaking country or Spanish study on a regular basis since elementary school usually place at these levels. Grammar work refines and develops communicative skills: the impersonal “se”, adjectives, nouns and verbs, indicative and subjunctive tenses, spelling and accents, arguments/ debates, expressing degrees of possibilities, cause, consequence and mode of action, formal and informal letters.

Spanish 304 (5) | Spanish for Business

Prerequisite SPN 301. 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. The course contents are complemented with a couple of field visits to some of Costa Rica’s developing businesses.

Spanish 310 (5) | Advanced Spanish Conversation

Prerequisite SPN 301. 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.

Spanish 320 (5) | Cultural Heritage in Latin America

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.

Spanish 330 (5) | Spanish for Heritage Speakers

Prerequisite Spanish as a first language speaker with an Advanced level of communication. This course is for Spanish as a first language speakers who wish to acquire proficiency in the use of complex grammatical structures. Emphasis will be given to listening, writing and reading skills.

Spanish 340 (5) | Oral Expression Techniques

Prerequisite SPN 301. This course focuses on advanced communication and presentation skills. Students will work on communication techniques and efficient oral expression in formal contexts.

Spanish 341 (5) | Advanced Spanish for Health Professionals

Prerequisite: minimum of four semesters of college-level Spanish. This course is designed for health personnel that have an Advanced background in Spanish and who need to improve their linguistic 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.

Spanish 410 (5) | Advanced Composition

Prerequisite SPN 302. This course is for high Advanced level students who want to further develop their written skills through different composition practices and techniques. The course studies complex and difficult syntax topics. Special attention is given to stylistics and composition structure.

Courses Taught in English

Architecture 312/ARCH 3112 (3) | History of Latin American Architecture and Art

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.

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

Develop the skills needed to analyze a particular architectural problem and offer adequate design solutions that guarantee a high quality environment. It is offered to all students who wish to learn about tropical design. Previous knowledge of architecture, design projection and graphic expression is not required.

Art 130/ART 1301 (3) | Basic Principles of Drawing

This studio art course introduces basic principles of drawing. The course includes model drawings, landscape drawings and experimental (abstract) drawings. The focus of this course is on the development of expression and observational drawing from still life, a model and landscapes.

Art 210/ART 2100 (3) | Art Fundamentals: Theory and Practice

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.

Art 213/ART 2130 (4) | Mural Painting and Public Art

This studio art course introduces theoretical and practical aspects of large-scale painting, murals and public art. The course includes an actual practicum in large-scale media and experimentation of early and contemporary techniques including drawing, fresco, painting, aerosol and various industrial materials. The objective of this course is for students to develop an understanding about some of the social roles of art and the impact of murals in communities, based upon its historical and contemporary applications.

Art 300/PFA 3000 (6) | Performing Arts Production Workshop

The Performing Arts Production Workshop is a studio class in which participants explore —and practice— the distinctive components of the production, mounting and staging of an acted/choreographed/musicalized production. The Performing Arts Production Workshop gives participants a rare opportunity to develop their competencies for the performing arts. Our goal is to explore artistic risk-taking in an uplifting environment. The heart of the program is teaching young aspiring performers —and participants in general— how to deliver a performance that connects deeply and authentically with themselves and their audience. The final project is a performance. The workshop meets for 96 class hours, not including the final performance time.

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

An overview of the cultural environment of international business, and institutions which affect business today. The Latin American perspective with regard to the U.S., Asia and Europe is examined: NAFTA, Mercosur, the EC and other common market areas and agreements.

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

The course addresses the economic importance of ecotourism for the Costa Rican national economy, the stimulation of grassroots, community ecotourism projects, and the role of ecotourism in securing environmental protection. The advances and limitations of ecotourism will also be explored.

Communications 307/COMM 3070 (4) | Creative Conflict Resolution

A multicultural, gender sensitive course is designed for students who wish to learn strategies and techniques in thought and behavior transformations for conflict resolution. The course focuses on techniques to bring about positive focused changes through continuous experiences in community building and self-improvement. The course is based on the Alternatives to Violence Project; a program started in NY State in the seventies. Fundacion CEPPA, Center for Peace Studies, has implemented this program in Costa Rica, Switzerland and other Latin American countries since 1990. Using a participatory and interactive methodology, emphasis is made on the following themes: self-esteem and self-care, communication skills, cooperation, community building and conflict resolution, including mediation, bias awareness and cultural diversity. Mandatory fieldwork sessions will be conducted at a school, a communal group or a penal institution.

Communications 320/COMM 3200 (3) | Intercultural Communication

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.

Economics 340/ECON 3403 (3) | Introduction to International Economics in Latin America

Examines Latin American policies affecting the international economy, with attention to trade barriers, economic nationalism and regionalism, international political economy, exchange market intervention and international transmission of economic perturbations.

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

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.

Environmental Science 315/ENV3150 (4) | Tropical Botany: Useful Plant Workshop

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.

Environmental Sciences 316/ENV 3160 (4) | Conservation Biology of Endangered Marine Species

This course aims to highlight the importance of conservation biology in managing endangered marine species, emphasizing 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, emphasizing 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.

Environmental Sciences 317/ENV 3170 (4) | Freshwater Ecology

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 emphasizes the problems and conservation efforts related to water resources. Through field trips and laboratory work, students will learn methods for monitoring aquatic environments.

Environmental Sciences 319/ENV 3190 (4) | Tropical Marine Biology

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

Environmental Science 374/ENV 3740 (4) | Climate Change and Adaptions

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.

Environmental Sciences 403/ENV 4030 (4) | Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems

Examines 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.

Environmental Sciences 410/ENV 4100 (4) | Biotechnology and Sustainability

This course emphasizes the vast possibilities offered by biotechnology for sustainable development through the study of specific cases in Costa Rica. In this sense, Costa Rica, despite its comparatively small geographical size and population, has consolidated as the most advanced country in the region when it comes to biotechnological research. This course will explore the reasons why, and correlate them with the role of sustainable development in this process. Fundamental and applied concepts of biotechnology will be explored and discussed in terms of life, environmental and social sciences. This course will be heavily based on the study of cases in which biotechnology has become into the best solution for social and environmental situations through the visits and participation of companies, associations and experts related to this technology. Therefore, this course is aimed to any professional with an interest in biotechnology from an engineering, scientific and social sciences point of view.

Environmental Sciences 404/ENV 4040 (4) | Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Development

An overview of the actual world problems in natural resources management and conservation, and its 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.

Environmental Sciences 304/ENV 3044 (4) | Tropical Ecology

Students learn about the interactions between earth and land and how these interactions or processes affect our life and the stability of the planet. Emphasis is 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.

Environmental Sciences 305/ENV 3005 (4) | Environmental Impact and Social Development

The study of major environmental problems and issues confronting modern society. Students 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.

Health 102/HHD 1020 (3) | Introduction to Physical Therapy

Introduces the basic concepts of human anatomy, the most common injuries and illnesses that require physical therapy, and the different tools and methods used to treat them. The course consists of theoretical lectures and laboratory practice, giving students a hands-on experience of the techniques provided in the lectures. By the end of the course, students will have a general knowledge of various specialty areas, as well as techniques such as massage therapy, electrotherapy and therapeutic exercise.

Health 105/HHD 1050 (3) | Holistic Health Approaches

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, acupuncture, herbal and nutritional therapies, massage, chiropractic therapy, electromagnetic therapy, breathing exercise and others.

Health 307/HHD 3070 (4) | Conflict Resolution and Health Care

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.

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

A survey of the main events in Latin American history after its independence. Topics include the historical causes and effects of the independence, some of the main issues on social, economic and political problems and the main historical leaders in modern Latin America.

History 313/HIS 3130 (3) | Sustainability and Resources Management in the Ancient World

Students will learn about the relationship ancient civilizations like Egypt, China, Mesopotamia, India, Greece, Rome, the Celts, and the Pre-Colombian Americans had with their environment. Students will explore how these cultures interacted with nature and its resources, as land, forests, water and minerals. In addition, they will be able to identify the main characteristics that allow civilizations to create a sustainable relationship with their surroundings and habitat, if this is the case. This historic overview will allow students to liken and contrast our present day societies with the Ancient World.

History 323/HIS 3293 (4) | Costa Rican Health Care and Tropical Medicine

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 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.

History 329/HIS 3290 (3) | Costa Rican Economic Development

Introduces the outstanding socio-economic and political features that have shaped and defined the history and developmental path of Costa Rica.

Management 303/MGMT 3030 (3) | Creative Leadership Skills

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

Marketing 301/MKTG 3010 (3) | International Marketing Management

This course is designed to give the student an understanding of international marketing in terms of both challenges and opportunities. The course assumes that students are familiar with basic marketing terms and have a basic to mid understanding of marketing concepts. The course will examine the concepts related to international marketing, while students analyze case studies and propose ideas through assignments to attain the objectives of the course.

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

Sustainable consumption and production is a holistic approach to minimizing the negative environmental impacts from consumption and production systems while promoting quality of life for all. This course will help students acquire the knowledge, capacities and values to help them contribute to shaping a better tomorrow as more responsible consumers. It will trace the history and the justification for the focus on sustainable consumption. 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, labor 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 local and global levels.

Philosophy 310 / PHIL 3100 (3) | Philosophy and Integrated Though of the Classic World

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.

Photography 210/PHOT 2100 (4) | Ecological Photography

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.

Photography 213/PHOT 2130 (3) | Cultural Photography

Offers the acquisition of basic photographic skills as a means of cultural exploration. Through practice exercises and field trips aiming to apply the information provided through lectures, students will consciously explore Costa Rican culture through the creation of photographic images and essays. Students will be able to consciously create photographs that document aspects of Costa Rican culture through portraiture and landscapes. May require a course supplement of approximately $120.

Photography 260/PHOT 2600 (3) | Digital Photography

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. Students must have a digital point and shoot or SLR camera and a basic knowledge of Mac and Windows Operating Systems. May require a course supplement of approximately $120.

Politics 250/POL 2500 (3) | Human Rights in Latin America

A particular emphasis will be given to the case of Costa Rica, giving the students an opportunity to explore the development of human rights in the following areas: women’s rights, children’s rights, HIV/AIDS, the CAFTA agreement and labor rights, indigenous groups and human rights, disability and age issues, and the prison environment.

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

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

Politics 322/POL 3220 (3) | Migration, Globalization and Social Change

The course introduces participants to theories and practices of international human migrations as a phenomena that has been present throughout history, but that has taken on special emphasis in today’s world, with human ramifications, and strong effects being produced on societies on both ends of the problem: nations from which peoples are leaving and those that are targeted by the migrants. The phenomena is reviewed on several of its most prominent manifestations: forced migrations, voluntary migrations or internal displacements of groupings of people, and the motivational underpinnings that provoke them to embark on such drastic actions as the uprooting of home and families in pursuit of perceived better life opportunities. Migration is perceived by peoples in despair as an alternative to social, political and/or economic conditions that weigh heavily on them, even when factoring in risks of security and adaptation to cultures unknown. Within these, will be analyzed issues of return migrations, effects of remittances, formation of diaspora communities and the myriad of problems brought about by cultural adaptations and assimilation.

The course will cover the theoretical foundations for analysis and understanding of emerging issues brought about by intense migration movements across the globe, and the consequent effects that these have on the host societies, the incoming groups and societies left behind by migratory groups. Participants will take part in the analysis of new identities and cultural manifestations that emerge from these occurrences, and the some of the main problems of misunderstandings and adaptations that are necessary in order to reach accommodations that allow for the valuable and peaceful coexistence that eventually leads to an enrichment of the life experience of all groups of peoples involved.

Politics 342/POL 3420 (4) | Costa Rican Environmental Policy: A History of Policy, Politics and Action

Explores 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, We will look back at Costa Rica’s conservation history and critically review its sustainable development model, and 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.

Politics 345/POL 3450 (3) | International Relations in Latin America

Analysis of the aspects of the economic integration, globalization and conditions for a successful integration between economies and the effects of free trade in the region as well as the effects of protectionism. There will be a special treatment of foreign investments and joint ventures in Latin America.

Psychology 220/PSY 2200 (3) | Health Psychology

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-psycho-social 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.

Psychology 305/PSY 3050 (3) | Cultural Psychology

Introduces students to the field of psychology that examines the influence of culture upon human behavior and cognitive processes. “Culture” is defined as the shared norms, values, and behaviors of groups and of the individuals in those groups. We will focus on such topics as cultural factors in self-concept, gender roles, motivation, cognition, emotions, relationships, and social values. Our exploration will be based on psychological theories, research, guest lecturers, and field experiences.

Society 305/SOCY 3050 (3) | Diversity and Sexual Identity in Latin America

Studies the LGBTQ+ community and related social issues within the Latin American context. Special attention will be given to the case of Costa Rica, regarding which sexuality, identity, expression, health, community, family, and other social, political and lifestyle issues will be discussed. One of the first of its kind in the region, and a pioneer offer for study abroad students in the Costa Rican setting, this course offers students a unique opportunity to study Latin American LGBTQ+ dynamics and issues. The course has three main objectives: 1) explore LGBTQ+ issues in the Latin American community; 2) gain an appreciation for how particular countries are advancing in relation to legal equality, while studying the social groups who are pushing for change; and 3) critically assess present day contexts that are struggling with recently developed anti-discriminatory frameworks.

Sustainable Development 310/SUSD 3100 (4) | Gender and Sustainable Development

Studies the intersection between gender, socio-economic discrimination and sustainable development and discusses women and natural resources, women and forests, women’s role in conservation, women and land use/agriculture, rural women, women and the built environment, women and environmental policy, women in relation to poverty, disaster risk and mitigation, adaption for climate change, female civil society and political actors pushing for change, women in the environment, and sustainable innovations. These issues will be explored in the context of Latin America and the Caribbean, with special emphasis on the Costa Rican context where possible. We will work with local women in the community and gain hands-on practical experience during farm and forest project work. Student’s will conduct surveys, develop in research projects and participate in two field trips to help them better understand the dynamics and complexities of gender and sustainable development.

Theology 312/THEO 3120 (3) spring only | Revolution, Spirituality and Religion in Latin America

This course provides 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. We will review the region’s most influential thinkers who have successfully combined religion with sustainability, and how they have affected the culture, society and politics of the region.

Theology 315/THEO 3150 (3) spring only | Major World Religions

In this course we will learn about the major world religions: Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and others. We will explore questions such as: What are the core beliefs? Is there an afterlife? What is expected of a follower? 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.

Courses Taught in Spanish (Students must test into high intermediate or advanced level Spanish to take these courses)

Linguistics 102/ SPN 1002 (3) | Comunicación Oral Básica (Basic Oral Communication)

This course is designed for students of Spanish as a second language who have a basic understanding of the various linguistic aspects of the language. Throughout the course you will develop your oral communicative competence therefore enabling you to communicate effectively and efficiently in daily situations.

Literature 302/SPN 3020 (3) | Lecturas Selectas de la Literatura Latinoamericana Latin American Literature

This survey course provides a panorama of outstanding classical and contemporary works, authors, genres or major literary currents in Latin America. Taught in Spanish.

Literature 305/SPN 3050 (3) | Fonética y Fonología / Select Readings: Phonetics and Phonology

This course provides methods and tools of descriptive linguistics applied to phonetics and articulation.

Literature 307/SPN 3070 (3) | Introducción a la Traducción / Introduction to Translation

An introduction to the theoretical and practical tools for the translation process from English to Spanish. Students learn how to translate texts of intermediate and advanced complexity maintaining high fidelity to the author’s intention and style.

Literature 352/SPN 3520 (3) | Dialectología Latinoamericana / Latin American Dialectology

This course explores a social-historical perspective of the language to understand the current linguistic mechanisms within the different social contexts where it is spoken. The approach of this course is to analyze the variety of dialects in the Latin American countries through phonological and morphological traits of cultural elements. Put into practice dialectical strategies to promote authentic communicative elements that enrich the Spanish language.

Literature 411/SPN 4110 (3) | Contemporary Costa Rican Female Writers

This course focuses primarily on the work of female authors in Costa Rican literature. Themes of different texts and their relationship with national identity are analyzed.

Literature 433/SPN 4330 (3) | Tópicos Selectos en la Literatura Española / Selected Topics of Spanish Literature

Overview of Spanish literature, from its beginning until the first half of contemporary literature. The course provides a general view of each period, main characteristics, and texts of the most representative authors.

Literature 439/ SPN 4390 (3) | El Cine y la Literatura Latinoamericana / Latin American Cinema and Literature

This course is a study of some of the film productions based on the literary texts of well-known Latin American writers. The course is based on the analysis and discussion of the principal characteristics of the culture, values and themes of the Latin America presented in this particular literature and cinematography.

Universidad Veritas Courses (taught in Spanish with Costa Rican Students)

Students on the 16-week program can take a combination of elective courses listed in this catalog and (depending on their level of Spanish) regular Veritas University courses taught in Spanish alongside Costa Rican students for a fully-immersive experience. You must have a minimum of 2 years college-level Spanish and test into the high Intermediate or Advanced level of Spanish in order to take regular University courses.

Many courses are offered every semester by the following University departments:

  • Architecture
  • Digital Animation
  • Film and T.V.
  • Advertising Design
  • Interior Design
  • Product Design
  • Photography
  • Fashion Design

All courses are subject to change at the discretion of Veritas University.