Puntarenas, Costa Rica
USAC
1-866-404-USAC1-775-784-65691-775-784-6010studyabroad@usac.unr.edu

Course Information

Puntarenas, Costa Rica | 2017 Summer Session I

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.

Courses

You will enroll in three to six credits per session, plus one additional credit if enrolled in the optional Cuba Field Study. At least one 3-credit course is required each summer session. Course availability is contingent upon student interest and enrollment and is subject to change. Please visit the USAC website for complete course descriptions and prerequisites.

Spanish Language and Literature Studies

Summer language courses are intensive, with one to five credits of Spanish taught in each five-week session. Language courses have a maximum enrollment of 15 students each. Spanish Conversation and Oral Skills is highly recommended to complement Intermediate Spanish I to Advanced Spanish II.

Session I and Session II

Ecological and Latin American Studies

The following courses focus on the culture, environment, and ecology of Costa Rica. Courses are taught in English unless noted in Spanish; most courses taught in Spanish are appropriate for students with four or more semesters of college Spanish.

Session I

Session II

To request a course syllabus: syllabus@usac.unr.edu

Field studies

Deepen your academic experience through the optional Cuba Field Study which helps you explore the historical, cultural, and natural features of the region. Students who enroll in this 1-credit course will select a particular topic of interest to examine as part of the field study, and complete a research paper drawing from their field study experience as well as from additional readings, research, and written assignments.

U.S. Professor

Local faculty teach most USAC courses; however, the following U.S. professors are also teaching as Visiting Professors.

Session I:

Dr. Paul Viotti Jr., California State University, Chico

Course offered:

Professor Viotti is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of Public Administration at CSU, Chico where he teaches in public administration and international relations. His research on economic inequality has been funded by the National Science Foundation, and he is currently working on a new introduction to international relations textbook to be published by Pearson in 2017.

Course Descriptions

Advanced Spanish I

Summer Session I (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)

The objective of this class is to do a comprehensive revision of the most difficult grammatical points in Spanish. This will be presented through the use of theoretical and practical materials that permit the student to consolidate some of those complex grammatical aspects of the Spanish language that require frequent review and further development. Care will be taken, whenever possible, to focus on understanding and practicing their use in both the written and spoken forms of the language. Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Advanced Spanish II

Summer Session I (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)

The objective of this class is to do a comprehensive revision of the most difficult grammatical points in Spanish. This will be presented through the use of theoretical and practical materials that permit the student to consolidate some of those complex grammatical aspects of the Spanish language that require frequent review and further development. Care will be taken, whenever possible, to focus on understanding and practicing their use in both the written and spoken forms of the language. Prerequisite: seven semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Contemporary Central American Narrative

Summer Session II (Anthropology, Political Science, Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)

Through reading and analysis of recent novels and testimonial texts from Central America, this course introduces students to the linguistic and cultural diversity of the region and to the complexity of its social and political realities. Readings include short novels and selections from testimonial texts by Rigoberta Menchú, Omar Cabezas, Rosario Aguilar, Manlio Argueta, Mario Roberto Morales, and Roberto Castillo.

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Cuba Field Study: History and Society

Summer Session I (Anthropology, History, Spanish; 200-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (Anthropology, History, Spanish; 200-level; 1 credit)

In a very remote past, the people that occupied the American continent gradually developed different forms of culture and thought. Their art and the imprints of their past are still an enigma for many people. In the geographical and cultural complexity of America, the tropical low lands (around the Caribbean cultural area) were where man had to display knowledge of the environment to be able to survive in that land. Once Spain conquered and submitted the native American people, they proceeded to eliminate methodically the cultural manifestations of the pre-Colombian cultures, and in their place a new cultural element was firmly establish in the New World. It's clear that many elements and traditions of the indigenous endured, however, in most cases these traditions were blended with Iberian and African traits forming a syncretic culture in America.

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Dances of Latin America

Summer Session I (Dance; 100-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (Dance; 100-level; 1 credit)

The objectives of this course are to understand the antecedents of Latin American dance and to learn to correctly perform folkloric and cultural dances as well as the local rhythms, such as Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia and Bolero; and thus immerse the student in the social and cultural context of the area. Taught in Spanish but appropriate for everyone.

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Elementary Spanish I

Summer Session I (Spanish; 100-level; 4 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 100-level; 4 credits)

Introduction to the language through the development of language skills and through structural analysis. The fundamentals of Spanish grammar (all verb tenses), vocabulary and useful expressions are studied. The goals of these courses are to build reading, writing, listening and, above all, speaking skills.

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Elementary Spanish II

Summer Session I (Spanish; 100-level; 4 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 100-level; 4 credits)

Introduction to the language through the development of language skills and through structural analysis. The fundamentals of grammar (all verb tenses), vocabulary, and useful expressions are studied. The objective of these courses is to build reading, writing, listening, and above all, speaking skills. Prerequisite: one semester of college Spanish.

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Intermediate Spanish I

Summer Session I (Spanish; 200-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 200-level; 3 credits)

This course emphasizes learning the structure of the Spanish language. Classes are divided into three components: grammar/vocabulary, conversation and reading/writing, each of which is related to the themes covered. A review of basic elements, such as the present tense, ser and estar, preterit and imperfect, etc. is included. Prerequisite: two semesters of college Spanish.

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Intermediate Spanish II

Summer Session I (Spanish; 200-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 200-level; 3 credits)

This class continues the learning of the structure of the Spanish language. Classes are divided into three components: grammar/vocabulary, conversation and reading/writing, each of which is related to the themes covered. This level is specifically orientated towards functional and social communication, oral as well as written. Prerequisite: three semesters of college Spanish.

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International Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations

Summer Session I (Political Science; 300-level; 3 credits)

In this course, students will analyze the development and activities of various types of international organizations, including the United Nations, multinational corporations, OPEC, the Common Market, the IMF, the World Bank, and such non-governmental organizations as Amnesty International and Greenpeace.

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Introduction to Tropical Conservation - Maintaining Biodiversity

Summer Session I (Biology; 200-level; 3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to establish a basic knowledge of what the tropics are and their importance to all of us, discuss their present status and consider the remaining options regarding their future. An additional fee of $200 is required for this course. (Session I)

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Introduction to Tropical Ecology

Summer Session II (Biology; 200-level; 3 credits)

This course is intended to give students a firsthand knowledge of tropical ecology and the issues surrounding conservation of biodiversity in a third world country. It does so in the context of an intensive foreign study tour in Costa Rica. An additional fee of $200 is required for this course. (Session II)

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Latin America and its Cultures

Summer Session II (Anthropology, History, Spanish; 200-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (Anthropology, History, Spanish; 300-level; 1 credit)

In this course you will learn the history of the cultures of the Americas, from the pre-Columbian societies to our contemporary Nations. . In order to achieve an overview of the historical development of them, we have developed the course through four thematic units: the principle characteristics of the pre-Columbian cultural areas; colonial legacy and independence; material progress and cultural occurrences in Latin America in the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century; and the political, social and cultural transformations of Latin America in the second half of the 20th Century.

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Latin American Cuisine

Summer Session I (Nutrition; 200-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (Nutrition; 200-level; 1 credit)

The Latin American Cuisine class is addressed to those students who enjoy cooking and want to learn how to prepare traditional Latin American dishes like “ceviche”, “picadillo”, “empanadas”, “tres leches”, and so on. At the same time, the students have the chance to practice Spanish and become more acquainted with the Latin American culture.

This is a program that changes depending of the time of the year and the products available in the market. For that reason, the menu varies every session. The dishes are based on sea food products, beef, cereals, home made pasta, and dressings.Traditional Latin American cuisine does incoporate, meat, dairy, eggs, and gluten. Students with specific dietary restrictions may not be able to eat all the food prepared in class.

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Latin American History

Summer Session I (History; 200-level; 1 credit)

Introduction to the history of Latin American Countries. We will review different key historical events that occurred in Latin America since its independence and to gain insight into its problems, politics and social realities. The role played by the United States of America in the History of the region is also reviewed. Taught in English. (Session I)

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Spanish Composition I

Summer Session I (Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)

Classes revolve around compositions, which the student writes almost daily. Part of the class is used to correct the compositions or exercises that the student does outside of class. New advanced grammatical topics are also introduced and exercises reinforcing the use of that element are done in class. Also, part of the class is utilized for selected readings, discussion and vocabulary building. Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Spanish Composition II

Summer Session I (Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)

Classes revolve around compositions which the student writes almost daily. Part of the class is used to correct the compositions or exercises that the student does outside of class. New advanced grammatical topics are also introduced and exercises reinforcing the use of that element are done in class. Also, part of the class is utilized for selected readings, discussion and vocabulary building. Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Spanish Conversation and Oral Skills

Summer Session I (300-level; 1 - 3 credits)
Summer Session II (300-level; 1 - 3 credits)

An optional two credit course addressed to students that have already completed a year of Spanish at the elementary level and want to start participating in the oral activities that the immersion setting facilitates.

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Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Latin American Cinema

Summer Session I (Art, Film, Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)

Analysis of the form, content, directing, editing, social relevance, and history of recent films from or about Latin America. Special emphasis in contemporary tendencies of Art Cinema and the Latin American Documentaries. Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Latin American Short Story and Essay

Summer Session I (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course focuses on the development of Latin American fiction and nonfiction prose from the beginning of the 19th century to the present. Emphasis is on key texts and authors, aesthetic and historical contexts and special attention will be given to the particular issues raised by Latin American tradition and to the critical models available for reading individual texts. Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Quick Details

2017-18 App. Cycle

Summer I (5 weeks): Open

Summer I & II (10 weeks): Open

Summer II (5 weeks): Open

Fall or Yearlong: Open

January 2018: Open

Spring: Open

Eligibility

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Program Type

Specialty

Credits

U.S. Credit

Program Capacity

60

Instruction

English | Spanish