Students will complete coursework with a cohort of other U.S. students at the Instituto San Joaquín de Flores. All students will take either an intermediate or an advanced-level “Spanish for Environmental Studies” course. The language course will be paired with three additional courses taught in English, each equivalent to 3 U.S. semester credits.
Beginner or Intermediate Spanish for Environmental Studies (3) [Beginner Syllabus] [Intermediate Syllabus]
In addition to grammatical principles, the language courses will emphasize Spanish vocabulary related to the environment and sustainability, with the objective of enriching the other courses that make up the program. Students will focus on readings related to biodiversity, the management of natural resources and global warning.
Tropical Ecology and Ecotourism (3) [Syllabus]
The objective of this course is to offer students the necessary knowledge and theoretical-methodological tools to understand and learn about conservation and the importance of a balanced development between natural processes and socio-economic activities linked to ecotourism. The current background of conservation areas and ecotourism practices in Costa Rica will be studied, along with ecological aspects, biological diversity, life zones, endemism and other important aspects that define our national territory. The subject of biodiversity will be studied extensively, emphasizing the protection, conservation and restoration of natural resources in Costa Rica.
Marine Biology (3) [Syllabus]
This course intends to provide students with basic knowledge about marine ecosystems and their most representative organisms, general biotic and abiotic interrelations, some biological and systematic aspects, and spatial distribution patterns. Students will have a comprehensive vision of marine organisms, their surroundings, the dynamics of marine environment and the implications for human development. Theoretical lessons will be complemented with field trips as a practical resource.
Socio-Environmental Perspectives in Costa Rica (3) [Syllabus]
This course explores the environmental reality of Costa Rica from a comprehensive and critical perspective, focusing on its human and social components. Students will learn about and analyze the diverse socio-environmental conflicts generated in the country during the last twenty years, not from a merely scientific or biological point of view, but as part of a complex social dynamic that includes different political and economic stakeholders. To do so, the course will study the environmental legislation of the country, the national educational context and the general aspects of the economic policies related to the environmental conflicts. Likewise, the roles played by the State and civil society (social organizations, private sector) on the management of resources and creation of environmental public policies will be analyzed.