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San Ramón Courses – 2020 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 three to six credits in Session I and three to five credits in Session II. 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.

Spanish Language and Literature Studies

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

Session I and Session II

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish100-level4 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish100-level4 creditsTaught in Spanish

    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.

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish100-level4 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish100-level4 creditsTaught in Spanish

    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.

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    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.

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish200-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    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.

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    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.

    Taught in Spanish.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish.

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish300-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    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.

    Taught in Spanish.

    Prerequisite: five semesters of college Spanish.

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    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.

    Taught in Spanish.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish.

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish400-level3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    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.

    Taught in Spanish.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish.

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish300-level1-3 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish300-level1-3 creditsTaught in Spanish

    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.

    Prerequisite: two semesters of college Spanish.

  • Summer Session I
    Community Health SciencesSpanish300-level2 creditsTaught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Community Health SciencesSpanish300-level2 creditsTaught in Spanish

    This course will provide students with the knowledge of the basic structures of the Spanish language, and the specialized medical vocabulary needed to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking patients in a variety of health care situations. Moreover, an understanding and appreciation of cultural differences in the health perceptions of Spanish-speaking patients will be developed. This course is appropriate for all health-related disciplines.

    Taught in Spanish.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish.

Life and Health Sciences and Culture Studies

The following courses focus on health science and the culture, environment, and ecology of Costa Rica. Students taking tropical life science courses will have access to a biology laboratory for their research studies. To take a field study course, you must also register for the accompanying science course. Most field study courses have daylong trips; however, some require overnight stays. 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

  • Summer Session I
    Dance100-level1 creditTaught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Dance100-level1 creditTaught in Spanish

    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.

    Taught in Spanish but appropriate for all.

  • Summer Session I
    Natural Resources400-level3 creditsTaught in English

    Costa Rica is well known for its forest conservation success, through directly paying forest owners for the benefits that their forests provide (PES, payments for ecosystem services). This course reviews conservation economics and policies around the world, then focus on learning from Costa Rica’s experiences. We will contrast Costa Rica’s case with success and failures of conservation policies in other tropical developing countries. The focus will be on developing critical thinking skills for factors promoting conservation success.

    Prerequisite: One course in natural resource management of environmental science.

  • Summer Session I
    Community Health SciencesHealth Ecology400-level3 creditsTaught in English

    This course is directed towards the student who wants to deepen his/her knowledge of global health and how preventive and promotive work can be carried on from an international perspective. Provides an introduction to problems involved in assessing international health needs and designing, implementing, managing, and evaluating public health programs in international settings. Topics include: issues in global health; major health problems and concerns of developing vs. developed countries; international health organizations; international health care systems and health development assistance; development of population/demographic transition; the global economy and health; access to medical care; cultural differences; emerging crises in global health.

  • Summer Session I
    Nutrition200-level1 creditTaught in English and Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Nutrition200-level1 creditTaught in English and Spanish

    An introduction to a local cuisine in a hands-on kitchen environment. Authentic preparations of several local dishes will be taught. Correct cooking techniques are emphasized. Readings and lectures on local food customs and traditions will support and contextualize the cooking instruction. Students will learn about Latin American culture, and practice conversing and following instructions in the Spanish language.

    Dietary restrictions may not be accommodated.

    his course has an additional fee for course materials.

  • Summer Session I
    Environmental ScienceSociologyWomen's Studies / Gender Studies300-level3 creditsTaught in English

    This class is designed as an introduction to the challenging issues of women and the environment. As part of a larger course on Society and Climate Change, it will address the main aspects of how women interface with crucial environmental concerns such as water, energy, land use, and biodiversity conservation. Moreover, it aims to build a broad understanding of how women and their children adapt to the world’s changing climatic conditions. Finally, it looks at women as active organizers and participants in building a more sustainable society on local and international levels.

  • Summer Session I
    Biology400-level3 creditsTaught in English

    Tropical Conservation Biology is the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity. In this course, students will gain an understanding of evolutionary and ecological factors that shape patterns of tropical diversity. Topics covered include 1) the impacts of global warming, species invasions, and habitat destruction on biodiversity, 2) strategies developed to combat these threats, and 3) a consideration of key economic and ethical trade-offs.

    Prerequisite: one year of general biology with lab.

  • Summer Session I
    Biology400-level1 creditTaught in English

    This field study course consists of two field trips to different habitats (one day field trip and one overnight field trip). The objectives of these visits will be to better understand the topics covered in the lectures such as individual, population and community level ecological processes and adaptations to various environments.

    This course has an additional fee of $200.

    May be taken in addition to the session's 6-credit maximum.

    Co-requisite: Tropical Conservation or Tropical Ecology.

  • Summer Session I
    Biology300-level3 creditsTaught in English

    Tropical ecology is the relationship between plants and animals in a tropical environment. Tropical zones are distinguished because they occur in the latitudes that lay between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn. These tropical latitudes have distinct physical, climatic, and biotic characteristics. As a result, tropical ecosystems are among the most diverse in the world. Tropical ecosystems are very diverse and encompass rainforests, dry deciduous forests, highland forests, paramos, coastal areas, spiny forests, deserts, and other habitat types. Each one of these ecosystems has a unique species composition and ecological relationships among them. Thus, studying tropical ecology is essential to understand the modern ecology. Moreover, since 1980, 288 million hectares (21%) of tropical forest areas have been deforested, while the human population in tropical countries has nearly doubled. The study of tropical ecosystems cannot be detached from conservation. The best way to ensure that these ecosystems will be conserved is to provide future generations with the proper theoretical, practical, and critical skills related to these special ecosystems and their conservation. This course will introduce students to tropical ecosystems and their general characteristics, focusing on the ecological and evolutionary relationships found in tropics. Students will also learn about some of the tropical research done in Costa Rica and other regions. This class will also explore the unique characteristics of several of the ecosystems found within the tropics and compare species found in different tropical regions. Students will explore how tropical ecosystems impact the temperate regions and what is needed to conserve these ecosystems. The course will also have a strong experimental component and students will learn how to develop experiments to answer ecological questions and how to employ simple statistical analyses to test hypotheses.

    Prerequisite: one year of general biology with lab.

  • Summer Session I
    Biology300-level1 creditTaught in English

    This field study course consists of three field trips to different habitats (one day field trip and two overnight field trips). The objectives of these visits will be to better understand the topics covered in the lectures such as individual, population, and community level ecological processes, and adaptations to various environments. Through the field study portion of Tropical Ecology, the students will gain a greater appreciation for ecological adaptations, ecological succession, sustainability, the value of biodiversity, and long-term ecological research.

    May be taken in addition to the session's 6-credit maximum.

    This course has an additional fee for field trips.

    Co-requisite: Tropical Ecology.

Session II

  • Summer Session II
    Community Health Sciences300-level3 creditsTaught in English

    Reducing health disparities has been one of the nation’s top priorities for the past decade, as research consistently finds that traditionally marginalized populations suffer from poorer health outcomes (Braveman et al., 2011). Research also finds that culturally incompetent health care systems and helping professionals can contribute and further exacerbate existing health disparities (Aronson, Burgess, Phelan, & Juarez, 2013). Therefore, the purposes of this course are two-fold: (a) to help students understand the social world they live in by examining how and why issues of difference matter, and (b) to enhance students’ ability as helping professionals to better understand and meet the needs of diverse populations.

    The course will provide an overview of social identities including race, gender, and class to examine why identities and different matters. Students will critically examine how issues of power, privilege, and multiple forms of oppression continue to inhibit social justice and equity in various aspects of our lives. Students will also engage in readings and discussions that facilitate reflections on their personal and professional roles as advocates for social change. Moreover, students will gain knowledge and skills to start their development as culturally competent professionals. Throughout the class, students will be invited to reflect on ways to individually and collectively promote equitable and inclusive practices.

    Prerequisite: One course in sociology recommended.

  • Summer Session I
    Dance100-level1 creditTaught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Dance100-level1 creditTaught in Spanish

    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.

    Taught in Spanish but appropriate for all.

  • Summer Session II
    BiologyEnvironmental Science300-level3 creditsTaught in English

    Ecology studies the interaction of organisms with the biotic and abiotic environment; population biology studies the distribution and movement of organisms in the natural world. This should ideally act as a biology major capstone course for it incorporates many themes related to biology. Students will touch on many biological principles that they should already be familiar with. Students will gain an appreciation of ecological principles as they relate to the natural world.

    Prerequisite: one year of general biology with lab.

  • Summer Session II
    BiologyEnvironmental Science300-level1 creditTaught in English

    This field study course consists of two field trips to different habitats. The objectives of these visits will be to better understand the topics covered in the lectures such as individual, population and community level ecological processes, and adaptations to various environments. Concurrent enrollment in Ecology and Population Biology is required.

    This course has an additional fee for field trips.

    May be taken in addition to the session's 5-credit maximum.

    Co-requisite: Ecology and Population Biology.

  • Summer Session II
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish200-level1 creditTaught in English
    Summer Session II
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish300-level1 creditTaught in Spanish

    This course is an introduction to the cultures of Latin America and their histories. Taught from a historical and contemporary society viewpoint, giving particular emphasis to present-day Costa Rica but also with other Latin American countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Chile and others related to each case. Some of the topics to be discussed are: Religion, clothing, foods, music, family, the role of women, stereotypes, politics, economy and environment.

    This course is available in English (200 level) or Spanish (300 level).

  • Summer Session II
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish200-level1 creditTaught in English
    Summer Session II
    AnthropologyHistorySpanish300-level1 creditTaught in Spanish

    This course is an introduction to the cultures of Latin America and their histories. Taught from a historical and contemporary society viewpoint, giving particular emphasis to present-day Costa Rica but also with other Latin American countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Chile and others related to each case. Some of the topics to be discussed are: Religion, clothing, foods, music, family, the role of women, stereotypes, politics, economy and environment.

    This course is available in English (200 level) or Spanish (300 level).

  • Summer Session I
    Nutrition200-level1 creditTaught in English and Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Nutrition200-level1 creditTaught in English and Spanish

    An introduction to a local cuisine in a hands-on kitchen environment. Authentic preparations of several local dishes will be taught. Correct cooking techniques are emphasized. Readings and lectures on local food customs and traditions will support and contextualize the cooking instruction. Students will learn about Latin American culture, and practice conversing and following instructions in the Spanish language.

    Dietary restrictions may not be accommodated.

    his course has an additional fee for course materials.

  • Summer Session II
    Biology400-level3 creditsTaught in English

    This course is a general introduction to tropical marine ecosystems and their inhabitants. It is conducted in conjunction with the National University Center for Marine Studies and Parque Marino del Pacifico both of which are located in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The unique ecosystems of tropical oceans and their inhabitants will be presented in an evolutionary and ecological context.

    Prerequisite: one year of general biology with lab.

  • Summer Session II
    Biology300-level1 creditTaught in English

    In this course students will visit marine ecosystems that they studied in theorical lessons. Students will be able to explore various marine ecosystems like: Coral reefs, rocky reefs, mangroves, and intertidal zones.

    This course has an additional fee for field trips.

    May be taken in addition to the session credit maximum

    Co-requisite: Tropical Marine Biology.

  • Summer Session II
    Community Health Sciences400-level3 creditsTaught in English

    Exploration of the specific health needs of women, with emphasis on understanding and prevention of problems of women’s health.

To request a course syllabus: syllabus@usac.edu

Internships

San Ramón offers many possibilities for internships at the local hospital in medicine, hospital administration and maintenance, microbiology, and pharmacy. Internships in the community can include the senior citizen center, Vet's Clinic, Centro José Figueres Ferrer, municipality, NGOs, industry, and elementary and secondary education centers. Placement is not guaranteed by USAC; it will be determined by your application, supporting materials and an interview on site with the internship sponsor.

Eligibility: Six or more semesters of college Spanish; enrollment in both summer sessions; a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; and junior standing at the time of the internship. A refundable fee of $100 is charged and returned upon successful completion of the internship.

Quick Details

2020-21 App. Cycle

Fall/Yearlong: Open

Spring: Open

2021-22 App. Cycle

Summer programs: Opens 9/1

Fall/Yearlong: Opens 9/1

Spring: Opens 9/1

Eligibility

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Program Type

Specialty

Credits

US Credit

Program Capacity

65 students

Instruction

English | Spanish

Passport & Visa

Passport & Visa Information