San Ramón, Costa Rica
USAC
1-866-404-USAC 1-775-784-6569 1-775-784-6010 studyabroad@usac.edu

San Ramón Courses - 2020 Summer Session II

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, 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 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

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

Session II

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.

U.S. Professors

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

Session I:

Dr. Yeon-Su Kim | Northern Arizona University

Course offered:

Dr. Yeon-Su Kim teaches ecological economics and natural resource policy at School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University. She has over 20 years of professional experiences for assessing forest ecosystem services and impacts of conservation policies on human communities. She frequently employs learner-centered teaching approaches to promote critical thinking on conservation issues.

Session II:

Dr. Sae-Mi Lee | California State University, Chico

Course offered:

Dr. Lee is an Assistant Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology. She studied sport and exercise psychology, counseling, and women’s and gender studies in the US, Korea, Finland, and Germany. Her international and interdisciplinary training shaped her scholarly interest to promote diversity and inclusion through sport and physical activity.

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: six semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Cross-Cultural Competencies for Health Professionals

Summer Session II (Community Health Sciences, Nursing; 400-level; 3 credits)

Description not available at this time.

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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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Ecology and Population Biology

Summer Session II (Biology, Environmental Science; 300-level; 3 credits)

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.

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Ecology and Population Biology Field Study

Summer Session II (Biology, Environmental Science; 300-level; 1 credit)

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.

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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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Global Conservation Economics and Policies

Summer Session I (Environmental Science, Natural Resources; 400-level; 3 credits)

Description not available at this time.

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Global Health

Summer Session I (Community Health Sciences, Health Ecology; 400-level; 3 credits)

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.

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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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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)

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).

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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. An additional fee of $125 is required for this course.

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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 (Spanish; 300-level; 1 - 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 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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Spanish for Medical Professionals

Summer Session I (Community Health Sciences, Spanish; 300-level; 2 credits)
Summer Session II (Community Health Sciences, Spanish; 300-level; 2 credits)

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.

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Sustainable Development: Women and the Environment

Summer Session I (Environmental Science, Sociology, Women's Studies / Gender Studies; 300-level; 3 credits)

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.

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Tropical Conservation Biology

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

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.

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Tropical Conservation Biology Field Study

Summer Session I (Biology; 400-level; 1 credit)

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. Concurrent enrollment in Tropical Conservation or Tropical Ecology is required. This course has an additional fee of $200.

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Tropical Ecology

Summer Session I (Biology; 300-level; 3 credits)

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.

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Tropical Ecology Field Study

Summer Session I (Biology; 300-level; 1 credit)

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.

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Tropical Marine Biology

Summer Session II (Biology; 300-level; 3 credits)

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.

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Tropical Marine Biology Field Study

Summer Session II (Biology; 300-level; 1 credit)

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.

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Women's Health: Global Health and Human Rights

Summer Session II (Community Health Sciences; 400-level; 3 credits)

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

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