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San Ramón Courses – 2021 Summer Sessions I & 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. 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.

Click the course title to view course details and description.

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
    Spanish 100-level 4 credits Taught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish 100-level 4 credits Taught 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
    Spanish 100-level 4 credits Taught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish 100-level 4 credits Taught 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
    Spanish 200-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish 200-level 3 credits Taught 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
    Spanish 200-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish 200-level 3 credits Taught 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
    Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught 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.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish.

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught 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.

    Prerequisite: five semesters of college Spanish.

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught 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.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish.

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught 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.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish.

  • Summer Session I
    Spanish 300-level 1-3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Spanish 300-level 1-3 credits Taught 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 Sciences Spanish 300-level 2 credits Taught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Community Health Sciences Spanish 300-level 2 credits Taught 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.

    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.

Session I

  • Summer Session I
    Dance 100-level 1 credit Taught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Dance 100-level 1 credit Taught 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.

  • Summer Session I
    Community Health Sciences Health Ecology 400-level 3 credits Taught 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
    Nutrition 200-level 1 credit Taught in English and Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Nutrition 200-level 1 credit Taught 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.

    This course has an additional fee for materials.

  • Summer Session I
    Environmental Science Sociology Women's Studies / Gender Studies 300-level 3 credits Taught 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
    Biology 400-level 3 credits Taught 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
    Biology 400-level 1 credit Taught 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
    Biology 300-level 3 credits Taught 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
    Biology 300-level 1 credit Taught 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 I
    Dance 100-level 1 credit Taught in Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Dance 100-level 1 credit Taught 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.

  • Summer Session II
    Biology Environmental Science 300-level 3 credits Taught 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
    Biology Environmental Science 300-level 1 credit Taught 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
    Anthropology History Spanish 200-level 1 credit Taught in English
    Summer Session II
    Anthropology History Spanish 300-level 1 credit Taught 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.

    300-level Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Summer Session II
    Anthropology History Spanish 200-level 1 credit Taught in English
    Summer Session II
    Anthropology History Spanish 300-level 1 credit Taught 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.

    300-level Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Summer Session I
    Nutrition 200-level 1 credit Taught in English and Spanish
    Summer Session II
    Nutrition 200-level 1 credit Taught 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.

    This course has an additional fee for materials.

  • Summer Session II
    Biology 400-level 3 credits Taught 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
    Biology 300-level 1 credit Taught 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 Sciences 400-level 3 credits Taught 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

Field Studies

Optional field studies are an excellent way to deepen your academic experience abroad. During your 1-credit field study course, you will participate in carefully planned excursions that allow you to explore the cultural, historical, and natural features of Costa Rica. These overnight field experiences, combined with required academic components such as readings, research, and written assignments, will increase your understanding of the sites and locales visited.

As an experiential learning method, optional field studies complement the larger academic program and provide you with opportunities to learn in new ways, to gain hands-on experience, and to connect your classroom learning to the world around you.

Optional field studies have an additional fee and are subject to meeting minimum enrollment requirements to run.

Internships

USAC in-person and virtual internships are rich resources for your academic and professional development. Whether onsite or virtually, you will work closely with a USAC Resident Director (RD), an internship coordinator, and a professional supervisor to gain valuable experience and skills that can be applied to your chosen career field. Internships are also a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of Costa Rica, deepen your cross-cultural understanding, and help you develop intercultural communication and language skills in an internationally focused organization or other professional work setting.

Among the many benefits of an internship experience, USAC in-person and virtual internships help you

  • Learn about a career that matches your academic and personal interests
  • Gain practical, hands-on experience
  • Master highly sought-after soft skills such as time management, teamwork, and problem solving
  • Build a network of professional contacts
  • Improve your resume
  • Cultivate intercultural communication skills that are essential in a globalized workforce
  • Develop an understanding of the workplace norms, expectations, and culture of Costa Rica

For eligibility requirements and application information, see the USAC internship page.

For more information about placement options, see the San Ramón internship page.

Quick Details

2020-21 App. Cycle

Spring: Open

2021-22 App. Cycle

Summer Session I (5 weeks): Open

Summer Session II (4 weeks): Open

Summer Session I&II (9 weeks): Open

Fall/Yearlong: Open

Spring: Open

Eligibility

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Program Type

Specialty

Credits

US Credit

Program Capacity

65 students

Instruction

English | Spanish

Passport & Visa

Passport & Visa Information