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Academic Program

The Costa Rica Center hosts all freshman students of LIU Global as well as some visiting studyabroad students. The freshman year provides students with an introduction to experiential education and research methods, college writing, Central American and Caribbean studies, and global studies. In addition to attending regularly scheduled seminars and intensive Spanish language classes, students learn how to plan, evaluate, and document their field work with the support and guidance of faculty members based at the Costa Rica Center in Heredia.

Students develop cross-cultural competency through their interaction with the local population in Costa Rica through homestays, service learning, field trips, and field research. During excursions to different communities in Costa Rica as well as to other countries in the region such as Panama and Nicaragua, students explore the tension between environmental and economic issues and begin to understand how individuals at the local level are affected by decisions made at the global level.nbsp; (For more information about the field trips, see Field Trips & Independent Travel).

During the fall semester, students take the following courses: Foundation Year Orientation Seminar; Latin American Studies; Writing, Research and Documentation; Global Environmental Issues in Latin America and Spanish to earn 16 credits.

The plan of study by semester is listed below. Each semester, students will have an opportunity to participate in field experiences as part of their coursework. In the fall semester, students carry out a one week service learning project with a partner organization in Costa Rica as part of the Foundation Year Orientation Seminar. And in the spring semester, students carry out a two week independent study semester as part of the Methods in Research and Experiential Learning I course.

Previous students have used independent study projects to explore comparative political systems, environmental sustainability, organic agriculture, aquaculture and reforestation, rural development, nutrition and public health, journalism and social change, workers and trade unions, street children, art and activism, dance therapy, ethnomusicology, women’s issues such as violence and self-esteem, human rights and peace studies, and much more.

Fall 2014

Required Courses:

Central American and Caribbean Studies Seminar

3

Foundation Year Orientation Seminar

3

Writing, Research and Documentation Seminar

3

Spanish Language

4

Global Studies I: The Environment and Human Culture

3

Spring 2015

Required Courses:

Spanish

4

Methods in Research and Experiential Learning I: Introduction to Field Research Methods

4

Global Studies II: The World Economy and Global Governance

3

Writing the College Essay OR Globalization in Contemporary World Fiction, Intensive

3

Contemporary Indigenous Peoples in Latin America OR Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship

*Note: Students may apply to take independent study courses which must be approved. One credit is equivalent to approximately 45 hours of work.