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Offerings: Spring 2014
Field Study
Program Fee

Sustainable Global Stewardship Program
Condensed Spring Semester: 9 February - 10 April, 2014

This program is offered in conjunction with our partners:
University of Redlands (U.S.A.) & Universidad de San José (Costa Rica)
Also open to students from other campuses


Past group at a local conservation
project as we prepare for a
tree-planting activity.


Top of page

The Spring semester program has the following prerequisites:
.  A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4 point scale.
.  Successful completion of 15 semester credits at an accredited college or university, or prior approval.
.  Personal qualities that will facilitate a safe and supportive experience for all, as well as a sincere interest in learning and contributing positively to the program (see ' General Requirements ').
.  Recommended (not required): Prior Spanish language study and/or other appropriate experience, and successful completion of an introductory environmental studies, global systems, community development, or related course.

Top of page Field Study & Volunteer Work
In addition to time spent in the classroom in San Ramón, the Spring semester program includes substantial field study in the region. This educational travel typically includes the following:
•  Day-long and multiple-day field trips to
appropriate sites in Costa Rica (e.g., sustainable businesses, organic farms, watershed conservation sites, renewable energy projects, private reserves, national parks, volcanoes, community ecotourism projects). See Field Study Locations for more information.
• An extended field excursion (typically four days) in Southwestern Nicaragua (e.g., Rivas, Managua, Masaya, Granada); including extensive field study, cultural events, and volunteer work.
• Volunteer service-learning work at selected field study sites. Possible sites include, but are not limited to, the following: Organic agriculture, sustainable businesses, environmental education, social work, environmental conservation, ecotourism, and housing construction for low-income families.
NOTE: See selected postings, photos & video from previous years in the MediaBlog.
For additional information on these locations, see the links page.

Top of page Course Work
This program provides an in-depth, hands-on learning experience in Costa Rica, as well as a field excursion to Nicaragua. Because the curriculum is extremely interdisciplinary in nature (and no Spanish is required), the program is suitable for all majors. Twelve (12) to sixteen (16) units of academic credit are provided by the University of Redlands (UR) for students from that campus. Other students are provided with nine (9) to twelve (12) units through the University of San José (USJ) in Costa Rica. For more information, see the Academic Credit section of the 'Offerings' page. Courses are listed below. All participants will typically enroll in the first three courses, and select from the appropriate Spanish course. If at the advanced Spanish level, participants may arrange other independent work in place of selecting a Spanish course. All courses are taught in English with the exception of the Spanish courses, which will include practical application of the language.

  Possible Volunteer Work Sites  
A few possible volunteer work sites: Organic farming, construction,
and composting.


Applied Sustainability in Central America
An interdisciplinary field-based synthesis of fundamental issues related to sustainability in Central America. Emphasis on tropical ecosystems and environmental sustainability in Costa Rica: Natural history, environmental conservation, ecotourism, agriculture, land use, and/or urban ecology. Includes classroom lecture and discussion; field planning, synthesis & program integration; and field study/volunteer service-learning work in community development, environmental protection, social programs, and/or other areas as appropriate. For more information, see online course materials, or see a tentative syllabus here (Adobe pdf document),
UoR Credit: EVST 360; Advanced Topics in Environmental Studies (4 units)
USJ Credit
: BCB 120; Educación para Desarrollo Sostenible
(3 units)

Costa Rican Culture Immersion
Experiential learning in Costa Rican society and culture: Foundations, behaviors, and patterns. Includes thematic explorations, guided cultural immersion, contrast of regional & home-culture variations, and practical ethnographic field work. No prerequisite. See a tentative syllabus here (Adobe pdf document).
UoR Credit: LAST 260; Topics in Latin American Studies (4 units)
USJ Credit: BE 116; Educación Sociedad y Cultura (3 units)


Visit to Organic Coffee Farm

Learning about sustainable agriculture at a local field site

*Elementary Conversational Spanish
An intensive introductory Spanish course for students with little or no previous experience. Emphasis is on oral practice of themes used in everyday life while living in Costa Rica so as to provide the skills needed to communicate effectively in various aspects of the host culture on a day-to-day basis. No prerequisite. Three undergraduate units. See a tentative syllabus here (Adobe pdf document).
UoR Credit: SPAN 101; First Year Spanish (4 units)
redit: BE 105; Español Básico y Laboratorio Pedagógico (3 units)

*Intermediate Spanish
An intensive intermediate Spanish course for students who have recently completed at least one-year of college-level Spanish. Emphasis is on review of vocabulary and sentence structure, as well as oral practice in everyday life while living in Costa Rica. Prerequisite: Immediately preceded by Spanish 101 (a) at Redlands, or one year of college Spanish. Instructor approval required. See a tentative syllabus here (Adobe pdf document).
UoR Credit: SPAN102; First Year Spanish (4 units)
USJ Credit: BEE 128; Español y Laboratorio Pedagógico II (3 units)

Individual & Group Projects in Sustainable Global Stewardship (Optional Offering)
A personalized in-depth learning opportunity in Sustainable Global Stewardship within the Costa Rican context. Includes consultations with the professor, independent study, and/or community service learning work. Possible themes include agriculture, land use, sustainable business, environmental conservation, sustainable energy, community development, ecotourism, regional studies, social services, or other topics as approved. See examples of past projects in the MediaBlog, and a tentative syllabus here (Adobe pdf document).
UoR Credit: EVST/LAST 360; Advanced Topics in Environmental Studies (4 units)
USJ Credit: EDG 021; Métodos y Ténicas de Investigación (3 units)

NOTE:* Participants will enroll in one level of Spanish, depending on their experience level, unless they are advanced Spanish speakers.

Spring Semester Calendar

Tentative Spring calendar
(click on image to view pdf, or
see the online EEI calendar)


Top of page Calendar
The unique condensed semester calendar is approximately nine (9) weeks in length, yet affords the participants up to fifteen (15) units of academic credit along with significant field study
and volunteer work. This arrangement facilitates an in-depth immersion experience, while still providing participants personal time on their own in San Ramón and during extended weekends. A typical week consists of six days of programmed activities: Two to five days in the classroom, and one to four days in the field. Although this design requires more attention to studies during the program, it has the benefit of ending early during spring semester, thus allowing participants to stay in-country after the program has ended (or arriving prior to the start of the program) for either additional volunteer opportunities or personal travel on their own (Note: See 'Important Travel Notes' below). To view the tentative calendar for the semester, click here (Adobe pdf document).

1. Visitors to Costa Rica are only granted a 90-day visa upon arrival. Thus, if participants wish to arrive prior to the start of the program on their own, they must do so NO EARLIER THAN MID-JANUARY. Early arrivals or extended stays will also necessitate purchasing additional travel insurance on your own. The included insurance is valid ONLY for the dates of the program.
2. When planning your flight, please note that IT IS NECESSARY TO COORDINATE ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE DATES/TIMES if you would like to take advantage of provided transport to/from the airport. See the 'Arrival' section on the 'Preparation' page for details.

Top of page Location & Accommodations
The principal location of the program will be San Ramón, Costa Rica, where participants will live with Costa Rican families. For more details, see 'Living Accommodations'. When in town, classes will be held at the San Ramón Campus of the University of San José, which also provides other facilities and logistical support. When traveling elsewhere in the region, lodging is provided by field stations, hotels, community projects, or other appropriate facilities. Selected postings from past field study and volunteer work are available in the MediaBlog.

Top of page Faculty
Courses will be taught by regular EEI faculty and occasional visiting professors. See the Staff section of the 'About Us' page for details on credentials, professional and teaching experience, and other information of interest. Additionally, specialists in the field will provide many guest lectures at different sites.


Typical Field Study

Typical field study: Learning about tropical forest conservation while touring a national park



Top of page Program Fee
University of Redlands students will make all arrangements through the Study Abroad Office on campus. Participants from other campuses must apply directly to EEI as outlined on the 'Admission' page, and a pay a comprehensive fee (please contact us for further information). The comprehensive fee includes the vast majority of in-country expenses associated with the program, including the following:
- All homestay costs in San Ramón (lodging, three meals per day & laundry service)
- All in-country transportation, including airport pickup & drop-off
Field study travel costs: Lodging, entrance fees, translation, & accompaniment
- Twelve units of academic credit from the University of Redlands
(or the Universidad de San José in Costa Rica for non-Redlands students)
- Personalized pre-departure planning & advising
- Use of our partner university facilities in San Ramón (e.g., computers & internet)
Some meals during field study travel (1+ meals/day)
- In-country orientation & most cultural activities
- Fourteen days of field study travel in Costa Rica
- Four day field excursion to Nicaragua
- Local personal, logistical & emergency support
- Additional volunteer opportunities

Participants are responsible for obtaining their own passport as well as arranging and purchasing international airfare, required travel insurance, course materials, and paying the required Costa Rica exit tax when they depart. You will also need spending money for some meals, as well as a few minor additional costs (e.g. local bus fare) during program travel. Although you will have internet access at the university, you may also choose to use local internet cafes at your own (very reasonable) cost. University of Redlands participants will receive an in-country stipend to offset these costs. For others, scholarship money is available from external sources (see costs), and most financial aid can be applied to offset program fees. Please note that expenses for such things as souvenirs, required personal items, or any personal travel not associated with the program are the responsibility of the individual, and could be as much as $100 per week.

Top of page Application
University of Redlands students will make all arrangements through the Study Abroad Office on campus. Non-Redlands students must apply directly to EEI. See the 'Admission' page for details. Please note the application deadline of 1 October, 2013.

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