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USAC Puntarenas Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer, Winter

Location:

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Credit:

Resident

Eligibility:

2.5 g.p.a. or endorsement of academic advisors.

Application Due:

9/24 for spring
10/10 for winter
2/24 for fall
3/4 for summer
late applicants are accepted on a space-available basis

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

This program in Puntarenas is administered by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) of which the University of Iowa is a member, and enrolls approximately 60 students from various U.S. colleges and universities. The program allows students to experience the culture and physical beauty of Costa Rica through study in specially designed courses combined with family home stay and some program travel. Students will expand their Spanish language skills through personal interaction with the host culture in the homestay setting, through field trips and optional tours, and in the classroom via accelerated study according to Tracks. The program offers a one week optional tour to northern Costa Rica and Nicaragua, or to Bocas del Toro in Panama, or to Southern Costa Rica, depending on the session. UI students earn resident credit on this program.

Academic Program

Semester:

Students with little or no language study enroll in an accelerated language track that enables them to fulfill two years of college foreign language in one semester. Students in the advanced Spanish level can supplement language and literature with a selection of classes, taught in Spanish or English, in culture, political institutions, tropical ecology and conservation. Field trips constitute an integral part of certain classes. All courses are taught exclusively for program participants by local faculty, with the exception of one or two courses offered each semester by a visiting U.S. faculty member from one of the USAC consortium institutions.

Credit may be applied toward the following General Education Areas: [Foreign Language, Foreign Civilization & Culture, Humanities, Historical Perspectives, Natural Science without laboratory, Health & Physical Activity.] [Foreign Language, Historical Perspectives, Literary, Visual & Performing Arts, International Global Issues, Values, Society & Diversity.] Certain courses satisfy requirements for the Spanish major or minor. Students at the beginning and intermediate Spanish levels are typically limited to accelerated language study.

Summer:

During each session, students typically enroll in one 3 s.h. course supplemented by 1 s.h. courses on various topics. Students interested in Spanish, can choose accelerated language classes at intermediate or advanced levels, or a Latin American literature class. Otherwise, students can take a biology class taught in English (Intro to Tropical Ecology in June, Maintaining Biodiversity in July) or exceptionally in Summer 2012, a course in Technology and Multimedia in Educational Environments. Students can supplement their core study with additional 1 s.h. classes touching on culture, dance, and history. Students with one year of college Spanish may satisfy the Gen Ed Requirement in Foreign Language by participating in the two month session.
UI students earn resident credit on this program, and can earn 4 s.h. - 6 s.h. per month session, depending on the classes selected.

Winter:

During the three week program, students chose one class from among Spanish language (at intermediate or advanced levels), Introduction to Tropical Marine Biology (taught in English) or an introduction to Environmental sustainable practices in Costa Rica (taught in English.)

Program Dates

Semester

Fall: August 16, 2013 – December 6, 2013

Spring: January 17, 2014 - May 16, 2014

Summer

Session I: May 17, 2013 - June 21, 2013 (June 30 if participating in the southern Costa Rica tour)

Session II: June 30, 2013 (June 25 if participating in the southern Costa Rica tour) - August 2, 2013

Students can elect to participate in either or both sessions.

Winter

December 26, 2013 - January 16, 2014

For More Information

More information and instructions are available from the program adviser in the Study Abroad office, 1111 University Capitol Centre.

The National University of Costa Rica and USAC Puntarenas Center

A marine biology lab of the National University is located in Puntarenas. The National University, with over 12,000 students at its main campus in Heredia, is one of four public universities in the country. In addition to undergraduate programs, it offers 16 Masters of Arts degrees and is strong in ecology and education related work. Program classes take place at the USAC Puntarenas Center, a one-story building refurbished for program needs and situated a few blocks from the downtown.

Puntarenas

Puntarenas, meaning Sandy Point, is on the Pacific coast, a two hour bus ride from the capital city of San José. It offers the peace and small town friendliness of a town of 95,000 inhabitants while still within convenient access to the capital.

Puntarenas, meaning Sandy Point, is on the Pacific coast, a two hour bus ride from the capital city of San José. It offers the peace and small town friendliness of a town of 95,000 inhabitants while still within convenient access to the capital.

Costa Rica

The geography of Costa Rica displays a stunning panorama of nature, which includes the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean coasts, mountains that soar to 12,000 feet, lush rain forests and active volcanoes. Enlightened Costa Rica has been a forerunner in the development of national parks and in the preservation of wildlife.

Living Arrangements

Semester:

USAC arranges home stay lodging. The families are located within easy commuting distance to the university. The semester program fee includes room and three meals daily, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If students wish to live in an apartment, the Resident Director will provide information. However, it is the student's responsibility to locate the apartment and to make all rental agreements.

Summer:

USAC arranges home stay lodging. The families are located within easy commuting distance to the university. Room is included in the program fee. For an additional cost, students can also choose to be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

Winter:

USAC arranges home stay lodging. The families are located within easy commuting distance to the university. Room is included in the program fee, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Travel Arrangements

Once accepted to the program, the central USAC office will provide information of the travel agency organizing program group flights.

Eligibility

Minimum eligibility requirements include good academic standing and a GPA of 2.5 or the endorsement of academic advisors.

Costs

Semester:

The Program Fee is charged on the U Bill and covers tuition and fees, orientation, field trips and cultural activities, and a UI administrative fee.

The semester fee Fall 2013 was Resident: $6357, Nonresident: $7,953.

Items not covered by the program fee include housing and meals, books & supplies, optional tours, airfare, visa costs and personal expenses. For an estimate on these consult the USAC Programs Catalog.

The Iowa Regents mandatory international CISI coverage is also collected on the U Bill.

Summer:

The Program Fee is charged on the summer U bill and includes tuition and fees, housing, orientation, some field trips and cultural activities, and a UI administrative fee.

The program fee for summer 2013 for the one month session was $3983 for students that are Iowa residents, and the same for non-residents.
The fee for the two month session was $7752 for students that are Iowa residents and $8816 for non-residents.

Items not covered by the program fee include airfare, meals, books & supplies, course-specific field trips, the optional tour, and personal expenses. For estimates on these consult the USAC Summer Catalog.

The Iowa Regents mandatory international CISI coverage is also collected on the U Bill.

Winter:

The Program Fee is charged on the winter U bill and includes tuition and fees, housing, orientation, some field trips and cultural activities, and a UI administrative fee.

The program fee for winter 2012-13 was $2949 for students that are Iowa residents, and the same for non-residents.

Items not covered by the program fee include airfare, meals, books & supplies, course-specific field trips, the optional tour, and personal expenses. For estimates on these consult the USAC January 2014 Brochure.

The Iowa Regents mandatory international CISI coverage is also collected on the U Bill.

How to Apply

Before starting an online application for this program, students should meet with their study abroad advisor to discuss their program selection and receive information about supplemental materials that are required for an application. Appointments can be set up in person at 1111 UCC or over the phone at 319-335-0353.

After meeting with the study abroad advisor click here to apply.

Application Deadline

Application deadlines are September 20 for spring, October 10 for winter, February 20 for fall or academic year, and March 4 for summer. Late applications may be accepted on a space available basis.

Upon acceptance, students will receive Pre-departure information directly from the program’s central office.

All students attend a general TIPS orientation for UI Students Studying Abroad. Additional small group meetings address specific topics, as well as billing and credit procedures at Iowa.

There are no photos available for this program yet. Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at:

1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802
USA

Phone: (319) 335-0353
Fax: (319) 335-0343
E-mail: study-abroad@uiowa.edu