Summer Program (Pilot program for Summer 2013)
The Summer 2013 Costa Rica Program through CIAPA (Centro de Investigación y Adiestramiento Político Administrativo) will take place at CIAPA's strategically designed study center, located in San Jose. Students going on this program take three courses and will earn a full term of 3 Union credits by studying in CIAPA. Because the program occurs during the summer, participants will select one term in the academic year following the program in which they will not attend Union. Through coursework and a service learning component, Union College students will have an opportunity to better understand to the public policy debate for the solution of economic, political, and social problems in Latin America and particularly Central America.
Course of Study
Five courses will be offered over the six-week period: Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Tropical Forests; Social Justice Service Learning; Internship focused on Social Justice; upper level Spanish; and an Independent Study Course on Latin American Governments. Students will be required to take three courses. The Climate Change and Independent Study on Latin American Governments courses are mandatory. Students may choose between the Spanish course, the Social Justice Service Learning Course or the Internship for their third class.
The centerpiece of the program is a course on Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Tropical Forests. This course, taught in English, explores the complexity, beauty, and diversity of tropical forests as genetic and biochemical resources. Students will: learn to distinguish among rainforests, cloud forests, and dry forests; explore the relationships among plants, animals, soils, water, and climate; learn about the social, economic, and political issues and effects of world climate change. This course involves several weekend trips to forest preserves, national parks, beaches, and volcanoes.
In the Latin American independent study course the student will work closely with his/her professor to develop coursework focused on Latin American Governments.
Students will choose one of the three courses listed below:
The Service Learning Social Justice course, taught in English, explores the notions of citizenship and concepts of social justice in Latin America from a theoretical perspective, and will be supplemented with a practical application in the community through a 40-hour Service Learning placement.
Spanish courses at intermediate and advanced levels will be taken at the University of Costa Rica, one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the region. The language classes will improve your written and conversational Spanish abilities. Note: These courses will only be offered if a minimum of four students enrolls in each level.
Finally, the Social Justice Internship includes placement within a variety of local governmental and non-governmental entities that will host students as interns. Students will have the opportunity to work within organizations promoting civic education, the protection of human rights, or school drop-out prevention.
Students will live in a dormitory that is part of the CIAPA campus.
(For specific dates, contact the International Programs Office, Old Chapel, Third Floor.)
• September: Application deadline is the third Friday of fall term.
• October: Non-refundable deposit due at the Cashier's Office in McKean House, and receipt brought to the International Programs Office
• Winter term: Orientation meetings
• Mid-June: Program begins
• End of July: Program ends