Duke in Costa Rica
A 4-WEEK SUMMER SPANISH LANGUAGE & GLOBAL HEALTH PROGRAM
STUDY COSTA RICA’S CULTURE, LANGUAGE, AND HEALTH SYSTEMSApply Now
This one-course program is based in Turrialba, Costa Rica, a scenic town located just 40 miles from the capital city, San José. Turrialba provides an ideal setting for gaining an understanding of key community health issues in Costa Rica while developing advanced Spanish language skills. On this program you’ll earn one Duke credit through an immersive signature course built around classroom and community interactions.
Program Fast Facts
Location: Turrialba, Costa Rica
Term: Summer I
Dates: May 21 to June 23, 2024
Application Deadline: February 1st
Academic Theme(s): Spanish Language, Global Health
Credit Type: Duke Credit
Eligibility: Open to all majors. Must have completed Spanish 204 or the equivalent (4 semesters of college-level Spanish). Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.
Duke Affiliation: Duke Department of Romance Studies
Housing: Homestay Families
Primary Contact: Bethzaida Fernandez
In Turrialba Central Park
Enjoying coffee tasting
Picking coffee, Aquiares, Turrialba
Visit to the National Shrine, Basilica de los Angeles, Cartago
Afternoon stroll in Turrialba Central Park
At the Aquiares coffee processing plant
Picking coffee experience, Aquiares, Turrialba
You’ll enroll in one course for one Duke course credit, focusing on Spanish language, Latin American culture, and the Costa Rican health system. The course may be used to count toward Spanish major or minor requirements. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted.
SPANISH 306A / GLHLTH 326A
Language, Culture, and Health in Costa Rica
CCI, FL 1.0 Credit
Instructor: Prof. Bethzaida Fernandez
Prerequisite: Spanish 204 or equivalent (4th semester Spanish/Advanced Intermediate)
This course will develop advanced Spanish language skills and introduce you to key issues surrounding community health in Costa Rica. This immersion experience is built around classroom and community interactions. You will participate in class discussions, presentations, community interactions, and visits to local sites related to health, as well as talks by guest speakers. Additional cultural activities and field trips will deepen your knowledge of the community and cultural understanding. Assessment is based on language and content of written and oral projects.
In addition to visits to local clinics and hospitals, you will have an opportunity to participate in excursions and explorations. Past activities have included trips to:
- Irazú Volcano
- La Paz waterfalls
- local indigenous communities
- immigrant communities
- national monuments and museums
- coffee farms
HOUSING & MEALS
You will stay with carefully selected local homestay families, which will help enrich your linguistic and cultural experience. Families will provide two meals per day (breakfast and dinner) and laundry options. The program site visits will include lunch on most occasions. Students should budget for approximately 11 lunches and 2 dinners on their own.
These costs are estimated based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change.
Explanation of Costs
The program fee for this program includes:
- Meals (breakfast and dinner with host family, most lunches included in site visits)
- International SOS Coverage
- Program-sponsored activities and excursions
- Orientation program
- Internet usage
- Mobile phone
- Some local transportation
What is not included?
Use the following list to assist with budgeting for expenses outside the program fee. This list contains common examples but should not be considered exhaustive.
- Airport transportation to/from host site
- For 11 lunches and 2 dinners, you will be on your own
- On-site accident and health insurance policy
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Access to activities such as sports, lectures, social gatherings, etc. at host university
- Visa and/or residency permit (if needed)
- Textbooks and class materials
- Independent travel and entertainment
- Items of a personal nature
U.S. citizens do not need a visa for this program. However, if you are not a U.S. citizen, you may need a visa. Please be sure to research the cost of obtaining a visa, including any required travel to a consulate or embassy.
If you receive financial aid, and need assistance with travel costs, please contact your financial aid counselor.
Personal expenses can fluctuate greatly depending upon habits and preferences of the individual. It’s also wise to budget for unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies. You can use a cost-of-living comparison tool to get an idea of what daily life costs in the program host location.
Step 1: Upon acceptance to the program, you must submit the Summer Participation Agreement found in your MyExperientialEd application to confirm your enrollment. A parent/guardian’s co-signature is required. This form takes the place of a deposit.
NOTE: If you withdraw after March 15, you will be charged a cancellation fee for voluntary withdrawal. Fees range from $2,000-3,000.
Step 2: Summer invoices will be sent via email to your Duke email address and home email address. Remit payment to the Bursar per due date and address indicated on your online statement. Consult the Duke Bursar's office billing schedule for payment due dates.
Duke students receiving institutional need-based grant aid are eligible for aid for this program; work-study funds are converted to grants. Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.
Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.
This program offers the following scholarship opportunities:
Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted.
- Arrival: May 21, 2024
- Departure: June 23, 2024
You will need to make your own housing arrangements if you will be arriving before the program start date or leaving later than the program end date.
VISA & PASSPORT
No visa is required of U.S. citizens to participate in this program. However, you must have proof of a return ticket in order to enter Costa Rica. Non U.S. citizens should check visa requirements for their specific citizenship by contacting the Costa Rican embassy to find out if any visa requirements or restrictions are in effect.
All participants must have a valid passport. Make sure your passport has at least six months of validity beyond the program end date to avoid unintended disruptions. For instructions on obtaining or renewing your U.S. passport, visit passports.state.gov.
PROGRAM FACULTY & STAFF
The Duke in Costa Rica program director can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the Global Education Office.
Deadline: February 1st
This program has rolling admission. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until the program fills; after that, qualified students are added to a waitlist and notified of openings. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered. Application opens November 1.
Eligibility: Open to all majors. Must have completed Spanish 204 or the equivalent (4 semesters of college-level Spanish).
Physical Demands: The program includes several field trips and activities that will involve walking and hiking. None are exceptionally strenuous, but if you have concerns or questions about such activities, feel free to contact the program director.
Priority: Priority is given to applicants who apply early and meet the language prerequisite.
Minimum GPA: There is no minimum GPA.
Non-Duke students: This program is open to all majors and applicants from accredited colleges and universities. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.
GEO policy for graduating seniors who wish to apply for a Duke summer study abroad/away program:
Students must be active, matriculated students in order to participate in any Duke-in summer programs, including Duke’s domestic summer programs. All program courses must be taken for graded credit. If seniors plan to graduate in May of the year they plan to study abroad in the summer, they will not be eligible to participate on any of our summer programs unless they receive approval from their academic dean at Duke to delay their graduation until after the summer program has ended.
Non-Duke students planning to graduate in May in the year they plan to study abroad in the summer must provide approval to delay their graduation until after the summer program has ended from the appropriate official at their home institution. Such approval must be furnished in writing to GEO before the student will be allowed to participate in the summer program. This approval may be sent via email to the appropriate program assistant at GEO.
Duke students who defer their graduation to participate in study abroad should consult with their financial aid advisor in the Duke Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid to determine whether they are eligible for a summer aid package and/or a GEO summer scholarship.
Please start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.
- Online application
- Transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted before submitting their transcript.
- GEO Language Questionnaire
- Personal statement (preferably in Spanish), one-two pages double spaced, including the following:
- Describe your experience learning Spanish to date, and if you're currently taking Spanish at Duke. If you have not taken a Spanish class at Duke, detail how many years you have studied Spanish, where, and the type of work you did during those studies (for example, types of reading and writing assignments).
- Describe your experiences traveling abroad, your interest in health related topics, and your interest in Latin American culture and society. Explain why you are interested in Costa Rica specifically, how this experience can enhance your academic and career goals, and how it can benefit you on the whole.
- One language recommendation, preferably from a Duke Spanish language instructor.*
Choose one of the following options to learn more about the program:
- Attend an Info Session. More details forthcoming.
- Email Program Director Prof. Bethzaida Fernandez to schedule a brief conversation with her, to take place before February 1.
*If you have not taken a Spanish course at Duke, please request a letter of recommendation from a non-language professor, then email the Program Director to set up an interview to assess your language level. Recommendation letters from high school teachers will not be accepted.