GBL 252 IS COSTA RICA: LANGUAGE, CULTURE, & ECOTOURISM 4 S.H.
The course is an interdisciplinary study combining language, culture, society, and the environment. Course objectives include improving conversational Spanish ability, basic understanding of Costa Rica’s development and current issues. Elon students will live with Costa Rican families in a suburban neighborhood and will use public buses and taxis to get around the city. Eight nights will be spent outside of the San Jose area near national parks. Costa Rica is a nation of 5 million people in Central America between Nicaragua and Panama. Unlike other Central American countries which experienced political turmoil in the 1980’s, Costa Rica has a long-standing democratic tradition which makes it the most peaceful nation in the region. Over 60 years ago, Costa Rica abolished its army and devoted its resources to education, health care and economic development. It has since become a popular destination for ecotourism. Elon’s program is based in the capital city of San Jose, a metropolitan area with a population of 600,000 whose inhabitants enjoy a mild climate which requires neither heating nor air conditioning.
Prerequisite: GBL 152 and SPN 121 or two years of high school Spanish. Application and acceptance required. Additional travel fee is required. Counts toward Society or Civilization requirement, and satisfies one unit of experiential learning toward fulfillment of the Experiential Learning Requirement. Counts as an elective for the Latin American studies minor.
- Grades count toward an Elon GPA.
- Study abroad courses may not be taken on an audit or pass/fail basis.
Prerequisite Preparatory Seminar: GBL 152
This Winter Term course has a required one semester-hour fall prerequisite preparatory seminar course associated with it. Students accepted into the Winter Term course will be automatically registered for the associated fall course. There is no additional cost for the prerequisite preparatory seminar course for students who are registered full-time even if the one credit creates an overload for a student's registration.
It is Elon University policy that students who are registered part-time for the fall semester will be charged the additional one credit hour of tuition for the fall prerequisite preparatory seminar course. Students will also be charged four credit hours of tuition for Winter Term in addition to the program fees. If students contact the Bursar's office to verify that they will be enrolled full-time in the spring semester, the four hours of Winter Term tuition will not be collected.
There will also be a required meeting about the course in April.
Spring Meeting Information
The Spring meeting will meet on Monday, April 8, 5 p.m., location TBD.
Fall Course Meeting Information
The fall pre-departure course will meet on Wednesdays from 05:30-07:10 p.m., location TBA.
Additional Course Information
All levels of Spanish proficiency are accepted. A simple placement test will be administered on the second day to place you in the appropriate level of language instruction.
Activity Level: Moderate
Activity levels are rated to fit into one of four categories: easy going, moderate, challenging and demanding. This program is rated as moderate, which means you will spend much of the day exploring. Whether walking through historic neighborhoods at a moderate pace or out and about on a coach, your days will be full. You'll need to keep up with the group, including stairs and moderate movement.
Students are required to take the fall pre-departure course associated with this Winter Term course. All students will automatically be registered for the pre-departure course but must register themselves for the Winter Term course during registration for Winter Term.
To cancel your participation in a program, complete the Winter Term Withdrawal questionnaire in your application.
The tentative dates for the program are January 2-22, 2020.
While official flight itineraries are typically distributed in early September, the tentative group departure/return point is TBD.
Note: This information is subject to change based on airline changes and cancellations.
- Spanish language and society classes
- Homestays with Costa Rican families
- Visiting a coffee plantation
- Tortuguero Rainforest
- Monteverde Cloud Forest
- The National Theatre and Gold Museum
- Visiting a spa with spring water heated by a volcano
- Cartago, colonial capital of Costa Rica
- Other outdoor activities including whitewater rafting
Note: Itinerary is subject to change due to availability of local facilities and scheduling issues.
Students will be housed in homestays in San José. Students will be housed in shared accommodations outside San José.
Costs for global study vary program to program and are in addition to the tuition for Winter Term (included in fall semester tuition/bill).
Basic cost information is available on the Cost and Credit Chart.
Detailed cost information is available on the budget sheet.
Students seeking need-based financial support are encouraged to apply for the GEC Access Scholarship.
For additional information on scholarships or other funding for global engagement, see the Financial Planning for Global Study page or the financial planning section of our FAQs.
If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your program.
Ready to apply?
Click "apply now" from this brochure to get started, and complete your application by the deadline listed below.
If applications are not yet available, see the deadlines webpage
for information on when this program will be accepting applications.
See the application instructions webpage
for more information on the application requirements and process.