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WISE Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Fact Sheet:
Housing Option:
Home stay Minimum GPA: 2.5
Program Type: Group
Language of Instruction:
Spanish
Earned Hours Required: 12 S.H. Language Courses Offered: Spanish
Program Advisor: Kim McDaniel Areas of Study: Spanish
Courses Offered: Spanish FL/GI Requirement: Yes
Number of Semester Hours: 6 Term: Summer
Graduate credit available: No
Program Description:
Important Dates
Financial Information


PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The Western Illinois Spanish Experience-Costa Rica program (WISE Costa Rica) offers a four-week immersion in Spanish language and culture while also providing on-site guidance and mentoring by a Department of Foreign Languages faculty member.  Excursions and tours of historical and cultural sites provide a greater understanding of Costa Rican history and culture.  Lodging with host families improves your Spanish proficiency and gives you opportunities to make life-long connections.  Extracurricular activities such as Costa Rican cooking, Tropical Dance lessons, and yoga classes allow you to explore other facets of Costa Rican culture and interact with your fellow WIU and Veritas students.
 
This Study Abroad Program is conducted in cooperation with the Center for International Programs at Universidad Veritas in San José, Costa Rica.  Founded in 1975, it enjoys an excellent reputation within the Latin American academic community and is accredited by the Ministry of Education of Costa Rica as a degree granting university.  Its location in San José provides convenient access to the natural beauty of Costa Rica as well as the rich cultural heritage found in the capital city.  With an enrollment of over 1,500 students, it offers much more than Spanish instruction; it is a niche for you to develop your cultural abilities.


COURSE INFORMATION:
Credit offered:  SPAN 361 (taught by Foreign Languages faculty) and a Spanish language course (taught by Universidad Veritas instructors and equated to appropriate WIU course), 3 sh each, Summer 2015.  Credit for the Spanish language course will depend on courses previously taken and is determined by Foreign Languages.  Placement is based on pre-departure placement tests (online written exam and Skype oral interview) administered by Veritas staff. 

Please check with your academic adviser for more information about how these classes fit your specific academic plans.

Class sessions for both SPAN 361 and the Spanish language course will take place on-site in Costa Rica.  You are also required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation session conducted by the Office of Study Abroad (date/location TBA, Spring 2015). 

Class participation, including attendance, is expected in all phases of the Program.  You must attend and participate in your Spanish course, interact appropriately with your host family, other group members, and other students at Veritas, and participate in all scheduled activities.  Attendance, active participation, and other assignments are required for the SPAN 361 course.  Questions about the course content or requirements for SPAN 361 should be directed to Dr. Munia Cabal-Jimenez. 


ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: For general acceptance to Study Abroad.  Any additional or class specific requirements are listed below
Undergraduates Graduates
Completed at least 12 semester hours Accepted to graduate degree program
Minimum 2.5 overall GPA Approval of graduate adviser and department chair/program director
Good standing with Student Judicial Programs Good standing with Student Judicial Programs

Course specific: Clearance from the Department of Foreign Languages required. 

All majors welcome!  Preference will be given to Spanish majors/minors. 

Total enrollment is limited to 20 students. 


IMPORTANT DATES
Dates of Travel: May 31-June 27, 2015
On-campus class sessions: All class sessions held on-site in Costa Rica June 1-26, 2015
Pre-departure meeting: TBA, Spring 2015

Application deadline: Early February 2015
Non-refundable deposit: Due early March 2015.  Estimated amount: $1,000 based on previous offerings.
All students must submit a Study Abroad Medical Report showing medical clearance to participate, pay the $45 application fee, and upload proof of passport prior to deposit.
Second payment: Due early April 2015.  Estimated amount: $1,000
Final payment (approx.): Due early May 2015.  Estimated amount: $1,800-$2,100 based on previous offerings


FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Estimated cost: Based on previous offerings, program cost is estimated to be $3,800-$4,100 per person.  Updated figures available January 2015.
This is an estimate and is subject to change.  Please see the Budget Sheet for details on included items, payment options, and cancellation/refund information.

Funding opportunities:
• A Study Abroad Travel Grant is available for this Program.  More information and application
• The Department of Foriegn Languages and Literatures is offering scholarships for Spanish/Foreign Languages majors in this program.  For more information and an application, please visit their Scholarships and Resources page and look for the Vivian Diana Kline and Lenore Huston Kline Scholarship for Study Abroad.
• A variety of scholarships are available for Study Abroad.  Please see our Scholarships page for more details.
• Most forms of Financial Aid can be used for Study Abroad.  Please contact the Financial Aid Office about your specific program and situation.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Passport: A passport is required.  Passports should be valid for at least three months beyond departure from Costa Rica (valid until at least September 28, 2015) and have one blank page for entry stamp.  Passports should be in good condition. Costa Rican Immigration may deny entry if a passport is damaged in any way.

If you need to apply for a passport, standard processing is $135 and takes 4-6 weeks.  Expedited service is available for an additional charge.  For application locations in Macomb and other useful informaiton, see the Passport Information page.
A copy of your actual passport must be uploaded to your online application no later than April 15, 2015.  Failure to meet this deadline will result in removal from the group flight and possilbe increased costs.

Visa: US Citizens--A visa is not required for stays of less than 90 days.  When you leave Costa Rica, you will have to pay a departure tax. The cost of the departure tax ($29 USD as of 8/15/14) is not included in the program cost.

Citizens of other countries must check with the Spanish Consulate in Chicago to determine if they need a visa.  Students are responsible for determining their visa status and obtaining any required travel documents themselves.  Costs associated with these documents are not included in the program cost.


HEALTH PRECAUTIONS
Walking--Expect to walk 1-2 miles daily, mostly in an urban environment.  It is not consecutive but scheduled throughout the day.  Some walking in San Jose and on excursions will be on hills.

Dietary--Because some meals are included in the program cost, you are strongly encouraged to contact either Dr. Cabal-Jimenez or Kim McDaniel if you have any food allergies or other dietary restrictions.  They can help you make advance arrangements regarding food choices that meet your specific needs.

Accessibility and accommodation may be very different than that found in the United States.  Many buildings are inaccessible and wheelchair lifts on public transportation do not always work.  Please contact the Disability Resource Center for questions on the availability of accommodations for your specifc situation.


HEALTH INSURANCE (required)
All participants must have international health insurance for the time they will be on their Program.  This requirement can be met in one of the following ways:
• WIU student health insurance
• A supplemental policy purchased through International Medical Group

Additional information about the insurance requirement is included in the application materials.  Participants are urged to carfeully read this information to make sure they have the correct coverage.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Lodging: Homestays, usually 2 students per host family, gender separated.  Host families are selected and hired by Veritas.  Placements are based on a pre-departure questionnaire.  Homestay assignments are at the discretion of Veritas administration.

Tentative itinerary
Tentative syllabus


CONTACT INFORMATION
Faculty leader                                Study Abroad Adviser
Foreign Languages Dr. Munia Cabal-Jimenez Kim McDaniel
332 Morgan Hall 305A Morgan Hall 8 Horrabin Hall
298-1558 298-2335 298-2504
languages@wiu.edu M-Cabal-Jimenez@wiu.edu KD-McDaniel@wiu.edu
 

WIU reserves the right to cancel this faculty-led program due to insufficient enrollment or
circumstances beyond the University's control and to adjust the total cost of the program.
8/15/14


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2015 02/01/2015 02/15/2015 05/31/2015 06/27/2015