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Semester-Long Study Abroad: Costa Rica

Sustainable Development & Social Justice in Latin America (Spring 2021)

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I) Summary

Fall 2020: September 9 - December 6, 2020

Credits Offered: 12 credits

Application Deadline: May 1, 2020

Eligibility Requirements: minimum 3.0 GPA and 12 completed credits at the time of application

Program Fee: $5,705 (estimate) includes homestay housing and partial board, cultural activities, excursions, arrival/departure assistance and international health and travel insurance. TUITION and AIRFARE are NOT included in the program fee. All students are responsible for arriving at their study abroad location by the first day of the program.

Payment Schedule: $350 application fee and deposit is due with the application. $5,355 (program fee balance; estimate) is due June 1, 2020. Payments must be made with certified check or money order. NO CASH, PERSONAL CHECKS OR CREDIT CARDS. Payments should be made at the Office of Education Abroad during office hours. The Office of Education Abroad is currently operating remotely; please contact us by email and we will advise on next steps for submitting your payment.

Students are responsible for meeting the payment deadline regardless of funding source, i.e. Macaulay Opportunities Fund, scholarships, loans, or any other type of financial aid. Late fees will be applied to all delayed payments.

Financial Aid: Please be sure to meet with the Financial Aid Office to discuss your particular financial aid package.

Scholarships: Students interested in applying for the Gilman scholarship should email Stephen Lassonde at In addition to the Gilman Scholarship, students should visit our Scholarships Page for more opportunities.

Important Note on COVID-19: As of now, Winter 2021 and Spring 2021 programs will be running. Please check back here for updates. All Hunter students applying to study abroad in winter or spring 2021, regardless of program type, must first complete a Hunter Education Abroad application.

We are continuing to advise students online! If you'd like to speak with an advisor about studying abroad, you can make an appointment here.

For the latest information CUNY policy related to study abroad travel, please visit the CUNY website.

The Office of Education Abroad will collect applications for Winter 2020-2021 (January term 2021) and Spring 2021 programs.

Our office is in daily communication with its affiliate program partners abroad (program providers and host universities) in order to continuously monitor how the situation might develop over the coming weeks and months. As the situation evolves, we will continue to monitor locations and will work with students on a case-by-case basis should their semester plans be impacted. Our office and program partners are here as a resource to students with questions or concerns about their upcoming study-abroad plans. Should we cancel a Hunter faculty led or sponsored program, students will be informed before any financial commitment to the program. Students should check refund policies directly with providers and airlines before purchasing their tickets.

We know that the uncertainty around COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and related travel restrictions is causing anxiety for students who have been planning to study abroad. Please reach out to your program for any questions related to program cancellations, refunds, or deferments.

The choice to study abroad is a personal one and the Office of Education Abroad will do our best to support students in their decision, together with our partner organizations.

Given the uncertainty around COVID-19 and international travel this January and Spring 2021, you should start thinking about a contingency plan should your program of choice be canceled. You should register for on-campus classes for January 2021 and Spring 2021 when your registration opens.


II) Program Description

Hunter College joins forces with the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) and Universidad Latina to offer our first semester-long study abroad program. This interdisciplinary program will introduce students to various aspects of development studies, giving them the opportunity to get involved in a local community and contribute to human development in Costa Rica. In addition, the program trip will allow students to compare and contrast human development aspects in Costa Rica and another country.

Students will be housed with selected families in San José, Costa Rica's capital and one of Latin America's safest cities. The program will include various cultural activities as well as day trips. It will also offer 2 longer excursions, one of them a 4-day trip to a neighboring country. Most weekends will be free to give students the opportunity to explore Costa Rica's famous beaches, volcanoes and rain forests.

The mandatory courses:

1. Spanish Language: depending on their level, students will be able to get credits for Hunter SPAN 101, 102, 201, 202, 211, or 221. Students who already have credits for all these courses will replace the Spanish Language course by Central American Literature (see below).

2. Community Engagement and Sustainable Human Development: A Service-learning Course (Hunter credits for LACS 330.00)

Choice of 2 of the following courses:

1. Current Environmental Issues in Latin America (Hunter credits for PGEOG 38365 - Prereq: GEOL 105, GEOG 226 or PGEOG 130) - SYLLABUS
2. Rural and Urban Sustainable Development: Global and Local Perspectives (Hunter credits for GEOG 24500 - Prereq: ENGL 120, and GEOG 10100 or GEOG 15000 or permission from instructor) - SYLLABUS
3. Development in Latin America from a Gender Perspective (Hunter credits for WGSL 29003) - SYLLABUS
4. Democracy in Central America: An Ongoing Question (Hunter credits for POLSC 27229) - SYLLABUS
5. Human Rights in Latin America (Hunter credits for POLSC 27270) - SYLLABUS 
6. Central American Literature [taught in Spanish] (Hunter credit for SPAN 37100 - Prereq: SPAN 34100; permission from advisor.) - SYLLABUS

Credits & Grades: Students will only receive credits if their converted grade is "C" or above. Letter grades for this program will appear on the transcript, but will not count towards the Hunter GPA. If grades convert to below C (C- to F), they will appear on the transcript as F.

Informational Videos:

  • Development Studies & Cultural Immersion with ICDS
  • Service Learning: Community Work Opportunities with ICDS
  • Hunter students speak about their experiences with ICDS in Costa Rica
  • Homestays with ICDS

    III) Estimated Costs of Attendance

    Tuition (12 credits, calculated at the undergraduate, in state rate) $3,465 (estimate, based on 2019-2020 tuition rate)
    Program Fee $5,705 (estimate)
    Not included in Program Fee (estimates)
    Airfare $600
    Local Transportation / Meal / Books $850
    TOTAL US (estimate)

    IV) Further Inquiries

    Administrative Inquiries
    Education Abroad Office, Room E1447
    Contact Us!

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    Education Abroad website feedback:
    Office of Education Abroad, Room E1447
    (212) 772-4983 | email us
    695 Park Ave
    NY, NY 10065