What you'll be learning in Costa Rica
Spanish Language Immersion
Through field-work and homestays, students will have opportunities to put their Spanish language skills to use. This course is equivalent to an introductory Spanish language course and includes vocabulary development, grammar, sentence structure, spoken language proficiency, and culture.
Ecology & Species Conservation
Students will explore population structure and growth, species interaction, energy flow through a population system, and environmental management. Through fieldwork and seminars, students will discuss relevant current ecological issues in the field, including the effects of habitat fragmentation and loss, invasive species, and pollution. Students will perform ecological experiments in the field to study animal behavior and population ecology. This course is intentionally designed to compliment the Sustainability and Environmental Studies course so students develop a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between human actions, ecology, and environmental conservation.
Rhetoric and Composition for the College Writer
This course has been designed to develop writing and rhetoric skills by leveraging core content explored through other Verto courses and immersive fieldwork. Students will use essential questions for other courses taken during the semester to contextualize the importance of strong academic writing, develop strong academic prose, and explore the relationship between language and rhetoric.
Sustainability and Environmental Studies
Through fieldwork with local farmers and investigations of consumption and pollution patterns in Costa Rica, students will observe systems in their cultural, economic, political, and human contexts. Texts and seminars will challenge students to examine the core assumptions and values inherent in environmental policies and resource management.