Why Study In Puntarenas?
The Puntarenas program is ideal for students who are committed to learning the Spanish language and the diverse cultures of Latin America. Through formal coursework and personal interaction with the host culture, you will greatly expand your language skills and knowledge of Costa Rican society. Puntarenas offers a small beach town environment where you'll be able to practice your Spanish regularly and immerse yourself in local culture. Costa Rica as a whole is well known for its extraordinary natural beauty, preserved in its many national parks and reserves, which you will have the opportunity to discover firsthand.
The Puntarenas program offers three diverse academic areas: Spanish Language, Ecological and Latin American Studies. The intensive language approach allows you to complete up to two years of university foreign language coursework in only one semester, so you may meet Spanish minor or major requirements. You may also complement your language curriculum by taking courses in literature, political science, economics, history, art history, biology, ecology and dance.
However, the academic courses are only part of the value of the program. Participation in formal and informal activities also provides valuable learning experiences and interaction with the local culture. These activities include cultural events, village festivals and field trips to the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, the rain forest, nature reserves and parliament and governmental entities. The program also offers a field study course in Latin America and its Cultures. Taking this field study course gives you the opportunity to explore Costa Rica and its culture, environment and contemporary issues on a deeper level outside of the classroom.
Puntarenas And Costa RIca
Puntarenas offers the peace and rural beauty of small beach town, at the same time that it affords easy access to the activities of the capital. Primarily a tourist destination and transportation hub, it is bustling, particularly during the dry season months (November–April). During the wet months (May–October) it is hot with refreshing afternoon showers. The geography of the city is unique since it is located at the end of a sandy peninsula almost 5 miles long, but only 120 to 700 yards wide. Consequently, one is always close to the ocean, and there are many beaches from which to choose.
Costa Rica is well known for its peaceful lifestyle, egalitarian society, stable government, excellent medical care and extraordinary natural beauty. Known as the "Switzerland of Latin America," Costa Rica abolished its military in 1948. Consequently, it has been able to redirect its resources toward the development of its educational system and infrastructure. As a result, today Costa Rica is proud of its healthcare system, literacy rate of more than 93% among its 4 million inhabitants and its political stability.
The geography of Costa Rica displays a stunning panorama of nature, which includes the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean coasts, mountains that soar to 12,000 feet, lush rain forests and smoking volcanoes. Costa Rica has been a forerunner in the development of national parks and in the preservation of wildlife. More than half the country is forested. In its reserves you can see more species of birds than are found in the U.S. and Canada combined, many colorful kinds of butterflies, abundant native wildlife and saltwater fish and mollusks. These factors, combined with ever expanding nature preserves, have made Costa Rica a favorite destination for ecologically oriented tourism from around the world.