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*WCU Spring Break in Costa Rica: Tropical Biology of Costa Rica
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Costa Rica (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Spring Break
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Restrictions: WCU applicants only
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Dates / Deadlines:
Tabular data for Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Break 2019 09/21/2018 10/01/2018 03/09/2019 03/16/2019
NOTE: Please note that dates and costs are tentative and subject to change. Contact the Program Director listed below for the most updated information.
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Fact Sheet:
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Language of Instruction: English Minimum GPA: 3.0
Housing Options: Other (see "accommodations" section below for details) Max Credits Offered: 3
Area of Study: Biology, Ecology Program Type: WCU Faculty/Staff-Led Program Abroad
Credit Type: Direct WCU Credit Available to Non-WCU Students?: No
Faculty/Staff Director: Jessica Schedlbauer
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Academic Level:
Junior, Senior
College: Sciences & Mathematics
Program Description:
Program Description:
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
This course will explore aspects of tropical biology from a primarily field-based perspective, though the course will also incorporate structured lecture and discussions.  Students will learn about lowland tropical rainforest ecology, Costa Rica's progressive environmental initiatives, and the Sarapiquí region's land-use history.  While traveling, students will spend significant time in lowland tropical rainforests, meet with local scientists, and learn about ecologically-sound agricultural practices, coffee and chocolate production systems, and genetic/species diversity in tropical crop species.  Note that field and classroom activities will typically require 10+ hours of student time per day during the trip.  Also note that this is a 3-credit Biology Elective with all the typical academic rigor of a 400-level course.
 
Students are only eligible for this course if they have a 3.0 cumulative GPA, have successfully completed BIO 270 (General Ecology), and are junior or senior science majors.  Because this class is limited to 10 students, the application process will be competitive: all applicants must submit an application essay and meet with Dr. Schedlbauer in person prior to the application deadline.
 
The class will meet on-campus four times (attendance is mandatory) from 1:30-4 PM on the following Fridays: 2/1/19, 2/15/19, 3/1/19, & 3/29/19.  Travel to Costa Rica over Spring Break 2019 (3/9/19-3/16/19) is also a requirement of this course. 
 
LOCATION
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí and Turrialba, Costa Rica
 
ACCOMMODATION
Shared hotel rooms and shared rooms at a field station
 
LANGUAGE
All instruction for this program will be conducted in English. Prior knowledge of Spanish is not required for participation.
 
COURSE INFORMATION
All participants on this program will be required to register for BIO 435-02: Course Topics in Biology – Tropical Biology of Costa Rica, 3 credit course for the spring 2019 semester.
 
EXAMPLES OF POSSIBLE EXCURSIONS
Naturalist guided-walk at La Selva Biological Station
Visits to long-term research plots at La Selva
Day-long lowland tropical rainforest hike
Rainforest night walks
Boat trip on the rivers surrounding La Selva
Visit to the Jardin Botánico at the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) to learn from local scientists about: tropical agricultural crops, as well as sustainable production systems for chocolate, coffee, and dairy 
 
PROGRAM COSTS
In addition to the regular WCU tuition rates for the 3 credit hour spring semester course, all students will be billed a program fee of $2,000. This cost includes all airfare, lodging, meals, transportation, & activities in Costa Rica. Students will also be billed for the non-refundable $100 study abroad application fee upon applying to the program and will be required to purchase the mandatory international insurance prior to departure for the program fee (estimated around $15.00 and not already included in the program fee listed above).

Please note that students are responsible for their own meals on travel days (i.e., at the airport), as this is not included in the program fee listed above.
 
FINANCIAL AID
Please review resources available on the WCU Center for International Programs webpage regarding financial aid and scholarships. 
 
CONTACT INFORMATION
Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer, jschedlbauer@wcupa.edu, 610-436-3175, 383 Schmucker Science North.  Note that you must meet with Dr. Schedlbauer in person prior to the application deadline if you would like to be considered for this course.
 

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