Below you will find answers to your Frequently Asked Questions
How do I receive course credit? This is structured as a PM 599, 4-unit special topics course. This course can count as an elective or can substitute for another required class (with approval). Please review the syllabus for detailed instructions and deadlines for required assignments and grading. Some work should be completed prior to the trip departure but the majority of the work is done while there.
How will I prepare for the trip? Three pre-departure meetings will be held to go over all of the important details to help you prepare for the trip. These are mandatory.
What if I want to complete my practicum in Costa Rica too? For those interested, there are limited opportunities to stay 4 additional weeks for practicum. Spanish-speaking is definitely preferred, though not mandatory in all cases. The placement of these opportunities depend upon your interests and skills, as well as the needs of the host organization. Practicum work can include working on issues such as screening, vector-borne diseases, social justice, research, data analysis, etc. Please see the page on practica for more details.
Where will we be based during the trip? We will begin and end our trip in the capital city of San Jose. We will also spend several nights in San Vito and Osa Peninsula, located in the southern part of Costa Rica. In San Vito we will be staying in student housing (similar to dorms with three people per room max) and in the other two locations we will stay in hotels (based on double occupancy).
What if I want my own room? This can be arranged for an additional single supplement fee.
What is the total cost of the trip? Excluding USC tuition (which is mandatory) and international airfare, the two-week course estimated cost is $1500 plus recommended spending money of about $300 per person. This includes lodging, many meals, bus transportation, all program lectures and site visits, one-way domestic flight from Osa to San Jose, and a full-day tour. This is payable by credit card ahead of time (May 1 deadline.) For the practicum, the estimated price is $2500-$3000 for 4 additional weeks. This includes lodging, meals, and most other expenses. The cost very much depends on the type of housing that the student prefers.
Do I need to get a visa for travel to Costa Rica? No, no visa is required for US citizens. If you are not a US citizen, please confirm whether or not you need a visa. Everyone will need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the dates of the trip.
How do I purchase my airline ticket? Everyone will purchase their own international airline tickets but we will recommend some itineraries. Airport pick-up/drop-off is included for the one recommended flight. Ot Note: DO NOT buy your plane ticket until you receive confirmation from the instructors.
Can I stay longer to travel around after the trip ends? Yes, this is a great idea. You are free to do that and we can provide you with some recommendations on where to go and what to see.
Can I invite other people, like family members, to go with me? No, not during the study trip, but they are welcome to join you later!