Costa Rica - 2016

Enrollment Deadline: April 25 th All students interested in our Study Abroad 2016 program to Costa Rica must enroll by April 25 th . Click on the AIFS button below.


Study Abroad Flyer

The "Costa Rica: Adventure, Language, and Culture" study abroad program will be offered through Coastline Community College from July 3 to August 4, 2016.

The minimum number of students for this program is *20. The maximum number of students we are expecting to accept into this study abroad program is 40.

All student participants must be at least 18 years of age by the time you sign up for this program.

*This program may be cancelled if enrollment is fewer than 20 student participants, as of April 8, 2016.

Academic Instructors Details Financial Aid Travel Info

Did you know?

St. Joseph Cathedral, San Jose

Costa Rica is located in Central America bordered by Nicaragua on the north, Panama on the southeast, the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Caribbean Sea on the east. It has a population of approximately 4.5 million, of whom nearly a quarter live in the metropolitan area of the capital and largest city, San Jose.

Because Costa Rica is located between 8 and 12 degrees north of the Equator, the climate is tropical year round. However, the country has many micro climates depending on elevation, rainfall, topography, and by the geography of each particular region. Costa Rica's seasons are defined by how much rain falls during a particular period. The year can be split into two periods, the dry season known to the residents as summer and the rainy season, known locally as winter. The "summer" or dry season goes from December to April, and "winter" or rainy season goes from May to November.

Costa Rica was the point where the Mesoamerican and South American native cultures met. The Nicoya peninsula was the southernmost point of Nahuatl cultural influence when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century. The central and southern portions of the country has Chibcha influences. The Atlantic coast, meanwhile, was populated with African workers during the 17th and 18th centuries. As a result of the arrival of Spaniards, Spanish culture has impacted everyday life and culture with the Spanish language and the Catholic religion as primary influences.

Our Academic Program

Man holding sign: Hablas Espanol

Students will earn eight units of transferable college credit while studying Costa Rica's cultural geography and its primary language. Students will enroll in the geography class and one of the two Spanish language classes offered as part of this program. All classes may be taken as graded or pass/no pass.

GEOG C185 "Cultural Geography", 3 units (CCC)

Instructor Robert Franklin will teach this course. Geography 185 surveys the broad landscape of global cultures in terms of their spatial distributions and interactions. It focuses on how culture shapes physical spaces, how humans perceive these spaces, and how culture and place define people's lives and identity. We will focus on tropical environments and cultural features of Costa Rica. Transfer credit: CSU; UC.

SPAN C180 "Elementary Spanish 1", 5 units, or SPAN C185 "Elementary Spanish 2", 5 units (CCC)

Professor Julie Alweheiby will teach both classes. Spanish C180 is designed to develop the student's fundamental ability to both comprehend and converse in daily spoken Spanish. Early reading and writing skills are introduced as well as the customs and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. Advisory: Students who have completed two years of high school Spanish with a grade of 'C' or better should enroll in SPAN C185. Transfer credit: CSU; UC credit limitations. See counselor.

Spanish C185 is a continuation of Spanish C180 or Spanish C180B and is designed to further the student's ability to comprehend and converse in daily spoken Spanish at the second semester level. Reading and writing skills are expanded. Introduction to various cultural and philosophical aspects of the Spanish-speaking world will continue with authentic reading materials and selected literary works. Spanish 185A and 185B are equivalent to Spanish 185. Transfer credit: CSU; UC credit limitations. See counselor. Prerequisite: SPAN C180, C180B with a grade of "C" or better, or completion of two years of high school Spanish with a grade of "C" or better.

Please note: All students are required to attend all classes and other course-related activities such as, but not limited to, field trips, excursions, and as otherwise indicated by the instructor(s).

International Language Faculty

Professor Julie Alweheiby

Professor Julie Alweheiby

Julie Alweheiby joined the Coastline faculty in 2006 and has taught a variety of Spanish courses including beginning and intermediate Spanish (both in the classroom and online) Conversational Spanish, Spanish for Native Speakers, Spanish for Healthcare Professionals (Medical Spanish) and Advanced Spanish Grammar. Julie received her Bachelor's degree in Spanish with a Minor in Italian from Chapman University. Her graduate education includes the Monterey Language of International Studies in Monterey, California and the College of Charleston in South Carolina with a Master's degree in Bilingual Interpreting (Spanish & English) Julie has traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East. She lived in Argentina, and Spain and knows a variety of accents and vocabulary from Spain and Latin America. She also lived in Italy where she was an assistant professor of both English and Spanish at the Istituto Orientale University in Naples, Italy. She was formerly a student on three study abroad programs and speaks several languages fluently. Julie believes that learning a foreign language is a positive experience as it broadens our horizons and increases openness to other cultures. "When we speak another language we are also speaking the culture of that language. Learning a foreign language is also a great way to get to know people from other cultures."

Contact Julie Alweheiby at

Geography Faculty

Professor Robert Franklin

Professor Robert Franklin

Robert Franklin has been teaching Geography courses in the Coast Community College District for over 25 years. Since 2013, he has been teaching World Regional Geography and now Physical and Cultural Geography at Coastline Community College.

Mr. Franklin has traveled extensively. As a young man, he traveled to Mexico and Hawaii many times. He went to Indonesia in 1974 and drove to El Salvador in 1977. He also has extensive experience traveling to islands in the Pacific Ocean area and his recent trips include Sumatra in 2013, Costa Rica in 2014 and Central Mexico in January of 2016. He plans to go to Costa Rica again in May of 2015 and Peru in January of 2016.

His educational background is as follows: Earned an AA degree from Golden West College; a BA degree in Geography with a minor in Environmental Studies from CSU Long Beach and a MA degree in Geography with an emphasis in Urban Studies from CSU Long Beach. After graduation, he went into urban planning and held various positions with the cities of Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley. You are welcome to contact Robert at (714) 546-7600, extension 11668 or at

Further Information

There will be one or two orientation meetings at Coastline Community College before departure to make sure all students are prepared for the trip. All instruction will take place in country.

We will spend some time using classrooms at a university in San José but for the most part, the cities, open country and the people of Costa Rica will be our primary classroom.

There will be numerous field trips and overnight excursions to places around the capital city of San Jose, the Caribbean, the Central Highlands and the beaches along the Pacific Ocean.

Please note: This program has an extensive amount of walking including navigating stairs/steps (sometimes without a handrail), hills, and rough terrain. Due to the climate, rain may cause slippery conditions. Additionally, all program participants are fully responsible for carrying their own luggage. There is no porterage.

What Is Included:

Included in the cost of the "Costa Rica: Adventure, Language, and Culture" study abroad program is: double-occupancy accommodations in shared homestays in San Jose, all breakfasts and dinners taken at the homestays, entrance fees and in-country transportation for all excursions, and activities that are part of the program such as:

  • Meet-and-greet by AIFS staff at San José Airport on program arrival day and group transfer to the accommodations by private bus at a time that would suit the majority of arriving students. Those arriving outside this window will be transferred by taxi.
  • A three-day/two-night excursion to Arenal, hot springs and Monteverde Cloud Forest including round-trip transportation by a private bus and hotel accommodations in a 3- or 4-star tourist class hotel in twin or triple rooms on a bed and breakfast basis, plus two group dinners and an activity such as a Sky Walk or zip-lining with the services of a professional English-speaking guide.
  • A three-day/two-night excursion to Tortuguero National Park including private bus transportation and housing in a 3- or 4-star, tourist class hotel in twin or triple rooms. Also included are 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners. Visit to Tortuguero National Park and visit to the Turtle Conservation Museum with the services of a professional English-speaking guide.
  • A three-day/two-night excursion to Nosara including private bus transportation, housing in a tourist class hotel in twin or triple rooms with daily breakfast and surf lessons and the services of an AIFS representative.
  • Tour of a Coffee Bean Plantation, where you can learn about the production, the harvesting, the processing plant and the roasting of the bean. Enjoy a taste of Costa Rica's coffee!
  • An orientation in San José to help you acclimate to the country, people, and culture.
  • Half-day sightseeing tour of San José by a professional guide.
  • Half-day excursion to Waterfall Gardens including round-trip transportation by bus, and lunch.
  • Half-day excursion to Los Juncos Forest including round-trip transportation by bus.
  • Half-day excursion to Poás Volcano including round-trip transportation by private bus.
  • A group welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant.
  • A lecture with a local guest speaker.
  • Access to the wireless-enabled AIFS student center.
  • One or two activities per week such as walking tours, visits to museums, film evenings, music and theater events.
  • A one-time transfer by private bus to the airport on the day of departure. (Students with flights late in the day may have a longer wait at the airport.)

An experienced AIFS Program Coordinator will ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the program, providing information and advice to faculty and students, organizing excursions, accompanying the students on the excursions, supervising the allocation of homestays and liasing with families should problems arise. The AIFS Program Coordinator will also provide 24-hour emergency contact service.

The estimated per student program price is $3,665 based on 20 to 24 students, $3,640 based on 25 to 29 students $3,490 based on 30 to 34 students, or $3,440 based on 35 to 40 students. Each student will also be charged a refundable security deposit of $125.

Be sure to check this Web site for updated information and details on the 2016 Program. It is expected to fill to capacity very quickly.

For more information about this program, please contact instructors Julie Alweheiby and Robert Franklin via email at . Or feel free to call Robert Franklin at (714) 546-7600 , extension 11668.

What Is Not Included:

  • Airfare. The service provider will offer a group flight.
  • Excess baggage fees, porterage.
  • Optional single room supplement of $500; based on availability.
  • Meals except as specified.
  • Additional fieldtrips, excursions, or other activities to those listed.
  • Personal expenses, course-required materials, passports and/or visas, and anything not listed as included.
  • Short-term outbound study abroad medical insurance (see below).
  • Enrollment fees; currently $46 per unit for California residents (as determined by the California state legislature). Non-California residents are charged a total of $277 per unit.
  • Costa Rican departure tax estimated to be $29.
  • Anything not specified.
  • Please note: The college may not be able to reasonably provide or ensure accessibility nor uphold all provision of Section 504 and the ADA when traveling outside the United States. The country of travel may have laws, customs, lack of resources, or other challenges that make the provision of a particular accommodation unreasonable.

    Financial Aid

    Financial aid through Coastline's Financial Aid office may be available! Please see the Financial Aid page for more information and to get the ball rolling.

    Passports and Customs Information

    Visit the United States Federal Government Passports and Customs Information page. You may go here to get information about obtaining or renewing your passport, as well as customs information you'll need before you return to the United States. People residing in America holding a foreign passport should contact their embassy or consulate, as a visa may be required.


    All program participants are required to purchase short-term outbound study abroad medical insurance through an approved District insurance provider. Program participants can find further information on the required study abroad medical insurance at the Coast Community College District About Study Abroad page. Program participants must purchase this study abroad medical insurance no less than 60 days prior to program departure. Failure to purchase the required study abroad medical insurance shall prevent student from participating in the study abroad program.

    The Coast Community College District reserves the right to cancel, change, append, add, or delete Programs or features of Programs. Dates, prices, locations, and other details indicated on this preliminary information page may not accurately reflect the actual Program offered in 2016, as Programs are still in the final planning stages.

    2016 Study Abroad Documents

    For more information and to sign up for this program with AIFS, please go to: .

    The American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) logo

    The service provider chosen for this study abroad program is AIFS.

    The American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) was founded in 1964 and since then, over 1.5 million students have participated in our educational and cultural exchange programs. Over 6,000 American college students study abroad each year with AIFS - approximately 2,000 of these are on customized programs (like yours!), and the rest are on independent enrollment programs. We run programs on six continents including 21 countries and 28 cities.

    AIFS pioneered customized programs, which are formal arrangements between educational institutions and AIFS in which AIFS provides logistical support, student services, classrooms, housing facilities and cultural activities at a location abroad.

    Faculty from the home institution teach their curriculum abroad, and the institution maintains academic control over the program. Students pay a non-academic program fee directly to AIFS.

    Since 1964, AIFS has been at the forefront of international education and study abroad, with a commitment to high academic standards, health and safety practices, and a dedication to supporting students in order to maximize their time abroad.

    All content on this webpage is accurate as of July, 2015.

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