Study with Locals

Center for International Programs

In Study with Locals courses, students integrate with Costa Rican students in the areas of Advertising Design, Architecture, Digital Animation, Interior Space Design, Photography and Product Design for 15 week programs.

Students must possess an ADVANCED level of Spanish for this program.

Please refer to Tuition & Fees for more information on pricing.


ADDS 304 Marketing I

This course brings together marketing techniques, information systems, consumer and buyer conduct, competitive advantage and more.

ADDS 404 Communication I

This program provides a relevant knowledge base for understanding the relationship between communication and other sciences, such as semiotics and advertising design. Students will use basic principles to plan an advertising campaign, with the basic end goal of persuasion.

ADDS 703 Advertising Psychology

This course focuses on understanding the relationship between audience, market, psychology and processes such as motivation, perception and personality as critical and creative methods of advertising strategies.


DA 101 Design I

This course introduces the basic principles of design through the analysis and application of the theories of the visual alphabet: composition, proportion, scale, etc. Students will learn to understand these theories as a linguistic resource for the conception and projection of design ideas. The course provides the tools necessary for students to develop their two dimensional representation skills, using various techniques of expression in black and white—such as the use of graphite and ink on diverse mediums—with the goal of inciting experimentation and creativity.

DA 103 Introduction to Multimedia

This course provides the basic tools necessary for students to begin to express their thoughts in three broad areas: digital art, digital animation and interactivity. Through practical exercises, the course addresses concepts such as timeline, frame, script, creation and bitmap image editing. Students will be introduced to themes related to editing, creation, and video post-production.

DA 104 Aesthetics and representation

This course provides exposure to the fundamental elements of the evolution of philosophical thought, with attention given to detailed historical models (classic, modern and contemporary) in terms of how these relate to the concepts of space and representation, providing students with the basic instruments they will need to develop effective conceptual and critical reflection in their chosen field.

DA 105 Artistic Literature

This course addresses literature as a particular form of artistic expression, and explores it as an option for the construction of highly symbolic speech. The study and interpretive decoding of universal literary works will foster students’ humanist foundation and provide idea-aesthetic essentials for cultural and imaginative development, required in the professional field of digital animation.

DA 204 History of Animation I

This course provides an introduction to the study of animation through technical, aesthetic and social analysis, which determines the development of artistic methods. We will analyze the particularities of this industry by becoming familiar with pioneer studies developed in the U.S.A. in the first half of the 20th century, the evolutionary process throughout history (with emphasis on stylistic definitions), and the preference criterion of public spectators.

DA 205 Basic Principles of Acting

This course studies the fundamental concepts of interpretive art and the essential foundational tools audiovisual production professionals. This includes themes such as the role and specific functions of the actor and director, and analyzes the dramatic text as the point of interaction between both components of the creative proposal. Students will reflect on the importance of the script and the director’s accurate presentation of strategies as factors that make an organized production possible, with efficient resource investment being both economic and opportune.

DA 405 Art and Civilization

This course establishes the fundamentals of various forms of artistic expression, from its origin through the contemporary era. Students will analyze cultural processes through the relationships between image, design and thought systems, focusing on symbolic models that allow students to establish historical guidelines as they appeared. Elected topics for the course favor the recognition of the dialogical relations between western and Latin American culture.

DA 601 Costa Rican Culture

This course provides a general and integral panorama of Costa Rican culture, from its origin through the contemporary by analyzing the branches of artistic production: literary, plastic, musical and scenic. Students will learn from a perspective that favors reflection upon the evolution of these artistic processes, using fundamental themes to understand the local culture as a case of identity, and the characteristics of defining and applying cultural politics throughout history.


PRDS 303 Industrial Design History (2 credits)

This course introduces the characteristics of product design from the perspective of its social and economic origin and its relationship with technological advances and techniques. The course stresses a vision of the design process as one that not only takes place from the designers’ perspective, but includes the participation of other agents that make the design’s materialization possible, and studies its industrial development, commercialization, and final uses.

PRDS 305 Technology I (4 credits)

This course introduces a general vision of the characteristics, properties and applications of a product design business’ most utilized materials, methods of transformation and production uses.

PRDS 403 Ergonomics I (2 credits)

This course focuses on the study of ergonomics as a central factor in the development of a product, space or environment, as well as a part of a system that integrates subjective factors, cultural factors, technology and aesthetics.

PRDS 404 Theory I - Semiotics (2 credits)

This course presents general and specific aspects of semiotic visualization in design. Semiotics provides a theoretical prism of unique history to create the essential conceptualization for the formation of the student’s intellect and high creative registration.


ARCH 302 Theory of Architecture I

This course introduces the fundamental concepts of contemporary thought related to the student’s ability to make diagnostics about the problems they confront in real architectural space. We will practice the process of evaluation and the theoretical maintenance of urban and architectural proposals through the critical reflection, process development and the amplification of individual thought.

ARCH 305 Introduction to Structures

In this course, students will learn how to use experimentation, analysis and criticism in regards to the ongoing interaction between various types of solicitations that cause structural and mechanical organization. Our objective will be to establish a conceptual framework for determining the relationships between structure, function, form and context as determinants of natural and artificial structures.

ARCH 404 Environmental Design

In this course, students will learn how to implement passive energy and climate controls in the most optimized and conscious manner, for both architectural design and the pursuit of comfort.  Students will become acquainted with the elements of weather that affect buildings and use this information to, after bioclimatic analysis, develop an architectural design that utilizes passive climate control.

ARCH 403 History of Architecture I

This course is a survey of architectural design throughout the historical development of humanity. Students will reflect on the connection of ideological, aesthetic and constructive aspects of different cultural spaces through the theoretical and critical revision of twentieth century designs, including specific examples in Costa Rica.


INDS 203 Color Workshop (4 credits)

This course deals with the fundamental theories and perceptions of color through the analysis of psychological, symbolic and semiological attributes and the application of these concepts to interior design. The course favors the generation of creative and original proposals for the solution of projects that categorize the communicative potential of colors in relation to the function of qualifying spaces.

INDS 303 Aesthetic Psychology (2 credits)

This course deals with the general aspects of the theory of perception as a cognitive construction generated by the world in which we live, emphasizing the principles of interior design as a strategy for creating pleasing environmental experiences, security, or motivational inspiration. Students will focus on the environment as a stage for communication and social interaction, and a system of symbols and emotional dispositions of space as text. The course is oriented towards the reflexive and creative capacities of future interior designers in their relationship with potential clients.

INDS 304 History of Interior Design I (4 credits)

This course analyzes and reflects on the various stages of the historical development of private life (from primitive communities to the Middle Ages) assuming social space as the definition of living. Our focus will be on western cultures, including a comparative study of important eastern and pre-Hispanic centers, building upon the students’ knowledge of cultural and aesthetic concepts. The course takes an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing from fundamental theories of art history, sociology, anthropology, art psychology, design theory, culture and architecture.

INDS 305 Materials I (2 credits)

This course provides students with theoretical and logical definitions and techniques that are fundamental for the recognition and utilization of various construction materials (concrete, lumber, metals, transparent materials, lights, etc.) when planning and implementing an interior design project. Practical exercises will provide respective reflection and the application of these materials to a functional aesthetic point of view.

INDS 903 Landscaping and Environment I (2 credits)

This course introduces the principle theories and history of landscape, and the component elements of environmental settings. Using theoretical practices, the course incites respect for the environment, natural resources, and the particular environmental culture in which students will develop their design projects. We will study the relationship between environments (interior and exterior), the significance of human quality of life, and the way that these elements are interrelated within this profession. Students will be trained in the garden design and the correct distribution of plant life required for a specific design project. The selection of plants and greenery is essential in the formation of a cohesive and precise design.


PHOT 303 Conceptual Image (3 credits)

In this course, students will create projects in which the visual message must meet pre-established concepts. The success of each project is achieved by the correct use of signs, symbols and icons. We will address the use of conceptual images in the different branches of photography: editorial, documentary, advertising, art, photography and the relationship between public spaces.

PHOT 305 Latin American Culture (3 credits)

This course deals with the fundamental guidelines of Latin American thought through exponents of literary productions. We will evaluate Latin America’s development from the colonial to the contemporary era, emphasizing the benefits of narratives as essential resources for cultural reflection across the region, building the students own imagination.

PHOT 404 History of Photography I (2 credits)

This course introduces the history and evolution of photography from its origin (1839) until 1920. Through the knowledge and evaluative analysis of works and representative authors of this chronological segment, students will reflect upon the development of photography’s technical particularities and its significance from the documentary and cultural point of view.

PHOT 604 Costa Rican and Latin American Photography (2 credits)

The course analyzes the history of the development of photography in Latin America, with emphasis placed on Costa Rica, taking note of the most significant milestones in its evolution while evaluating its significance within the wider historical context of photography around the globe. Students will study works produced by Latin American artists and Costa Rican correspondents of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This course covers the recognition of the photographic image as an expressive resource of high cultural representation and provides an historical investigation and current evaluation of the field in the Latin American and local arena.

PHOT 704 Art Theory Studies I (2 credits)

Art Theory addresses the general and specific aspects of the visual image. Students will learn about the categories and notions of theoretical discourse in relation to the issues of reflection, reception and the production of art. There will be analyses and discussion surrounding controversial issues such as the relationship between art and philosophy, historical concepts of culture, the legitimacy of the artistic and aesthetic criteria, and language strategies focused on the autonomy of art.

STUDY WITH LOCALS (2-3 hours/week)
4 Study with Locals courses
Homestay (105 days)
Airport Pickup
Materials subject to the courses
Student Excursion Package A
Registration Fee
STUDY WITH LOCALS (4 hours/week) + 1 English/Spanish taught course
4 Spanish with Locals courses
1 English/ Spanish taught courses (60 hours)
Homestay (112 days)
Airport Pickup
Materials (subject to the courses)
Student Excursion Package A
Registration Fee
STUDY WITH LOCALS (6 hours/week) + 2 English/Spanish taught courses (16 Weeks)
4 Spanish with Locals courses
2 English/ Spanish taught courses (60 hours)
Homestay (112 days)
Airport Pickup
Materials (subject to the courses)
Student Excursion Package A
Registration Fee