Overview: 

  • Dates: Summer Semester Course, Travel Component: May 11 - 19 
  • Course Credit:  FAM 475  (3 hours)
  • Program Director: Amy Kostelic, Jenna Hatcher
  • This program is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all academic disciplines. 

Through this course, students will learn about how well-being, health and longevity stems from lifestyle and choices made along life's course. The Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica was selected as the destination for this course because it is one of five areas designated as a "Blue Zone", which is a place where people reach age 100 at rates up to 10 times greater than in the United States. The longevity of "Tikos" (native Costa Ricans) in this region is due in large part to their lifestyle, which centers around having a reason to live, a focus on family, meaningful social connections, healthy diets, hard work and physical activity, sunshine and spirituality.

Using these dimensions as a guide, students will experience "pura vida" (the pure life). They will acquire unique insights regarding Nicoyan lifestyle through various hands-on activities, site visits, observation and dialogue with local residents and tourist operators who promote the peninsula's healthy, happy lifestyle and eco-tourism. Outside of the scope of coursework, all students will enhance their multicultural competency through site visits of historical, cultural and contemporary significance. The international component will also include two days in San Jose, Costa Rica.

For more information, and to apply, click here