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FLP: Costa Rica: Pura Vida, Costa Rica
Tamarindo, Costa Rica (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Winter Round 1,
Winter Round 2
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This program is currently not accepting applications.
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Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
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Program Type: FLP (Faculty-Led Program) Class Eligibility: Graduate, Junior, Senior
Language of Instruction: English Language Requirement: None
Housing Options: Hostels, Tents (camping) GPA Requirement: 2.0
Program Description:
Program Description:

Program Description

Study recreation, eco-tourism, and earn activity credits in hiking and backpacking! This Faculty-Led Program offers multiple courses for study and analysis, including the topics of recreation, tourism, hiking, activity, and culture.

Costa Rica is the perfect example of a Latin American country that has focused its economy on recreation and tourism while protecting its natural resources with great success. How have they put these principles into practice through eco-tourism and how has it affected their society and culture? We will contrast this with tourism in the USA.

We will:
  • Visit a National Turtle Preserve
  • Speak to experts about ecotourism in Costa Rica
  • Tour a variety of ecosystems, such as mangrove forests & beach environments
  • Take guided hikes through National Parks

This course is open to all majors and especially for any that need activity classes and an elective and/or a class from Recreation.



RECL 111 Leisure, Culture, and Identity (Area S) (3 units)

Perspectives of leisure as a source of self-expression and social control related to cultural beliefs, values, and practices and institutionalized social systems. Observation, analysis and critique of history and social structures, leisure and culture, and personal opportunities for change.

Completion of core GE, successful completion of WST, upper division standing.*

KIN 063A Beginning Hiking and Backpacking (1 unit) (optional)

This course is designed to impart skills such as topographical map reading, navigation and hiking in front country and back country. The emphasis will be on logistics and operations of adventure excursions and fitness in various wilderness environments. There will be class meetings, hiking excursions as well as one overnight backpacking excursion.

* All prerequisites must be completed prior to application submission.


faculty-costa-rica-kirkyProgram Leader: Kristine "Kirky" Kirkendall

Kristine Kirkendall, or Kirky, is passionate about exploring and adventuring! Having worked in Recreation at SjSU since 2007, it has been her life's work to bring introduce individuals and groups to sustainable, conservation work with activity. Kirky has taught the Hiking and Backpacking class for over three years and loves to get out for some "dirt time" locally and abroad. She has also work for over ten years with a travel company, Backroads, which is an international adventure travel company. It is exciting to see how people of all kinds can come together and bond around active travel.

This FLP to Costa Rica is the perfect blend of her passions! There will be activity, travel, learning, and fun!


faculty-costa-rica-spainProgram Leader: William Spain

William Spain has a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from Utah State University and has worked extensively both with academic institutions and in the private sector. Dr. Spain has prepared environmental reports and studies for Sonoma County Regional Parks, the East Bay Regional Park District the City of Claremont, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Land Management, and Utah State Parks among others. He concurrently works as an instructor in the San Jose State University Department of Health Science and Recreation where he teaches several courses related to park and recreation management. He has served as an international trip leader as well as a whitewater raft guide in Utah and Colorado.



It is important to note that each program's total cost will vary depending on the location and the package it offers.

$750       SJSU Special Session Tuition ($250 per unit)*
$200       Administration Fee
$1,815    Program fees, lodging, and class related tours approximately**
$2,765    Total Program Cost

* This amount is for the required 3 unit course (RECL 111). If you choose to take the optional 1 unit course (KIN 63A) the program cost will increase accordingly.

** Airfare is not included. Students will need approximately $450 for spending money and meals.

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This program is currently not accepting applications.