Whitworth University Costa Rica Center Faculty & Staff Students Alumni Visitors Academics Campus
Whitworth University Costa Rica Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Whitworth University Costa Rica Center >
FACULTY & STAFF
How do I go about arranging to spend my sabbatical at the CRC?
Choose a topic conducive to study in Costa Rica; get it approved through the appropriate committees at Whitworth North, while simultaneously contacting Director Lindy Scott (lscott@whitworth.edu) to discuss the possibilities.

What facilities are available to my family and me during a stay at the CRC?
Faculty and their family members may stay in the Professors' Suite, which contains a master bedroom, a full bath, a sitting room, a children's bedroom and a fireplace. We also have a two-person apartment equipped with a kitchenette, a full bath, and a sitting area for use by professors or guests. Faculty and families also receive their meals in the cafeteria and/or have cooking privileges in the staff kitchenette, along with Internet access, access to a car, travel expenses, and participation in field trips.

What is the food like?
Traditional Costa Rican meals, served typically with rice and beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, and delectable desserts are provided by the cooking staff. There is also a student store, called a "pulpería," at the CRC, where snack items can be purchased.

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STUDENTS
Does my Whitworth meal plan apply at Whitworth South?
All Whitworth South (CRC) students sign up for Room and Board Plan B, which then covers all room and board expenses while at the Center.

What are the advantages of studying abroad at the CRC?
Studying at the CRC is an opportunity to travel, learn and improve your Spanish skills, and build a global community as you live and learn alongside Costa Ricans and other Latin Americans. In addition, studying at the CRC fulfills certain Whitworth general education requirements in an extremely unique setting.

How much does a semester at the CRC cost?
The cost of studying at the Costa Rica Center is current Whitworth tuition plus Room and Board Plan B. See our Costs page for more information.

What do I need to do to apply for a study abroad experience at the CRC?
Check out our application page for details.

What is the food like?
Traditional Costa Rican meals, served typically with rice and beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, and delectable desserts are provided by the cooking staff. There is also a student store, called a "pulpería," at the CRC where snack items can be purchased.

What are the dorms like?
Each dorm room is equipped with two bunk beds, large closets, a desk, fireplace, and a full bath. For more information and for a visual aid, please check out our Campus page.

How long do students stay in the dorms?
The first week (for orientation) and the last week (for debriefing) are spent in the dorms at the CRC. The rest of the semester is spent living with a Costa Rican host family.

How much time is spent with host families?
A total of 12 weeks is spent with host families. The only scheduled times that students will not be with their host families are for the week-long trips to Nicaragua and Cuba and the two additional weekend class trips.

What do I need to pack?
See "Sample Packing List." Program participants will be provided with an updated list pre-departure via the CRC account on Blackboard.

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ALUMNI
How do I go about arranging a visit?
First, contact us at costaricacenter@whitworth.edu. Once we have finalized the dates and details of your stay, go ahead and purchase a plane ticket, reserve a rental car, and make any other plans you hope to make to enhance your stay with us.

Are there special alumni-discount rates for staying at the CRC facilities?
Yes! Contact us at costaricacenter@whitworth.edu to get the most up to date information on alumni rates

How do I plan an alumni reunion at the CRC?
Contact us at costaricacenter@whitworth.edu to share your thoughts, and we will contact Whitworth's Alumni Relations office to research possibilities and begin planning.

What are some activities and things to do in the area surrounding the CRC during a visit in Costa Rica?
There are many options and activities available to you. Check out our Optional Activities Information for more details.

Are there job openings or staff positions at the CRC? How can I know when jobs become available?
Each year up to three volunteer positions are available to alumni. This position covers basic cost of living plus a modest stipend. Check Whitworth's Current Job Openings page (www.whitworth.edu/jobs) during the month of January to see upcoming position openings, or contact Director Lindy Scott at lscott@whitworth.edu with any questions.

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VISITORS
How much does it cost to stay per night, and what do those charges include?
See our Reservation Information page for details.

What are some nearby attractions around the CRC? What can we do on a typical day?
There are many options and activities available to you. Check out our Optional Activities Information for more details.

Is it possible to sit in on classes, speakers, and participate in outings or field trips with the students?
Yes, this is usually possible, but must be cleared through the CRC Director in advance.

Is Costa Rica a safe country to travel in?
Costa Rica is a very safe and tourist-friendly country. Petty theft, such as pick-pocketing, is the most common occurrence of crime; however, one may easily avoid this by being aware of one's surroundings and thoughtful with personal items, as covered in student orientations.

ACADEMICS
Who are the faculty and staff members at the CRC?
Lindy Scott serves as the CRC director and as professor of Latin American studies. Dinorah Scott is an assistant professor of Spanish linguistics as well as academic director of the language program. Additionally, there are three rotating program assistants and visiting faculty members, varying by term.

How much time is spent with host families?
A total of 12 weeks is spent with host families. The only scheduled times that students will not be with their host families are for the week-long trips to Nicaragua and Cuba and the two additional weekend class trips.

What are the programs offered at the CRC?
The CRC offers a semester-long Latin American studies program in addition to the major-specific program of the semester. Whitworth academic departments rotate in adopting semesters, typically sending down faculty members and students to teach and study. During Jan Term, the CRC hosts an honors program offered to freshmen admitted with honors, a health science internship and medical Spanish course, as well as a new biological-research course. Regardless of the program, all students are invited to participate in our internship program. Also, ask about opportunities for summer internships by contacting CRC Director Lindy Scott at lscott@whitworth.edu.

What is the plan for future semester programs? What courses are offered at the CRC?
See our Sample Semester Schedules and Major Specific Programs pages under the Academics page for information on what courses and emphases will be offered over the next few semesters.

I would like to do an internship in addition to the courses I'll be taking that are offered at the CRC. What do I need to know?
If you would like to do an internship (1-3 credits) in Costa Rica, we will work hard to design a good match for you and your life/career goals and receive appropriate credits applicable for Spanish credit or towards another area of study. A minimum of 40 hours must be completed for each credit. Let us know where your interests lie, and we'll help to place you at an appropriate work site. For further information about internship possibilities and procedures, contact us at costaricacenter@whitworth.edu.

I would like to do an independent study in addition to the courses I'll be taking that are offered at the CRC. What do I need to know?
If you would like to do an independent study in any discipline, consult with the appropriate professor and keep the CRC Director informed. If you have questions about any other course options related to your major, contact us at costaricacenter@whitworth.edu.

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CAMPUS
How big is the campus?
We have 27 acres filled with great biological diversity -- fruit trees, two lakes, an aquaponics system -- on which our two buildings are situated: a dormitory and an academic building with two classrooms, a dining hall, student lounge areas and staff/faculty offices. For more information, please visit our Campus page.

Are there computers and technological services for students and guests to use?
Each of our classrooms is equipped with two desktop computers for student and guest use. The office has a printer/copier/scanner accessible to students for school-related needs. Projectors may be checked out from the office for school-related use as well.

Is there Wi-Fi?
Yes, Wi-Fi is accessible in both the dorm and academic building.

How many classrooms are there on campus?
There are two classrooms, each equipped with whiteboards, desks and tables, two desktop computers, and projectors.We have recently added a third classroom specifically designed for science courses. Thanks to several donations, we also have microscopes and DNA-analysis equipment at our disposal.

What recreational activities are available on campus?
The 27 acres on campus provide a great deal of space for hiking and exploring trails and wildlife. Open fields offer space for recreational sports—pickup games of fútbol, volleyball, Frisbee, etc. Trails not too far from campus along the mountain are opportune for runners or hikers.

What are the dorm rooms like?
Each dorm room is equipped with two bunk beds, large closets, a desk, fireplace, and a full bath. For more information and for a visual aid, please check out our Lodging page.

Who are the faculty and staff members who live on campus?
The director, visiting professors (and their families), and volunteer student life coordinators all occupy rooms and apartments on campus.

Is it safe?
Costa Rica is a very safe and tourist-friendly country. We do have security guards that patrol the perimeter and work the front gate to the campus, controlling who comes and goes on campus.

How far from the city is campus?
San Rafael is a 10 to 15-minute drive, or 25-minute bus ride, down the mountain.
Heredia is a 20-minute drive, or 45-minute bus ride, down the mountain.

What are some nearby attractions around the CRC?
There are many options and activities available to you. Check out our Optional Activities Information for more details.

What is the weather like?
A very important note: the weather on our campus up Monte de la Cruz is typically 10-15 degrees (fahrenheit) cooler than down in the San Rafael or Heredia areas. We are far enough up the mountain that we are frequently in the middle of the clouds. (Bordering the Braulio Carrillo National Forest, we are actually in a cloudforest.)

July through December is considered the rainy season, when it pours nearly every day. Lightning and thunderstorms are to be expected. It can be sunny and warm in town during the mornings, but quite stormy nearly every afternoon/evening. Warm clothes are encouraged during this time.

December and January are when the rain starts to slow, but they are known as the coldest, windiest months.

February through June, the rain continues to lessen, as it is the dry or "less rainy" season. It still can be very windy and can precipitate often — usually during afternoons or evenings—but it does dry up considerably and the sun will shine more often. Temperatures range from low 60s to low 80s.

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