Travel Writing and Costa Rica - KU Honors Program
- Experience the natural beauty of Costa Rica
- Earn 3 credit hours in English or Honors
- Led by English professor Mary Klayder
This Spring course and overseas twelve-day program offers students the opportunity to investigate a variety of current issues in Costa Rican politics, culture, ecology, and tourism through lectures, field trips to sites of interest, and individual research projects.
Costa Rica is known for its natural beauty, extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna, social and political stability, high educational levels, and efficient infrastructure and services. San José, Costa Rica’s capital, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. It lies in the Central Valley on a plain surrounded by large forested mountain ranges, some of which include active volcanoes, green savannahs, and working coffee plantations.
The course will meet weekly during the fall semester beginning mid-October. The first half of the class will focus on the history and genre of travel writing. Students will examine the interdisciplinary range of the genre from botanical classification and cartography to adventure account and personal reflection. The second half of the course will focus on Costa Rica in particular. Students will study everything from urban culture to ecotourism as they get to know this beautiful country. During the semester students will benefit from the many Costa Rican experts on this campus. There will be reading, writing, and research assignments relevant to both travel writing and Costa Rica. The final project will combine the two aspects of the course.
All students on this program must enroll in HNRS 492, ENG 360, or LAA 302: Travel Writing and the Costa Rica Experience (3 credits) during the Spring 2021 semester. Credit is granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the course and overseas program and will be posted to the student’s Spring 2021 academic record at KU.
Mid-October - early December: Program participants will meet from approximately 5:30–6:30pm once a week on the Lawrence campus.
January 2–13, 2021: Study abroad program in Costa Rica.
March: Final project due and public reading.
Students will be housed in double or triple-occupancy rooms at Costa Rican hotels with breakfast daily. Many group lunches and dinners are also provided
In Costa Rica, students will explore major sites of interest related to the academic themes. Site visits include Monteverde Cloud Forest, Manuel Antonio National Park, Irazu Volcano, Hacienda Orosi hot springs, and a variety of museums and national landmarks.
Program Itinerary (tentative)
Day 1 Arrival in San José.
Day 2 Guided tour of San José. Evening dinner and dance performance.
Day 3 Visit Irazu Volcano, Orosi Valley, and Hacienda Orosi hot springs.
Day 4 Travel to Monteverde. Visit the Monteverde frog pond.
Day 5 Monteverde. Morning visit to the cloud forest. Afternoon lecture given by members of the local Quaker community.
Day 6 Travel to Arenal. Visit hot springs.
Day 7 Explore Arenal. Tour Arenal Volcano National Park.
Day 8 Arenal free day.
Day 9 Travel to Manuel Antonio.
Day 10 Tour of Manuel Antonio National Park.
Day 11 Travel to San José. Farewell group dinner.
Day 12 Return to the U.S.
Requires membership in the KU Honors Program or permission of instructor. Minimum 2.5 GPA required (exceptions considered after submission of a petition). There are no language requirements, though students with previous exposure to Spanish will find it helpful.
Mary Klayder, Ph.D.
Acting Director, Undergraduate Studies
Department of English
Honors Faculty Fellow
785 864 2582
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers