Summer 2014: Writing and Place / Escritura y Paisaje

Location: San José, Costa Rica


Department: English

Leaders: Dr. Lania Knight, Dr. Ruben Quesada

: English


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  Terms/Timeframe: May 19 to June 13, 2014

Language: English

  Credits: 6

Budget: Summer 2014


Good Academic Standing
Good Judicial Standing
Completion of at least one lower-division creative writing course

  Application Deadlines:
January 31, 2014
  Application Materials:

EIU Program Application (Faculty-led Programs)

Course selection form

Academic Program

There is something to be said for studying in a location outside of a classroom. Would you think differently? Would you learn differently? This class will discover if you write differently.

This program is an opportunity for students of all majors to study creative writing and poetics in Costa Rica. Sharing the time between the traditional classroom and local site visits will give students the opportunity to experience firsthand the landscape, culture, and history that have influenced Latin American writers. Students will live with host families and will have the opportunity to visit both coastal and mountainous regions of Costa Rica during class excursions. Students will also have ample opportunity to travel on weekends to sites of their own choice.

Coursework for the Creative Writing: Fiction/Nonfiction course will consist of selecting readings that evoke a sense of place, writing inside and outside of class, discussion of writing and how being abroad influences the writing process, and workshops of student writing.

Coursework for the Digital Poetry of Place/ Poesia Digital de Lugar course will learn the elements of digital narratives to produce their own digital poems. Students will identify topics, brainstorm ideas around these topis, and write Digital Poetry Projects that focus on personal narrative, inform or instruct, and examine a historical event. They will read, analyze, and discuss creative writing inspired and influence by place, keep a journal to respond to reading, writing activities, and daily observations, participate in writing workshop, and write about excursion to coastal cities, national parks, cloud forests, volcanoes and urban cities.

Activities / Itinerary

Writing & Place / Escritura y Paisaje will provide students with four weeks of immersive experience in Costa Rica. Students will respond online to writing assignments during week one. Students will attend two 3-credit courses taught by EIU faculty onsite during weeks two through four, Monday through Thursday. Students will make group excursions to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast (3 days, 2 nights), Poas volcano and La Paz waterfalls. Students will also enjoy a city tour of San José.



PREREQUISITE: Please note that completion of any of the following, or their equivalent, is necessary to enroll in this program: ENG 2001 (Creative Writing: Nonfiction) 2003 (CW: Poetry), 2005 (CW: Drama) or 2007 (CW: Fiction). If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact the faculty directly.

Undergraduate options:
First course: ENG 4775 Studies in Literary & Cultural Criticism and Theory * Required for all undergraduate students
Second course: ENG 4761 Creative Nonfiction Writing or ENG 4763 Fiction Writing

Graduate option: ENG 5990A Independent Study (3 cr) + one of the above

After Your Trip:
Take STA4000G at EIU to fulfill your senior-seminar requirement!


Students will live with host famlies assigned by Universidad Veritas, one of EIU's international partner institutions, allowing for a full immersion experience in the city of San Jose.


At least two pre-departure orientations will be provided and are required for all participants.

Your faculty leader will hold one of these orientations, where he/she will cover information on safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in the host country(ies), as well as planning logistics.

The Office of Study Abroad (OSA) will hold the other orientation. They will cover general information about traveling abroad to different areas of the world and facilitate a panel discussion composed of students who have already participated in faculty-led study abroad programs.

Necessary Documents

To enter a foreign country, you must have a valid passport. If you are a U.S. citizen and do not currently have a valid passport, or if your passport will expire during the time you will be overseas, please go to the U.S. State Department web site for information on how to apply for/renew your passport.

You are strongly encouraged to read the U.S. State Department's Consular Information Sheet on your host countries. It will provide you with a great deal of information to help you prepare for your trip.

**Please be aware that you are responsible for obtaining the most up-to-date information on entry requirements. The Office of Study Abroad only provides general information, as visa regulations and procedures are constantly changing. Please consult the Consulate for more information. **