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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Short-term Academic Level: Graduate, Undergraduate
Recommended GPA: 2.2 Language of Instruction: English
Prerequisite: None Study Abroad Contact: Dominique Brown
Program Description:
Costa Rica

DePaul's Human Rights Law in the Americas program in Costa Rica provides a comprehensive, foundational understanding of the key elements of human rights law, including women’s rights, children’s rights, and criminal procedure. Upon completing the program, students are better prepared for more specialized areas such as family law, asylum, and immigration, public interest law, legal defense and advocacy for the underprivileged.

DePaul’s partner institution is Universidad Nacional in Heredia, located 13 miles outside the capital city of San Jose. The program is held on campus, where students have library privileges and Internet access.
 

Alberto R. Coll director of DePaul's European and Latin American Legal Studies, leads the Argentina study abroad program. .
 
Victor Rodriguez, one of Latin America’s top human rights lawyers, and a current member of the prestigious United Nations Human Rights Committee—the 18-member UN committee charged with supervising the world’s foremost human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights—coordinates DePaul’s Costa Rica program. Professor Rodriguez has chaired the UN Committee against Torture, and directed landmark projects on sexual trafficking, indigenous rights and strengthening the Inter-American human rights system.
 

All students will be enrolled in the following 2 courses:
 
Course Human Rights Law in Latin America
Credits 3 credit hours
Term registered Summer 2020
Taught by Professor Alberto R. Coll
Course description This course introduces the student to the foundations of international human rights law, including the ICCPR, the Genocide Convention, the Convention against Torture, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It then focuses on key elements of Latin American politics, economics, and social development over the last few decades to help students understand the context within which human massive human rights abuses have taken place, the enormous obstacles that still stand in the way of social justice and the rule of law, and the substantial progress experienced by some countries in the region. Three case studies—Guatemala, Colombia and Cuba—will receive special attention for the very different lessons that each of them offers on the challenges of human rights law and policy.
 
Course Workings of the Inter-American Human Rights System
Credits 2 credit hours
Term registered Summer 2020
Taught by Professor Victor Rodriguez
Course description This course studies the mechanics of the Inter-American system of human rights—the world’s second most advanced regional human rights system—including the American Convention on Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission, and the Inter-American Court. The course has a highly practical focus on equipping lawyers for presenting cases before the Commission and the Court, including simulation exercises, the drafting of legal memoranda and motions, and the development of litigation strategies.
 
Please note that although some courses are registered in a particular term, some coursework or final assignments may be due in a different term. E.g. Course registered in winter quarter, but coursework is due in spring quarter once the travel component of the program is complete.
 

All students will be enrolled in the following 2 courses:
 
Course PSC 349: Advanced Topics in International Relations-Human Rights in Latin America
Credits 4 credit hours
Term registered Summer 2019
Liberal Studies domain Students will receive Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Inquiry (SCBI) credit by default. If students would prefer Experiential Learning (EL) credit, it is available by request at the time of course registration, prior to the start of the quarter.
Taught by Alberto Coll
Course description This course introduces students to the field of human rights in Latin America through a 3-step process. 1) First, it discusses the complex historical, economic, social, and political factors throughout 18 countries that shape the region’s human rights deficiencies. Human rights do not exist in a vacuum. They flourish, or wither, to the extent that there exist institutions and socio-economic conditions favorable for their observance and enforcement; 2) Second, the course introduces students to some of the leading treaties of international human rights law that establish norms and institutions accepted as legally binding by Latin American states. This part of the course serves both as an introduction to international human rights law, as well as providing students with basic skills in the reading and analysis of treaty texts – the goal here is to familiarize students with how treaties are structured and help them to become comfortable with reading and applying a specific treaty provision to a human rights violation; 3) Third, the last part of the course focuses on three specific case studies – Guatemala, Colombia and Cuba - that serve to acquaint students with the wide range of human rights challenges faced by different Latin America societies.
Course PSC 319: Advanced Topics in Political Cultural-Becoming a Human Rights Lawyer: Legal Advocacy in the Americas
Credits 4 credit hours
Term registered Summer 2019
Liberal Studies domain Students will receive Philosophical Inquiry (PI) credit by default. If students would prefer Experiential Learning (EL) credit, it is available by request at the time of course registration, prior to the start of the quarter.
Taught by Victor Rodriguez;
Course description This course presents a critical review of the development, structure, and operation of the Inter-American System of Human Rights. The course covers the regional (as opposed to international) treaties that provide the foundation for the Inter-American System along with a review of key cases before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, one of the world’s top two human rights courts. The course also reviews general principles of international law, and main topics on vulnerable groups such as indigenous people rights; the rights of women and issues of gender discrimination and oppression; the rights and protection of children; and the protection of persons with disabilities. Economic, social and cultural rights, economic globalization and universal criminal jurisdiction are also part of the course.
   
Please note that although some courses are registered in a particular term, some coursework or final assignments may be due in a different term. E.g. Course registered in winter quarter, but coursework is due in spring quarter once the travel component of the program is complete.
 

Most students choose to stay with a Costa Rican host family, linking the academic component of the program with cultural immersion. Host families provide a private room, meals and laundry, and meet students at the airport upon arrival.Students may choose to live in self-arranged housing. The program can offer suggestions regarding hotels and apartments, but it is the responsibility of the student to ensure the quality, location and price of alternative accommodations.
 

All students participating in study abroad will be charged both tuition (billed at the regular DePaul tuition rate, based on the number of credits enrolled) and a program fee. Please read the program fee details carefully to understand exactly what is included, as this can vary from program to program. If the program fee is posted, be sure to note whether the fee is current or from a previous year (past program fees may serve as a guide until the current program fee is available). If the current program fee has not yet been posted, please check back closer to the application deadline. Please also note the withdrawal policy.

DePaul offers several types of scholarships for students studying abroad, and students should visit the scholarship page early in the application process for information on eligibility and deadlines.

 

If you are planning to study abroad and do not have a passport, apply for one immediately. Some programs require students to obtain student visas. In that case, contact the country's local consulate or embassy for up-to-date instructions. As of this publication, students traveling with US passports on the Costa Rica: International Human Rights in the Americas program DO NOT need a visa. Please note that visa requirements can change quickly. Study Abroad will update this website to reflect changes as they become available.
 

Here are some helpful tips from former students who have participated in this program:
  • Stay with a host family if you have the option because they really care about you and make life a lot simpler for you.
  • Talk to locals and find out great places to eat and drink. The people are friendly, so be open to conversation.
  • Use Uber or the bus over taxis whenever possible because it’s cheaper and generally easier.
  • Acclimate yourself to the country and to the people by learning basic Spanish and listening to what others have to say, even if you don’t fully understand them; speaking Spanish is helpful, but not necessary.
  • Consider sharing an Airbnb with other students- this makes for a unique and stable home environment compared to a host family or hotel.
  • Rent a car to make the most of your short free time. Plan on doing weekend activities to explore other parts of the country!
  • Be sure to bring rain gear: boots, umbrella, poncho or jacket.
  • Avoid exchanging your money at the airport as fees are high.
  • Classes cover a large amount of knowledge, but are not intimidatingly intense.

DePaul University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or handicap in admissions, employment, or the provision of services. Inquiries regarding this policy should be addressed to the Director of Human Resources, 1 East Jackson Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

Circumstances, such as an unexpected event abroad or a curriculum change, may require DePaul University to make changes to the program. DePaul University reserves the right to cancel or alter programs and courses without notice.


Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Admissions Notification Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 05/01/2020 ** Rolling Admission 07/23/2020 08/14/2020
NOTE: We encourage applicants to apply by April 15, but applications will be accepted on a space-available basis through May 1. A very limited number of undergraduate or graduate students with a minimum 3.0 and background in international law or human rights may also be admitted to the program.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.