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Study Programs

Living in Costa Rica

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Block 1  (5 Weeks):

Study in San Jose and the Central Valley. Students live in San Jose with Costa Rican families, and study Spanish for four hours daily in the morning. In the afternoon students learn about different topics pertinent to the Central American context such as globalization, health care systems, environmental issues, and history, among others. A constantly evolving reading anthology, expert guest speakers, local field trips, and brief reflection essays are the tools used in getting at these topical issues. One week in Block I is spent in Nicaragua or Panama where students are able to see first hand the current economic and political conditions in the Caribbean side of Costa Rica and Panama, and are challenged to compare and contrast its reality with of these areas, share with indigenous communities and are challenged to compare and contrast these realities. Students prepare for their internship experience during this first month by choosing the organization in which they will work and by planning their particular work in consultation with faculty advisors who are experts in the culture of the Costa Rica and in the students’ areas of interest. During this Block, students will be accompanied by an advisor who will open spaces for dialogue and reflection. 

Block 2  (8 Weeks):

In Block II, participants in this program take on an independent internship to dive into the local culture and contribute to the mission of an organization working on social, educational or environmental goals. During this time, students take Spanish classes and their professors will help them to improve their language and challenge them to enhance their communicative skills. Internship experiences include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Assisting teachers at local public schools.
  • Assisting at any of a number of NGOs in the San Jose area.
  • Participating in environmental or community development organizations. 
  • Cooperating with organizations in sports or recreational activities. 

Block 3  (1 Weeks):

Upon completion of the eight-week internship, students spend a week at ICADS completing a portfolio of their experience and oral presentation, while processing their experiences as a group and together with their faculty advisors (including a reentry workshop).


Start Dates

Spring 2022
Jan 24 2022 to Apr 29 2022

Fall 2022
Sep 05 2022 to Dec 09 2022


14 weeks

Financial & Credit

Deposit: 500

Tuition & Fees: 13,450

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