Study Abroad in Costa Rica


Fall Semester 2017 (12 weeks):

September 4 – December 21, 2017

(Application Deadline – July 1, 2017)

Spring I Semester 2018 (13 weeks):

January 8th – April 6th, 2018

(Application Deadline – October 1, 2017)

Spring II Semester 2018 (12 weeks):

April 9th – June 29th, 2018

(Application Deadline – January 1, 2018)

Additional Program Information

Program Info

Take a Semester Abroad within the International Department of a prestigious, private University, founded in 1991, in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Universidad Veritas is about 60% Tico students and 40% international students.  In the International Department and Spanish exchange program, where you will be, intense language immersion, combined with creative assignments and a broad course offering (see Tab above for Elective Course list) for visiting students guarantees significant strides in acquisition of the Spanish language.

Earn up to 12 total credit hours (and pay less than you would at home – and anywhere else for that matter.  In about 30 seconds you can compare our prices to other competitor programs and see the difference:  at the time of this writing there is a $10,550 and an $8,995 option for the VERY SAME PROGRAM at the VERY SAME UNIVERSITY in San Jose!) 

For both Spring and Fall semesters in 2017:

Choose 4 courses. We recommend – 3 Spanish Modules + 1 Elective:  students ramp up their language level significantly; OR 3 Electives + 1 Spanish Module: for students who need to meet their major requirements while studying abroad

The Spanish Modules represent all levels of Spanish (part of the enrollment process is taking a skype oral test to determine best level)  in grammar and conversation, based on the use of authentic and practical contexts in order to facilitate the acquisition of vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students are coached in the analysis of linguistic and extra-linguistic elements during the reading and writing practices. All levels evaluate oral, listening, reading and writing assignments.Class sizes are small with 10 maximum for Spanish classes and 15 for elective classes.

The Electives course list includes Health, Art, Architecture, Business, Entrepreneurship and more – think classes in communications, psychology, international business, economics, Latin American and Costa Rican literature and multicultural studies (see tab above for full list). Students come from Canada, USA, Western Europe and Asia.


  • The affordable price: 3 months/12 units at an unbeatable cost
  • Students take a full academic load of 12 core semester hours in an American university system
  • Credits are fully transferable to a student’s home institution
  • In-depth Orientation upon arrival at the University
  • Housing is your own room living with a Costa Rican family, interested in receiving exchange students in their homes and fully screened by our on-site staff – all meals + laundry included
  • Conversation Partner program with Costa Rican Students- “Intercambios.” This component enables foreign students to have contact with Costa Rican students to practice their Spanish and make friends
  • Generous drop and add period during first weeks abroad
  • Typical Latin American food cooking lessons
  • Museum, Artisans Market and other visits as part of curriculum
  • Extensive Excursions Package:  travel to beaches, volcanoes and rainforest, some are overnight!

What’s Included


  • Pre-Departure Orientation and counselling
  • University Registration & Tuition
  • Books & Materials
  • Airport pick-up and delivery to your housing in San Jose
  • Orientation consists of: Placement exam, guides & rules to home stay program, Do’s and Don’ts in San Jose, explanation of elective course schedule, safety issues & culture shock, fear & expectations sessions.
  • 4 Classes.  3 Spanish classes and  1 Elective class OR 1 Spanish class and 3 Elective classes (See tab for Course List & Descriptions)
  • Sealed, fully transferable University transcripts upon successful completion of the semester
  • Housing with a Costa Rican family – your own room, we never double bunk!
  • 2 Meals per day + laundry once a week
  • Come with a friend and live together during your time in Costa Rica.
  • English speaking Adelante staff on campus
  • Significant excursion package – think weekend trips and day trips to coast and beaches

Prices do not include additional meals, personal items and personal travel.

** Students who receive scholarships, financial aid and loans for their studies at home may also apply those to study in this program **

Course List

Course List:

Spanish Modules

Elective Courses taught in English

Elective Courses taught in Spanish


SPN 101 – Básico 1 (80 hours)

This course is an introduction to Spanish for beginners so no previous knowledge of the language is required. Students will develop the basic linguistic skills in order to communicate in common simple situations. The course covers basic grammatical structures, vocabulary, communicative expressions and frequent situations in settings such as restaurants, stores, buses and others. Emphasis is given on understanding, speaking, reading and cross-cultural perspectives.

SPN 102 – Básico 2 (80 hours)
This course is for students who have completed a minimum of 60 contact hours in Spanish studies and already have a command on elementary grammatical tenses. Students will advance on their previous experiential knowledge and further develop their oral, reading, written and listening skills. Students will expand their vocabulary and language usage in order to facilitate interaction with the Costa Rican environment and be able to express themselves in the past.

SPN 201 – Intermedio 1 (80 hours) Pre-requisite: SPN 102
Students in this course should have a good communicative command of usual everyday situations and a structural command of the present tense. The objective of this course is to develop the student’s skills emphasizing on oral and written presentations and more complex grammatical structures. Students should develop a good command of all past indicative tenses.

SPN 202 – Intermedio 2 (80 hours) Pre-requisite: SPN 201
This course emphasizes the discourse enrichment on contexts related to description and simple narrations. The contents include vocabulary building and detailed work with the subjunctive mode and other complex grammatical structures. Students will also learn idiomatic expressions used in Costa Rican.

SPN 210 – Intermediate Spanish Conversation (80 hours) Pre-requisite: SPN 202
Students with high intermediate level Spanish wishing to improve their communicative skills and pronunciation should take this course. Day-to-day conversation and cultural issues are emphasized. The methodology enhances structured speech to provide a firm foundation in patterns of spoken Spanish, progressing towards free conversation.

SPN 301 – Avanzado 1 (80 hours)
This course is based on grammatical analysis, expansion of vocabulary, idiomatic expressions through readings, and student compositions at a complex level. The objective is for students to acquire a high level of communicative Spanish that will permit them to express their opinion and thoughts on complex and controversial subjects.

SPN 302 – Avanzado 2 (80 hours)
This course is for students who want to polish their oral and written skills. Students should have a high linguistic level and full knowledge of grammatical structures in order to work on polishing stylistics. Students will practice narrative constructions, reactions on non expected contexts, how to report compiled information. The course also covers important aspects about myths, relieves and other cultural issues in Latin America.

SPN 310 – Español Conversacional Avanzado (80 hours)
This course is based on acquiring the skill of self correction. Students will acquire higher levels of diction and fluency through the exposure to oral contexts, idiomatic language and the varieties of Spanish spoken in different Spanish-speaking nations. This course develops skills in reading, discussion, analysis, self correction and research. Emphasis is given to pragmatic production and students must be prepared to spend a minimum of 2 extra hours per day for assignments.

SPN 330 – Spanish for Heritage Speakers (80 hours)
This course is for Spanish as a first language speakers who possess an advanced level of communication and wish to acquire proficiency in the use of complex grammatical structures. Emphasis will be given to listening, writing and reading skills.

Courses for which there is insufficient enrollment (less than 4 students) may be cancelled.

Art and Humanites

ARCH 3112: History of Latin American Architecture and Art  3 credits (48 hours)
A chronological overview of main invents and influences that contributed to the making of past and present architecture in Latin America analyzing the artistic manifestations.

ARCH 2100: Art Fundamentals, Theory and Practice  3 credits (48 hours)
For beginner students, discover personal meaning in works of art, and develop a better understanding of the nature and validity of art as a visual and spatial language (line, shape, volume, light, space, time, motion, color and texture). Students will learn about the essential principles of art through experience and experimentation. Emphasis will be placed on the diversity of form and content in artwork. With the right attitude, class experiences will be positive and memorable. By the end of the course, students should feel comfortable with the art materials used, and have a basic overview of the history of art and how it represents its society, particularly in Latin America.

ART 1301: Basic Principles of Drawing  3 credits (48 hours)
This studio art course introduces the basic principles of drawing. Students will sketch models and landscapes and experiment with abstract techniques. The focus of this course is on the development of expression and observational drawing from stilllifes, live models and landscapes.

CTV 3400: Documentary Appreciations of Drawing  3 credits (48 hours)
Students will critically analyze audiovisual documentaries and explore film and photography mediums in both traditional and new media. Class time will include academic learning, viewing and discussion of material, practical exercises and written assignments.

DNCE 2500: Introduction to Latin American Tropical Dance  3 credits (48 hours) Explore the technique, rhythm and movement of Latin American tropical dance. History, anthropology, folklore, videos and songs will all play a role in this experiential course. Students will come away with a general understanding of the history and folklore of Latin American dance, and will become familiar with the basic rhythms of various Latin American countries..

HUM 3513: Costa Rica: Hisotry and Culture  3 credits (48 hours)
This course provides a general survey of the complex heritage and social evolution of Costa Rica, using a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach and focusing on the historical development and present day dynamics of economy, society, politics, natural resources and culture. Emphasis will be placed upon different topics throughout the course, based on participating students’ diverse backgrounds and expectations.

ETH 3100: Selected Topics in Afro-Caribbean Studies  3 credits (48 hrs) (Can also count for ETHN 3100 Selected Topics in Ethnic Studies)

This course examines a particular topic, theme, issue, or problem concerning the Black presence in Costa Rica and Central America. Sample offerings could include Central America and ethnic politics, history and Culture, Blacks in Central American governments, Contemporary Black literature, History of the Black experience in Costa Rica.

PHIL 3100: Comparative Classical Philosophy  3 credits (48 hours)
An overview of the history and selected concepts in major eastern and western philosophical movements and systems from ancient to the middle age periods. Students will reflect on certain topics such as mind-body, Concept of God, knowledge of self and others, predestination and free will, cause and effect and other fundamental ideas in classical knowledge.

PHOT 2130: Cultural Photography  3 credits (48 hours)
Practical exercises and field trips students will apply the theoretical information provided in lectures to consciously explore Costa Rican culture. The focus of the projects is the creation of photographic images and essays.

PHOT 2600: Digital Photography  3 credits (48 hours)
The course offers technical  knowledge and skills to capture and manipulate digital images. Students will create photographic images through practice exercises aiming to apply the information provided through lectures. Students must have a digital point and shoot or SLR camera and a basic understanding of Mac and Windows operating systems

Business, Economics, Communication and Psychology

COMM 3200: InterCultural Communication  3 credits (48 hours)
This course addresses issues of diversity and commonalities among human beings, and the implications and applications according to each situation and professional context. Students will develop skills for intercultural competence.

ECON 3403: Introduction to International Economics & Latin America  3 credits (48 hours)
Prerequisite: ECON 1000, or ECON 2010 and 2020.    Examines Latin American policies that affect the international economy, with attention to trade barriers, economic nationalism and regionalism, international political economy, exchange market intervention and international transmission of economic perturbations. Pre- Requisite ECON 1000, or ECON 2010 and 2020.

GEB 3350: Introduction to International Business  3 credits (48 hours)
An overview of cultural environment of international business and the institutions which affect business today. The Latin American perspective with regard to the U.S., Asia and Europe is examined: NAFTA, Merco sur, the EC and other common market areas and agreements. .

GEB 3120: Innovation and Entrepreneurship  3 credits (48 hours)
A NEW course:  students will gain an understanding of the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship on global and local economies, as well as the patterns of innovation and their impact on cultures and business environments. Classes will also include discussions and investigations around key elements of entrepreneurship, such as the stages of a business, funding sources, exit strategies and crucial skills for entrepreneurs.

MKTG 3010: International Marketing Management  3 credits (48 hrs)
International Marketing / Business majors wanted! Students gain an understanding of international marketing—both its challenges and opportunities. Students enrolling in this course should be familiar with basic marketing terminology and have a basic/intermediate understanding of marketing concepts. We will examine the concepts of international marketing through the analysis of case studies, and will propose ideas through class assignments.

MKTG 3050: Sustainable Consumption and Production 3 credits (48 hrs)
Course focuses on a holistic approach to minimizing the negative environmental impacts from consumption and production systems while promoting quality of life. Curriculum will help students acquire the knowledge, capacities, and values to help them shape a better tomorrow as more responsible consumers. Also focuses on an examination of value systems and the life-cycle assessment of selected consumer items involving their economic, environmental and social aspects, the latter involving an introduction to product responsibility, labor practices, human rights and societal perspectives.

MGMT 3030: Creative Leadership Skills  3 credits (48 hrs)
Provides the opportunity to learn about and practice the skills required for managerial excellence. These skills include leadership, negotiation, conducting performance appraisals, delegation, effective communication, interviewing and making hiring decisions and effective human resource management.

PSY 3050: Cultural Psychology  3 credits (48 hrs)
This course introduces students to the field of psychology, and examines the influence of culture on human behavior and cognitive processes. “Culture” is defined as the shared norms, values and behaviors of groups, and of the individuals within those groups. We will focus on such topics as cultural factors in self-concept, gender roles, motivation, cognition, emotions, relationships and social values. Our exploration will be based on psychological theories, research, guest lecturers and field experiences.

History, Politics & International Relations

HIS 3290: Costa Rican Economic & Human Development: from Coffee and bananas to ecotourism and microchips  3 credits (48 hours)
Students are introduced the outstanding socio-economic and political features that have shaped and defined the history and development path of Costa Rica.

HIS 2302: Contemporary Latin American History  3 credits (48 hours)
This course provides a survey of the main events in Latin American history after its independence. Topics include the historical causes and effects of independence, social, economic and political issues, and key historical leaders in modern day Latin America.

POL 2500: Human Rights in Latin America  3 credits (48 hours)
A focus on human rights in the case of Costa Rica, giving students an opportunity to explore the development of human rights in the following areas: women’s rights, children’s rights, HIV/AIDS, the CAFTA agreement and labor rights, indigenous groups and human rights, disability and age issues, and the prison environment.

POL 3100 Costa Rican Tradition: Peace and Democracy  3 credits (48 hours)
The general objective of this course is to discuss, with students, the social, economic and political issues of the process of construction of peace and democracy in Costa Rica and Central America (1948-2005).

POL 3220 Migration Issues:  the Costa Rica case (48 hours)
This class studies the depiction of migrants as others, the management of their image by media and elements pertaining human rights and citizenship in the cases immigrants in Costa Rica and opening the possibility to compare the United States as a host country. The objective is to visualize the construction of cultural identities, its effects on the intergroup encounters and societal perspectives on migration.

POL 3450 International Relations in Latin America   3 credits (48 hours)
The course will analyze the aspects of the Economic Integration, globalization and conditions for a successful integration between economies and the effects of free trade in the region as well as the effects of protectionism. There will be a special treatment on foreign investments and joint ventures in the Latin America.

POL 3560 International Politics in the Middle East  3 credits (48 hours)
This course examines current and historical events in the Middle East. Students will gain a basic understanding of conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories.  In addition, the aftermath of the Middle East Peace Conference in December 2007 will also be examined. The objective of the course is to promote the interaction of ideas and arguments, based on a balanced analysis of the topics. Coursework includes: written essays, online research, assignments, documentary films, socio-dramas and debate.

Health & Human Development

HHD 1020 Introduction to Physical Therapy  3 credits (48 hours)
For hands on students to learn the basic concepts of human anatomy, the most common injuries and illnesses that require physical therapy, and the different tools and methods used to treat them. The course consists of theoretical lectures and laboratory practice, giving students a hands-on experience of the techniques provided in the lectures. By the end of the course, students will have a general knowledge of various specialty areas, as well as techniques such as massage therapy, electrotherapy and therapeutic exercise.

PSY 2200 Health Psychology  3 credits (48 hours)

The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Based on this definition, the concepts of health and illness have changed. Today, health care professionals (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, etc.) must have a bio-psycho-social approach to patient health. It is extremely important that they have a general understanding of health psychology, which studies how biology, behavior and social context influence health and illness. In this course, we will discuss some of the most common topics related to health psychology that are pertinent to the health care professions.

HHD 2500 Introduction to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and other Neurobehavioral Conditions  3 credits (48 hours)

The long-term goal is to help prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and other Neurobehavioral conditions (FA/NB). This course is designed to provide and build upon previous information on FA/NB and the effects of other drugs on fetal development and the long-term effects of such exposure on children, adolescents and adults.  Additionally the range, degree, and variability of effects of prenatal drug exposure will also be explored. A conceptual foundation will be established to support the development of effective strategies and facilitate long-term collaboration. The intent of this course is to provide students with a common language for those working with FA/NB patients and their families, and to facilitate communication and support for ongoing networking and collaboration.


Literatura y Linguistica

El curso ofrece una introducción por parte de los estudiantes al estudio de la literatura en español y presenta los recursos básicos para la elaboración de un comentario o análisis literario. El estudiante adquirirá la terminología necesaria así como métodos críticos que le permitan generar comentarios y explicación de textos informados.

Estudio de autores, corrientes literarias o particularidades de género en la literatura Latinoamericana.

SPN 3050: Fonética y Fonología  3 credits (48 hours)
En este curso se aprenden métodos y herramientas de la lingüística descriptiva aplicada a la fonética y articulación.

SPN 3070: INTRODUCCION A LA TRADUCCION 3 credits (48 hours)
Una introducción a las herramientas teóricas y prácticas para el proceso de traducción del inglés al español. Los estudiantes aprenderán a hacer traducciones de textos sencillos de complejidad intermedia y avanzada tratando de mantener la mayor fidelidad posible con la intención y estilo del autor.

Este curso explora una perspectiva socio-histórica de la lengua como un aspecto de estudio importante, para comprender el mecanismo lingüístico actual dentro de diferentes contextos sociales de habla. El enfoque de este curso es analizar la variedad dialectal que se refleja en los diferentes países latinoamericanos mediante rasgos: fonológicos, morfológicos y léxicos que toman en cuenta elementos culturales. Además, el curso pretende como objetivo primordial conocer y poner en práctica estrategias dialectales para fomentar elementos comunicativos auténticos que enriquezcan el uso del idioma español.

El curso aborda la principal producción literaria femenina en Costa Rica. Se enfoca en el análisis de temáticas presentes en los diferentes textos y su relación con la realidad nacional. Prereq. SPN 301

Este curso es una panorámica de la literatura española, desde sus inicios hasta la primera mitad de la literatura contemporánea. Presenta una visión general de cada período en los que se ha dividido la literatura española, así como sus principales características. También se estudian los textos más representativos de los exponentes de cada período.

Estudio de la producción cinematográfica en relación con la literatura en Latino América. Prereq. SPN 301

En la actualidad las nuevas tecnologías propulsan una mejor comunicación e interrelaciones sociales abarcando el concepto de Ecología Humana que se refiere a pensar la vida desde la economía emocional del desarrollo humano. Una vertiente que compone un eje transversal en el conocimiento  es la equidad de género hacia la consecución, desde la comunicación, del respeto y la interacción del crecimiento de las personas para que se entablen mejores relaciones humanas y comprender los hechos relevantes de la vida desde una visión del mundo más integradora.Prereq. SPN 301

Online Reviews

Application Process

Click on the button at the top of the page to apply for this program now!

Late applications are accepted on a case by case basis and are subject to a $250 late fee.

Program Fee

Spring, Fall Program 2017: $7,650

Non-refundable application fee: $150 

Sample Excursions

Click on the box below to see some examples of awesome excursions that are included in this program!

Excursions and Adventures Included!

Some ideas of the kinds of excursions and activities available in our Costa Rica program… (Availability is based on various things, including weather, number of candidates who sign up, availability of transportation and more).

Manuel Antonio National Park

It’s a National Park on the Central Pacific, and it’s one of the most beautiful beaches found in this region of the country. The landscape is composed of white sands and warm waters surrounded by lush vegetation. You can see a variety of Flora and Fauna including white-faced monkeys, sloths, raccoons and many other species of rodents and birds.

Includes: Transportation, accommodations (in a hotel or cabin of your choice) and Breakfast
Departure: Friday
Return: Sunday

Arenal Volcano/ Hot Springs

One of the active volcanoes that can be found in Costa Rica. During the day you can see smoke emanating from the crater. With the dark of night you can see bright red eruptions of lava, which create relaxing hot springs.

Includes: Transportation, lunch, dinner, entrance to hot springs
Departure: 8:00 A.M.
Return: 11:00 P.M.

Canopy Tour

You can either go to Poas or San Lorenzo. This trip is done on ropes amongst the treetops. Appreciate first hand the great biodiversity that nature has to offer. The tours are done with very good equipment and visitors are secured with harnesses and security lines. Go between bridges and platforms 15 meters off the ground or higher, as high as 27 meters.

Includes: Transportation, lunch, entrance, guide
Departure: 7:00 A.M.
Return: 4:00 P.M.

Should you wish to participate in more activities and excursions than what is included in your program, you absolutely can! We make these and more available to you — all are very worthwhile, guided by a trusted resource — and the cost typically will be less than you would pay on your own.

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