Semester in Costa Rica

On Semester in Costa Rica, you will study abroad in English or in Spanish at a local university, Universidad Veritas, in the bustling capital city of San José. In your free time, explore nearby volcanoes, go zip lining in the rainforest, and get to know Costa Rican culture while sipping some of the best coffee in the world with classmates at a local café! You will experience:

Local and international students – Your fellow students will be a great balance of local Costa Ricans, known as Ticos, and international students.

Choose your language – Take courses ranging from Costa Rican culture and environment to art studies taught in English, take Spanish-language courses, or, if your Spanish is strong enough, choose from a variety of courses in Spanish to immerse yourself with local Costa Rican students and professors! Whatever you do, there's not a better way to learn than to study Spanish in Costa Rica!

Perfect location – Being minutes from the heart of the Costa Rican capital, you can explore the city with ease, but beautiful national parks, picturesque mountain villages, and relaxed beach towns are also nearby.

Extracurricular activities – The University provides weekly dance classes, intramural sports, martial arts classes, Costa Rican cooking classes, religious organizations, volunteer opportunities, and more.

Great excursions – While you study abroad in Costa Rica, you and your fellow study abroad students can take advantage of 2 day trips and 2 weekend excursions, all included with the program. Take a city tour, wander through the local markets, and try some exotic tropical fruit as you explore the rain forest. Experiencing the culture is all part of your study abroad in Costa Rica!

Highlights and Excursions

If you've always wanted to study abroad in Costa Rica, check out our Semester in Costa Rica program. Here are just a few of the key highlights that make this program unique:

  • One of the most environmentally diverse countries in the world! 
  • Courses taught in English and Spanish. Small language classes to help you study Spanish in Costa Rica. 
  • International and local students 
  • Excursions throughout Costa Rica 
  • Wide course selection ranging from business to tropical ecology to photography 
  • Give back to the local community by volunteering 
  • Cooking classes, dance classes, and sports events mean you’ll bond with your classmates outside of the classroom

While in Costa Rica you will be given the opportunity to take two day excursions and two overnight excursions, giving you the perfect opportunity to explore the rest of this great country. Here are a couple of the places you might be visiting:

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve The mountainous area of Monteverde is packed with tropical rainforest. Sitting at an altitude of over a thousand meters, cloud moisture is captured by the trees, often giving the area a humidity of 100% - phew! But it is well worth suffering the heat to get a good look at the staggering environmental diversity of these cloud forests. Endemic flora and fauna can be seen from skywalks and bridges suspended 60 meters up into the canopy!

Tamarindo Located on the north-west Pacific coast, Tamarindo bay is definitely the place if you are looking for an adrenaline rush, or simply some relaxing in the sun. On the numerous beaches there is plenty of surfing, swimming, sailing, kayaking, jet skiing and even ocean horseback riding! Plus, when you get into town you’ll discover that Tamarindo is extremely multi-cultural and laid back. With all of this to do, not to mention the Leatherback Turtle reserves, you will certainly have your choice of activities on your excursion to Tamarindo Bay!

Poas Volcano An active strato-volcano in Central Costa Rica, Parque Nacional Poas Volcano is unique in that it has two huge lake-filled craters at its summit surrounded by forest. An astounding natural site, when you visit the Poas Volcano you are bound to be awed by this area of spectacular diversity.

Cataratas One of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets, Cataratas del Toro is located in the Bajos del Toro Amarillo mountains. This magnificent 300ft waterfall pours into an extinct volcanic crater, creating a truly spectacular sight to be explored!

On Semester in Costa Rica, you’ll really immerse yourself with a home stay! Most of the host families (95 percent) are located within walking distance of the university, although students can also use public transportation. Students typically say that living with a local family was their favorite part of going abroad.

You will enjoy your own room, with all towels, bed linens, blankets, and pillows provided by the family. In addition, you will have access to cooking facilities, and a weekly laundry service. You will need to buy your own lunch but both breakfast and dinner are provided by the host family—what better way to experience true Tico cooking!

Courses include art, environmental studies, health, history, international business, politics, photography, and Spanish language and culture, among others.

For Spanish Courses, please click here.

For English Courses, please click here.

Campus Setting


Average Course Load

4-5 courses (12-18 US credits)

GPA Requirement


Language of Instruction

English and Spanish

Spring 2014*

Session 1 (12 week)
Start Date: January 4
End Date: March 29

Session 2 (16 week)
Start Date: January 4
End Date: May 3

Fall 2014*

Session 1 (12 week):
Start Date: September 27
End Date: December 20

Session 2 (16 week):
Start Date: August 31
End Date: December 21

12 week: $8,490

16 week: $10,240*

*Cost may change at any time due to current exchange rate.

  • Two day and two weekend excursions
  • Full-time tuition & fees
  • Homestay with two meals per day
  • Pre-departure and onsite orientation
  • Airport pick-up
  • Medical & accident insurance
  • Weekly laundry
  • Carbon offset of travel & Green Travel Guide
  • Set up an appointment with Frances Weiner,
  • Fill out the CISabroad Online Application
  • Pay the $200 application deposit*
*This is NOT an extra fee, but is a non-refundable deposit applied towards your total program fee. You will be directed to pay this after completing the online application.