UW-Eau Claire has partnered for several years with Costa Rica Study Abroad (CRSA), a private language institute, for a spring semester program in San Isidro, Costa Rica. With the Latino population in the U.S. continuing to grow, there will be increased demand for professionals in many fields with knowledge of Spanish and an understanding of Latin American cultures.
The program gives you the possibility to immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture through Spanish-language courses and Latin American Studies courses taught in English and Spanish. You will also participate in a two-week service-learning project, allowing you to engage directly with the local community while improving your Spanish language skills!
You will take classes from Costa Rican professors with U.S. students.
During the program you will be living in the town of San Isidro de Heredia, located in the province of Heredia. This lovely town is about 9 miles, or 35 minutes by bus, from downtown San José, and is surrounded by the magnificent cloud forest of Braulio Carrillo National Park.
It has a small, charming downtown area with an appealing semi-rural feeling and a delightful climate, maintained by a cool mountainous breeze all year long. It is still a very dynamic little town with people out an about walking everywhere. Don´t forget to bring your comfortable walking shoes to explore the vicinity!
HOUSING & MEALS
During the program you will be living with a host family, which offers an excellent opportunity for you to learn about family life in Costa Rica, meet locals, and practice your Spanish on a daily basis! During the two week community project you will live with a different host family in the rural community where the project takes place.
Accommodations are arranged with carefully selected host families. In general only one student is placed per family; in all cases, you will have your own room. Your host family will provide you three meals a day.
Past participants report that the informal learning with their family was as important as their classwork to their academic experience. In the words of a past student, "I was so glad to live with a host family rather than in a hotel or dorm. It was a great cultural experience."
To learn about eligibility requirements, academic offerings, and the academic calendar; click here: Academics - Costa Rica Spring
- Meet with a peer adviser about the program. Check the link to see which programs have peer advisers this semester.
- Schedule a general advising appointment with CIE staff by calling 715-836-4411.
During the program, you will participate in a two-week service-learning project. Successful completion of the project fulfills your service-learning requirement! This is a great way to practice your Spanish while giving back to the community.
Below you will find more information on program costs: Costa Rica Spring 2017
Want to see more pictures? Click here!
Students in Costa Rica often meet friends through their host families. Other ways students have gotten involved are by joining gyms, taking dance or cooking classes, and attending events at local universities nearby.
"My experience abroad was the highlight of my college experience. Not only did I get a chance to explore a new culture, a new country and meet new people, but I got to build relationships with locals and the other students who went through the same experiences I did; I developed a new sense of independence and self-confidence in myself along with a better understanding of who I am and my place in the world. It was a life changing experience and I know it will be one of things I will never regret." - Lindsey, Spring 2016
"Becoming immersed in a culture, meeting others from different backgrounds, and becoming fluent in another language is a once in a lifetime experience; one I will never forget." - Leah, Spring 2016
"I have gained so much confidence and I've learned so much about myself. This semester abroad is honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made. It's opened my eyes to a bigger world and other cultures, and I'm so happy to have a family in another country." - Jesse, Spring 2015
"Looking back, I can't imagine myself and my perspective without this experience. It has become an integral part of who I am and what shapes my community and world views. Your language improves drastically, and you learn that you do in fact have the ability to communicate efficiently in another language and that your years of studying are paying off." - Colleen, Spring 2014
EXPLORE COSTA RICA !
Academic field trips will introduce you to a few of the many faces of Costa Rica. Both day visits to sites in the capital of San Jose such as the Museo Nacional, the Zoo or Mariposario, and take weekend trips to sites such as a Pacific beach, Cartago and Guayabo (camping), Santa Rosa and Palo Verde Rain/Dry Forest and wetlands, and Tortuguero (Rain Forest), are included. A trip to Nicaragua is also included in the program costs.
HOW TO APPLY:
To apply, read the application instructions on the How to Apply Page. Then return to this program brochure page, and click the 'apply now' button at the top of the page.