UW-Eau Claire has partnered for several years with Costa Rica Study Abroad (CRSA) to offer students the possibility to immerse themselves in Costa Rican culture each spring semester in the town of San Isidro, Costa Rica through Spanish-language courses and Latin American Studies courses. Furthermore, you will participate in a two week service learning project, allowing you to make a difference in the local community while improving your Spanish language skills! 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.
On this program you will take classes from a private institute called Costa Rica Study Abroad. CRSA has been designing study abroad programs for U.S. students for over 20 years. 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.
Get some video advice from past peer advisers about study abroad. Scroll down
View online info session “First Steps to Study Abroad”.
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 2015.pdf
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.
"I absolutely loved the people here; my host family, the other students, the professors, and of course the natives. There has been a huge improvement in my Spanish skills because of this experience and getting to immerse myself in such a different culture has been so rewarding and humbling. This place definitely changed the way I look at the world and I feel that I’m a better, more well-rounded person because of it." -Heather, Spring 2013
"This experience was absolutely one of a kind. You don’t only learn an insane amount of Spanish, you learn about a whole other culture and way of life. This experience is forever in my heart". -Sidney, Spring 2013
"It was an incredible experience! One where I learned more about myself that I ever thought I would. It was not always easy but it was totally worth it!" - Melissa, Spring 2013
"It broadened my knowledge and so many aspects of my life changed. It’s one thing to see pictures or a movie of another culture, but experiencing it is a whole different thing and no one should pass up the chance to do so." - Annie, Spring 2013
"There has been a huge improvement in my Spanish skills because of this experience and getting to immerse myself in such a different culture has been so rewarding and humbling." -Student, Spring 2013
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.