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Costa Rica, Nursing & Health Care Professions
San Isidro, Costa Rica (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Restrictions: UW-Eau Claire applicants only
Fact Sheet:
2.30 (may be flexible) Language of Instruction: Spanish
Year in School: May apply as freshman; must have at least soph. standing by program begin Coordinator: Courtney Brost
Experiential Education: Volunteer/Service Learning
Program Description:

costa rica nursing and health care professions

Spend eight weeks this summer in Costa Rica, while learning about health care and the Spanish language! Today, one of the keys to effective health care is providing personalized care for each individual.  Given the demographics in our region and nationwide, you will provide care to a patient pool that grows more multicultural each year. 

The growing number of Spanish speakers in the United States has increased the need for health care professionals who can speak Spanish and who have an understanding of Latin American culture. Therefore, cross-cultural experience is a must for today's health care students. This program will help you gain the necessary language and cultural skills to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients.

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!

You will take a course in Medical Spanish at the appropriate level as well as a course on the Costa Rican medical system. To learn about eligibility requirements, academic offerings, and the academic calendar; click here: Academics - Costa Rica Nursing


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! 

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."

  • 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.




Below you will find more information on program costs: Summer 2017

Want to see pictures? Click here!

"I made friends that I feel I will keep in contact with for the rest of my life. This program enriched my understanding of other countries, their health care system, and overall made me realize that there is so much more in the world than what we experience in our every day lives.-" Laura

Academic field trips to introduce you to a few of the many faces of Costa Rica. The trips will include day visits to a variety of medical facilities, both urban and rural.

"I have learned more in two months than I did during the past eight years I have taken Spanish.  Beyond studies, I have learned how to be a more open and culturally sensitive person and can use these skills to not only better my life, but to better the lives of those I will be working with in the future." --Stephanie, Summer 2013

"I expanded my Spanish vocabulary and knowledge in regards to the medical field that will be beneficial to my future and career goals. Living with a host family was a great way to use my Spanish and be immersed into the culture. This experience helped me grow as an individual and become a very independent person." – Lauren, Summer 2016

"This study abroad experience was invaluable to me, personally, academically, and professionally. The ability to improve my communication and languages skills, learn about a different culture first-hand by living with a host family, and become more cognizant of the cultural needs of other groups of people as they pertain to healthcare was what I got from this program – and more!" – Jordyn, Summer 2012

"One of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life." -- Amanda, Summer 2016  
         students near waterfall

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.




Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2017 02/03/2017 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
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