Spanish Language, Liberal Arts & Environmental Sciences Available Sessions
Get a Flight Credit worth up to $1,000 when you apply with code* by February 17, 2023
About the Program
Take a deep dive into environmental issues in a country that's renowned for its amazing biodiversity while improving your Spanish language fluency and discovering local culture. Along with environmental science courses, you'll choose from a range of liberal arts courses with a Costa Rican focus in areas such as economics, health sciences, political science, photography, and cultural studies. Designed for all levels of proficiency, you'll take one or more Spanish language courses and choose from a range of electives taught in English. Students at the advanced Spanish language level may choose to take electives taught in Spanish. An Early Start option, offered in the fall semester, helps you jump start your Spanish language skills before the semester begins.
Students going to Costa Rica are required to be up to date on the COVID-19 vaccination and recommended booster doses per local regulations. You must submit your CDC card (or equivalent) as proof of being up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine and/or booster dose(s) to CEA by your program withdrawal date. Read more about CEA’s Public Health protocols here.
- San Jose
- 1/3/15 - 3/28/15
- 14 - 19
- Apply by:
- Withdraw by:
- Application Requirements
- $95 Online Application Fee
- Complete Application
- Transcript - Unofficial
You'll enroll into 1-3 language courses and 1-3 elective courses. Language courses are organized into 4-week blocks; each semester contains 3 blocks. You will be tested at the end of each block and may move into a higher language level. Elective courses run for the entire semester.
Veritas University offers courses in English and Spanish language. English taught courses are fully in English, while the Spanish language acquisition courses are taught fully in Spanish - the methodology they use is “Spanish in Spanish”. Veritas utilizes the Competencies based learning as their Pedagogical Model for both English and Spanish courses.
You also have the opportunity to take courses within the same academic theme and earn a certificate. By focusing on a specific academic area you will deepen you understanding of the chosen topic and boost your resume. You have to choose 4 courses from the pre-selected course list to earn a corresponding certificate. The following certificates are available: Global Leadership, Environmental Policy & Sustainability Awareness, Tropical & Environmental Sciences, Artistic Development, Wellness & Psychology, Human Rights & Conflict Resolution, Latin American Politics. The courses corresponding to each certificate can be accessed here.
Language courses meet for 60 contact hours/4 credits; elective courses meet for 48-60 contact hours/3-4 credits. Together, you may earn 12-16 credits (up to 240 contact hours) over the semester.
If you choose the Early Start option, you'll enroll in an additional language course that meets for 60 contact hours/4 credits. With the Early Start option, you may earn 16-20 credits (up to 300 contact hours) over the semester.
Language courses meet for 3 hours in the morning, Monday-Friday. Elective courses typically meet 2-3 days per week. Active learning components required by your courses may be scheduled on Fridays.
Prior to departure, you will select your preferred courses and take a language placement exam. You will be enrolled into courses based on their availability and the results of your language placement exam. It is in your best interest to have multiple alternative courses approved by your home university prior to your departure due to course availabilities. To ensure that you receive credit for the language level you place into, have your home school pre-approve courses at several levels before you leave for Costa Rica. Please consult with your academic advisor at your home university on credit pre-approval guidelines.
Get out and explore! Excursions are offered for most semester, year, and summer programs*. Semester students are typically offered between two to three excursions and summer study students are typically offered between one to two excursions. You'll receive a calendar of excursions during orientation; here are a few day and overnight excursions we've offered in the past.
Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna
Arenal Volcano is located next to La Fortuna, built in 1969 after the original town was destroyed by a huge eruption. On the way to La Fortuna, you’ll stop at Finca Don Juan, an organic farm where you’ll learn about organic products like cassava. Next enjoy a hike to La Fortuna Waterfall, where you can swim in cool waters hidden in the jungle. Finish your day with a visit to Baldi Hot Springs , where you can relax in the many water pools naturally heated by Arenal Volcano.
Manuel Antonio National Park
Located on the Central Pacific Coast in Puntarenas Province, Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s most popular and beautiful national parks and home to many endangered species, such as the Titi monkey. On the way to Manuel Antonio, you’ll stop at the Tárcoles River to watch huge crocodiles in their natural habitat. Once inside Manuel Antonio, keep your eyes open for monkeys, sloths, and many species of birds and insects as you enjoy the pristine beaches, beautiful waterfalls, and impressive lookout points in this lush tropical forest. Colorful and plentiful crafts sold on the beach make this the perfect place to buy souvenirs for loved ones back home.
Doka Estate Coffee Tour & Poas Volcano
Enjoy beautiful views from the mountainside and savor a warm cup of coffee as you gaze out at the coffee plantations of Alajuela. Thanks to eruptions from Poás Volcano, this land’s rich soil is perfect for growing coffee, one of Costa Rica’s major exports. Next you’ll head to the volcano where you'll take a short hike up to its crater,which is one of the biggest in the world (2 kilometers in diameter).There the turquoise acid pool and fumaroles are visible coming out of the sides of the crater.
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Visit a cloud forest that boasts a complex, far-reaching ecosystem that’s home to thousands of species of mammals, birds, insects, and plants, including many endemic and endangered species. Take a night walk to observe fascinating nocturnal animals like spiders and snakes, and immerse in the cloud forest through a tour of hanging bridges. During your free time, you can explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and experience being both the Caribbean and the Pacific sides of the country at once by stepping on the Continental Divide.
This budget contains costs that you can take to your financial aid office. Please note that amounts may fluctuate; we’ve included a range of costs.
Federal law allows the use of financial aid to cover “reasonable” costs of study abroad including round-trip transportation, tuition and fees for the program, living costs, passport and visa fees, health insurance, and more.
Please note that all costs and charges listed below are subject to change without notice. With the exception of Program Price, all costs are estimates and may vary.
Below is a tentative itinerary for your program. Please note, dates and events below may change without prior notification. Contact CEA before purchasing airline tickets.
You will receive a finalized itinerary once you arrive onsite.
Note: Additional cultural activities/excursions or required course-related activities may be incorporated into your final itinerary. You are advised not to make personal travel arrangements until you have the final dates.