Summer in Costa Rica

Courses in English and Spanish with local professors on an urban campus minutes from the heart of San José. Explore the city, as well as beautiful nearby national parks, picturesque mountain villages, and relaxed beach towns.

Study Spanish in Costa Rica and take courses in English in a tropical location. With courses in English and Spanish on an urban campus in one of the most biodiverse nations on the planet, Summer in Costa Rica is a unique way to learn a new language and explore a fascinating country.

We are with you 100 percent. At CISabroad, all our advisors have studied or lived abroad. From watching toucans in the rain forest to drinking fresh jugo on a pristine beach, we love Costa Rican culture. We are here to help you start your summer abroad in Costa Rica and then fall in love with the country just like we have!

No matter how long you stay, we’re affordable. We offer one of the most affordable study abroad programs in Costa Rica. Savings for you means money left over for exploration, coffee sipping, and zip-lining.

During your summer studying abroad in Costa Rica, you’ll live in vibrant San José, Costa Rica’s capital. At the university, you will study in English and take Spanish-language classes. After classes, you can try some of Costa Rica’s famous activities, like hiking volcanoes, zip-lining in the rainforest, and trying some incredible Costa Rican coffee.

Classes with international students – Your fellow students will be a great balance of students from across the US and many countries around the world.

Study Spanish in Costa Rica – Study Spanish abroad at any level with local professors. Use your Spanish in the markets, restaurants, and salsa classes of San José, and you’ll really learn the language.

Perfect location – You’ll be minutes from the heart of San Jose, so you can easily explore the city, as well as the beautiful nearby national parks, picturesque mountain villages, and relaxed beach towns that make Costa Rica famous!

Awesome classes in English – Study the Costa Rican health care system, human rights in Latin America, ecotourism, cultural photography, and international economic integration in Latin America, all in English.

Great excursions – A day trip and a weekend excursion with your fellow study abroad students are included in the program. Take a city tour, wander through the local markets, and try some exotic tropical fruit as you explore the rain forest for the perfect summer abroad in Costa Rica.

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

  • One of the most biodiverse countries on the planet
  • Courses taught in English and Spanish - study Spanish in Costa Rica, the best way to learn!
  • Excursions throughout Costa Rica
  • Wide course selection, from Business to Tropical Ecology to Photography
  • Study at a highly ranked private university in San Jose
  • Live with a local family
  • Explore the bustling capital city of San José
  • Cooking classes, dance classes, and sports events help you bond with your classmates

During your summer in Costa Rica, you will be able to go on one day trip and one overnight trip, so you can be sure to explore the rest of the country. You may be visiting:

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Monteverde is an incredible rainforest at an altitude of over 1,000 meters. This altitude means that cloud moisture is captured by the trees, making the area extremely humid. But the amazing biodiversity in this cloud forest is well worth the humidity! You can get a bird’s eye view of native flora and fauna from skywalks and bridges suspended 60 meters up in the canopy.

Check out the beaches of Tamarindo Bay on the Pacific Coast to relax in the sun, surf, swim, sail, kayak, jet skiing, and horseback ride. You can also see Leatherback Turtle reserves. Tamarindo is a fun and laid-back town to visit, perfect for a break in schoolwork!

Poas Volcano
This active volcano has two enormous lake-filled craters at its summit, and is surrounded by rainforest. This National Park is an incredible area of natural beauty.

Cataratas del Toro is in the Bajos del Toro Amarillo Mountains. It’s a 300-foot waterfall that pours into an extinct volcano, making an incredible sight!

Summer in Costa Rica at Universidad Veritas offers varied courses that help you earn credit toward graduation while gaining fluency in Spanish. Veritas is a great place to learn more about Costa Rica’s history, culture, environment, politics, and more!

We have three amazing study options for you in our Summer in Costa Rica program! A four-week Spanish language intensive program in which you will take one Spanish language course; a five-week language and culture program in which you will take one Spanish language program and one elective course; and an eight-week Spanish language and culture program in which you will take two Spanish language courses and one elective.

GPA Required: 2.5. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses
Now for the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CISabroad Application Page. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses for each of our summer programs.

Course load:
4-week Spanish language intensive- 1 course (5 US credits)
5-week Spanish language and culture- 2 courses: One Intensive Spanish and One Elective (8-9 US credits)
8-week Spanish language and culture- 3 courses: Two Intensive Spanish and One Elective (13-14 US credits)

Course approval for Spanish language: placement exam
When selecting a Spanish-language course, choose the one whose description best reflects your current abilities. Once you’re accepted into the program, we will send you instructions for taking an online placement exam so that Veritas can begin to assess your level of Spanish. Following the online (written) placement exam, you will be assessed orally by staff in Costa Rica via Skype, allowing you to be placed in the most appropriate language level before you arrive in Costa Rica. Language courses are taught in blocks. At the end of each block, you will be tested and then have the opportunity to move to a higher level.

Course approval for English electives
It is best to get 2–3 elective classes approved before you go abroad. This way you will have plenty of classes to choose from and some flexibility in setting up your schedule.

Click here for a list of English and Spanish electives. Please note that not all courses may be available over the summer as availability is based on enrollment.

Click here for a list of Intensive Spanish courses.

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? You can get a grant for something as simple as applying early, or a scholarship for blogging. 


For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

Costa Rica has an inviting warm climate year-round, which makes coming at any time during the year perfect. It’s been labeled as one of the most environmentally friendly, happiest countries in the world by several international surveys! 

The country is bordered by both the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean, making it a beach-lover’s paradise. Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity is also protected by many national parks, so you can view unspoiled rainforests, rivers, and volcanoes. There’s also plenty of opportunity for adventures here! Whitewater rafting, hiking, and zip-lining are all common activities. You could even have the chance to see howler monkeys up close and personal, or watch a leatherback turtle lay eggs on the beach!

The Costa Ricans you meet in San José are known for being friendly and laid-back, and will help make your cultural immersion easier. While living in San José, you can look forward to visiting the National Theater, many busy markets, delicious local restaurants, and salsa clubs, all with the help of the city’s easy-to-use transportation system.

You’ll be studying at Universidad Veritas, one of the best private universities in Central America. The school is conveniently located just minutes from the center of San José! Universidad Veritas has a cozy size of about 1,500 Costa Rican students and 300 international students from all over the world. You will be able to take classes in both English and Spanish abroad, and also take courses in a wide variety of majors including architecture, marketing and design. You can immerse yourself in Costa Rican life even more through the school’s many on-campus activities, local trips, and even a Costa Rican language-exchange partner. 

Studying abroad with CISabroad gives you access to an extremely supportive staff who makes sure that you are adjusting culturally and academically. They’ll be there anytime you have a question or concern, but they also know that you need freedom and independence to explore your new home in Costa Rica!

Living in Costa Rica is affordable even on a student budget! San José offers countless art exhibitions, concerts, dances, film festivals, and more. Through the university, you can participate in salsa dancing lessons, sports teams, a partner program with local Costa Rican students, traditional Costa Rican cuisine cooking lessons, city excursions, and free self-defense and martial arts classes.

You’ll also have a chance to gain some great volunteering experiences, like working with underprivileged children, which will undoubtedly make your time in Costa Rica more fulfilling.

To get you acquainted with your new city, our Summer in Costa Rica study abroad program offers an extensive orientation program that will help you get comfortable and excited about living in San José. You’ll get to go on numerous excursions to some of Costa Rica’s beautiful natural wonders, as well as explore everything that the capital city has to offer.

You will also have the unique experience of living with a local family, where you’ll have your own room, meals, and weekly laundry. You’ll be in easy walking distance of the university, and will get to know the city in a whole new way through your homestay!

You will get to have the unique experience of living in the home of a local Costa Rican family! This is the perfect way to immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture. Most of the homes are located within walking distance on the university, and public transportation is easy to access.

You’ll enjoy the privacy of having your own room, furnished with towels, bed linens, blankets, and pillows provided by your host family. Additionally, you have access to the kitchen and a weekly laundry service. Delicious Costa Rican breakfasts and dinners are provided by your host family.

CISabroad’s Site Director in Costa Rica:

Lisa was born in Costa Rica and has lived in the United States on several occasions. She is an alumni of Veritas University, where she majored in photography, and is currently pursuing her bachelors degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She is passionate about travel, and has had 10 years of experience leading study abroad groups all throughout Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. In her free time Lisa enjoys going to art exhibits, watching movies, dancing and learning new languages. She speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese, and is currently learning French.

1. What is the cost of program tuition? What is included in the program fees?

The program cost for the three Summer in Costa Rica programs (5 week, 8 week, and Intensive Spanish Language) can be found here.

2. When are the program fees due?

The final Payment Deadline for Summer in Costa Rica depends on the program. Please visit this link for more information, including the dates. CISabroad will email invoices to students approximately one month before the program payment deadline. For example, if your payment deadline is July 15, you should expect your invoice in mid-June. If you are using financial aid, please ensure all financial aid paperwork is returned to our office by the payment deadline. If your financial aid does not cover your entire balance, CISabroad accepts these payment methods.

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due?

The application process can be broken into easy steps!

1. The first step is to fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc. (Only takes five minutes!)

2. After filling out the online application, an advisor from our Global Advising Center will grant you portal access with a set of preliminary forms. 

3. The next step is to pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost. 

4. Within a day after submitting your deposit, you will receive a welcome email from your Program Coordinator—the person you will work with until departure. Your Program Coordinator will then give you program-specific items in your portal. (Note: Both preliminary portal pieces and program-specific tasks must be completed by the application deadline.)

#CISabroadTip: Contact your school’s registrar and have them send us your transcript early on in the application process (you can send us your transcript even before you’ve made the $200 deposit!) since snail mail makes this the slowest piece to submit. (We also accept electronic OFFICIAL transcripts if your school provides them.)

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. The application deadline for the Summer in Costa Rica is usually in early May. For exact dates, contact an advisor or check here.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

Yes, you do need a passport to travel to Costa Rica. Your passport must be valid for 6 months BEYOND the date you return to the United States. For detailed passport instructions, U.S. citizens should check the State Department's Travel Site. For the Summer in Costa Rica program, you can get a visa if you wish, but it is not required. Contact an advisor for more information at

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes. The GPA requirement for the Summer Costa Rica program is 2.5, but sometimes a lower GPA is accepted. Contact an advisor for more information at

6. What are my housing options? 

The Summer in Costa Rica program uses local homestay families that have been hosting international students for many years. They are thoroughly vetted and evaluated on a regular basis. Homestays are a great way to get to know the local culture and eat delicious, homemade food.

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. How many credits are offered in the program?

For the Summer in Costa Rica, a student will receive between 5 and 14 credits, depending on the program and courses elected. For a more detailed breakdown of program and course options in Costa Rica, go here.

9. Can I combine this program with another CISabroad program like intern, summer, or semester abroad?

Yes! A great way to extend your CISabroad experience is participating in another program. Combine semester programs to create a full academic year or if an academic year is just a little too long and a semester is too short, combine a semester and summer session or a semester and a January term program. You can also participate in a semester abroad and combine that with a summer intern abroad. To find out more information on the application process for more than one CISabroad program, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

Term: Summer 2017 Intensive Spanish Language
Arrival June 3
CISabroad Orientation June 4
Classes Start June 5
Classes End June 30
Departure July 1
Application Deadline April 1
Term: Summer 2017 Language and Culture Exploration (5 Week)
Arrival July 8
CISabroad Orientation July 9
Classes Start July 10
Classes End August 11
Departure August 12
Application Deadline May 1
Term: Summer 2017 Language and Culture Exploration (8 Week)
Arrival July 8
CISabroad Orientation July 9
Classes Start July 10
Classes End September 1
Departure September 2
Application Deadline May 1
Term: Summer 2017 Intensive Spanish Language Price: $3,690
Term: Summer 2017 Language and Culture Exploration (5 Week) Price: $4,690
Term: Summer 2017 Language and Culture Exploration (8 Week) Price: $6,290

Dates posted here are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

To view expected additional expenses for this program, click here.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

•    Full-time tuition and fees
•    Homestay
•    Breakfast and dinner
•    Medical and accident insurance
•    CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
•    Academic advising
•    Financial aid counseling
•    Assistance with travel arrangements
•    Predeparture orientation
•    Airport pickup
•    Universidad Veritas orientation
•    On-site support
•    On-campus internet access
•    Weekly laundry
•    One day and one weekend excursion
•    Universidad Veritas official transcript
•    Carbon offset of travel & Green Travel Guide

CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.