Program Overview

Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica is ideal for students in the health sciences looking to widen their career options. Universidad Veritas offers health courses taught in English and a Spanish-language course focused on health-related vocabulary so you can learn to interact with Spanish-speaking patients. In your free time, explore nearby volcanoes, go zip-lining in the rain forest, and get to know Costa Rican culture while sipping some of the best coffee in the world with classmates at a local café! Spend five weeks of your summer studying Spanish (at any level) and health care in a unique and hands-on learning environment. Live with a local family and explore the markets, restaurants, and salsa clubs of San José.

GPA Requirement
2.5
Application Deadlines
Session 1: April 15
Session 2: May 1
Avg Course Load
2 Courses (8-9 US credits)
Language(s) of Instruction
English and Spanish
Highlights
  • Study at a highly ranked private university in Costa Rica
  • Multiple healthcare-focused courses taught in English are available
  • Cooking classes, dance classes, and sports events that help you bond with your classmates
  • Spanish-immersion courses at all levels with no prerequisites
  • Practice your Spanish outside the classroom by living with a local family and talking with Ticos as you live in San José
Your Journey Begins Here
  • Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.

  • Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.

  • Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.

Academics

WHY THIS UNIVERSITY?

Located minutes from the heart of San José, Universidad Veritas is considered one of the best private universities in all of Central America. Students flock to the Universidad Veritas for its art, design, and architecture programs, but the university offers so much more.

You can take courses in a range of topics, such as Costa Rican culture, environmental studies, or political science. Study in English or Spanish depending on your needs. If you’re looking to improve your Spanish language skills, Veritas’ Spanish language program is for you. Enjoy small class sizes that give you one-on-one attention, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced Spanish speaker.

Veritas offers many cultural, artistic, and athletic activities so you can dive deep into the local culture. You can improve your Spanish outside of the classroom with a Costa Rican language-exchange partner. You can join on-campus activities, such as dance or cooking classes and intramural sports. Finally, you can get to know the community through local excursions or volunteer opportunities. With 1,500 Costa Rican students and over 500 students from around the world, you’ll benefit from a close-knit but cosmopolitan campus.

Founded in 1976, Veritas is the first private university in Costa Rica.

Accredited by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education and authorized by the National Council of Private Higher Education (Consejo Nacional de Enseñanza Superior Privada, or CONESUP)


How to Choose Your Courses

Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page. Once you’ve decided which courses you want to take, fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.

Course Approval

Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

GPA Requirement

If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.

Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.

Course Information

Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica lets you learn career-oriented Spanish while also taking a health-related course taught in English. This 5-week program takes place during the second summer session at Universidad Veritas, a private university in San José, the capital city of Costa Rica.

Course approval for Spanish language:
When selecting a Spanish-language course, choose the one whose description best reflects your current abilities. Keep in mind that you don’t need to know any Spanish to participate in this program. 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.

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

Course descriptions and catalog: Choose one Spanish-language course and one English health and human development course.

SPANISH LANGUAGE COURSES

SSP 141 Español Básico para Profesionales de Salud (Basic Spanish for Health Professionals)

This 5-week course is designed for health personnel with no Spanish-language experience. Through simulations, you will acquire the language skills you need for basic communication with Spanish-speaking patients.

SSP 241 Español Intermedio para Profesionales de Salud (Intermediate Spanish for Health Professionals)

This course is designed for health personnel who have taken a minimum of 100 elective hours of Spanish as a second language. Through simulations of specific situations, you’ll deepen your knowledge of medical-related Spanish for better communications with Spanish-speaking patients.

SSP 341 Español Avanzado para Profesionales de Salud (Advanced Spanish for Health Professionals)

This course is designed for health personnel with advanced Spanish who need to raise their linguistic competency. The goal is to leave you capable of communicating more effectively and fluently with your Spanish-speaking patients and their families.

HEALTH AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ELECTIVE COURSES (IN ENGLISH)

HIS-3293 Costa Rican Health Care System and Tropical Medicine

Costa Rica´s socialized health care system has achieved excellent health indicators. This course focuses on the history and development of the public health care system within the context of the Costa Rican socio-political and economical situation. It emphasizes how the system actually works and highlights both its strength and its weaknesses. Also fundamental to understanding the system is the fact that Costa Rica is a tropical country, so you will learn about the prevention and transmission of tropical diseases.

HHD-1020 Introduction to Physical Therapy

This course comprises basic concepts of human anatomy, an overview of the most common injuries and illnesses that require physical therapy, and an introduction to the tools and methods used to treat them. There will be lectures on theoretical concepts and also laboratory practice for a hands-on experience of therapy techniques. At the end of the course you will have general knowledge of various areas of expertise, and of techniques such as massage therapy, electrotherapy, and therapeutic exercises, among others.

HHD- 1050 Alternative Health Approaches

This course introduces basic concepts in complementary alternative medicine. You will explore and evaluate alternative approaches and philosophies to personal health and wellness. Among the topics are homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, herbal and nutritional therapies, massage, chiropractic, electromagnetic therapy, and breathing techniques and exercises.

PSY-2200 Health Psychology

The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Today’s health care professionals have to approach health as a bio-psycho-social concept. Whether doctor, nurse, or physiotherapist, you must have a general understanding of Health Psychology—the study of how biology, behavior, and social context influence health and illness. This allows an integral approach to your patients. We will discuss some of the most common topics related to Health Psychology and pertinent to practice in the health care professions.

Program Excursions

While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program monteverde costa rica

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

The mountainous area of Monteverde is dense with tropical rainforest. At an altitude of over 1,000 meters, the trees capture cloud moisture, often giving the area 100 percent humidity. In this reserve, you’ll see the staggering environmental diversity from skywalks and bridges suspended 60 meters up in the canopy.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program costa rica beach excursion

Tamarindo

Located on the northwest Pacific coast, Tamarindo Bay is ideal if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or some down time on the beach. Swim, surf, sail, kayak, or jet ski in the ocean — or ride horses on the beach! Plus, you can visit the leatherback turtle reserves to spot these incredible creatures.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program arenal volcano and baldi hot spring excursion costa rica

Arenal Volcano and Baldi Hot Springs

Take a hike down to the La Fortuna Waterfall, where you’ll be able to swim in the cool water. Soak in the naturally heated waters of Baldi Hot Springs and enjoy the view of Arenal, which is a perfect cone volcano.


Your Support Staff

Global Advising Team

Travel Tip: We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us be it through a phone call, email or personal visit, you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

Lisa Pinheiro
Site Director in Costa Rica

Travel Tip: Dont limit yourself to the more popular tourist spots. There are tons of lesser known places that are beautiful and rich in culture where you can really experience what Costa Rica is all about!

Learn more about Lisa

Student Feedback

Studying abroad enhanced my Spanish-speaking skills, gave me deep friendships, and positively challenged the ways I viewed my own family, culture, and country. I’ve become a better student, sister, daughter, and friend. I can never see the world through the same lenses again. To that I am forever grateful.

Jacqueline Mullen, Semester in Costa Rica, Point Loma Nazarene University, Social Work

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please do not book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Summer 2020: Session 1
    Application Deadline
    April 1
    Arrival
    May 23 (Estimated)
    Departure
    June 27 (Estimated)
    PRICE
    $4,990 (Estimated)
  • Summer 2020: Session 2
    Application Deadline
    May 1
    Arrival
    July 4 (Estimated)
    Departure
    August 8 (Estimated)
    PRICE
    $4,990 (Estimated)

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

Program Inclusions

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

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
  • La Vida Local cultural program