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Study Abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica

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Overview and Location of Partner Universities

Universidad de Costa Rica

Founded in 1940, the University of Costa Rica (UCR) is the oldest and most prestigious university in Costa Rica.  It is located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica,  in the midst of lush and green mountains,  just a few minutes ride outside of San Jose.  UCR enrolls over 30,000 students, and awards undergraduate and graduate degrees in over 100 different subject areas.  Students who  participate in the Spanish as a Foreign Language program (SFL), take courses through the School of Philology, Linguistic and Literature.  UCR offers modern athletic facilities, cultural events, special interest organizations, and a variety of bookstores and small restaurants.  The main bus lines are located nearby, offering service to the city at large.

Students receive on-site support from Asuntos Internacionales at the Universidad de Costa Rica.  The staff and WISE Abroad country director are available to help you with academic and personal concerns that arise while you are on our program.  They are responsible for orientation and housing arrangements; they can advise you on extracurricular activities, health care, and travel opportunities and help with the adjustment to daily life in Costa Rica.

Universidad Veritas

Originally founded in 1975 as a college of the "Universidad Autonoma de Centro America" (UACA) - the first university in Costa Rica, Universidad Veritas is now an independent university, with an excellent recognition within the Latin American academic community.  Located in the eastern part of San Jose, ten minutes away from downtown, enrolls over 1500 students in many Art and Design Degrees.  Students who wish to study Spanish as a Second Language, take courses through the Department of International programs which offers intensive Spanish courses, humanities, international business, Latin American and Costa Rican literature, multicultural studies, international relations, and art and environmental sciences.

Academic Areas of Study and Courses

Fall/Spring/Winter Semester Session
Liberal Arts, Business, Sciences, International Relations, Architecture

The Fall and Winter programs offer a great  range of courses  taught in Spanish according to the students' level of Spanish and academic needs in liberal arts, literature, dance, art and humanities, geography, history, political science, business, mathematics, economics, biology etc.  Students with basic to advanced Spanish proficiency take courses with non-native speakers.  Students with very  advanced proficiency levels may take courses with Costa Rican students. Classes are also available in English for students with basic to intermediate or advanced Spanish proficiency levels.

Non-native students may select two to three Spanish intensive courses along with one to two electives in English.  Please email WISE Abroad for a description of courses.  Students take an average of four courses per semester.  The objective of these courses is to improve the proficiency level of all students.  Students taking a total of four courses earn a total of 12-18 semester credits.  Students must take a minimum of 3 courses.  Each course is 45 instruction hours, although some intensive courses may earn 60 to 90 hours contact hours or 5 to 6 credits.

  • Spanish Courses (6 credits or 90 contact hours each course):
    • Beginners I or  II: Conversation, reading comprehension, grammar and culture
    • Intermediate I or II: Conversation, reading comprehension, writing and composition, and culture
    • Advanced I or II: Conversation, reading comprehension, writing and composition, and culture
  • Other Advanced Spanish Courses (3 credits or 45 contact hours each):
    • Introduction to Latin American Culture
    • Introduction to Latin American Literature
    • Spanish Writing I or II
    • Conversation I or II
  • Elective Courses in English (3 credits or 45 hours each):
    • Liberal Arts:
      • History of Central America
      • Latin American Culture
      • Latin American Literature
      • Contemporary Visual Arts in Latin America
      • History of Contemporary Latin American Art
    • Science/Biology
      • Tropical Ecology
      • Natural History of Costa Rica
      • Bio-Diversity
    • International Affairs and Business
      • International Affairs and Business
      • Administration
      • International Business
      • Management Strategies
      • Central American Politics and Government
      • Latina American International Affairs

Summer Session I and II
Culture, Language and Hispanic Program

There are two summer sessions available specifically to help students improve their Spanish proficiency.  Basic, intermediate and advanced level programs are offered for a total of 90 contact hours or 6 credit hours at each level.

  • Spanish Courses (6 credits or 90 contact hours each course):
    • Beginners I or  II: Conversation, reading comprehension, grammar and culture
    • Intermediate I or II: Conversation, reading comprehension, writing and composition, and culture
    • Advanced I or II: Conversation, reading comprehension, writing and composition, and culture
  • Other Advanced Spanish Courses (3 credits or 45 contact hours each):
    • Introduction to Latin American Culture
    • Introduction to Latin American Literature
    • Spanish Writing I or II
    • Conversation I or II

Admission Requirements and Visa Application

This program is for beginning, intermediate, and advanced level Spanish speakers. Students must have a 2.5 GPA. All students must take a Spanish language assessment exam before and upon arrival in San Jose. The exam will test each student's language proficiency level, and will determine the courses that the student is eligible to enroll. Students who have completed less than one year of college-level Spanish will likely place into beginning level courses. Students who have completed one full year of college-level Spanish will likely place into the intermediate level courses. Students who have completed two years of college-level Spanish will likely place into advanced level courses.

WISE Abroad will assist you with your student visa application. Summer session students will not be required to obtain a student visa as long their stay does not exceed 3 months We encourage you however to visit with your nearest Costa Rican Consulate for visa requirements (http://travel.state.gov/visa/) or click on the Resources for Students link for additional information.

Disclaimer

WISE Abroad cannot guarantee course selection; class schedules will be determined once you arrive to San Jose, Costa Rica.