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Universidad de Costa Rica

Universidad de Costa Rica
Spend a semester or academic year taking a wide variety of classes in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Location: 
San Jose, Costa Rica
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Term: 
Academic Year
Fall
Spring
Academic Disciplines: 
Accounting
Anthropology
Applied Behavioral Science
Art
Astronomy
Biology
Business
Business Administration
Chemistry
Classics
Communication Studies
Computer Science
Dance
Design
Economics
Engineering
Environmental Studies
Film & Media Studies
Finance
Geography
Geology
Global & International Studies
History
History of Art
Humanities
Information Technology
International Business
Journalism
Latin American Studies
Linguistics
Marine Science
Marketing
Music
Nursing
Philosophy
Physics
Political Science
Psychology
Public Administration
Social Work
Sociology
Spanish
Theatre
Urban Planning
Visual Art
Education--Spanish
Program Type: 
Semester or Academic Year
Highlights: 
  • Join the Grupo de Kansas for a semester or academic year
  • Take classes from a wide variety of subjects in Spanish
  • Live with a host family to be immersed in Costa Rican culture
  • Option to participate in an Early Start Program prior to the program
  • Early Start Scholarship and G. Wayne Burge Scholarship available. See Further Reading below for more information.
Program Summary: 

The University of Kansas Grupo de Kansas program in San José, Costa Rica offers students the opportunity to directly enroll in classes at the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), which is one of the top research institutions in Central America. Students will prepare themselves for the semester at UCR by participating in the on-site orientation that provides a well-structured introduction to the country and its culture and history. An Early Start Program prior to the on-site orientation helps students improve their language skills. Students will be able to experience Costa Rican culture and history firsthand by living with host families and participating in cultural activities and excursions. 

 

Location: 

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known for its natural beauty, extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna, social and political stability, high educational levels, and efficient infrastructure and services. The capital of San José is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. It lies in the Central Valley on a plain surrounded by large forested mountain ranges, some of which include active volcanoes, green savannahs, and working coffee plantations.

Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR)

The Universidad de Costa Rica was established in 1843 under the name Universidad de Santo Tomás. In 1940, it was restructured and re-named the Universidad de Costa Rica. It is the oldest and largest university in Costa Rica, with a population of 35,000 students. The University of Kansas-Universidad de Costa Rica exchange program was initiated in 1958 and is the oldest inter-university exchange of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

Academic Information: 

The San José program can be divided into three parts: the Early Start Program, the On-site Orientation, and Courses at UCR.

The On-Site Orientation and Courses at UCR are required for all Grupo de Kansas students. The Early Start Program is required for students with 4 semesters of college-level Spanish and optional for students with 5 or more semesters. Many students with 5 or more semesters of Spanish choose to participate in the Early Start Program to improve language skills and spend an extra month in Costa Rica. All courses and grades will be posted to a KU transcript.

Early Start Program

The Early Start Program is a one-month intensive Spanish course designed for students to strengthen their language skills prior to the beginning of the semester. Students will take a language placement test and are placed into an appropriate intensive Spanish language course with other international students. Students will receive 3 credits of SPAN 170, SPAN 270, or SPAN 371, dependent upon language level. One excursion is included in the Early Start Program.

KU Students-please see "Further Reading" below for information about the $1,200 Early Start Scholarship.

On-site Orientation

The On-site Orientation is a one-month course especially for Grupo de Kansas students. It is designed to prepare students for the challenges of rigorous academic work in a foreign language and culture. The orientation provides a cultural and historical introduction to Costa Rica through lectures and excursions, with an emphasis on upper-level academic writing skills and the culture and history of Costa Rica. During orientation, students will participate in excursions within San José to sites such as an art museum, Central Market, and National Theater. There will also be two day-excursions, usually to a volcano and waterfall, and an overnight excursion, usually to a beach on the Pacific shore. Students may, among other activities, interview ticos (Costa Ricans) from different parts of Costa Rica, put on skits, learn how to utilize the UCR library, and be introduced to traditional dances. Students will receive 3 hours of credit of SPAN 370 Hispanic Language, Culture, and Civilization.

UCR Orientation Syllabus

Courses at UCR

Students will enroll in courses at UCR with local students, taught by local faculty. Students are eligible to take most courses in a variety of departments at UCR if they meet the required pre-requisites. A normal course load is 12-18 hours, which is four to six classes. Course offerings vary from semester to semester and it is not possible to guarantee that a course will be offered during a particular semester. Program participants should have eight to ten courses in a wide variety of departments approved by their home institution prior to arrival in San José. Students studying Spanish language should plan on taking one to two Spanish language courses and the rest from other departments. Enrollment in graduate courses at UCR is limited to graduate students and requires the permission of the professor.

Students can get an idea of the courses offered at UCR during fall and spring semesters by looking at the course schedules below. Additionally, the UCR-KU course equivalency log shows how courses students have taken in the past at UCR have transferred back to KU.

Important Enrollment Information

UCR Fall 2017 Course Schedule

UCR Spring 2017 Course Schedule

UCR-KU Course Equivalency Log

Costa Rica follows the Southern Hemisphere academic calendar which means that the fall semester begins in early August and ends with final exams in early December; the spring semester begins in early March and ends with final exams in early July. There is a two-week break in July and a month and a half break in December. Students who want to study in Costa Rica for a year may want to consider studying a consecutive spring and fall term with the two week break in between. Students may also study in the fall and spring, but need to know that housing isn't provided from mid-December to the end of January because of UCR's summer break. Students could use this time to return to the United States, travel, or volunteer at a national park. Sometimes it is possible to stay with the host family during the break, but it can't be guaranteed.
 

Housing: 

Students live with host families during their time in Costa Rica. The Grupo de Kansas on-site staff members arrange individual host family placements for each student after reviewing each student's host family preferences. Many host families have been receiving Grupo de Kansas students for many years, so they are used to helping American students adjust to the Costa Rican culture and are warm and welcoming. Housing includes three meals a day and can accommodate most dietary restrictions. When possible, several Grupo de Kansas students are placed in the same neighborhood. Students take the very reliable, inexpensive city bus system to travel from their residence to the University.

The program places students with host families because of the great strides students have in their language learning ability and it allows them to become more integrated in Costa Rican society and the culture. Students consistently report that host families are one of the highlights of their experience in Costa Rica.

Life Abroad: 

The Grupo de Kansas office is located on campus close to many UCR facilities with two Costa Rican staff members, Zaida Ugalde, On-site Program Coordinator & Isa Alcázar, On-site Assistant Program Coordinator. 

Zaida Ugalde is a native Costa Rican who joined the KU Office of Study Abroad in 1994. She has traveled extensively throughout Central America, loves gardening, TED lectures, hiking, and coffee, which she is trying to grow herself.      

María Isabel Alcázar (Isa) was born in Chile but her family decided to make Costa Rica their new home. Isa also joined the KU Office of Study Abroad in 1994. She teaches at the Universidad de Costa Rica and one of her main goals has been to increase volunteer opportunities and community service for students. She is very knowledgeable about activities at UCR as well as off-campus.

Zaida and Isa’s duties include advising students on matters related to academics, enrollment, student visas, volunteer opportunities, housing, and medical and non-medical emergencies. They organize an intensive in-country academic and cultural orientation with classes, lectures, and excursions. They also serve as liaisons between UCR and the KU Office of Study Abroad and coordinate all the logistics for KU short term study abroad programs in Costa Rica.

Student Life 

Students usually complement their studies by planning weekend excursions or joining University-sponsored activities, such as sports teams, volunteer activities, or cultural events. University Week, held each year in the spring, provides an opportunity for the academic departments to compete in sports, put on shows, and sponsor on-campus dances and festivities.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Grupo de Kansas staff can help find volunteer opportunities for interested students. Past student volunteers have worked in an orphanage or tutored UCR students in English. Students can also opt for a month-long volunteer program (before or after the UCR semester) at one of the Costa Rican National Parks through ASVO. This is a great opportunity for biology, ecology, or tropical studies students. Students are responsible for their own room and board costs during the program.

Eligibility: 

The program is open to students from any accredited U.S. college or university, sophomore through graduate levels. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least 4 semesters of college-level Spanish (or the equivalent). Students with 4 semesters of Spanish are required to enroll in the Early Start Program; it is optional for students with 5 or more semesters of Spanish. KU Spanish majors and minors must have completed SPAN 340 successfully prior to participating in the program.

 

Further Reading: 

Phone appointments for students from other institutions
If you are a non-KU student interested in the Costa Rica program and would like to learn more about the program, please call the KU Office of Study Abroad at (785) 864-3742 and set up a phone appointment with the Program Coordinator. 

 

Useful Websites

Universidad de Costa Rica website

Duncan McHenry's Travel Journal – Spring 2013 

Andy Larkin’s Blog – Spring 2013 

Jackie Langdon's Blog – Spring 2014

 

Scholarship opportunities for KU Students

Early Start Program Scholarship
Funding provided with the generous support of Richard Paegelow, KU alumnus and former participant of the San Jose, Costa Rica program.  KU degree-seeking students who decide to participate in the Early Start Program before their semester at UCR will be awarded a $1,200 scholarship. The scholarship covers most of the expenses (tuition, room and board, on-site assistance, and an excursion) for the program. Interested students should complete the Costa Rica Early Start Program Scholarship Fund application.


G. Wayne Burge Scholarship
Funding provided with the generous support of G. Wayne Burge, KU alumnus and former participant of the San Jose, Costa Rica program.  Awards up to $1,500 designed to assist students on the semester Costa Rica program or more generally in a Central or South American country. Interested students should complete the OSA Merit and Financial Need General Scholarship application to be considered for this scholarship.

Add Course: 
Taller Literario
EG0317
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Expresión Oral
RP1202
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2018
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Expresión Oral
FL3212
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2018
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Curso Básico de Redacción
RP1203
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Curso Básico de Redacción
FL3119
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Literatura Española I
FL2005
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Literatura Española II
FL2006
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Literatura Costarricense I
FL2009
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Literatura Costarricense II
FL2010
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Redacción Española II
FL2046
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Literatura Centroamericana
FL2056
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Literatura Española III
FL2105
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Literatura Española IV
FL2106
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Gramática Española para Lenguas Modernas
FL2160
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Literatura Latinoamericana I
FL2224
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Literatura Latinoamericana II
FL2225
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Literatura Latinoamericana III
FL2226
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Literatura Latinoamericana IV
FL2227
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Historiografía Literaria
FL2307
The Department of Spanish & Portugese has determined there is no SPAN equivalent.
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Status: 
No Equivalency
Teoría Literaria II
FL2308
The Department of Spanish & Portugese has determined there is no SPAN equivalent..
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Status: 
No Equivalency
Fonética y Fonología Española
FL2309
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2020
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Morfología Española
FL3007
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Expresión Escrita
FL3013
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Español de América y Costa Rica I
FL3215
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Folklore y Tradición Oral en el Discurso Popular
FL4162
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Spring 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
Hatha Yoga Principiantes Mixto
EF6151
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Karate do Principiante Mixto
EF6181
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Natación Principiante Mixto
EF6301
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Taekwon-Do Principiante Mixto
EF6311
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Danza Aeróbica Principiantes Mixto
EF6321
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Actividades Aeróbicas Principiantes Mixto
EF6361
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Sistema Preparación Física Principiantes Hombres
EF7161
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Volibol Principiante Hombres
EF7201
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Baloncesto Principiante Hombres
EF7221
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Defensa Personal Principiante Hombres
EF7251
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Balonmano Principiante Hombres
EF7261
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Fútbol Principiante Hombres
EF7281
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Bailes Internaciona-Les Principiantes Hombres
EF7331
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Fútbol Salón Principiantes Hombres
EF7381
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Entrenamiento Contra Resistencia Para Principiantes Hombres
EF7401
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Bailes Populares Principiantes Hombres
EF7461
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Volibol Principiante Mujeres
EF8201
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Baloncesto Principiante Mujeres
EF8221
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Defensa Personal Principiantes Mujeres
EF8251
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Fútbol Principiantes Mujeres
EF8281
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Danza Aeróbica Principiante Mujeres
EF8321
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Danza y Bailes Internacionales Principiantes Mujeres
EF8331
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Actividades Aeróbicas Principiantes Mujeres
EF8361
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Fútbol Salón Principiantes Mujeres
EF8381
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Entrenamiento Contra Resistencia Principiantes Mujeres
EF8401
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Movimiento Creativo Principiantes Mujeres
EF8411
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Bailes Populares Principiantes Mujeres
EF8461
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Actividad Deportiva: Entrenamiento Contra Resistencia Principiantes Mixto
EF6401
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
1
Fonética y Ortología del Español
FL2219
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3
El Quijote, Texto y Lectura
FL3214
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
Spanish
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2017
Status: 
APPROVED Equivalency
KU Credit Hours: 
3

Announcements

Deadlines extended for selected Winter Break, Spring Break, and Spring semester-long study abroad programs! See below for full list of programs: 

Programs with Extended Deadlines (PDF)

 

Study Abroad Financial Advising
The Office of Study Abroad has weekly 'You Can Afford to Study Abroad' Financial aid and Scholarship Info Sessions/Open Meetings on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00-5:00 pm and Thursday afternoons from 12:30-1:30 pm in room 203 Lippincott Hall.  For those that can not attend the weekly Info Sessions, we also offer individualized study abroad financial planning as well as financial aid and scholarship advising for students.  Please visit 108 Lippincott Hall or call 785-864-3742 to set up an appointment.

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9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
17th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
1,357 KU students participated in international study, internship, and research programs in 2011-12
Nearly 25 percent of KU undergraduate students participate in a study abroad program prior to graduation
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 130 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
The Office of Study Abroad and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
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