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Language in San Jose, Costa Rica

Language in San Jose, Costa Rica
This program is designed for students who do not need to progress in the Spanish course sequence, but want to achieve strong proficiency in the Spanish language while earning Spanish credit. Students have the option to spend one or two months living in Costa Rica studying Spanish language.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
Program Type: 
Summer Non-Faculty Led
  • Spend one or two months studying Spanish language in San Jose
  • Live with a host family to improve your Spanish skills
  • Go on an excursion to explore Costa Rica
  • Earn 3 or 6 hours of academic credit during the summer in Costa Rica
Program Summary: 

The Language in San Jose, Costa Rica program is designed for students who do not need to progress in the Spanish course sequence but want lower or intermediate level Spanish credit (i.e. Spanish majors and minors should not participate on this program). Courses are taught by Universidad de Costa Rica faculty. No prior Spanish knowledge is required. Students will take a placement test upon arrival to determine language level.

The program has three summer term options: two one-month options for 3 credit hours and a two-month option for 6 credits.


Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known for its natural beauty, diversity of flora and fauna, social and political stability, high educational levels, and efficient infrastructure. The country is a traveler's paradise, with 400 miles of coastline, active volcanoes, forty-six national parks, cloud forests, and rain forests. 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), 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.

Grupo de Kansas

Because of the long-standing relationship between the two universities, KU has an office with two Costa Rican staff members who advise students on matters related to academics, enrollment, and housing. The Grupo de Kansas office is located on campus close to many UCR facilities.

Academic Information: 

The credit earned on this program does not fulfill any part of the language requirement and does not progress students in the Spanish language course sequence; therefore, Spanish majors and minors should not participate on this program.

Students on the one-month program will earn 3 credits and students on the two-month program will earn 6 credits. The courses will be SPAN 170, SPAN 270, or SPAN 370, depending on Spanish level. All students will take a placement test to determine the appropriate enrollment.

Each month, students will take two UCR courses: a Spanish language course and an elective course. The courses are taught by UCR faculty members and will be transferred back to KU as one course worth three credit hours. The Spanish language course focuses on reading, writing, and speaking skills. For the elective course, students will choose between Grámatica and Conversación based on which skill they want to focus on and their placement exam. Gramática is an intensive grammar course and Conversación is a conversation course that includes approximately nine hours of volunteer work. Students will be in classes with other international students from around the world.  

Students on the two-month program will progress in level in the Spanish language course and will choose the other elective for the second month. 


Students live with host families. The homestay is designed to help students improve their Spanish language proficiency and immerse them in Costa Rican life. Three meals are provided daily. Most students use the very reliable, inexpensive city bus system to travel from their home to the university.

Life Abroad: 

Students will take a city tour of San José to become familiar with the city and visit important sites of interest. Students on the one month program will go on one excursion and students on the two month program will go on two excursions. Past excursions have included trips to the beach and La Fortuna waterfall and Arenal volcano.


The program is open to KU students with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Exceptions considered after submission of a petition.


Deadlines Extended for Summer, Fall and Academic Year Programs.

See list of programs below:

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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