Spanish in Costa Rica

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  • Spanish in Costa Rica

    Spanish in Costa Rica

    Earn Saint Francis University credits in a program organized and led by Saint Francis University Faculty. Become familiar with the Costa Rican culture, travel to new and interesting places and live within the land of the “Switzerland of the Americas.” Gain the extra Spanish proficiency required by some majors allowing you to work with many Spanish-speaking clients, patients or students you may encounter in future careers.

    Academic Program

    You may take a total of 6 credits: 3 credits in ART 115, 3 or 6 credits in Spanish, and/or 3 credits in RLST 450 or SOC 295. Spanish classes, small in size, will be interactive and focused on communication and culture. Majors and minors will study Spanish for 5.5 hours per day the 1st 2 weeks and 4 hours per day the 2nd 2 weeks. The students taking the RLST or SOC course will study Spanish for 4 hours per day the first two weeks and 2 hours per day the second two weeks, leaving time for their Religious Studies or Sociology course which is taught in English.

    Two campuses

    What makes this study abroad program so unique is the fact that you’ll have the opportunity to study Spanish at two very different campus settings, both of which have experienced, professional faculty and air-conditioned classrooms. Each of these campuses has been custom designed and built to serve as a Spanish Immersion School

    CPI Heredia

    CPI Heredia

    The program will be located for the first two weeks at the Centro Panamericano de Idiomas (CPI) Heredia, located in San Joaquín de Flores. This small city of 10,000 people is located in the lush green mountains of the central valley, which boasts the highest standard of living in the country. With an average yearly temperature of 75 degrees, San Joaquín de Flores will offer you a peaceful environment relatively free of tourists where you can really get to know the people and the culture. And it’s only a 40 minute bus ride away from the museums, shopping, and nightlife of the center of the country’s cap ital, San José.

    CPI Flamingo

    CPI Flamingo

    The second two weeks of the program will be located on the Pacific coast at the beautiful campus on Flamingo beach in Guanacaste province. Playa Flamingo used to be called Playa Blanca because of its pristine white sand. The beaches of this coastal area are known as Costa Rica’s golden coast which has an average temperature of 90 degrees. Flamingo’s white sand beaches and clear water will offer you opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and sailing, and is close to two of the best surfing beaches in Central America: Playa Tamarindo and Playa Grande. CPI Flamingo will give you the chance to combine intensive Spanish study in a relaxing vacation environment where you’ll have the option to do your homework around the pool or on the beach.

    Dates and Costs

    May 11th to June 8th. Program fee is $3,275 plus the cost of tuition. Program fee includes:

    • room and all meals
    • transportation to/from airports
    • round-trip airfare
    • excursions
    • textbooks
    • health insurance

    Not included: tuition (minimum 6 credits), incidental supplies, personal travel, gifts, passport fees, meals outside of those scheduled by the program, or any additional fees for changing reservations.

    Payment schedule for program fees:

    • Application and application fee ($200) due ASAP
    • Preliminary payment ($1000) due March 1
    • Balance due May 1st

    Housing and Meals

    You’ll live with a middle-class host family which will give you the opportunity of a total immersion experience. During your stay with your host family, you will have two meals daily along with open conversation and participation in family life. Lunch will either be on campus or included on excursions


    Costa Rica is famous for its ecotourism so everywhere you go you’ll notice how “Ticos” care for their environment in so many creative ways at the same time offering visitors to their country some adventures of a lifetime. Imagine zip-lining in a fantastic tropical setting and then going river tubing! You’ll also spend a weekend at a spa located at one of Costa Rica’s active volcanoes where you’ll enjoy the hot springs on Saturday. On Sunday, you’ll hike in a nature reserve, seeing monkeys, toucans, macaws and other tropical animals in their natural habitats. For another excursion, you’ll visit the country’s capital, San Jose, where you’ll see the beautiful national cathedral, museums, and some fascinating Spanish architecture. On another occasion, you’ll have the opportunity to provide service in the Franciscan spirit at a colony of Nicaraguan immigrants about an hour from San Jose.

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