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Study Abroad + Options
The International Center for Development Studies (ICDS), in partnership with Costa Rica’s largest private hospital, the Hospital Clínica Bíblica, offers a six-week program for students who want to increase their knowledge of medical Spanish and the health field in Latin America. The program is designed to increase students’ language proficiency while giving them a broader understanding of the Costa Rican healthcare system. Students will complete two courses: “Healthcare Systems in Latin America” and “Spanish for Health Sciences.” The “Healthcare Systems” course is taught at the Hospital Clínica Biblíca, which has been serving patients for over seventy years.
API students participate in several excursions per session designed to help familiarize them with areas of their host city, country, and surrounding region. The following is a listing of all excursions for API San José programs. All excursions are subject to change.
Arenal Volcano National Park is located in the central mountainous region of Costa Rica, with elevations ranging from 3281 to 5436 feet. Surrounded by rainforests and cloud forests, the Arenal Volcano is a sight to see! This active volcano was considered dormant until a major eruption in 1968. If students are lucky to observe the volcano on a clear night, they can see hot lava trails streaming down the mountain. Nearby waterfalls and hot springs (heated by the volcano) make for a relaxing experience.
Students will have the opportunity to better understand how public health care services work in a rural area. Among the highlights of the trip, students will visit a small public clinic, as well as private practices to explore the differences between public and private healthcare systems in the country. They also have time to explore the beautiful towns of Atenas and Sarchí and learn more about Costa Rica’s culture and traditions.
Students enjoy a nature field trip to Costa Rica’s North-Atlantic region to visit the Pacuare and Tortuguero areas. The trip is complemented by community work as students contribute to the improvement of the community –previous projects have included restoration of school paths, improving the facilities of the local school, and assisting local wild-life conservation organizations.
TOTAL CREDITS - 6 semester credits
To complement coursework, students will participate in two weekend field trips. Students also have the option of doing volunteer work in the local community if desired.
Through the Clínica Bíblica, ICDS is able to offer students the option to observe rotations with local doctors. There will be limited spaces available, and students will observe the doctor’s rotations on Tuesday and Thursday mornings (so as to avoid time conflicts with coursework). The option has no credit attached to it. Interested students will be required to demonstrate an advanced level of Spanish proficiency. For more information on this option, contact the API San José Program Manager.
Transcripts are issued jointly by the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica and the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS). Universidad Latina is accredited by the National Council of Higher Education, National Accreditation System for Higher Education (SINAES) and Red Iberoamericana para la Acreditación de la Calidad de la Educación Superior (RIACES). Universidad Latina also is a Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center for project management education programs.
Francy Orozco will be your Resident Director in San Jose and a resource for you on-site.
Laura will be your Program Manager and prepare you to go abroad!
The first course is taught in English and discusses the most relevant aspects of the healthcare system in Costa Rica. The class will consist of lectures, individual and group exercises, site visits to clinics, hospitals, and other related sites, a workshop on the topic of the week, and a field study trip. The Spanish language course seeks to increase students’ fluency in Spanish and prepare them to interview patients, complete patients’ files, elaborate medical reports, and read texts of medical relevance effectively.
The International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) issues credit according to the American system; the majority of courses are equivalent to 3 U.S. semester credits. Some language courses meet for a total of 60 contact hours and are equivalent to 3-4 U.S. semester credits.
Language of Instruction: English
Recommended US semester credits: 3
Language of Instruction: Spanish
Students in San José live with local host families. Host families serve as a unique introduction into Costa Rican culture and may be a married couple with children, a divorced or widowed woman with or without children still at home, or a family with some members living at home and others living outside of the city during the work week. Students may be housed with other API or international students, and in all cases will have an individual room. Students are provided with two meals per day, as well as laundry service once per week.
Students participating in a semester program with the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) have the option to live either with a host family or in a new student residence as part of the standard program fee. Within the residence, all students have their own bedroom and bathroom within a larger suite of rooms that includes a kitchen (shared among a total of 3-4 residents). These suite-style accommodations may be shared with students outside of API. Students who prefer an efficiency-style suite (i.e., not shared) may do so for an additional fee. Unlike the host family placements, students selecting the student residence are not provided with meals as part of the program fee. API can recommend local restaurants with modestly priced breakfast and dinner options for students who do not wish to prepare all of their meals.
The student residence is not available to ICDS students who select the summer Spanish and Sustainability Practices in Costa Rica program, as time spent in San José will be too short to accommodate a stay at the residence. Summer participants in the Spanish and Health in Latin America program may select the student residence but will be assessed an additional fee to do so. Contact the API Program Coordinator for more information.