July in San Jose, Costa Rica

Courses in English and Spanish with local professors on an urban campus minutes from the heart of San Jose. Spend 5 weeks exploring the city, as well as picturesque mountain villages, beautiful nearby national parks and relaxed beach towns.

Program Overview

During your July in San Jose, Costa Rica program, you will be studying at one of Central America’s best private universities – Universidad Veritas.

Located in the heart of vibrant San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, you will be able to experience the following:

  • World-class location – The urban capital of San Jose offers students the best of both worlds! From museums and pre-Columbian culture to live music, a butterfly garden, colonial architecture, colourful markets and live theatre – you won’t be short of things to do!
  • Magnificent landscapes – To the north of San Jose, tranquil Heredia hosts Braulio Carillo National Park and Barva Volcano, two of the region’s greenest and most beautiful outdoor offerings.
  • Classes with international students – Your fellow students will come from many countries around the world.
  • Study Spanish in Costa Rica – Study Spanish abroad at any level with local professors. Use your Spanish in the markets, restaurants and salsa classes of San Jose, and you’ll really learn the language.
  • Perfect location – You’ll be just minutes from the heart of San Jose, so you can easily explore the city, as well as the stunning nearby national parks, scenic mountain villages and relaxed beach towns that make Costa Rica famous.
  • Awesome classes in English – Study the Costa Rican health care system, ecotourism, human rights in Latin America, cultural photography, history, human rights, communications, management, politics, international relations, leadership and international economic integration in Latin America, all in English.
  • Great excursions – A day trip and a weekend excursion with your fellow international students are offered during the program. Take a city tour, wander through the local markets and try some exotic tropical fruit as you explore the rain forest for the perfect summer abroad in Costa Rica.

Highlights

During your July program in Costa Rica, you will be able to experience some of Central America’s best landscapes and cultural activities.

Here are just a few highlights that make this program unique:

  • One of the most biodiverse countries on the planet
  • Live with a local family and really get to experience the Costa Rican culture
  • Courses taught in English and Spanish – learn to speak Spanish in small classes
  • A vast range of courses ranging from business to photography and tropical ecology
  • Live in one of Central America’s most lively cities – minutes from all the best entertainment and cultural amenities
  • Cooking classes, dance classes and sports events so you can bond with both your classmates in your new international location!

Choose Your Course

July in San Jose, Costa Rica at Universidad Veritas offers a variety of courses to transfer as credit to your home university in Australia – earn credit towards your degree while polishing up on your Spanish language skills. Universidad Veritas is a great place to learn more about Costa Rica’s history, culture, environment, politics and more.

Academic Requirement: To qualify students must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 4.5 (out of 7) or equivalent. If your current GPA falls below the requirement please contact us to discuss your situation. We will do what we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses:
Now this is the fun part. As part of your application you will complete a CISaustralia Course Selection Worksheet. The instructions provided will assist you through the steps involved in selecting your courses.

Course load: We have three study options for you to choose from:

  • Four-week Spanish language program (for all levels of Spanish)
  • Five-week language and culture short course from early July to early/mid-August, in which you will take one Spanish language course and one elective course
  • Eight-week language and culture short-course from early July to late August, in which you will take two Spanish language courses and one elective course

On all three programs above, you can study any level of Spanish from complete beginner to advanced.

NOTE: Should you wish to take a level of Spanish that is higher than beginner, you will sit a Skype interview with a staff member at Veritas to assess your ability level.

  • Depending on your Australian university, you may refer to “courses” as “subjects” or “units”.
  • Each course/subject/unit you undertake on a CISaustralia program overseas is designed to be a full-time, semester course that has been condensed to fit into an intensive, short-term program. As such, for any 1 course you study abroad, you should receive the credit points for 1 full-time course/subject/unit at your Australian university.
  • Many universities work off of a 1-for-1 equivalency (1 course abroad = 1 course in Australia), but ultimately credit approval is the decision of your faculty and Australian university.
  • CISaustralia strongly recommends that you have any overseas courses pre-approved for credit before you depart for your program. Some documentation that may be useful are the course outline/syllabus, program overview, and the contact hours.
  • It is best to get 3-4 elective classes approved by your Australian university before you depart for your overseas program. This way you will have plenty of classes to choose from and some flexibility in setting up your schedule.
  • Your CISaustralia Program Advisor can assist with any questions or details your university needs to make a decision.

Course approval for Spanish language: Placement exam
When selecting a Spanish language course, choose the description that best reflects your current Spanish abilities. Once you are accepted into the program, we will send you instructions for taking an online placement exam so that the University of Veritas can begin to assess your level of Spanish language. Following the online (written) placement exam, you will be assessed orally by staff in Costa Rica via Skype, allowing you to be placed in the most appropriate language level before you arrive in Costa Rica.

Students who select Beginner Spanish will be exempt from placement tests.

Click here for a list of electives (taught in English). Please note that not all courses may be available over the July period as availability is based on enrolment.

Click here for a list of Intensive Spanish courses (Basic / Introductory to Advanced).

NOTE: While Spanish language levels from beginner to advanced are offered, it is assumed that students will have very basic knowledge of the language, even when attending beginner’s classes. As such, CISaustralia recommends that students take the time to learn basic Spanish in advance of the program. This will help greatly when attending first classes and communicating with host families. Past students recommend Spanish-English dictionaries or language apps like Duolingo.

Excursions

During your study abroad program in Costa Rica, you will be given the opportunity to take a day and overnight excursion. CISaustralia encourages students to participate in these trips to experience the country and to socialise with other international students. Here are a couple of the places you might visit during your stay:

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Explore the tropical treetops of Costa Rica on this canopy tour in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. You’ll walk high above the forest floor along a 60-meter high suspension bridge, crossing separate ecological zones that support an abundance of wildlife including several hundred species of birds!

Tamarindo
Located on the northwest Pacific coast, Tamarindo bay is definitely the place if you are looking for an adrenaline rush or simply some relaxing in the sun. On the numerous beaches there is plenty of surfing, swimming, sailing, kayaking, jet skiing and even ocean horseback riding! Plus, when you get into town you’ll discover that Tamarindo is extremely multi-cultural and laid back.

Poas Volcano
For those who want to peer into an active volcano – without the hardship of hiking one – Volcán Poás is the place! This volcano offers the wonderful opportunity to watch the bubbling, steaming cauldron belch sulphurous mud and water hundreds of meters into the air. There are two other craters as well, one of which contains a sapphire-blue lake ringed by high-altitude forest.

Cataratas
One of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets – Cataratas del Toro is located in the Bajos del Toro Amarillo mountains. This magnificent 300ft (91m) waterfall pours into an extinct volcanic crater, creating a truly spectacular sight to be explored!

Location

With inviting warm weather year round, Costa Rica is often labelled one of the most eco-friendly and happiest countries in the world!

Costa Rica, meaning ‘rich coast’ in Spanish, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Costa Rica is home to an assorted variety of plants and animals. The country contains 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Around 25% of the country’s land area is in protected national parks and protected areas – the biggest percentage of protected areas in the world!

With a population of 4.3 million, Costa Rican locals (also known as Ticos), are known for their friendly, laid-back demeanour. Costa Rica’s official language is Spanish, though a large number of its citizens are at least moderately bilingual (Spanish and English).

English, due to its status as the international language for tourists, is the most common second language in Costa Rica. Interestingly, many residents along the Caribbean coast speak Patois, a Jamaican Creole with English roots.

The University

You’ll be studying at Universidad Veritas, one of the best private universities in Central America. The university is located in San Jose, the cultural hub of Costa Rica, famed for its National Theatre, busy market life and easy-to-use public transportation.

Universidad Veritas has a cosy size of about 1,500 Costa Rican students and 300 international students from all over the world. You will be able to take classes in both English and Spanish.

There are plenty of international restaurants from across Europe and other parts of South America, in addition to local sodas where you can eat large helpings of gallo pinto, the delicious national dish. After class, you can head to one of the many local theatres, concert venues, cinemas and salsa clubs.

You’ll find Costa Ricans to be very accommodating and patient with your Spanish, no matter how rudimentary, and you’ll have a blast communicating with a combination of dictionary words and lively charades.

San Jose is a vibrant cosmopolitan city with all the modern conveniences – department stores, Internet cafes, shopping malls, fast food chains and universities. It is also home to excellent fresh food markets, museums and gardens, city parks and restaurants. The San Jose nightlife is exciting and diverse – sip martinis in upscale bars, dance the night away to techno music, learn to salsa or check out one of the city’s best museums.

Accommodation

Accommodation for the duration of this program is a homestay. This gives you the perfect opportunity to truly immerse yourself in the local culture and lifestyle. During your stay, you are provided with bed linen, blankets and pillows. Other homestay inclusions include:

  • Private bedroom
  • Daily breakfast and dinner – what better way to experience true Tico cooking! (Families are accommodating about providing vegetarian meals when asked)
  • Weekly laundry service, including ironing
  • Hot water*
  • Internet connection
  • Towel for the house (please bring your own beach towel)
  • Toiletries: shampoo, soap, toothpaste (if you require a particular brand, please bring your own)
  • Security box/safe in bedroom

*Please be aware that having no hot water is not uncommon in Costa Rica. Most host families should have hot water facilities for their house, but sometimes they may not be the most reliable.

Lunch is on your own. There are many restaurants and cafes in the area where students usually eat lunch. There are also a few restaurant options close to campus. The homestays are located in a residential urban area that is fairly close to downtown (approximately a 30-minute walk) and are within close access to public transportation. There are grocery stores, a mall and other places of interest in the area.

Homestays are allocated with reference to information provided by the student about their level of Spanish and living preferences. The same families have been participating in the homestay program for years and all are vetted and regularly checked. Most families will have two or even three international students staying in the house.

Students will be treated as an adult during their time with the host family. Please be aware there are no curfews in place for students, but it very important to always remain respectful of your family. Always let your host family know if you will not be attending a meal for any reason, and clean up after yourself when appropriate. Always communicate with them, or your Site Director, if an issue arises. Most host families have hosted international students before and are sensitive to cultural differences, and will expect the same in return.

Try to do your best to spend time with your host family and get to know about them and the Costa Rican culture. The idea is not to act as if you are staying at a hotel, rather that you can share with them and spend time with them as part of the family.

Program Fee & Dates

June 2019: 4-Week Intensive Spanish Language
Note: 4-week Spanish language programs are offered throughout the year, month-to-month. If the offered dates don’t suit your availability, please contact CISaustralia for additional dates.
Application Deadline17 May 2019
Arrival Date01 June 2019
Departure Date29 June 2019
Program Fee A$ 4,999
OS-HELP A$ 6,791
July 2019: 4-Week Intensive Spanish Language
Note: 4-week Spanish language programs are offered throughout the year, month-to-month. If the offered dates don’t suit your availability, please contact CISaustralia for additional dates.
Application Deadline21 May 2019
Arrival Date06 July 2019
Departure Date03 August 2019
Program Fee A$ 4,999
OS-HELP A$ 6,791
July 2019: 5-Week Language and Culture
Application Deadline21 May 2019
Arrival Date06 July 2019
Departure Date10 August 2019
Program Fee A$ 6,599
OS-HELP A$ 6,791
July 2019: 8-Week Language and Culture
Application Deadline21 May 2019
Arrival Date06 July 2019
Departure Date31 August 2019
Program Fee A$ 8,399
OS-HELP A$ 6,791

 

Program fees include the following:
  • Tuition fees
  • One day and one weekend excursion (some costs may apply)
  • Orientation, city tour and welcome meal
  • Optional social / cultural activity – these vary from year to year. Some examples from previous years include a visit to the museum, a dance lesson or cooking class
  • Homestay accommodation with a local family
  • Breakfast and dinner with your host family
  • Health and medical insurance
  • CISaustralia support services before, during and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial advice
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure guide and session
  • Airport pick up
  • Universidad Veritas orientation
  • On-site support
  • On-campus internet access
  • Weekly laundry
  • Universidad Veritas official transcript
  • CISaustralia Certificate of Completion

Please note:

  • Digital and Cultural Photography course (5 and 8 week sessions) requires an additional fee
  • 4 Credit (60 hours) courses, including field trip and lab time (5 and 8 week sessions) require additional fees
  • 5-week language and culture program: Students will take one Spanish language course and one 3 credit elective course
  • International students (non-Australian citizens) may also be required to pay an additional A$250 visa processing fee – pending their home country of origin. This can be confirmed on enrolment. There is no visa fee for Australian students.

What is not included:

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Vaccinations (if required)
  • Meals (unless mentioned above)
  • Extra travel/excursions (other than those mentioned above)

CISaustralia reserves the right to alter fees and inclusions at any time due to currency fluctuations and / or changes made by our affiliates and partner universities.

Dates are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork

Adventure Awaits

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