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Costa Rica programs

San José, Costa Rica

For over thirty years, ACM has offered two distinctive Costa Rica programs to interested students with Spanish language skills:

  • The fall ACM Costa Rica: Community Engagement in Public Health, Education, & the Environment program prepares students to explore Central America and beyond through an intensive and extremely effective Spanish language program, as well as coursework and independent study projects that further develop language skills, while deepening understanding in particular fields of student interest.  Field trips within Costa Rica give students an appreciation for the country’s astounding biodiversity, and for the cultural and historical elements that contribute to the nation’s distinct path within Central America.  Students also participate in a month-long rural community practicum, where they live with campesino families around Costa Rica, gaining new perspectives on the challenges of rural development while making great strides in Spanish proficiency.  A dual enrollment option at the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) provides students with advanced levels of Spanish language proficiency the opportunity to take classes at both UCR and the ACM center.
  • The spring ACM Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, & Humanities program takes full advantage of local resources and scholars, while reaching out to local and international NGOs and investigators throughout the country to facilitate student research.  Students spend a month in San José at the beginning of the program, to polish their Spanish and their research plans.  They then fan out to the four corners of the country to carry out independent field research under the supervision of an advisor with experience and contacts in the student’s chosen field.  Afterwards, students then return to San José, to analyze their data and write their final papers.

Throughout both Costa Rica program options, students live with host families, to experience cultural and linguistic immersion.  In addition, the ACM typically arranges excursions, invites a variety of guest speakers, and offers opportunities for independent travel to Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches, mountains, and forests.  While all ACM courses are offered as an integral part of our program in the ACM center, a cooperation agreement with the Universidad de Costa Rica gives students access to cultural and sports facilities, and the UCR’s proximity to the program center makes it possible for students to get a taste of Latin American student life.

For more detailed information about either of  the ACM Costa Rica programs, please use the links located on the left-hand side of this page.

Quick Facts

  • Term: Fall semester, Spring semester, & Spring trimester (Apr-June)
  • Language prerequisite: Spanish
  • Language of instruction: Spanish & English
  • Living arrangements: Host family
  • Who can apply? Students from any college or university

Application deadlines

Spring semester 2015

Early deadline: March 15, 2014
Do I need to apply early?
The early application date is available for students whose college requires that all off-campus study applications for the entire upcoming academic year must be completed the prior spring semester. If your college does not require a spring decision for programs the following spring, you may apply by either the early or final application deadline.

Final deadline: October 15, 2014

Spring quarter/trimester 2015

Early deadline: March 15, 2014
Do I need to apply early?
The early application date is available for students whose college requires that all off-campus study applications for the entire upcoming academic year must be completed the prior spring semester. If your college does not require a spring decision for programs the following spring, you may apply by either the early or final application deadline.

Final deadline: November 15, 2014

Fall semester 2015

Final deadline: March 15, 2015

Spring semester 2016

Early deadline: March 15, 2015
Do I need to apply early?
The early application date is available for students whose college requires that all off-campus study applications for the entire upcoming academic year must be completed the prior spring semester. If your college does not require a spring decision for programs the following spring, you may apply by either the early or final application deadline.

Final deadline: October 15, 2015

Spring quarter/trimester 2016

Early deadline: March 15, 2015
Do I need to apply early?
The early application date is available for students whose college requires that all off-campus study applications for the entire upcoming academic year must be completed the prior spring semester. If your college does not require a spring decision for programs the following spring, you may apply by either the early or final application deadline.

Final deadline: November 15, 2015

If the deadline has passed and you are interested in applying, contact the ACM Office immediately. Late applications may be accepted on a space-available basis.

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Publications & Resources

Costa Rica programs brochure

Profiles - ACM Costa Rica program alumni

Costa Rica programs

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Lacey Ramirez My ACM Field Research experience in Costa Rica was amazing and unforgettable! I will always appreciate and love the personal relationships I developed with people in the program and the host families. Additionally, this program gave me the invaluable opportunity for professional growth in both a foreign language and independent research. Costa Rica is not only amazingly beautiful and ecologically diverse, but it also has an amazing history and culture. I wish I could go back and study there all over again!

—Lacey Ramirez, Costa Rica, Spring 2004

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