ISA Study Abroad in San José, Costa Rica

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San José, or Chepe, as it is lovingly called by locals, is the political, economic and cultural hub of Costa Rica. It is the perfect place for students to experience a bustling and cosmopolitan Latin American metropolis, as well as being an ideal ... read more

All Reviews

OVERALL RATING 2.8
Based on 2 Reviews
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Housing
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Cost of Living
Social/Cultural
Overall Experience
December 20, 2017 Bad
nothing - Rowan University View Entire Review
The whole experience was definitely worthwhile. Working with a local nonprofit and living with a host family brought two unique and rewarding opportunities to learn a countries culture and language. - University of Southern Indiana View Entire Review
N/A - University of Utah View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with International Studies Abroad (ISA): San Jose - Spanish Language, Liberal Arts and Environmental Studies
Past Review Pura Vida!!!
I gained a stronger sense of independence and a new way of looking at a culture different than my own. - University of Maine at Orono View Entire Review
I wouldn't change it for the world. i could write a novel about what i gained-learned from my experience, but now I am more confident, independent, and culturally aware. I have learned Spanish almost to the point of fluency. I have learned a lot about what I want in life. I have discovered a love of traveling. I feel like my lif... - Frostburg State University View Entire Review
There is too much to explain in a little box... I not only learned may things in the classroom, from the host family, and simply by observing the culture. - Berea College View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with International Studies Abroad (ISA): San Jose - Spanish Language, Liberal Arts and Environmental Studies
I did so much self discovery and grew a lot as a person while abroad. I learned how to relax and not take life so seriously; I became more confident; I opened my mind and let go of the slight ethnocentric mindset I had had in the past; I got over my fear of cockroaches and bugs; I learned how to be more spontaneous and live in t... - Trinity University View Entire Review
I gained a new family, load of true friends, and a country that I miss everyday. Living in another country teaches you a lot about yourself. You struggle some days, get frustrated, and then laugh, wishing you would never leave. Going to Costa Rica helped shape what I want to do for the future. - Austin College View Entire Review
I learned so much about the world around me, and how happy people can be with much less than what we have. I've never met a more friendly or happy country than Costa Rica. We think of many latin american nations to be lacking in so many things, yet they seem to be much more fulfilled. It's incredible how hard it is not to be ... - University of Nebraska- Lincoln View Entire Review
My experience changed my perspective on globalization, and gave me confidence in my artistic abilities. - Austin College View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with International Studies Abroad (ISA): San Jose - Spanish Language & Electives, Trimester
Past Review Tuanis!
I loved my study abroad experience! I wouldn't trade it for anything! Costa Rica was a great place to learn about a different culture, and it is a beautiful country to explore. Hopefully I will be able to use the Spanish I learned in Costa Rica in the future, and I plan on returning to Costa Rica at some point later on. - Grove City College View Entire Review
My study abroad experience in Costa Rica was amazing. I learned a lot about the culture here in Costa Rica and Latin America, and learned a lot about communication with foreigners. After this experience I have decided I would like to go abroad again to possibly teach english, study spanish, or attend grad school. The main negati... - Austin College View Entire Review
Past Review Pura Vida!
My experience was definitely worthwhile. I fell in love with the Spanish language all over again, became more relaxed and more family oriented, and more confident in myself. - South Dakota State University View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with ISA Study Abroad in San José, Costa Rica
It was worth every penny. I would do it all over again if I could. I learned the importance of being a versatile professional as well as being bilingual - Xavier University of Louisiana View Entire Review
Past Review Pura Vida
I absolutely loved Costa Rica! I would definitely recommend this program! I would go to the ISA office almost daily because the ladies in the office were so welcoming and accommodating that I made friends with them. I was in intermediate Spanish which was not difficult but somewhat challenging. I wasn't honestly overly fond of t... - Mississippi State University View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with ISA Study Abroad in San José, Costa Rica
I advanced in my Spanish-speaking skills so much more than I could have ever done in the U.S. because of the immersion and necessity to use the language in daily life. I also gained new perspectives on life being in a completely different culture than I was used to, which made me more open-minded and has helped shaped who I am a... - Lewis-Clark State College View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with International Studies Abroad (ISA): San Jose - Spanish Language, Liberal Arts and Environmental Studies
I learned so much! Not only did I learn a lot of Spanish and alternative health approaches in my classes from Monday-Friday, but I also learned a whole lot about MYSELF! I learned to really try to make the most out of everyday I'm here on earth, and to love one another with your whole heart. (My professor Ricardo was big on that... - University of Maine at Orono View Entire Review
Improved Spanish, traveled a ton--was able to see a ton of Costa Rica - Trinity University View Entire Review
It was completely worthwhile. I realized early on that the most important part of studying abroad is to open yourself up to new ideas and ways of life, and to immerse yourself in a completely different culture than you're used to. There is so much to be gained by realizing that your way of life is not the ONLY way of life there ... - University of Arkansas - Fayetteville View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with International Studies Abroad (ISA): San Jose - Spanish Language, Liberal Arts and Environmental Studies
It was worthwhile, I learned about culture. I just found them to be more Americanized than I'd hoped for, as far as a study abroad. - University of Maine at Orono View Entire Review
Past Review A Necessary Evil
I learned how to get around using public transportation (taxis, inner-city buses, transnational buses). Worthwhile? Sure, but I want to go back to Latin America on my own terms, instead of only being there to get good grades and satisfy my home university's requirements. I want to explore and get really into the cultures and ... - Longwood University View Entire Review
My Spanish skills were greatly improved and I became more independent in general. I would not be opposed to living abroad in the future and staying there indefinitely. - University of Arkansas - Fayetteville View Entire Review
Yes! It opened my mind to how different people do things, I became much more culturally aware, and I know I want to return to Latin America in the future. It was not satisfying for my academic expectations. - Point Loma Nazarene University View Entire Review
Yes, it was worth it/ - Whittier College View Entire Review
My Spanish improved greatly while in Costa Rica. I learned a lot about daily Spanish use and improved my speech flow immensely. - University of Louisville View Entire Review

About

San José, or Chepe, as it is lovingly called by locals, is the political, economic and cultural hub of Costa Rica. It is the perfect place for students to experience a bustling and cosmopolitan Latin American metropolis, as well as being an ideal jumping off point to experience the many natural wonders of Costa Rica.

San José is set in the lush Central Valley of the Costa Rican highlands and is where the majority of Costa Ricans work, live, and study. Students attending college in San José, Costa Rica will be able to experience a Latin American metropolis while also having the rest of Costa Rica's pristine natural wonders at their fingertips. Downtown San José features a pedestrian-friendly walkway down which students enjoy strolling, stopping at a café and sipping on a coffee and shopping at the Mercado Central. The city is filled with cultural offerings including numerous unique museums and students enjoy catching musical and theater performances at the elegant Teatro Nacional. When students want an escape from the city the Pacific coast is two hours away, the Caribbean coast is 4 hours away and adventures abound in the mountains, rainforests and rivers that surround the city.

Programs in San José include:

  • Semester / Trimester:
       - Arts and Design Courses with Locals
       - Health Care Courses in English & Medical Spanish
       - Spanish Language, Liberal Arts & Environmental Studies

  • Summer:
       - Health Care Courses in English & Medical Spanish
       - Spanish Language & Latin American Culture
       - Spanish Language, Liberal Arts & Environmental Studies

  • Int.Month: Intensive Spanish Language
  • Service-Learning: ISA Service-Learning: Learn about local social issues in San Jose by partnering with a community-based organization and following a reflection-based curriculum.

  • Gap:
      - Spanish Language, Liberal Arts & Environmental Studies
      - Spanish Language & Latin American Culture

Program Type(s):
Study Abroad
Internship
Program Length(s):
  • Fall
  • Summer
  • Spring
  • Short Term
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International Studies Abroad / ISA Scholarships

The ISA Diversity Scholarships aim to encourage students of a broader cultural make-up to participate in ISA programs by offering funds to assist with the expenses of studying abroad. The scholarship amounts to USD 14,000 in awards and is to be used towards ISA programs.

2 x $1,000 for Summer Programs; 3 x $2,000 for Fall Programs; 3 x $2,000 for Winter/Spring Programs

Deadlines:
Summer: February 28th Fall: April 30th Winter/Spring: October 30th

Guidelines/Requirements:
• Be accepted to an ISA study abroad program or an applicable ISA Internship or Service-Learning program. • Have at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA. • Be enrolled in second or third year of undergraduate education at a U.S. university/college at time of ISA program participation. **Please refer to the ISA scholarship page for more information on guidelines/requirements.

In pursuit of its goals of enhancing cultural awareness and providing students with the independence and language skills necessary for the workplace, The Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda Memorial Scholarship seek to help those who may not otherwise be able to study abroad. As a testament to his early struggle and lifelong pursuit of academic excellence, ISA offers USD 58,000 annually in scholarships to be used towards ISA programs in memory of Dr. Castañeda. The Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda Memorial Scholarship are both merit and financial need-based scholarships that assist students from affiliated universities with the expenses of studying abroad. Scholarship awardees will have the opportunity to participate in the Correspondent Internship, which gives students the chance to add content to ISA’s Student blog. The student may also be given an opportunity to be part of ISA’s offices abroad based on the need of the particular office.

12 x $2000 for Fall Programs; 12 x $2,000 for Winter/Spring Programs; 2 x $2,500 for (Fall-start) Year Programs; 2 x $2,500 for (Spring-start) Year Programs

Deadlines:
Fall (and Fall-start): April 30th Winter/Spring (and Winter-start): October 30th

Guidelines/Requirements:
• Be accepted to an ISA study abroad program or an applicable ISA Internship or Service-Learning program. • Attend an ISA-affiliated university. See our list of Affiliated Universities for more information. • Have at least a 3.25 cumulative GPA. • Have completed at least one year of college level foreign language or the equivalent. (Courses must appear on official transcript.) • Be enrolled in second or third year of undergraduate education at a U.S. university/college at time of ISA program participation. • Be on financial aid. FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) and home university Award Letter/form required. **Please refer to the Eligibility Requirements and Application for more information on eligibility, scholarship availability, and application instructions.

ISA offers USD 8,000 worth of scholarships annually dedicated to the memory of Michaela Farnum. Michaela was a junior studying International Business and Spanish at Seattle University and was a participant in the ISA program in Chile. Her experience was tragically cut short when she lost her life in a hiking accident in the mountains of La Campana National Park in Chile. ISA hopes that this scholarship will help aspiring study abroad students and will do so in memory of Michaela who only began to realize her dream of study abroad. The scholarship is both merit and financial need-based scholarships for the study abroad expenses for the summer term of the student awardees

8 x $1,000 for Summer Programs

Deadlines:
Summer: February 28th

Guidelines/Requirements:
• Be accepted to an ISA Summer study abroad program or an applicable ISA Internship or Service-Learning program. • Have at least a 3.25 cumulative GPA. • Have completed at least one year of college level foreign language or the equivalent. Courses must appear on official transcript. • Be enrolled in second or third year of undergraduate education at a U.S. university/college at time of ISA program participation. • Be on financial aid. FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) and home university Award Letter/form required. **Please refer to the ISA scholarship page for more information on guidelines/requirements.

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