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Program Highlights for Heredia, Costa Rica

The city

Language spoken:

Costa Rican Colón (CRC, ₡)


City type:
Large city (Population 500,000-200,001)

Passport & Visa requirements

The program

Program type:

Host university:
Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (UNA)

Language of instruction:
English, Spanish

Terms offered:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Yearlong

Program capacity:
65 students

Credit type:
U.S. semester credit

Deadline to apply

Summer 2024:
Session 1 or 1&2: March 15
Session 2: April 15

Fall/Yearlong 2024-25:
May 15
Late application - Contact USAC

Spring 2025:
October 15

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Scholarships and Financial Aid:
Deadlines vary

  • Enjoy easy access to the cultural, historic, and urban highlights of the capital city, San José, and the Pacific Ocean.
  • Select courses ranging from four levels of Spanish to ecological and Latin American studies.
  • Participate in volunteer or internship opportunities.
  • Join a field study in biology, chemistry, or Latin American culture.
  • Explore the vast rainforest, volcanoes, nature reserves, and other beautiful areas of Costa Rica on field trips.
  • Take a selfie with a sloth on the Caribbean coast.
  • Participate in clubs and organizations at the university.
  • Practice your Spanish by spending time with local students.
  • Discover other parts of Costa Rica and neighboring countries on the optional tours.
  • The USAC Resident Director and staff are present on-site full-time to welcome and support you during your term abroad.

Why Study in Heredia?

Students on a hike through the dense rainforest in Heredia, Costa Rica.Students enjoying a fresh drink from a coconut at the market in Heredia, Costa Rica.The Heredia program is ideal for students who are committed to learning the Spanish language and the diverse cultures of Latin America. Through formal coursework and personal interaction with the host culture, you will greatly expand your language skills and knowledge of Costa Rican society. Heredia, located just outside San José, offers the excitement of living near the capital city but with a more calm and relaxed atmosphere. Costa Rica as a whole is well known for its extraordinary natural beauty—preserved in its many national parks and reserves—which you will have the opportunity to discover firsthand.

The Heredia program offers three diverse academic areas: Spanish Language, Ecological Studies, and Latin American studies. The intensive language approach allows you to complete up to two years of university foreign language coursework in only one semester to meet Spanish minor or major requirements. You may choose to stay for one or two summer sessions, one semester, or a full year and complement your language curriculum by taking courses in literature, political science, economics, history, art history, biology, ecology, and dance.

However, the academic courses are only part of the value of the program. Participation in formal and informal activities also provides valuable learning experiences and interaction with the local culture. These activities include cultural events, village festivals, and field trips around San José, to the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, the rain forest, nature reserves, and to parliament and governmental entities. The program also offers a field study course focused on Latin America and its cultures. Taking this field study course gives you the opportunity to explore Costa Rica and its culture, environment, and contemporary issues on a deeper level outside of the classroom.