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Location: San José, Costa Rica

  *Compare EIU's Spanish-language study abroad programs*
Photo of EIU student in Costa Rica

Art, Latin American Studies, Spanish    

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Fall 2013: 9/30/2013 - 12/20/2013
Spring 2014 (Term 1): 1/6/2014 - 3/28/2014
Spring 2014 (Term 2): 3/31/2014 - 6/27/2014
Summer 2014 (4 weeks- Spanish + Electives): 6/2/2014 - 6/27/2014; 7/7/2014 - 8/1/2014
Summer 2014 (5 weeks- Intensive Spanish): 7/7/2014 - 8/8/2014

Do not use these dates to purchase airfare; use dates provided by host.

Spanish (Language classes)
English (Electives)


Please contact the office for a current budget.


Good Academic Standing
Good Judicial Standing
No prior Spanish experience necessary

  Application Deadlines:

Spring: October 1st (Priority Application Deadline).
Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited. If there is space available, applications will be accepted after Oct. 1, but there is no guarantee for space or admission at this point.

Summer: March 1st (Priority Application Deadline Only).

Fall: March 1st(Priority Application Deadline Only).

  Application Materials:

EIU Application Materials
Course Approval Form

Complete the Veritas online registration (you will be provided with access by the Study Abroad Office once you have completed your EIU application materials)

Also, please complete your study abroad travel consult with Health Services.

All Application Materials should be turned in to the Office of Study Abroad in 1207 Blair Hall by the appropriate deadline.

Program Highlights

Your program fee (which is less expensive than a semester at EIU!) includes a full excursion package to some of Costa Rica's most well-known areas. Click here to read about the excursion package.

Universidad Veritas offers small classroom sizes, so you will have plenty of attention and multiple opportunities to practice your Spanish. You will also live with a Tican (a term for Costa Ricans) family; not only will they help you become more quickly acquainted with Tican life but also with the language.

Veritas was founded in 1975 and was the first private university in Costa Rica. It is located in the eastern part of San José, about ten minutes from downtown. About 1500 students attend Veritas, 400 of which are international. Veritas has transferred credits to hundreds of universities in North America..

San José is a bustling cosmopolitan city of about 1,000,000 people. The city is very vibrant and full of things to see and do; it offers an array of museums, cafes, bars, and theatres. It is also the home of a renowned institute of biodiversity called INBio. San José is located about 2 hours from the Pacific and 3-4 hours from the Caribbean. It is also surrounded by volcanoes (which are no direct threat to city).

Photo of Costa Rica

One of my goals was to develop my Spanish language ability, and I can remember after studying for roughly 7 weeks doing an interview with the local Recreation representative of the city where I stayed in Turrialba, Costa Rica. The interview went unbelievably well--I communicated effectively and efficiently, and his responses helped me to understand more of the recreation options, which helped me with Spanish as well as with my major, Recreation Administration. --Justin Lopez, Spring 2009 participant

My goal was to learn Spanish, but I never imagined that I would be near-fluent by the end of a three-month semester. I credit the great teachers and their selection of relevant course material. This is a great program for students who are serious about learning REAL Spanish. --Heather Gerrish, Spring 2010 participant

Costa Rica has a wide range of places to see that offer hundreds of activities and amazing sights. The culture is very laid back, the locals are very helpful, the weather is perfect, and the food (especially the fruits) is out of this world. --Emily Hecht, Summer 2010 participant

Rachel Morris' Spring 2011 blog

Academic Programs

Veritas offers a small student body, which equates to small class sizes as well as excellent professors with a wealth of experience. Spanish courses meet four hours every morning (8:30am to 12:30pm), and involve lecture and practical application. English-taught elective courses are offered in the afternoon, and include art, humanities, business, economics, communication, Latin American/Costa Rican literature, multicultural studies, environmental sciences, dance, cooking, and more. Spanish-taught electives are available (15 weeks instead of 12 weeks), but can only be taken by advanced-level Spanish speakers, and include: architecture, digital animation, advertising design, photography, product design, and interior design. Please contact the Office of Study Abroad if you are interested in this advanced Spanish, 15-wk. program and want more information (including costs).

Click here to view the 2013-14 schedule structure. For a description of courses, please follow this link.

Summer Programs 2014!

The EIU Partner Fee for Fall or Spring includes: Host tuition (EIU tuition is waived) and Fees for 3 Spanish Modules, 1 Elective (or Art course if this option is elected), Room & Board with a Family, Excursion Package, and Airport Pickup.

The EIU Partner Fee for Summer includes: Host tuition (EIU tuition is waived) and Fees for 1 Spanish Module, 1 Elective Course, Room & Board with a Family, Excursion Package, and Airport Pickup.

**Please note: The summer and semester programs listed above are two options for EIU students attending Veritas. These are the most popular programs, but if these options will not fit your needs, please speak to the Coordinator of Study Abroad (581-7267; 1207 Blair Hall) about other possibilities (e.g., removing the elective course, taking more Spanish courses, extending your time at Veritas, etc.).**

After Your Trip:
Take STA4000G at EIU to fulfill your senior-seminar requirement!

Photo of Universidad Veritas

Student Life

Most of your classes will be with other international students. But when you are on campus, you will have the opportunity to meet other Tican students at the soda (the term for a lunch counter, small cafeteria) or computer lab. There are also internet cafes all over, so you will have a not problem staying in touch with friends and family back home (and cheaply, too!).

Courses at Veritas are intense since you are in Spanish classes for four hours each day, but there is still plenty of time to see and experience Costa Rica. Each Spanish class lasts for four weeks; at the end of each four week session you get a long weekend to travel. Costa Rica is a small country, so it is relatively easy to get from place to place. The local buses are very inexpensive and run routes all over the country.

Universidad Veritas also helps you explore the country by arranging 4 excursions for you (included in the program cost; you only pay for meals) to the following locations:

1. Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs (overnight trip)
2. Manuel Antonio National Park (3 days/2 nights)
3. Isla Tortuga (Turtle Island) (day trip)
4. Poas Volcano/La Paz Waterfall (day trip)

Immunizations- Students should be up-to-date with the following before leaving for their trip: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR), and Tetanus-Diphtheria.

Photo of Veritas cafeteria


Students stay with Costa Rican families. The homestay includes daily breakfast, dinner, laundry, a private furnished room, and hot water. Most of the families house two students (not co-ed), so that they can walk to class together and buddy up when going out or taking taxis, etc. All homes are located within walking distance of the university. Students can move in with their families approximately 2 days prior to the commencement of the program. There is an airport pick up service provided. However, at the end of the program, you will have to find your own transportation back to the airport for your flight back home.

Foreign Entry Requirements

To enter Costa Rica, you must have a valid passport. If you are a U.S. citizen and do not currently have a valid passport, or if your passport will expire during the time you will be overseas, please go to the U.S. State Department web site for information on how to apply for/renew your passport.

Costa Rican authorities generally permit U.S. citizens to stay up to ninety days; to stay beyond the period granted, travelers must submit an application for an extension to the Office of Temporary Permits in the Costa Rican Department of Immigration.  For more information visit the Costa Rican Embassy's web site or contact the Chicago Consulate General at (312)263-2772.

Travel Document Systems (TDS) can also provide you with helpful information on every country, including entry requirements, cultural information, travel conditions, economy, and more.

You are strongly encouraged to read the U.S. State Department's Consular Information Sheet. It will provide you with a great deal of information to help you prepare for your trip.

**Please be aware that you are responsible for obtaining the most up-to-date information on Costa Rica entry requirements. The Office of Study Abroad only provides general information, as visa regulations and procedures are constantly changing. Please consult the Consulate for more information. **

Please note that EIU does not own, operate, or sponsor this program.