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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: UB applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 03/01/2020 ** Rolling Admission 06/01/2020 08/07/2020

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Open to: UB and other SUNY students Language of Instruction: English, Spanish
Minimum GPA: 2.5 Eligibility: Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors
Term: Summer Language Courses Offered: Spanish
Housing Options: Host Family Program Advisor: Mary Odrzywolski
Credits: 6 Global Pathway UB Areas: Humanities, Languages
Program Description:

Costa Rica: Summer Internship

Costa Rican Coffee
This 10-week program immerses participants in Costa Rican society via intensive Spanish language study, host family experiences, and an internship placement. Participants will be challenged to sharpen their intercultural competencies through a blend of classroom language instruction and rigorous hands-on learning experiences. Sharing in daily life with Costa Ricans from diverse backgrounds presents students with the unique opportunity to engage the complexities of Latin America far beneath its surface. 

Costa Rica is a Central American country with a population of about 5 million. Costa Rica is known for its long-standing democracy, strong public institutions, a highly educated workforce, and exemplary sustainable development initiatives. Its economy, once heavily dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, high-tech manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism. The country has consistently performed favorably in the Human Development Index, placing 63rd in the world in 2017. Costa Rica is the only country to meet all five UNDP criteria established to measure environmental sustainability and was twice ranked the best performing country in the New Economics Foundation's Happy Planet Index. Costa Rica aims to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021. The country currently produces 99% of its electricity from renewable sources (hydro, geothermal, and solar).

San José Center
UB partners with the Institute for Central American Development Studies (ICADS) in the design and implementation of this learning experience. Founded 30 years ago, ICADS is a center for the study, research, and analysis of Central American social and environmental issues. ICADS' portfolio of programs engages a diversity of topics through a social justice framework. Key topics include economic development, politics, environmental studies, sustainable development (energy, agriculture), public health, women’s issues, education, human rights, and conservation. The 10-week summer internship is divided into three blocks:

Block I (3 weeks) - Spanish Preparation and Internship Selection
Students invest the first three weeks of the program in intensive Spanish classes (four hours per day, 5 days a week) geared to the individual abilities and needs of each participant. Students learn to navigate daily life in San José and live with a Costa Rican host family. During Block I participants also explore potential internship opportunities and decide on a placement that converges with their abilities and interests.

Block II (6 weeks) - Structured Internship
Students work for six weeks in a unique internship placement. Internship sites include conservation movements, microfinance organizations, small businesses, sustainable energy initiatives, educational institutions, public health clinics, organic agriculture projects, among many others. Students typically live with a second host family during the internship and are exposed to a region outside urban area of San José.

Block III (1 week) - Written Work and Oral Presentation
Upon completion of the internship, students return to ICADS to reflect on their work and present their learning to faculty and peers.

Estimated costs for this program can be found at the top of this page next to Budget Sheets by clicking on Summer.

Interested students are encouraged to make an appointment with the program advisor to learn more about this program.