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Costa Rica’s modern capital, San José, is a rich resource for Latin American culture, including the ornate and charming Teatro Nacional, the lively and vibrant Mercado Central, and the historical pre-Columbian gold museum, Museo del Oro Precolombino. Costa Rica offers participants a closer understanding of the challenges in balancing issues of cultural diversity, the environment, and economic development—often-competing interests for communities around the world. Participants pursue their studies through the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS), in conjunction with the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica (ULatina).  This modern University is made up of two buildings which contain a library, several computer labs, study rooms, and two food courts. ULatina offers a variety of majors, from Dentistry to Public Relations, and has several extra-curricular activities available. Students will also have easy access to staff throughout the semester, as the staff office is located on ULatina’s campus. These modern facilities, advanced equipment and extensive student services provide the perfect environment for ICDS’s highly participatory programs.

ICDS connects students to the communities and the issues affecting them through Service-Learning opportunities, guest lectures, and field trips to sites in and around San José, including a coffee plantation and an active volcano. Participants also have the opportunity to hone their Spanish language skills and experience the culture through a unique combination of living with host families, academic learning, and service learning activities. Costa Rica alumni have said that they learned more Spanish in their semester abroad than they did in three to four years of high school Spanish classes, and gained new language mastery which will aid them in their future professional opportunities.  

Aside from Spanish language, all courses are conducted in English. To participate in Costa Rica, students must be 18 years old on the date of departure.

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