Request Info
Last Call for Fall! View Available Programs
Spend Your Spring Abroad View Programs
Start Your January Journey View JTerm Programs

Study Abroad | San Jose
Summer 2024: Academics

Group photo in the mountains of San Jose, Costa Rica.

Select Your Program Option:

  • Summer 2024

Program is closed

AcadEmics Overview

AIFS Abroad offers a unique global educational experience for students on this program, with the following academic options available:

Program Options

Program Name Early Start Available Credits Notes
Spanish Language and Latin American Culture – May Term + Session 1
Early Start Available: No Credits: Up to 8

Take an intensive Spanish language course, available at all levels. Standard language courses are 60 contact hours and recommended for 4 semester credits each session. Each Spanish course is taught for 15 hours per week from Monday through Friday, from 9am-12pm over 4 weeks. Choose Session 1, Session 2 or Session 3, or combine sessions 1 and 2 and stay for 8 weeks and earn up to 8 credits.

Session 2 students can either take a regular Spanish language course or a specialized Spanish for Health or Law Enforcement Professionals course. Advanced level students have the option of taking Business Spanish, Cultural Heritage in Latin America or Advanced Composition.

Placement for Spanish courses Students will be placed into the appropriate level determined by a written and oral test taken online prior to departure from the U.S.

Credit In order to ensure that you receive credit for the Spanish level that you are placed into, we recommend that you have courses at several levels approved by your academic advisor at your home school prior to registration. Many foreign institutions have higher standards for assessing language levels of students than you might expect in a U.S. institution.

Attendance is mandatory and students are only allowed to have one excused absence. If a student is absent more than one day they will automatically fail the course and lose the academic credits.

Transcripts are issued by Veritas University. An official transcript will be sent directly to the student’s home institution on completion of the program.

Grades No AIFS participant is permitted to take a course without receiving a grade. Pass/Fail grade options are not available.

Eligibility Notes

If following Business Spanish, Cultural Heritage in Latin America, or Advanced Composition courses: C1 Advanced Spanish language level and above (4+ semesters of Spanish or equivalent).

Spanish Language

Additional Courses

For a full and current list of available courses please contact your AIFS Admissions Officer. Courses may change at the discretion of Veritas University.

Other courses which may be offered include:

Architecture 320/ARCH 3200 (4)
Tropical Architecture and Design

Art 130/ART 1301 (3)
Basic Principles of Drawing

Art 250/ART 2500 (3)
Experimental Printmaking

Spanish 301/SPAN 3010 (3)
Latin American Literature in Translation

Communications 307/COMM 3070 (4)
Creative Conflict Resolution

Communications 320/COMM 3200 (3)
Intercultural Communication

Business 335/GEB 3350 (3)
Introduction to International Business

Business 350/GEB 3500 (4)
Ecotourism: The Costa Rica Case

Business 312/GEB 3120 (3)
Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Management 303/MGMT 3030 (3)
Creative Leadership Skills

Marketing 315/MKTG 3150 (3)
Sustainable Consumption and Production

Psychology 305/PSY 3050 (3)
Cultural Psychology

Environmental Sciences 250/ENV 2500 (4)
Introduction to Genetics

Environmental Sciences 300/ENV 3005 (4)
Environmental Impact and Social Development

Environmental Sciences 310/ENV 3100 (4)
Neotropical Ornithology: Birds of Costa Rica

Environmental Sciences 312/ENV 3120 (4)
Land Vertebrates of Costa Rica

History 230/HIS 2302 (3)
Contemporary Latin American History

Politics 310/POL 3100 (3)
Costa Rican Tradition: Peace and Democracy

Academic Credit & Transcripts

Credit Transfer

As a part of the AIFS application for semester programs, you will complete a Course Approval Form, which will be signed off by your study abroad office staff and/or faculty at your university.

For J Term/Summer programs, no such approval form is needed; however, students are still responsible for ensuring credit can be brought back from their overseas program.
In any case, we recommend getting additional courses approved in case you need to change courses while abroad.

Overseas universities do not use the credit system employed by American institutions. AIFS students must make special arrangements to transfer credits, but since AIFS courses are given at recognized universities or the AIFS Centers (which are transcripted by Fairfield University), there usually is no difficulty in arranging transfer credit toward U.S. degrees provided the proper procedure is followed.

European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

Many of the European institutions that AIFS works with award credits under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). ECTS enables cooperating institutions to measure and compare a student’s performance and facilitates the transfer of credits from the European institution to the U.S institution.

Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

Language levels are defined according to the CEFR and will be listed on your transcript on completion of the program. CEFR organizes language proficiency into six levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2) which can be regrouped into three broad levels according to the needs of the local institution: Beginner: A1, A2/U.S. Level 100; Intermediate: B1, B2/U.S. Level 200-300; Advanced: C1, C2/U.S. Level 400


When you complete your program, an official transcript is sent to your home institution directly from AIFS Abroad or the host university. Another official transcript may be retained by AIFS Abroad in Stamford, but this is not the case for all programs. Please contact to find out how to request additional transcripts. 
Generally, your school should receive your transcript 60 days after completion of the program. (Cannes Semester programs, Perth, Sydney, Dublin, Limerick, and Wellington Programs exception: Transcripts issued and retained by the host universities. Transcripts for the Cannes Semester programs are issued by Chapman University.)
Transcripts may come without an English-language translation, so participants will need to organize translations with their home university.

Academic Records

Credit assessment methods in overseas universities may not be comparable to those in U.S. universities. Grading may involve exams, papers, individual projects, class discussion or some combination of these. Although academic institutions abroad may grade on a variety of scales, admissions counselors and registrars at U.S. institutions are familiar with international grading systems and can convert grades.

Course Selection

AIFS Program Advisors are available to assist you in the process. The following procedure is recommended:

Read course descriptions for the selected program and select courses. Obtain approval from your academic or study abroad advisor for the preliminary courses selected. Final approval of credit transfer for completed courses is at the discretion of the Registrar or appropriate official at the home institution. Students must ascertain that courses taken meet their individual academic program requirements. Recommended credits in this catalog are based on 15 classroom hours per semester credit.

I would absolutely recommend this program. The trip has been such a positive experience. Wonderful program!

AIFS has a lot to offer. The more I talked to American students from other programs, the more I realized that AIFS was clearly the best choice

This program opened my eyes to a culture and society I knew very little about. I made great friends and had a fabulous time during the process. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

AIFS Abroad Employment Opportunities

View Open Positions
A student sitting on the ground, in front of a mountain view in Athens.

Want to learn more?

Request Info
White buildings on the coast of Greece.