Study Abroad in San José: Academics
Courses include: art, architecture, business, communications, economics, environmental impact and sustainable development, health, history, internships, literature, management, marketing, photography, politics, psychology, tropical ecology, tropical marine biology, Spanish language, Spanish for health professionals, and Spanish for law enforcement
Choose between three programs: Spanish Language, Liberal Arts and Environmental Sciences Program; Spanish Language and Internship Program; and the Certificate of Knowledge Program.
The Spanish Language, Liberal Arts and Environmental Sciences Program is available as a semester or extended semester. The Spanish Language and Internship and Certificate of Knowledge Programs are available during the extended semester only.
All students are required to take Spanish language available at all levels from Beginner through Advanced and heritage speaker and will take electives depending on their chosen program – see below.
In addition to the electives listed in this catalog, students on the Extended Semester Programs who have a minimum of 2 years college-level Spanish and test into the Advanced level may also take regular Universidad Veritas courses taught in Spanish alongside Costa Rican students for a fully immersive experience.
No AIFS student is permitted to take a course without receiving a grade. Pass/Fail options are not available.
This program is designed for students who wish to begin or strengthen their skills in Spanish and take elective courses across a range of disciplines including art, architecture, business, communications, economics, environmental impact and sustainable development, health, history, literature, management, marketing, photography, politics, psychology, society, theology, tropical ecology, and tropical marine biology. Many courses take a Latin American perspective giving you a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges facing the region and some of the environmental electives include lab work or field trips which bring you closer to Costa Rica’s diverse ecology.
Spanish language is available at all levels from Beginner through Advanced and courses run in 4-week blocks. Classes are taught Monday through Friday in the morning for 15 hours per week for a total of 60 contact hours and are recommended for 4 semester credits. Classes are small to maximize language learning. Specialized Spanish language courses are also available for Health Professionals and Law Enforcement Professionals.
Elective courses run for the length of the semester in the afternoon, are 48 to 60 contact hours and are recommended for 3 or 4 semester credits. Most electives are taught in English. Electives taught in Spanish focus on literature and linguistics. There may be mandatory weekend field trips associated with some healthcare, environmental sciences or sustainability courses.
Students on the semester program may take one Spanish language course plus three electives, two Spanish language courses and two electives or three Spanish language courses and one elective for a total of 13 – 16 semester credits. If taking more than one Spanish language course students need to successfully complete the test at the end of each course before proceeding to the next level.
Students on the extended semester program take an additional Spanish language course either at the end of the semester in spring or at the beginning of the semester in fall for a maximum of 20 credits.
The language level you participate in and the electives you are eligible to take will be determined by an online oral and written placement test prior to your arrival in Costa Rica. It is important to obtain pre-approval from your home institution for several levels of Veritas language courses and several alternate Veritas elective courses. Your final course schedule will be determined on site. Students wishing to take electives taught in Spanish must place into the High Intermediate or Advanced level.
|Fall or Spring Semester||Up to 20||Open to high school graduates, college freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors
Minimum 2.5 GPA
No previous Spanish language study required
Internship programs provide you with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience and professional skills alongside your academic study.
Students must have a GPA of 2.6, be 20 years of age by the start of the placement, have at least 2 years of college-level Spanish (or equivalent) and place into an Advanced level of Spanish in order to participate in the Internship Program. Students should have also completed a minimum of 5 courses in a field of study related to their preferred internship. Students wishing to participate in the Biomolecular Lab and Conservation Biology Internship only need to have an Intermediate 1 (2 semesters of college-level Spanish) level.
Students begin this program with a preparatory 4-week Spanish language course to refresh or improve their existing Spanish language skills ready for their placement. The course is 80 contact hours for a suggested 5 semester credits.
Internships are unpaid positions within companies or NGOs in the vicinity of Universidad Veritas or within the Central Valley, a bus ride away. Students are placed in positions related to their major and/or interests and are assessed by meetings, a major project and a presentation at the end of the internship. Students are supervised by a professor at Universidad Veritas who will guide them through the project work.
Students take one Spanish language course for 5 semester credits, an internship for 4 semester credits, an independent study course recommended for 3 semester credits and, if their schedule permits, they may be able to take one or two additional elective classes. The suggested total of recommended credits for the semester is 12 to 19.
Students must work a minimum of 30 hours per week on the internship assignment in order to receive internship credits. Veritas typically equates approximately 240 internship hours to 3 U.S. credits. Length of internships:
- 12 weeks = 6 hrs/day, Monday through Friday = 360 hrs = 4 credits
For further details about the Internship Program and application process, please speak to the AIFS Admissions Officer.
Internship placements available on previous programs have included:
- Business: travel agency
- Education: public school
- Social work: daycare center, orphanage, NGO
- International relations: international exchange office
- Innovation and digital fabrication: Fablab Veritas
- Biomolecular and conservation biology: Veritas Biomol Laboratory
|Fall or Spring Semester||Up to 19|| Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Minimum 2.6 GPA
Minimum 2 years college-level Spanish
Minimum 5 completed courses in subject area of internship
Students interested in a particular area of study may participate in the Certificate of Knowledge Program. Students choose one Spanish language course for 4 semester credits and four elective courses for 3 or 4 credits each from one of eight fields of study and earn a Certificate of Knowledge in that chosen field by the end of the semester.
Students on the Certificate of Knowledge Program take the same Spanish courses and elective courses as students on the Spanish Language, Liberal Arts and Environmental Sciences Program. Students will also take the same placement test to determine the language level they participate in and should therefore obtain approval from their home institution for several levels of Veritas language courses and several alternate Veritas elective courses.
|Fall or Spring Semester||Up to 21||Open to all students on the Extended Semester
Minimum 2.5 GPA
No previous Spanish language study required
Veritas' foundation dated from 1975 when it was the Architecture and Design College of the Universidad Autónoma de Centroamérica, the first private university in Costa Rica. In 1991, Veritas University became an independent university fully accredited by the Costa Rica Ministry of Education. It has since then grown to become one of the most highly regarded private universities in the Latin American academic community specialized in creative industries and sustainability with a population of over 1,600 degree-seeking students. In 2018, the institution became a member of the LCI Education Network, a Canadian network of higher education institutions present on five continents and 23 campuses worldwide.
Veritas is a member of NAFSA, the Forum on Education Abroad, and the College Consortium for International Studies. All semester, summer, and short term programs reflect their training and dedication in best practices as well as the use of the innovative competency-based pedagogical model. It has an urban campus, equipped with modern facilities, including both MAC and PC labs, a digital fabrication Lab, a wood and metal lab, a bio-molecular laboratory, library, a materials store, and a student cafeteria.
Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS Costa Rica programs!
Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS Costa Rica, San José programs!