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Study Abroad | San Jose

Costa Rica | Veritas University | Spring 2023
People river rafting.
Boat with snorkelers.
A building with gold accents in Costa Rica.
  • Spring 2023


Spend a semester or academic year in the lively capital city of San José, Costa Rica, with AIFS! Study a variety of academic program options at the Universidad Veritas, one of the most highly respected universities in Latin America. Located on an urban campus, the university is home to a diverse student population of nearly 2,000, including several hundred international students.

** Starting J Term 2023 and onward, students participating in our Costa Rica programs will need to have COVID vaccinations and at least one booster dose. Students without these doses will NOT be allowed to participate or be allowed into the country. **

What’s Included

The AIFS inclusive program fee includes all of the great features below in addition to many pre-departure, on-site and upon-return services to help students make the most of their time abroad.

Review Our Policies
  • Tuition

    Up to 20 semester credits depending on program and course selection

  • Courses

    Wide variety of courses available; taught in English and Spanish

  • Housing

    Homestay with a local family

  • Meals

    Breakfast and dinner every day in the homestay

  • Excursions & Day Trips

    3-day excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park, a 3-day excursion to Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs and Monteverde Cloud Forest and a day trip to Poás Volcano, Doka Coffee Plantation, Grecia and Sarchi in Alajuela

  • Cultural & Social Activities

    A wide range of AIFS-organized cultural activities and social events to enrich your experience

  • On-Site Resident Director

    to help with any questions or advice you may need throughout the program

  • Health & Safety

    24/7 emergency support and comprehensive insurance

  • Personal/Professional Development

    Access to the renowned Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment and alumni network

  • Green Initiative

Additional Options & Opportunities

  • AIFS Flight Package

    Round-trip flights from 25 U.S. gateways

    Airport transfers to and from campus

  • Excursions

    Sarapiquí hiking and rafting (2 days)

    Bocas del Toro, Panama (4 days) Extended Program only

Program Details: Study Abroad | San Jose Certificate of Knowledge


January 8, 2023May 5, 2023



Application Deadlines

November 1, 2022

Inclusive Fees


Stay for a year to save on cost


Open to High School Graduate, First Year, Sophomore, Junior, Senior College Students

Minimum of 2.5 GPA

Additional requirements may vary by course selection. See Academic section below.

Visa Requirements

A visa may be required for this program. Please contact your advisor or log into your portal for more information.

Areas of Interest

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Area Studies
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Business Administration
  • Communications
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Environmental Studies
  • Fitness and Recreation
  • Foreign Language
  • Health Sciences
  • History
  • International Business
  • International Relations
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Science
  • Social Science
  • Sociology
  • Spanish Language
  • Sustainability


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

Veritas University has grown to become one of the most highly regarded private universities in Latin America. It specializes in creative industries and sustainability. The university’s programs reflect their training and dedication to best practices. 

Veritas 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. 

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Area Studies
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Business Administration
  • Communications
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Environmental Studies
  • Fitness and Recreation
  • Foreign Language
  • Health Sciences
  • History
  • International Business
  • International Relations
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Science
  • Social Science
  • Sociology
  • Spanish Language
  • Sustainability

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.

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 60 contact hours for a suggested 4 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 4 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 18. 

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 Program Advisor. 

Internship placements available on previous programs have included: 

  • Business: travel agency 
  • Education: public school 
  • Social work: daycare center, NGO 
  • International relations: international exchange office 
  • Innovation and digital fabrication: Fablab Veritas
  • Biomolecular and conservation biology: Veritas Biomol Laboratory  

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. 

View All Courses For Certificate of Knowledge
A group of students wearing helmets and harnesses in a forest.

Living Abroad


For many students this is the most rewarding part of their time abroad. Living in a homestay is the best way to learn Spanish, gain a unique and personal insight into Costa Rican culture and integrate into the local community.

  • Single room
  • Shared bathroom
  • Weekly laundry service
  • Located close to campus
  • Breakfast and dinner every day

Internet access is included in all AIFS housing in San José.


In the heart of Central America, Costa Rica is a gem of a destination, with San José, the capital, the beating heart of this unique country. Tremendous biodiversity, stunning landscapes, clean energy production and an engaging and friendly culture are prevalent both in the street and in the workplace.

AIFS in San José Resident Director, Academic Year and Semester Programs

Karla Carballo headshot.

Karla Carballo

¡Hola! My name is Karla Carballo and I very much welcome your interest in being part of AIFS and our “pura vida” lifestyle in Costa Rica.

As a study abroad student at the age of 16 in France I saw first-hand the value of this experience. International education has become a passion in my life and being part of the students’ personal and academic growth is a real honor. For this reason, we pursue excellence!

My professional training in psychology has been helpful in enabling me to provide support to international students facing the challenges of living abroad. You can always count on me for support, guidance and of course, ideas to enjoy your adventure in Costa Rica.

I look forward to welcoming you to Costa Rica and hope you all have an unforgettable, life-changing experience with us. ¡Bienvenidos!

The Resident Director provides academic advice, introduces you to the community and handles communication with the University.

In addition to excursions a cultural calendar of weekly activities and social events is included in your program fee. These activities will include both typical tourist sites and attractions and lesser known visits which take advantage of the expert knowledge of our local AIFS staff and give you a more authentic and insightful view of Costa Rican life. Typical activities, tours and visits include:

  • Walking tours of San José
  • Costa Rican cooking class
  • Indigenous reserve
  • Local museums and markets
  • Teatro Nacional visits
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • Latino dance lessons
  • Organic farm visit
  • Hiking
  • Participation in a language exchange program with Costa Rican students

You may be asked to pay a small additional fee for some of the activities above.

You can give back to the local community by undertaking volunteer work with children and elderly people and on other social projects within San José. Placements are made after arrival in Costa Rica and in discussion with the AIFS Resident Director. For more information speak to the AIFS Admissions Officer. 


This program offers a range of day trips and excursions that will take you outside San José and deepen your social, historical and cultural understanding of Costa Rica.

Arenal Volcano.

Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs Spa, and Monteverde Cloud Forest 

Go sightseeing, hike to La Fortuna Waterfall, take a boat ride across Arenal Lake to Monteverde, zip-line in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and more. Includes round-trip transportation, hotel accommodations, daily breakfasts and dinner on the first night. 

  • Costa Rica
  • 3 Days
  • Included in Program Fee
The entrance sign to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Manuel Antonio National Park

Hike, swim at the beach or hotel pool, and explore the park’s exotic flora and fauna. Includes round-trip transportation, hotel accommodations, daily breakfasts and all entrance fees. 

  • Costa Rica
  • 3 Days
  • Included in Program Fee
Poás Volcano.

Poás Volcano, Doka Coffee Tour, and Grecia & Sarchi Artisans

Guided tours and free time to explore. Includes round-trip transportation, lunch and entrance fees. 

  • Costa Rica
  • 3 Days
  • Included in Program Fee
A footbridge in Sarapiquí.


Rafting, guided hikes (including a night hike with a local naturalist) and chocolate making demonstration. Includes round-trip transportation, accommodations, dinner (night one) and breakfast and lunch (day two). 

  • Costa Rica
  • 2 Days
  • $285
Colorful buildings on a waterfront.

Bocas del Toro

Take an array of guided tours and visits to Bahía Delfines, Isla Pájaros, Playa las Estrellas and Playa Red Frog. Snorkle in the Caribbean waters of Cayo Coral and Cayo Zapatilla. Includes round-trip transportation, hotel accommodations, group dinners and daily breakfasts. 

  • Panama
  • 4 Days
  • $595
A group of happy students at a carnival.
A view of Prague.

Social identity & access

One of the best things you can do before departure is enter into the journey knowing that your time abroad will be unique to this experience. The resources, community, and support available to you when abroad will likely be different as well. In order to help you prepare for your experience, we have compiled many resources about social identity and access in specific locations abroad. Your program staff will also provide you with more details pre-departure and during orientation.

Learn more

Important Dates & Deadlines

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Dates & Deadlines


  • Early Application Deadline*
  • Application Deadline
    November 1, 2022
  • Deposit Deadline
    November 15, 2022
  • Scholarship Deadline
    October 1, 2022
  • Optional Departure Flight from US***
    January 7, 2023
  • Program Begins
    January 8, 2023
  • Program Ends
    May 5, 2023
  • Optional Return Flight to US***
    May 6, 2023
  • *** Included for students on AIFS flight package.

See what others are saying

Two students walking in a field.

Ready to Study Abroad in San Jose?

For more dates or questions, contact your program consultant:
(203) 399-5163 or email: