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Education Abroad Office

University of Costa Rica

Area: Global Exchange
Location: San Jose
Country: Costa Rica
Term: Spring, Fall, Academic Year

UofSC's exchange program in Costa Rica is designed to expose American students to Costa Rican history, culture, and the strong academics available at the University of Costa Rica. This exchange is best-suited for students who wish to improve their Spanish language skills while also attending specific Spanish-taught courses in a variety of academic areas.

The University of Costa Rica (UCR) is located in San José, which is the capital as well as the nation's largest city. San José is located in the central valley, and it is a vibrant and bustling city built on the profits from the coffee trade. European influences can be seen in the ornate architecture around the city. Today, the country´s political and economic activity is concentrated in the city of San José, and it is also the main transportation hub in the area.

Founded in 1940, the University of Costa Rica aims to benefit the Costa Rican people through research and thinking, and it enjoys a rich history with the University of Santo Tomás. With its beautiful park-like setting and its location in the student friendly neighborhood of San Pedro, the University of Costa Rica is an ideal location for students looking to truly experience Latin American culture. The University of Costa Rica has high academic standards, and it is one of the top universities in Latin America. Many of the faculty have received advanced degrees from prestigious foreign institutions. Internationalization is promoted to enhance the academic quality of the university and to diversify the student and faculty populations.

Cost: UofSC resident tuition rates + in-country costs

Requirements: 3.2 GPA, minimum 5 semesters of college-level Spanish

The cost of living in Costa Rica is lower than Columbia. Transportation will cost $2-$10 and meals average $7-15. Students on an exchange program will pay tuition and fees directly to UofSC. Housing, books, meals, and personal expenses will be paid in Costa Rica. Housing costs with host families are around $520-600 USD per month. 

All courses at UCR are taught in Spanish. The University of Costa Rica offers a wide range of courses to meet the demand for professionals of Costa Rican society and offers academic, research and humanistic training in each of its different schools.

To see courses UofSC students have taken at this university, please reference the Registrar's Course Equivalency Table

Exchange students are able to get involved on campus. Information on student life opportunities at UCR are available to students at orientation. Travel around Costa Rica is affordable and a common weekend activity. Travel to other countries in Latin America is also accessible from San Jose. 

Per university policy, all UofSC students will be charged emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance for their time abroad. Contact the Education Abroad Office for more details.

There is no on-campus housing available for exchange students at UCR. USC students participating in this exchange can apply for placement with a host family through the Office of International Affairs and External Cooperation. Due to a limited number of families available, applicants will be placed on a first-come, first-served basis. Students should anticipate to budget $500-$600 per month for homestay accommodation. Students not wishing to do a homestay are responsible for arranging their own independent housing, without assistance from UCR. 

The University of Costa Rica has two semesters. The first semester is from late February to July. The second semester is from late July to December. UofSC students are able to attend the University of Costa Rica for the fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.

Orientation sessions are held prior to the start of each semester in late February and late July. Orientation is mandatory for all exchange students.

Students studying in Costa Rica for the semester or year will need to apply for a Student Provisional Visa prior to departure. Students may request the visa from the nearest Costa Rican consulate and required documentation must be presented for a complete application. 

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