Study abroad in lush, biodiverse Costa Rica! In partnership with the Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs (ICISP), the College of DuPage and the Costa Rican Language Academy, ECC students can spend the summer abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica. San Jose is the heart of Costa Rica and home to numerous theaters, museums, galleries, and other cultural gems. Costa Rica is an environmentally diverse country known for its rainforests.
At the Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA) in San Jose, students study Spanish in small classes with native speakers. This total immersion experience includes family home stays and excursions to places such as Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenal Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
This program is open to serious students who have a strong interest in immersing themselves in Costa Rican culture and heritage. Students do not need to know Spanish to apply for the program. Students must be:
- 18 years or older
- 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale for college students
- Community members are welcome to participate
- Recent high school graduates are accepted upon review of a HS transcript
If a participant has special needs, the program will attempt to make reasonable accommodations within the capacity available at the host institution. Disability accommodations will vary according to need and what can reasonably be provided by a foreign institution. It may be difficult for those with severe physical disabilities to travel to and within Costa Rica.
Students enroll in 6-7 credits at their home institution. Spanish is offered at six levels: Beginning I/II, Intermediate I/II and Advanced I/II. Students also enroll in Culture and Civilization of Costa Rica, which combines classroom lectures with experiential learning through local excursion to museums, historical sites and wildlife preserves. No previous study of Spanish is required.
Included in the program are numerous excursions throughout San Jose and the surrounding areas. Visits to the Central Valley, Heredia and a coffee plantation, the Atlantic Watershed and a banana plantation, Zarcero and a local hot spring, and the Diquis region allow students to experience the vast diversity and agricultural resources of Costa Rica. Students also have free time to explore on their own.
Housing and Meals
Students are housed with carefully selected local families in double-occupancy rooms. This is an excellent means to practice and enhancement Spanish speaking abilities and learn about the Costa Rican culture. Daily breakfast and dinner, of typical Costa Rican cuisine and local produce, is provided at the home-stay. Laundry service is also included in the homestay.
Participation in a pre-departure orientation is mandatory. The orientation will be held at Heartland Community College in Normal, IL, approximately six to eight weeks prior to departure. Details will be sent upon acceptance to the program. Attendance is required.
Passport and Visa
A passport is required of all U.S. citizens to travel to Costa Rica. Passports must be valid for a minimum of six months from the anticipated date of return. Students who need to apply for and acquire a US passport should visit the Department of State website at for instructions on applying for a passport. An application and information can be acquired at your local post office or at travel.state.gov.
U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to Costa Rica; participants who are not U.S. citizens may need a visa to travel to Costa Rica. Students need to notify the Center for International Studies and Programs (B105) if they are not U.S citizens.
Fees and Payment
The program fee for Costa Rica is TBA.
Please submit all payments to the ECC Student Accounts Office (for ECC students). Final payments must be made to the home institution prior to the orientation date. Payments must be made on schedule or the student risks being dropped from the program.
This program is financial-aid eligible for qualified students. ECC students interested in understanding how financial aid can be utilized towards study abroad should make an appointment with Ms. Mary Crowe, Manager of Financial Aid and Scholarships, by calling 847-214-7432. ECC students using financial aid towards the cost of this program will be required to complete the 2019-2020 Financial Aid Certification Form
and have it approved and signed by Ms. Mary Crowe.
Students can also apply for the ICISP Consortial Program Scholarship Application
, valued at up to $1000. The online application system will prompt applicants to upload the scholarship application and essay during the pre-decision application process.
The application deadline for Costa Rica summer 2024 is February 15 (Late applicants are accepted if space is available.)
Applying to the Program
To apply to the Costa Rica program, please click on the "Apply Now" button and complete the following forms:
- Costa Rica Study Abroad Application and required documents
- Financial Aid Certification
- Founder's Study Abroad Scholarship Application (Optional)
Submit forms through the online system or to the Center for International Education and Programs in building B, room B105. Do not submit your form to the College of DuPage or ICISP; all applications must go through ECC.
For more information, please contact the Center for International Education and Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by B105. All students interested in participating in this program must have their application approved by the Center for International Education and Programs.
2019-2020 Financial Aid Certification Form
ICISP Consortial Program Scholarship Application