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International Programs

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Semester Abroad in Costa Rica

"My semester in Costa Rica was one of the best experiences of my life. It helped me develop my language skills, gave me the opportunity to truly experience life in other cultures, and helped me to create a new perspective of the world."
- Mike Powers

  • The program is located at the Centro Cultural e Historico Jose Figures Ferrer in San Ramon, about an hour from San José, the capital city.
  • Visit Costa Rican national parks as part of your topical ecology course.
  • Take a week-long study excursion to Nicaragua and other curriculum connected field trips.
  • Earn credits toward a minor in Spanish or Latin American studies.
  • Participate in a community service project, such as Habitat for Humanity or helping at a local orphanage.

Costa Rica stands out as one of the most delightful countries in the world. It is a country famous for its enlightened approach to conservation with its beautiful national parks, lush tropical forests, and active volcanoes. Costa Rica has not had an army since 1949, and its former president Oscar Arias is a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.  Linfield College has operated this program since 1981.

Language Prerequisites

All courses are taught in Spanish.

All participants are required to take or audit the appropriate level of Spanish in the semester directly preceding their study abroad in Costa Rica. A minimum of one year college-level Spanish is required at the time of application; 2 years are preferred.


Curriculum includes classes in Spanish language, contemporary Latin American literature, tropical ecology, and Latin American history and politics.  Service learning is required as part of the program, usually working in a local orphanage or on a Habit for Humanity project. Download the brochure for individual classes and requirements.


For a complete immersion in the Spanish language, students stay with Costa Rican host families for the duration.


Late August to mid-December.

Other Information

Download PDF of Program Brochure

Download PDF of Information Packet

Email a Linfield student who participated in this program.