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San Jose, Costa Rica (Short-term Summer)

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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. Explore the capital of Costa Rica through this unique immersion program. 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.

Program Overview

Students in this program will earn seven semester hours of credit in Spanish language and culture of Costa Rica. Classes consist of lectures and discussions accompanied by field trips and activities designed to engage students in active learning and discovery. No previous study of the Spanish language is required. Participants will live with local host families in San Jose and have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the Costa Rican lifestyle and culture. A faculty member from an ICISP institution will accompany the student group to Costa Rica.

Program Dates

  • Five weeks between late May 29 - June 29, 2014.

Program Application Deadline

  • February 15

Admission Requirements

This program is open to serious students, teachers, and others who have a strong interest in immersing themselves in another culture. Applicants are required to obtain a physician's approval as part of the application process. There will be a personal interview to determine the applicant's maturity, ability to adapt to a different environment, and function successfully as a member of the group. The successful completion of the application process is required for admission to the program. College students must also present evidence of a 2.75 GPA. If an applicant has special needs, the program will attempt to make whatever reasonable accommodations are possible, but as in many developing countries, it may be difficult to travel in Costa Rica.

Academic Program

Students will register for seven credit hours with Elgin Community College. Upon successful completion of classes, students will receive credit on their ECC transcript. Students are required to enroll in a Spanish language class and a Costa Rican culture class. Program courses include:

  • Spanish (4 credits)
  • Culture and Civilization of Costa Rica (3 credits)

Prior to the beginning of classes, all students will be assessed in Spanish language proficiency and placed at the appropriate level.

Lodging and Meals

The cornerstone of the Costa Rican study abroad experience is living with local Costa Rican families and experiencing traditional Costa Rican life. Homestay may include double occupancy rooms. They will be provided with breakfast, dinner, and laundry service during the homestay period. This arrangement provides the opportunity for the student to continue practicing Spanish and to share the everyday life of the "ticos". Families are chosen for their friendliness and helpfulness. Except in remote areas, the water in Costa Rica is drinkable. The homes are near public transportation. A few may be within walking distance to class. Lunch is not provided but there are many excellent places to eat.


A passport is required of all U.S. citizens to travel to Costa Rica. 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.


A pre-departure orientation will be held prior to the start of the program. Orientation will cover important information related to safety, security, insurance and program expectations. Attendance is required. Orientation is held at College of DuPage's main campus in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. This typically occurs over two days in May.

Program Fees

The program fee is $3,099, subject to change. Fees cover:

  • Round-trip airfare from Chicago
  • Five-week double-occupancy home stay
  • Breakfast, dinner, and laundry service
  • Field trips and excursions
  • Hotel accommodations on overnight excursions
  • Instructional costs
  • Textbooks for the language classes
  • Transfer to and from the airport in San Jose

Fees do not cover:

  • ECC tuition and fees
  • Passport
  • Visa fee (only if not a U.S citizen)
  • International student identification card (optional)
  • Optional excursions
  • Lunches and meals as indicated by the program
  • Costa Rican departure tax
  • Transportation to and from O'Hare airport
  • Transportation to and from Orientation
  • Personal Expenses

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial aid (grants, loans, other scholarships, etc.) are available to students who qualify. Students wishing to use financial aid for study abroad should contact the Assistant Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships to discuss requirements. An appointment can be made by calling the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at 847-214-7360 or by visiting building B, room B156. Students may also wish to apply for the optional Founder's Study Abroad Application (link provided below).

Please note that all fees are payable to ECC, regardless of how a student pays for the study abroad program.

Applying to the Program

To apply to the Costa Rica program, stop by Building B, Room B105 for documentation.

  • Costa Rica Study Abroad Application
  • Financial Aid Certification
  • Founder's Study Abroad Application

Submit forms 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 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.

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