Summer in Costa Rica


Costa Rica 2018


You will live and study in beautiful Alajuela, located just 30 minutes from the capital, San Jose. Alajuela is a small town surrounded by coffee and sugar plantations. Courses are held at the Instituto de Cultura y Lengua Costarricense (ICLC), Costa Rica’s premier language institute. ICLC language school is set on a hillside surrounded with tropical flowers and fruits in the outskirts of Alajuela!


You will take 5 credits of Spanish immersion at Instituto de Cultura y Lengua Costarricense. Classes are taught by qualified ICLC instructors. Spanish classes meet for 4 hours per day, 5 days a week and generally have no more than 5 students per class, allowing plenty of time to improve speaking and listening skills. There will be special cultural activities offered by ICLC and WCCCSA, in addition to mini-courses and optional day-trips and excursions that will be offered during weekday afternoons and on weekends. In 4 weeks, you will earn 5 credits of Spanish (specific dates TBA).

Please contact your campus study abroad coordinator  at  for more information about spending the summer in Costa Rica!

Program Specifics

Costa Rica, land of many natural wonders: Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, luscious rainforests, abundant animal and plant life, and volatile volcanoes. Immerse yourself in language and culture while surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty and the warm, welcoming people of Costa Rica. The Costa Ricans (Ticos y Ticas) are dedicated to promoting harmony between nature, community development, and economic growth. They have made a major commitment to protect the nation’s natural resources and beauty while preserving its long tradition of political democracy and stability. Costa Rica offers you a safe and accessible place to study and to explore the peaceful beauty of its natural treasures. It offers reliable public transportation, the highest literacy rate in Central America, and an excellent healthcare system. Whether studying Spanish or researching rainforest ecosystems, the congeniality of the people along with the steaming volcanoes, pristine beaches, virgin forests, plus the unique birds, mammals, and ocean life all combine to make Costa Rica an idyllic place to live and study.

View ICLC’s Youtube video introducing the area and environment of Alejuela here.

For FAQ’s, click here.

Excursions and Activities

Orientation Tour: Enjoy a familiarization tour of Alajuela and a walking tour to Grecia. The tour will include traveling from ICLC through the homestay neighborhoods and onto Alajuela where you can locate services and amenities like parks, malls, and stores and will include a visit to the Juan Santamaria Museum (tour and lunch included).
Excursion: 3-day, 2-night trip to Manual Antonio National Park (transportation, lodging, and breakfast included).
Day-Trip: Tour of Doka coffee plantation, visit to Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfalls (transportation, entrance fees, and lunch included).
Optional Mini-Courses: Topics vary but may include a dance class, a cooking class, traditional games, the Costa Rican healthcare system, the Costa Rican educational system, etc. (these are included in the program fee).
Optional Cultural Activities: Activities vary but may include a visit to the local Farmers Market, Tropical Bird Zoo, Pre-Columbian Gold Museum in San Jose, a hospital, a private school, a daycare center, etc. (entrance fees and transportation (usually a small bus fee) is not included in the program fee to allow for program flexibility).
Optional Excursions: Tortuga Island Pacific Cruise day-trip, overnight visit to Arenal Volcano and Baldí Hot Springs including a canopy tour (12 zip lines, Tarzan swing, and superman cable), and Pacuare River class IV rafting day-trip (these optional excursions are not included in the program fee).
Independent Travel: Use your free weekends to explore Costa Rica’s many attractions. There will be a travel coordinator at ICLC to assist you with travel plans. Student favorites include Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Jaco Beach and the Caribbean coast, visits to rainforests and butterfly farms, day-trips to San Jose to visit the MADC art museum, the National Museum, the La Salle Museum of Natural Sciences, and a train ride to Puntarenas, among other destinations.


You will live in homestays with a local Costa Rican family. You will have a private, furnished room and 2 meals per day, breakfast and dinner. Homestays are located within a 30 minute bus ride from ICLC. You are encouraged to interact with homestay families as much as possible to facilitate learning the Spanish language and culture, and to get to know the host family. You are expected to respect the norms and customs of your host family.

Learn more about host families here.

Learn more about Alajuela our partner provider here. 


Based on an enrollment of up to 14 participants, the fee per person will be approx $3,000, plus airfare and tuition for 5 credits ($514.22).

Included in program fees

Airport pick-up by host families (if arriving before 10pm)
Private room in homestay (1 student per family)
Breakfast and dinner 7 days a week
Pre-departure orientation
On-site arrival orientation
Welcome reception with lunch
Tour of Alajuela and museum visit
Doka coffee plantation tour
Visit to Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfalls (transportation, entrance fees, and lunch included)
3-day, 2-night excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park (transportation, lodging, and breakfast included)
Afternoon cultural presentations and activities
Departure ceremony
Medical and travel insurance

Not Included in Program Fees

Roundtrip airfare
College tuition and fees (paid to your home campus)
Passport fees (and visa fees, if applicable)
Lunches (approximately $7 per day)
Taxi to airport after the program (approximately $20)
Costa Rican departure tax (approximately $29)
Spending money

Dates and Deadlines

Program Dates: Late August 2018–Mid September 2018

Application Deadline: Friday, May 10, 2018

Program Deposit ($250) Due: Monday, June 19, 2018

Balance of Program Fees ($2,699 approx) Due: Wednesday, July 19, 2018

Tuition: Check you campus’s calendar

Pre-departure Orientation

Date: TBA

Time: TBA

Location: North Seattle College

What to Bring: A signed copy of the Student Guidelines, a copy of your passport, flight itineraries, a notepad to take notes, and questions. You should also invite parents, guardians, or whomever you feel should attend with you. Coffee will be provided in the morning and lunch will be included.

Make an appointment with your study abroad advisor and begin the application process!

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