About the Program
This is a one-of-a-kind, custom Jefferson - East Falls Study Abroad Program that is offered exclusively for Jefferson - East Falls Campus students studying Health Sciences, including students in the Physician Assistant program. The development of this program was a collaborative effort between the Jefferson - East Falls Study Abroad Office, Jefferson - East Falls health sciences faculty and program directors, and a partner institution called CEA (Cultural Experiences Abroad). While in San Jose, students will also have access to courses and cultural activities offered by a local institution called Veritas University. Veritas University was founded in 1991 and is known for their modern facilities and commitment to welcoming international students, who make up approximately one quarter of their student population.
Students have the option of "Early Start Spanish" (late August start) and 4 courses during the regular term or 5 courses during the regular term (late September start, Medical Spanish required for all students).
Experience San José
The capital city of Costa Rica, San José boasts about 1.4 million people and is situated in the Central Valley – guarded by majestic volcanoes and tropical rainforests. The city also is just a few hours away from the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. San José is considered the cradle of Costa Rica's 186-year-old democracy, and the country has not had a standing army since 1948. Costa Rica takes great pride in the fact that it has more teachers than policemen. Its former President, Oscar Arias, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987.
Renowned for its natural beauty, enlightened conservation and friendly people, San José draws visitors from all over the world. Students who participate in this program can look forward to experiencing the Costa Rican attractions and lifestyle through various excursions, site visits and cultural activities. The largest city in Costa Rica, San Jose's walkable downtown is a short public bus ride or leisurely walk from the students' campus and home stay.
CEA runs language exchanges with local college students, career development workshops. Veritas university also provides access to extra curricular classes in dance, cooking, and yoga.
We encourage you to participate in volunteering opportunities at the city's Children's Hospital and elsewhere that may be applied towards clinical hours.
Standard Curriculum - 5 Courses in Costa Rica
This program is only available during the fall semester and is recommended for a Health Science student’s third (junior) year:
- 1 or 2 Spanish language course (offered at a variety of levels from Beginner to Advanced): Required Medical Spanish and optional Early Start Spanish
- 2 Jefferson East Falls courses, which apply directly to Health Science and Physician Assistant programs: Genetics (with Lab) and Public Health Issues
- Will fulfill your required Health Science Elective and Biology Elective.
- 1 or 2 “Elective" courses which fulfill some college studies requirements or a free elective space. Students can choose courses that fulfill Hallmarks courses: ISEM, GDIV, or GCIT requirements and/or Psychology or an additional BIO elective. Early Start Students select 1 course, Regular start students select 2 courses
Academic Accommodations and tutoring is available.
List of approved courses: Costa Rica Equivalency List 1-17.pdf
Students are billed institutional fees through Jefferson - East Falls per our Study Abroad Tuition Policy. Financial Aid can be applied.Estimated costs are included here: Costa Rica_cost info.pdf
Cultural Excursions (included in the program)
- A 2 day/1night guided tour to experience the Arenal Volcano, Baldie Hot Springs and La Fortuna Waterfall.
- A 4 day/3 night guided tour to Panama – Bocas del Toro. During this trip, students will join in activities such as a dolphin tour, snorkeling tour, and visit a national park.
- Students can arrange additional group or travel independently as well once they arrive (additional cost)
Students live host family in San Jose. CEA chooses to work with families based on their friendliness and helpfulness to past students. Living with a host family is a great opportunity for students to practice their Spanish and learn more about Costa Rican culture. Students may have their own room, but this is not guaranteed as there are often at least 2 students per house. Daily breakfast and dinner are included. Students can purchase lunch at Veritas, or make lunch in the communal kitchen at the CEA center.
Contact our Costa Rica peer mentors and check out current students' blogs here
Learn more about CEA San Jose here