• Costa Rica
    • San José
Academic Year, Fall, Spring
Subject Areas
Architecture Art History Arts Business Communications Economics Environmental Studies Health Sciences Hispanic Studies History Latin American Studies Linguistics Literature Marketing Philosophy Photography Political Science Psychology Sociology Sustainable Development Theology +11

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
High School Diploma Bachelors
Host Family


Starting Price
Price Details
AIFS Abroad is a premier provider of study abroad programs. Program fees cover tuition and housing, and over 50% of our study abroad participants receive financial support from AIFS Abroad in the form of scholarships or grants. Coordinated AIFS Abroad Flight Packages with major airlines are also available.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Classes Some Meals Travel Insurance Wifi
What's Included (Extra)

Round trip flights and airport transfers included for students on the optional AIFS Abroad Flight Package.

Mar 06, 2023
Nov 14, 2019
10 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Spend a J-Term, summer or semester or academic year in San José with AIFS Abroad! You’ll earn 3- 23 credits per semester from Universidad Veritas through various courses and internship opportunities. Courses are taught in English and Spanish. No previous Spanish language study is required for most programs.

Universidad Veritas offers an internship program and volunteer opportunities. Their Spanish Language and Internship Program welcomes students with an advanced level of Spanish.

You’ll enjoy cultural and social activities including:
• Costa Rican cooking classes
• Visits to local museums and historical sites
• A 3-day trip to Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs and Monteverde Cloud Forest
• A 3-day trip to the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park
• Day trip Poás Volcano, Doka Coffee Estate and Sarchi artisans.
Optional excursions include a 2-day trip hiking and rafting in Sarapiquí and a 4-day trip to Panama.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Earn up to 23 credits with transcripts issued by Veritas University
  • 3-day trip to Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, and Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • 3-day trip to Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Wide range of environmental studies courses
  • Internship and volunteer opportunities

Popular Programs

AIFS Abroad San José, Costa Rica

Earn 3 semester credits during a 2-week January term program at Veritas University in San José, Costa Rica. Choose from the history course, Costa Rican Health Care System and Tropical Medicine, and the social science course, Conflict Resolution and Health Care. Both courses are taught in English.

AIFS Costa Rica

Spend the summer in the lively capital of San José, Costa Rica with AIFS Abroad! You’ll earn up to 10 credits while studying at Veritas University. Courses are taught in English and Spanish with no previous Spanish language study required.

You’ll begin or improve your Spanish in a Spanish Language and Latin American Culture course. Specialized Spanish courses in business, health and law enforcement are also available.


AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships

AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships, Grants & Financial Support

We believe a study abroad experience is an essential component of well-rounded university education and we are committed to providing financial assistance to as many students as possible in support of their goal to study abroad. AIFS also offers internship and study abroad + internship blended programs to support the development of personal and professional skills.

$500 - $5,000

Program Reviews

4.95 Rating
based on 20 reviews
  • 5 rating 95%
  • 4 rating 5%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.45
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 4.85
  • Safety 4.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 20 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Views of paradise and hiking to heaven

My study abroad trip to San Jose, Costa Rica was the best 4 months of my life. In the time that I was there I hiked up multiple mountains and a volcano. I also made hikes to 6 different waterfalls in which I got to swim in 2 of them. I went to a black sand beach, many white sand beaches and a beach made out of broken seashells (I suggest wearing shoes, lol). I got to ride on more boats than I can count, a banana boat, a buggy, a zipline, and many busses. I also got to take 2 Spanish Classes that ensured you learn the language and 3 Elective classes that all applied towards my degree. My host family and the support staff (Karla and Catalina) were my specific highlight though. No matter what problems came up, my host family, Karla, and Catalina were there for me. Everyone in Costa Rica was so nice and I miss them everyday. If you love to do adventurous and sometimes adrenaline activating activities, Costa Rica is the trip for you!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I saw a raccoon tear through a bag to steal peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and monkeys run over to try to take them from the raccoons.
32 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Fun and Memorable

I did a J-Term in January 2019 with AIFS in Costa Rica. It was a lovely and fun trip. I loved Costa Rican culture. The people were so friendly and my host family was so kind to me. Their culture is so relaxed and I felt welcomed there. We were doing something different everyday. I took a tour of San Jose, I visited different restaurants, I went to the malls, we went to Manuel Antonio (which is amazingly beautiful), I visited a volcano, a church, and a haunted house in Cartago, I visited museums, saw all types of cool animals, I saw a waterfall, and got to taste some amazing food. The staff of AIFS were so friendly and made sure we had a good time. It was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. The only thing I wish was that I did a semester abroad, but J-Term was good since our group was very small and I got to know the other people better (the semester program has a lot of people).

What would you improve about this program?
I would not improve anything because I felt like everything was executed well in the program.
36 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Semester in Costa Rica

I spent four months in Costa Rica. It was AMAZING, as everyone days about their study abroad experience. I am so glad that I went for an entire semester because I got to know the country so much more than if I had stayed for less time. And there were still more places that I want to visit one day. Costa Rica is the most biodiverse countries in the world, so if you appreciate plant life and the outdoors, Costa Rica would be a great place for you to go. It also has so many different biomes: beach, forest, and mountains. They are all so gorgeous! Costa Rica has beaches on two sides. One is the facing the Pacific Ocean and one is facing the Atlantic. THe two coasts have two different vibes, which is cool It is fairly easy and cheap to get around the country by bus. I stayed in San Jose, which is the capital and is a city. There is sooo much to do in San Jose. We would leave to visit other places in Costa Rica most weekends, but if we did stay in San Jose, we could always find something entertaining to do. Ticos and Ticas (people who are from Costa Rica) are super kind and caring people. The food is buenisimo. Gallo pinto is their signature dish, which is beans and rice. We literally had gallo pinto practically every morning for breakfast. I loved it, so did my roommates. I miss it so much now. But if you hate beans, that might be a bit of a struggle for you. I was there during the dry season, which was perfect. So you should definitely take that into consideration when you're thinking about what time of the year you will be there. Because apparently it rains kind of non-stop during the wet season. Ideally, you would know some amount of spanish, but I wouldn't say it's required in order to study abroad there. A lot of people know english.
I chose to go through AIFS because they offered everything I wanted during my study abroad experience: the classes I needed (spanish, biology, and sociology), immersion (going to a local university and living in a homestay), and volunteer opportunities. AIFS also had excursions that were included that were a lot of fun, and took a trip to Nicaragua (at an additional cost). The final cost to study abroad through AIFS included tuition, housing, and 2 meals every day, and a support staff in the country. I really think that with all those things included, I probably paid less studying abroad in Costa Rica for the semester than I would've spent staying home (when I consider tuition, rent, groceries, gas money, all that). I REALLY appreicated the AIFS staff that was there in the country with us. They are native Costa Ricans, so they were completely knowledgeable about the country and any questions we had from what are the areas that are safe for us to go to where can I get my eyebrows done. Insurance was also included, Luckily I never had to take advantage of that, but I know that other students did. And the AIFS staff was there with them, in the hospital, being a mom away from home. It was very comforting to have them there. We had the freedom to be independent when we wanted and the opportunity to reach out for support when we needed. It's the best of both worlds. I'm extremely glad I chose AIFS. They really care about their students and providing the best and safest study abroad experience that they can.

What would you improve about this program?
Cheaper flight tickets and that make sense. I paid double what someone else leaving from Houston would have paid, and the flight went to Dallas, then Costa Rica even though there were flights with AIFS students that left from Houston and went straight to Costa Rica.
31 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

The home away from home

This program is honestly once in a lifetime. From the matching of my Host family, from the personal accommodations that were easily made if something was not up to par, my semester in Costa Rica with AIFS was one that I will never forget. Going to a country by yourself for a semester can be nerve-wracking as was for me in the beginning, but AIFS made sure that right from the very beginning, I was taken care of. There is a huge list of things that I can pinpoint to why I would recommend this program to someone but the top three on the list would have to be because:
1.) The Program does not sugarcoat and always has your best interest in mind when it comes to literally everything.
2.) The experience of living with a host family allows you to fully emerge in the culture and interact in a family atmosphere.
3.) Costa Rica is just a fulfilling place to take a breather and celebrate life with other people who become family forever.

36 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


I realized very quickly that San José is more of a travel city. If you wanted to do any of the things in travel magazines you have to travel at least 3 hours by car so during the week there wasn’t really much to get distracted by besides the museums and church if you’re into that. The destinations, once reached were very worth it but if you want to be located in a town where things are constantly going on keep that in mind. Overall the experience was great, I learned a lot about me and possible interests for the future.

35 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Study Abroad (with sloths!)

Freshman year of college, my roommate and I were lying on our dorm floor with at least 20 different study abroad catalogs spread between the two of us. We had highlighted, bookmarked, and put sticky notes all over these catalogs. Both of us knew we were going to work towards studying abroad and finding the right program was important to us. I chose AIFS not only due to the fact that it was incredibly cost- effective, provided three different travel opportunities included in the cost of the program, and gave us the option of a homestay, but also because of the interactions I had with the AIFS staff as they helped me through the process of applying for, and going, on this adventure to Costa Rica. Before, during, and after I was abroad, AIFS provided support, encouragement, and resources to make the entire process as easy as possible.

And what about Costa Rica? It is truly one of the most special places in the world. With the Pura Vida attitude, the incredible natural wonders, and the kindness and compassion shown by the Costa Rican people, it will always hold a special spot in my heart. I can not say enough good things about the time I had there through the travel and also in my classes. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to experience all that Costa Rica has to offer!

What would you improve about this program?
34 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Decision of your Life

When I came to Costa Rica I had no idea what to expect. At first I was so nervous but as soon as I was with the AIFS team, I knew this was exactly where i was supposed to be. This country has so much to offer and I have learned so much from it. Veritas University is so unique from any other school and I loved it. I have made some amazing friends that will stay in my life forever because once you feel pura vida in your life you never want to let go of it. "Pure Vida" is what they say down here. At first it sounds like just any other saying but it means so much more than that. When you feel pura vida in your life, you see life through a different lens. One that is more appreciative, pure and just happy. This country, this program, these amazing people having giving me one of the best journeys of my life. I cannot wait to take what I have learned back to the states with me. More importantly I cannot wait to come back here. What I also really liked about this program and why I chose this country compared to countries in Europe, is the experiences that if offers. While Europe is beautiful, Costa rica is full of constant adventure and doing things you would have never imagined doing, like jumping from 135 feet in the air, or seeing the top of a volcano, or traveling to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world! My final piece of advice is to stop think and just come to Costa Rica. You won't regret it.

29 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Second Home

I loved my study abroad experience in Costa Rica. The class was interesting for since I really like learning about the environment and sustainability. I thought the instructor was perfect for the course! I do wish we had some class trips along with the class, it is one thing to discuss certain topics in class as opposed to seeing it person especially in another country. I got real close my host "Tico" family. They were really nice to my house mates and I. They invited me to go walking, take a tour of San Jose and a nearby town. My Tica mom was an excellent cook! Costa Rica's traditional food is nice and healthy. I liked that my class was small (about 13) because most of us got along really well and had fun together. Veritas university is amazing! They offer salsa lessons, cooking lesson, a welcome party, and they have their own traveling agency on campus. Students can book several weekend or day trips as well as volunteer at community centers. Also, AIFS offers program trips to the gold museum, coffee plantation, movies, and dinner in nice locations. I got to see Manuel Antonio, Manzanillo Beach, and Volcan Irazu with the guidance of the traveling agency or my host family. The only problem is that the program was 3 weeks and if you want to see more of Costa Rica like I did, it's not enough!

26 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers