• Costa Rica
    • San José
Academic Year, Fall, J-Term, Maymester, Short Term, Spring, Summer, Winter
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
General grants/scholarships, BIPOC funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
High School Diploma Bachelors
Host Family


Price Details
AIFS Abroad is a premier provider of study abroad programs. Program fees cover tuition and housing. 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.

Feb 21, 2024
Sep 17, 2023
23 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Spend a January, summer or semester or academic year in San José studying or interning with AIFS Abroad! You’ll earn 3- 20 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

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

At AIFS Abroad, we want to support all participants in their study/internship abroad journey, inclusive of gender, race, religion, age, physical ability, or sexual orientation. Everyone has a complex identity, and faith, spirituality, and religion are important factors when deciding on a program location.

LGBTQIA+ Support

At AIFS Abroad, we want to support all participants in their study/internship abroad journey, inclusive of gender, race, religion, age, physical ability, or sexual orientation. Everyone has a complex identity, and faith, spirituality, and religion are important factors when deciding on a program location.

Accessibility Support

Everyone’s experience is unique. We recognize the location you choose can have an impact on your sense of belonging. We encourage you to use the information below as you review your options to select the program and location that will be the best choice for you. If you do not hold the identities that are amplified here, this information is still a great resource for you as well. It will give you a better understanding of those who have this identity.



In response to the overwhelming global climate crisis, AIFS Abroad is pleased to make Sustainability a key priority when considering organizational, operational, and programming decisions. We understand that the only way to effectively combat this crisis and mitigate the effects of climate change is to drastically reduce our environmental impact. Therefore, AIFS Abroad has committed to reaching carbon neutrality by the year 2025. AIFS Abroad is proud to announce we have signed the CANIE Accord, becoming the first US provider to make this commitment.

Program Highlights

  • Earn up to 20 credits with transcripts issued by Veritas University
  • Internship and volunteer opportunities
  • Wide range of environmental studies courses taught in English and Spanish
  • On-Site Program Director to help with any questions or advice you may need throughout the program
  • 3-day excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park, a 3-day excursion to Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs and Monteverde Cloud Forest and a day trip to Poás Volcano, Doka Coffee Tour, Grecia & Sarchí Artisan towns

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 9 credits while studying at Veritas University. Courses offered in architecture, art, business, communications, economics, environmental sciences, health, history, linguistics, literature, photography, physical therapy, politics, psychology, social science, Spanish language.

Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs Spa, and Monteverde Cloud Forest (3 days)


Spend the semester in San José, Costa Rica with AIFS Abroad! You’ll earn up to 20 credits while studying and interning at Veritas University. Begin this program with a preparatory 4-week Spanish language course to refresh or improve their existing Spanish language skills.
Students are placed in internship positions related to their major and/or interests and are assessed by meetings, a major project and a presentation at the end of the internship.

Program Reviews

4.95 Rating
based on 22 reviews
  • 5 rating 95.45%
  • 4 rating 4.55%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.4
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 4.85
  • Safety 4.55
Showing 1 - 8 of 22 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Fabulous experience in San José

I went into this study abroad program not knowing anyone but ended the semester with life-long friends. I spent the semester attending Veritas University, where I took incredible classes in Spanish language and dialects, Ecotourism in Costa Rica, and Mural Painting and Public Art. All of my courses had cultural components and/or excursions included, which I loved as a way to get outside the classroom. AIFS took our group on three weekend excursions at the beginning of the semester, which provided awesome opportunities to see more touristy parts of the country (Manuel Antonio, La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano) and make new friends in the program. They also did smaller excursions into the city throughout the semester, such as museums or butterfly gardens, and had a nice goodbye-dinner at the end of the semester for all of us. AIFS, unlike the other study abroad programs partnered at Veritas University, has a small student center right near campus. This place was a lifeline for me during the semester; I loved having a place to make lunch, reconvene with friends, or talk to the incredible program staff Karla or Jesenia. They truly got me through the semester and I don't know what I would have done without them. I loved my experience abroad because of the support I received and would definitely recommend any program with AIFS!

  • classes
  • on-site staff support
  • affordable
37 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Do this program!

I don't have enough good things to say about studying abroad with AIFS in Costa Rica. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and AIFS was hands down one of the best parts of the experience. Not only does AIFS have an office building near the university (and none of the other programs do!), but Karla (resident director), Jessenia and Pablo (assistant resident directors) go out of their way to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable. AIFS was by far the most organized, professional, and kind program that I saw and would 1000% choose them again to study abroad. The classes weren't hard and there was a really good balance of academics while also being able to explore the country. If you're deciding which company to choose to study abroad: GO WITH AIFS. You won't regret it.

  • AIFS goes out of their way to support you
  • Great way to practice and grow Spanish
  • Classes are not hard
69 people found this review helpful.
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.
106 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.
103 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.
102 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.

108 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.

110 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?
92 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers