• Costa Rica
    • San José
Fall, J-Term, Spring, Summer, Winter
Subject Areas
Art History Arts Business Communications Cultural Studies Ecology Economics Environmental Studies Film Health Sciences History Humanities International Business International Relations Latin American Studies Linguistics Marketing Music Philosophy Photography Political Science Psychology Service Learning Sociology Sustainable Development Theology Wildlife Sciences +17
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships, Payment plans, Work study, LGBTQIA+ funding, BIPOC funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
High School Diploma Associates Bachelors
Apartment Host Family


Starting Price
Price Details
Included: Personalized Pre-departure Advising; Tuition & Registration; Travel Medical Insurance; Onsite Orientation; Housing; Volunteer Opportunities; Onsite Staff Support; Excursions and Cultural Engagement; Host Institution Services & Amenities and more. Scholarships available.
What's Included
Some Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Classes
Jun 14, 2023
Mar 11, 2024
69 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

San José, the capital of Costa Rica, blends urban life and natural beauty with more than 800+ miles of coastline and acres of lush rainforests lying just a short drive from this diverse metropolitan center.

Study a wide range of subjects with CEA CAPA’s partner university Veritas University. It boasts a large international student body with a focus on international business, intensive and medical Spanish language, and health sciences. Courses are taught in both Spanish and English.

In addition to study abroad opportunities, the CEA CAPA Internships Abroad program provides hands-on, pre-professional experiences that will let you to dive into a career field, develop the skills you need, and help you rise above the competition when applying for your dream job.

Interested? Click the “Visit Site” button now to see what’s possible!

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

CEA CAPA provides, in conjunction with Diversity Abroad, Destination Guides which provide resources and tips for Black/African-American students, Latinx students, Asian American students, and all other students of color.

LGBTQIA+ Support

Through our personalized advising, CEA CAPA takes steps to understand the needs of a diversity of student identities like the LGBTQIA+ community. In addition to diversity and identity training, CEA CAPA leadership engage in continuous department level project work to identify and revise policies and practices using the appropriate Justice, Equity, Diversity or Inclusion lens as a frame to reduce bias and barriers that impact students, faculty, and staff. CEA CAPA is intentional in elevating diverse student voices and providing a platform for a broad array of identities to share their experiences abroad. The CEA CAPA World Blog promotes stories and personal experiences from the perspectives of diverse student bloggers and vloggers.

Neurodivergent Support

CEA CAPA is willing and able to assist students with learning disabilities and physical disabilities. Students are requested to disclose disabilities through the application health forms as part of their application and in discussion with their application advisor or program manager. The earlier CEA CAPA is made aware of learning or physical disabilities the better we can work with the student, institution, and overseas team to tailor an Individualized Education Program if necessary to support the student.



CEA CAPA makes a conscious effort to create study abroad experiences that leave a positive impact on host communities. Each location implements a variety of strategies to support the local community and promote sustainability. Examples include:

Use of recycling bins in Study Center locations and in CEA CAPA housing

Signage in CEA CAPA housing urging students to limit water and electricity usage

Students are often given reusable bags and water bottles upon arrival to limit single plastic use

Students are provided with instructions for acquiring transportation passes to promote use of public transportation rather than taxis

Program Highlights

  • Hands-on learning experiences that transform the world abroad into a classroom
  • Personalized Pre-Departure Advising, including visa and immigration support
  • Courses offered in English that fulfill major and general graduation requirements
  • Comprehensive on-site support, including 24/7 emergency phone
  • Career workshops, Internships Abroad, and Alumni Ambassador positions


CEA CAPA Scholarships and Financial Aid

CEA CAPA is committed to increasing access to study and interning abroad. We offer more than $2 million each year in scholarships, affiliations, and grant programs.

$100 - $5,000

Program Reviews

4.91 Rating
based on 23 reviews
  • 5 rating 91.3%
  • 4 rating 8.7%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.4
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.95
  • Housing 4.95
  • Safety 4.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 23 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My CEA experience as a Health Science student

One of the things that my family was really concerned about was safety, health, and what academics are like abroad. As soon as my plane landed, Yeison, one of the on-site representatives was waiting for me when I got there so I felt safe because I didn't have to take transportation by myself in a foreign country to get to my host home. It was nice that there was a security guard in addition to the Veritas university security on the lookout for me when I was walking to and from campus. The CEA representatives were always very helpful whenever I needed any help or assistance especially during the time when I had mesenteric adenitis. I was hesitant to go to the hospital especially because I have never went to the hospital on my own before, but Yeison came and waited in the waiting room until I was done. He helped me communicate with the hospital staff too because there was a language barrier and a misunderstanding with the traveler's insurance. So, in the end he was able to lessen my bill to $100 rather than $800.

I thought it was really helpful that CEA familiarized with getting us a walking and bus tour of San Jose which is the place that we were going to be living in for the 4 months I was there. The CEA staff also familiarized us with the culture and told us a few things to watch out for in the presentation they had for us.

It was also easy to ask for help in planning our own weekend excursions because Yeison has experience in tourism so he was able to recommend us places and how to get there and what activities are recommended for me to do there. They also had CEA excursions which were always nice to go on and planned out thoroughly. I liked the excursion to Panama because of the island hopping tour and we were able to see a lot of Costa Rica's wildlife.

For academics, I really liked the classes that I was taking there, and I think it was very convenient because it was a maximum of 15 minutes walking. I thought the learning style was really helpful since it was more discussions, presentations, projects, and hands-on learning rather than quizzes and exams. I also liked that the teachers who worked at the university were very interactive and passionate, which made me even more compelled and inspired to learn. It was a lot more of a close relationship between the teachers and students due to the small classroom sizes and I liked how participation was very much emphasized and from this I learned a lot more. The university we went to was quite small and locals would go to our school so it was a cool experience to be to talk to them (a lot of them spoke pretty good english).

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
To put yourself out of your comfort zone! I feel like a lot of people like to stick to their routine and talk to the same people, but it doesn't hurt to talk to people that you don't regularly talk to. I am someone who was anxious when talking to new people and I just put myself out there and would try to talk to someone new whether it was another fellow international student or a local tico. Also, I would advise to get to know your mama tica since it can help you with your Spanish but also it is really to get to know them and their culture. Practicing this thing I was uncomfortable doing at first allowed me to get better at it, and in the long run it is a skill that I'm thankful to have since it's made me more adaptable in new environments.
  • Easy to communicate with staff through email and in person
  • Felt supported and safe
  • Good experiences that expanded outside the classroom
9 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My time in San Jose

I had a wonderful experience with CEA CAPA in the program in San Jose. I was there from September 30th-December 22, and had so many opportunities to experience the culture and environment of beautiful Costa Rica. I took classes that were integral in my experience, including Spanish, and marine biology and ecology. These classes taught me all of the interesting things about the natural spaces in the country, as well as how to communicate with locals, leading to a very meaningful educational experience. I stayed with a wonderful mama Tica, and went on many fun and related trips to my classes as well as just for fun and to explore. The program helped me a lot in the planning and execution of this trip, and I am so glad I went as I feel like it was a positive formative experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be sure to go on all the offered trips, and use your resources to plan your own, as exploring the country is incomplete without seeing the different parts. The Caribbean and pacific coasts are both beautiful and accessible by bus, so get out there!
  • Easy to get around
  • Friendly people
  • Exciting opportunities
9 people found this review helpful.
Response from CEA CAPA Education Abroad

Hey Carver! Your classes and study abroad semester sound amazing. Thanks for sharing your feedback!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A balanced life in Costa Rica

Costa Rica was a magical experience because it was what I needed to see beyond my academic practices. Of course, teachers taught their classes to their liking, but they always incorporated student's perspectives. Many group projects and research opportunities were undertaken to comprehend Costa Rica's biodiversity fully. Ticos (Costa Ricans) have a famous saying: "Pura Vida," which translates to pure life (living a healthy lifestyle), is used as a greeting, and is a way of life. As an American, I wanted to embody their way of life and tried letting loose by exploring and being receptive. With a heart full of joy and gratitude, I can say that Costa Rica has taught me to be a well-balanced scholar and explorer by having time to create core memories outside of class. I was given enough work to enjoy each class and still go out. Going out with my friends made me realize that I yearn for more moments to be an individual away from my scholarly duties. Life is about balance, and I found it in CR because I enjoyed the company and loved what the country had to offer.

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

Study Abroad Experience in San Jose, Costa Rica

I studied away in Costa Rica during Fall 2023. The CEA CAPA team members made me feel supported the entire time I was abroad. Whether I needed help with choosing a weekend getaway or going to the hospital, the program directors were extremely helpful and friendly. I chose Costa Rica because of their health sciences program. Renowned for its universal healthcare system, Costa Rica was the best choice to learn about affordable care. Furthermore, I took classes such as Medical Spanish and Costa Rican healthcare, which will definitely help me as a future healthcare provider.

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

San Jose Summer 2023

Studying abroad in Costa Rica was a transformative experience that profoundly altered the trajectory of my life and reshaped my perspective in ways I could not have anticipated. Immersed in the rich tapestry of Costa Rican culture, I found myself navigating a world far removed from the familiar contours of my home country. The profound impact of this cultural immersion extended beyond language acquisition, as I delved into the intricacies of a society deeply rooted in environmental sustainability and community interconnectedness. The vibrant landscapes and the warmth of the people became a backdrop for personal growth, pushing me to confront challenges independently and fostering a newfound sense of self-reliance. Academic enrichment came not only from classroom learning but from the unique opportunities to engage in fieldwork and research projects that showcased the country's commitment to biodiversity and conservation. The friendships forged with local residents and fellow international students created a global network, expanding my worldview and enriching my life with diverse perspectives. Beyond the academic and cultural dimensions, the experience prompted a reevaluation of my priorities, igniting a passion for environmental consciousness and sustainable living.

What was your funniest moment?
Going to La Fortuna waterfall!
  • supporty system
  • low walking distance
  • not much hot water
22 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer Study abroad San Jose

I had a really great experience with CEA in Costa Rica. The staff was super helpful long before we even arrived, and made sure we were safe and welcomed. The host family aspect of this study abroad program was really great, everyone in my program (myself included) loved their host families. We were all placed in housing assigments very close to the University, which was really convenient. Also, they offer a lot of interesting advanced Spanish courses with this program. I highly recommend studying abroad through CEA CAPA!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Having rice and beans at breakfast every day was definitely a change, but I came to enjoy it. and a couple times I had pieces of hot dogs in my omelette which was also unfamiliar to me to say the least!
24 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

San Jose, Costa Rica Program Review

Great study abroad experience for anyone wanting to learn or practice their Spanish because you're fully immersed in the environment through school and your homestay. Lots of opportunities to explore the city and country, plus travel is cheap too! CEA plans many excursions to help with that as well. For fall early start students, a visa is not needed as the program takes you to Panama to reset your passport before the 90 days is up. Overall, highly recommend the program as you get to meet some amazing people and go on many adventures!

51 people found this review helpful.
Response from CEA CAPA Education Abroad

Hi Emily! I'm so happy to hear you highly recommend the San Jose study abroad program! It sounds like you had an adventurous semester and felt fully immersed in the culture of Costa Rica. Thanks for sharing!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica 2022

My experience in Costa Rica was amazing! I had a wonderful time being immersed in the culture and traditions of Costa Rican life. I enjoyed the amount of freedom I was given, as well as the number of things there to explore. The CEA program in particular did a wonderful job of creating effective and efficient communication if I was unclear or had any issues during my stay. I felt safe and comfortable as a black female traveling abroad and was given tips and tricks on how to navigate the city. I would definitely go back!

  • Financial cost for activities, food, and adventures was relatively low in relation to the United States.
  • Housing was with a group of similar students so there was no isolation
  • Costa Rica is extremely safe and there are precautions taken by CEA to protect you while there.
  • Within Costa Rican culture, there is a fascination with black women and our features, physic and overall person.
  • Some United States norms are deemed inappropriate in Costa Rica and vice versa
  • Overall Culture Shock
74 people found this review helpful.
Response from CEA CAPA Education Abroad

Hi Xi! We're so glad to hear you had an amazing time in Costa Rica! Safety is always #1, so we're grateful you felt comfortable with communication and travels. Best of luck to you moving forward.

Questions & Answers

I believe CEA only works with college students, but some Rotary chapters help high school students study abroad. Good luck!