IFSA: Universidad Nacional Partnership

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About

Come study abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica with IFSA at Universidad Nacional! Students have the option of taking classes through the university, given that their Spanish language proficiency is good enough. Those with only 2-3 semesters of Spanish language classes can opt to sign up for the Heredia Intermediate program.

The Heredia Intermediate program requires students to take a 6-credit Intermediate Spanish course offered by IFSA, and gives the option to take two other 3-credit IFSA courses: Social History of Costa Rica and 20th Century Latin American Literature. In addition, students can take from 1-3 classes at the university from the General Studies Department, CIDEA or Art School. Check out all of the details today by visiting the IFSA website. Sign up to study in Heredia, Costa Rica!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 6 reviews
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 8.7
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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Chloe
10/10

The semester of a lifetime!

I was a part of the IFSA program at UNA from July 14 to November 14 of 2017. I honestly could not have asked for a better experience. The support offered by the program is phenomenal. There are three full time staff members dedicated solely to this exchange program at the University, and they honestly care about your well being and how you are handling both the cultural and academic pressures of being abroad. You get to know them very well as they are heavily involved in the program, the program director was pretty much a father figure to all of us! The classes at the University are challenging but very manageable in both requirements and time commitment. The host families used by the program are screened intensively, and if a student has a bad experience with one they are not used for the program again. My host family was absolutely lovely and really made me feel like a part of they family, including me in trips and family events such as Mother's Day! It has been almost a year now and we still keep in constant contact and I am planning a visit back to see them! I also had the opportunity to make many local friends who showed me around the city and its nightlife and whom I still keep in touch with! All of this is in addition to being able to explore all that Costa Rica had to offer, I was able to visit a new town or park almost every weekend! The program itself also runs a few trips to help show you the country! Not to mention, that through the total immersion offered by the program my Spanish got a 100 % better! I can legitimately call myself fluent now! Honestly, it was the semester of a lifetime and an experience I will definitely never forget.

How can this program be improved?
A few more program run trips may have been nice but there are still plenty of ways to travel on your own!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Lorna
9/10

Great place to study abroad if you're a person of color

Costa Rica is a really diverse place and I felt like it is a good place to go if you're a person of color because you blend in and the students at the National University are super friendly. I'm also latinx, and there was a lot of camraderie between me and the local students when we found common ground. The UNA is also known for having a lot of international exchange students so they have a great sense on how to make accomodations for you whether it be through IFSA or the greater university as a whole.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Melanie
9/10

Four Months of Beauty

The staff of IFSA Butler in Costa Rica was incredible. They supported me 24/7. They even offered free tutoring, which was great because we were learning and taking classes in a different language. The staff helped with getting packages, directions, culture shock, and even found us a dance teacher because we wanted to learn how to do latin dances.
The country itself was absolutely beautiful. While Heredia has a lot of litter, Costa Rica is a country of national parks and reserves, and it didn't take long to get someplace beautiful. Beaches, mountains, volcanoes, and wildlife refuges- this program has it all.

How can this program be improved?
More communication before the program starts about what the orientation will be- we had no idea and were very surprised because the orientation stated on the website was not where we went for ours.
Yes, I recommend this program
Dylan
10/10

IFSA Butler Universidad Nacional

I spent my fall semester abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica on the IFSA Butler study abroad program at La Universidad Nacional. The program went from July 14 - Nov 14, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I would highly recommend studying abroad as an exploratory experience to all college students. You will find adventure, new friends, and learn so much along the way. IFSA, specifically, does a great job of facilitating this experience of studying abroad. The abroad team is extremely knowledgeable, and they make it their jobs to be available to you for any help you may need. They made learning a language in a new country an thrilling challenge. The homestay they organized was great, and they even organized several trips for the students on our program to explore different parts of the country (the trips are great, I would recommend not missing out on them). Overall, 10/10 experience. I would recommend it to anyone.

How can this program be improved?
The University is located in an urban center. You will not be studying in a jungle or near a beach. This wasn't made completely clear to me before going. There are mountains in the area, but you are predominantly surrounded by buildings in a developed area. Just be aware of this before going.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kelly
9/10

All in One

I love the beach, but every once in awhile, I enjoy an adventure deeper in nature. While my main goal of studying abroad was to learn Spanish, going to Costa Rica also gave me the aspect of exploration that I craved from a study abroad experience. Furthermore, IFSA allowed me to enroll in courses with Costa Ricans, fully expanding my opportunity to immerse. This aspect alone makes IFSA stand out from other programs, and I'm fully aware of how incredible it was to study abroad in such a unique situation. I received personal attention from the IFSA staff to ensure my experience was going smoothly. Any bumps along the road were handled in a timely and professional manner.

The field trips included in the program price were so fun. From chocolate tours and whitewater rafting to hiking through the rainforest to the beach, the times spent with the group both strengthened the bond of the group and our knowledge of the country.

Within the program, there are “Amigos Ticos”, Costa Rican students from the same University who help you get situated during orientation and show you the lifestyle of a true tico. Having these students made settling into the semester much easier.

Overall, I was very pleased with my time in Costa Rica. I feel as if IFSA Butler deserves a lot of credit for making it all possible.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing about the program, it would be the 15 credit minimum requirement. Keeping up with ~5 courses as an international student can be rather challenging.
Yes, I recommend this program
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10/10

100% Would recommend

I picked this program because I wanted to be able to practice Spanish and become immersed in another cultures and this program let me do just that. The program staff were always warm and welcoming and my host family was truly amazing. Travel in Costa Rica is cheap so I was able to travel to all parts of the country and see national parks, beaches, and cultural sites. It was truly a wonderful experience, I've made friends for life, and I highly recommend it!

How can this program be improved?
More program trips! A lot of the places we went with the program were places that would have been very difficult to get to ourselves so it would've been great if the program could have sponsored more of these trips for us.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA)

The Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988. Our primary goal is to provide quality study abroad opportunities, plus academic and personal support services, for qualified North American undergraduates seeking to...