ISA Service-Learning in Heredia, Costa Rica

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Heredia is a relaxed Costa Rican city filled with enjoyable parks, lively plazas, and friendly locals. Lying approximately 10 km northwest of San José in the verdant tropical foothills of the Barva Volcano, Heredia is the perfect mix of city and countryside ideal for practicing your Spanish.

In Heredia, Costa Rica, we have relationships with a variety of organizations, especially in the educational and geriatric service fields. Throughout your program, you will create a service-learning portfolio, which is a compilation of reflection-based assignments and activities. Through service at a local organization and these guided reflection activities, our goal is to help you gain a better understanding of the local language, culture, and community, as well as a deeper understanding of how local experts are creating positive changes with available resources.

  • Receive personalized advising on service opportunities and program options that are the best fit for you. You will receive confirmation of the community-based organization you have been matched with before departure
  • Begin your transition to daily life in your new country and culture on the Bridging Cultures Program, our in-country orientation.
  • Benefit from the ISA office, located on the Universidad Latina campus. Enjoy the company of on-site staff, your fellow service-learning participants and ISA students, and use the Wi-Fi Internet provided at the ISA office.
  • Have the opportunity to earn academic credit.
  • Demonstrate the professional, cultural, and personal competencies you acquired while on the program through reflection-based assignments and activities that make up the ISA Service-Learning Portfolio.


ISA Scholarships and Financial Aid

ISA is committed to increasing all students’ access to study abroad’s many benefits. We don't let financial hardships to get in the way of a life changing educational experience.

$350 - $2,000

Questions & Answers


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No, I don't recommend this program

Program doesn't deliver. False advertising.

The ISA service learning program in Heredia was disappointing in many ways. The communication isn't clear, I was told I was going to have a roommate, then I was placed alone with a bad host family who was hours late to pick me up and wasn't welcoming, and then once my parents called the company and complained, they switched me to another host family with a girl I had originally asked to be placed with (because she didn't have a roommate either)....
They make it seem like excursions are included, but they're not.
They oversell the volunteer placements, we don't get to do what they tell us we will (we spent a lot of time sitting around) and I also was made to feel very uncomfortable by one of the male workers in the hospital (obviously this isn't the program's fault). One of my friends was placed in a clinic in which she wasn't allowed to do anything. She was obviously upset about this and talked to her placement coordinator and they told her that they constantly tell ISA that the students won't be allowed to observe medical procedures yet ISA doesn't change their descriptions on their website...
The ISA staff (specifically the head of the program at the time) wasn't very helpful or concerned when real issues with placement arose. They're nice people but they're all young and unable to create any real change if there's a problem. They also don't respect you as much unless parents get involved because we're young students.

I enjoyed Costa Rica but the program sucked and I still don't know what half the money went towards.

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