Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica

Spend five weeks of your summer studying Spanish (at any level) and health care in a unique and hands-on learning environment. Live with a local family and explore the markets, restaurants, and salsa clubs of San José.

Immerse yourself in Spanish and health care issues. Spend 5 weeks of your summer studying Spanish (at any level) and health care in a unique and hands-on learning environment in a stunning country.

We are experts at travel and study abroad. At CISabroad, all our advisors have studied or lived abroad. If there’s one thing we know, it’s how to make the most of a trip abroad. Let us help make your summer memorable.

We’ve got one of the most affordable summer programs in Costa Rica. We want you to study abroad without breaking the bank, and this program is a great way to do just that. Saving money means more travel, exploration, and Spanish-language practice!

Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica offers a health course taught in English and a Spanish-language course focused on health-related vocabulary. In your free time, explore nearby volcanoes, go zip-lining in the rain forest, and get to know Costa Rican culture while sipping some of the best coffee in the world with classmates at a local café! You will experience:

New amigos from all over – Your fellow students will be local Costa Ricans and fellow international students.

Hands-on coursework in English – Take innovative classes in health care for 5 weeks while you study abroad in Costa Rica and earn 8 credits in your major.

Spanish immersion – Besides studying Spanish abroad with local professors, you’ll practice your Spanish outside the classroom by living with a local family and talking with Ticos as you explore the markets, restaurants, and salsa clubs of San Jose.

Awesome city and country – You’ll be minutes from the heart of San José, so you can easily explore the city, as well as the beautiful nearby national parks, picturesque mountain villages, and relaxed beach towns that make Costa Rica famous!  

Great excursions – Your study abroad program includes one day and one weekend trip with your fellow study abroad students. Take a city tour, wander through the local markets, and try some exotic tropical fruit as you explore the rain forest!

There are many reasons to study abroad in Costa Rica with our Spanish for Health Professionals program, but here are a few of the key highlights that make this program unique.

  • One of the most environmentally diverse countries on the planet!
  • Courses taught in English
  • No Spanish prerequisite
  • Excursions throughout Costa Rica
  • Health-focused courses taught in English
  • Spanish-immersion courses at all levels 
  • Study at a highly ranked private university in San Jose
  • Live with a local family
  • Explore the bustling capital city of San José
  • Cooking classes, dance classes, and sports events help you bond with your classmates

CISabroad arranges day and weekend trips to beaches, mountains, and volcanoes around Costa Rica. We strongly suggest that you explore the country by taking advantage of as many trips as possible! Your CISabroad program package includes one day and one weekend excursion.

Sample day excursions: Arenal Volcano or Hot Springs; canopy tour; tour of San José; Sarchi artists and cart making; Irazu Volcano; Turtle Island (Isla Tortuga); and Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall. Day trips usually run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sample weekend excursions: the Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs; Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve; Tamarindo Beach; Manuel Antonio National Park; and the Caribbean Coast. Weekend trips generally run from Friday through Sunday.

Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica lets you learn career-oriented Spanish while also taking a health-related course taught in English. This 5-week program takes place during the second summer session at Universidad Veritas, a private university in San José, the capital city of Costa Rica.

GPA Required: 2.5. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses
Now for the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CISabroad Application Page. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses for each of our summer programs. 

Course load: 2 courses (8 US credits)

Course approval for Spanish language:
When selecting a Spanish-language course, choose the one whose description best reflects your current abilities. Keep in mind that you don’t need to know any Spanish to participate in this program. Once you’re accepted into the program, we will send you instructions for taking an online placement exam so that Veritas can begin to assess your level of Spanish. Following the online (written) placement exam, you will be assessed orally by staff in Costa Rica via Skype, allowing you to be placed in the most appropriate language level before you arrive in Costa Rica.

Course approval for English electives
Before you go abroad, it is best to get 2–3 elective classes approved. This way you will have plenty of classes to choose from and some flexibility in setting up your schedule.

Course descriptions and catalog: Choose one Spanish-language course and one English health and human development course.

Spanish-language courses

SSP 141 Español Básico para Profesionales de Salud (Basic Spanish for Health Professionals)

This 5-week course is designed for health personnel with no Spanish-language experience. Through simulations, you will acquire the language skills you need for basic communication with Spanish-speaking patients.

SSP 241 Español Intermedio para Profesionales de Salud (Intermediate Spanish for Health Professionals)

This course is designed for health personnel who have taken a minimum of 100 elective hours of Spanish as a second language. Through simulations of specific situations, you’ll deepen your knowledge of medical-related Spanish for better communications with Spanish-speaking patients.

SSP 341 Español Avanzado para Profesionales de Salud (Advanced Spanish for Health Professionals)

This course is designed for health personnel with advanced Spanish who need to raise their linguistic competency. The goal is to leave you capable of communicating more effectively and fluently with your Spanish-speaking patients and their families.

English health and human development elective courses

HIS-3293 Costa Rican Health Care System and Tropical Medicine

Costa Rica´s socialized health care system has achieved excellent health indicators. This course focuses on the history and development of the public health care system within the context of the Costa Rican sociopolitical and economical situation. It emphasizes how the system actually works and highlights both its strength and its weaknesses. Also fundamental to understanding the system is the fact that Costa Rica is a tropical country, so you will learn about the prevention and transmission of tropical diseases.

HHD-1020 Introduction to Physical Therapy

This course comprises basic concepts of human anatomy, an overview of the most common injuries and illnesses that require physical therapy, and an introduction to the tools and methods used to treat them. There will be lectures on theoretical concepts  and also laboratory practice for a hands-on experience of therapy techniques. At the end of the course you will have general knowledge of various areas of expertise, and of techniques such as massage therapy, electrotherapy, and therapeutic exercises, among others.

HHD- 1050 Alternative Health Approaches

This course introduces basic concepts in complementary alternative medicine. You will explore and evaluate alternative approaches and philosophies to personal health and wellness. Among the topics are homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, herbal and nutritional therapies, massage, chiropractic, electromagnetic therapy, and breathing techniques and exercises.

PSY-2200 Health Psychology

The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Today’s health care professionals have to approach health as a bio-psycho-social concept. Whether doctor, nurse, or physiotherapist, you must have a general understanding of Health Psychology—the study of how biology, behavior, and social context influence health and illness. This allows an integral approach to your patients. We will discuss some of the most common topics related to Health Psychology and pertinent to practice in the health care professions.

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? You can get a grant for something as simple as applying early, or a scholarship for blogging. 


For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

Study in a warm, inviting climate when you come to Costa Rica! The country’s year-round warm weather and peaceful culture have made it a favorite destination for people around the world. It has been labeled as one of the happiest and greenest nations on the planet, which makes it the perfect place to spend a summer!

Bordered on both sides by the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, Costa Rica offers tons of beautiful beaches and shorelines to explore. You can swim, surf, and even watch leatherback turtles lay eggs on the beach! Additionally, much of the country is protected as national parks, making it easy to see unspoiled rainforests and rivers during your stay there. Go whitewater rafting, zip lining, and hiking on volcanoes, or just take time to appreciate the vast amount of biodiversity in Costa Rica. 

You’ll also love living in San José, where the locals are known for being friendly and welcoming. Explore all of the various restaurants, clubs, concerts, and more that this bustling city offers!

Our Summer in Costa Rica program is located at Universidad Veritas. Founded in 1976, Veritas is accredited by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education and authorized by the National Council of Private Higher Education (Consejo Nacional de Enseñanza Superior Privada, or CONESUP).

Recognized as the first private university in Costa Rica, Veritas is well-regarded for Architecture and Design. Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica lets you learn career-oriented Spanish while also taking a health-related course taught in English. This 5-week program takes place during the second summer session at Universidad Veritas, a private university in San José, the capital city of Costa Rica.

You can enroll in a variety of Spanish-language classes and English health and human development elective courses and also immerse yourself through on-campus activities, local excursions, and a Costa Rican language-exchange partner. The University has approximately 1,500 Costa Rican students and over 300 study abroad students from all over the world.

As a CIS study abroad student, you’ll get outstanding staff support, from academic advising to personal and cultural counseling. At the same time, you’ll have all the freedom you need to explore one of the most beautiful countries in the world and make it your home.

Improve your Spanish in their small classrooms oriented to advance your language skills and earn credits for your major while studying in one of the most beautiful places on earth!

You'll never be bored living in the vibrant city of San José. It's easy to find all kinds of art, theater, music, dance, and film events throughout the city on your own, and the university also offers many activities that let you become better acquainted with both the city and your fellow students. These include salsa dance lessons, intramural sports teams, a conversation partner program with local Costa Rican students, cooking lessons, city excursions, and free martial arts and self-defense classes.

In addition, our Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica program lets you spend time volunteering and working for causes like helping underprivileged children. 

The program begins with an extensive orientation program that will help assimilate you into life in Costa Rica. You will meet other international students from all over the world, and our on-site staff will be there to help you out with any questions or concerns you might have!

Included in the program are excursions to places like a cloud forest, a volcano, waterfalls, beaches, and more! You will also be living in a home with a local family, where you'll get to enjoy delicious home-cooked meals, laundry service, and a close proximity to the university and all the attractions of San José.

While in Costa Rica, you will get to live in a homestay with a local family in San José. This unique opportunity lets you become completely immersed in Costa Rican culture. Most host families are within walking distance of the university, and are also conveniently located near central San José with access to public transportation. 

You will get to enjoy having your own private room, stocked with towels, bed linens, blankets, and pillows provided by your host family. You’ll also get to access the kitchen, have a weekly laundry service, and have home-cooked Costa Rican breakfasts and dinners.

CISabroad’s Site Director in Costa Rica:

Lisa was born in Costa Rica and has lived in the United States on several occasions. She is an alumni of Veritas University, where she majored in photography, and is currently pursuing her bachelors degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She is passionate about travel, and has had 10 years of experience leading study abroad groups all throughout Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. In her free time Lisa enjoys going to art exhibits, watching movies, dancing and learning new languages. She speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese, and is currently learning French.

1. What is the cost of program tuition? What is included in the program fees?

The program cost for the Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica program can be found here.

2. When are the program fees due?

The final Payment Deadline for the Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica program is June 1st. CISabroad will email invoices to students approximately one month before the program payment deadline. For example, if your payment deadline is July 15, you should expect your invoice in mid-June. If you are using financial aid, please ensure all financial aid paperwork is returned to our office by the payment deadline. If your financial aid does not cover your entire balance, CISabroad accepts these payment methods.

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due?

The application process can be broken into easy steps!

1. The first step is to fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc. (Only takes five minutes!)

2. After filling out the online application, an advisor from our Global Advising Center will grant you portal access with a set of preliminary forms. 

3. The next step is to pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost. 

4. Within a day after submitting your deposit, you will receive a welcome email from your Program Coordinator—the person you will work with until departure. Your Program Coordinator will then give you program-specific items in your portal. (Note: Both preliminary portal pieces and program-specific tasks must be completed by the application deadline.)

#CISabroadTip: Contact your school’s registrar and have them send us your transcript early on in the application process (you can send us your transcript even before you’ve made the $200 deposit!) since snail mail makes this the slowest piece to submit. (We also accept electronic OFFICIAL transcripts if your school provides them.)

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. The application deadline for the Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica program is usually in early May. For exact dates, contact an advisor or check here.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

Yes, you do need a passport to travel to Costa Rica. Your passport must be valid for 6 months BEYOND the date you return to the United States. For detailed passport instructions, U.S. citizens should check the State Department's Travel Site. The Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica program does not require a visa. Contact an advisor for more information at

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes. The GPA requirement for this program is 2.5, but sometimes a lower GPA is accepted. Contact an advisor for more information at

6. What are my housing options? 

Students stay with local homestay families that have been hosting international students for many years. They are thoroughly vetted and evaluated on a regular basis. Homestays are a great way to get to know the local culture and eat delicious, homemade food.

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. How many credits are offered in the program?

For the Spanish for Health Professionals in Costa Rica program, a student will receive either 8 or 9 credits, depending on the courses elected. For a more detailed breakdown of program and course options in Costa Rica, go here.  

9. Can I combine this program with another CISabroad program like intern, summer, or semester abroad?

Yes! A great way to extend your CISabroad experience is participating in another program. Combine semester programs to create a full academic year or if an academic year is just a little too long and a semester is too short, combine a semester and summer session or a semester and a January term program. You can also participate in a semester abroad and combine that with a summer intern abroad. To find out more information on the application process for more than one CISabroad program, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

Term: Summer 2017 Session 1
Arrival May 27
CISabroad Orientation May 28
Classes Start May 29
Classes End June 30
Departure July 1
Application Deadline March 25
Term: Summer 2017 Session 2
Arrival July 8
CISabroad Orientation July 9
Classes Start July 10
Classes End August 11
Departure August 12
Application Deadline May 1
Term: Summer 2017 Session 1 Price: $4,990
Term: Summer 2017 Session 2 Price: $4,990

Dates posted here are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

To view expected additional expenses for this program, click here.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:


  • Full-time tuition and fees
  • Homestay
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Predeparture orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • Universidad Veritas orientation
  • On-site support
  • On-campus internet access
  • Weekly laundry
  • One day and one weekend excursion
  • Universidad Veritas official transcript
  • Carbon offset of travel & Green Travel Guide


CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.