Jess Swanson, CC'17


IFSA in Costa Rica: Universidad Nacional (UNA), Heredia

Language of Instruction: Spanish
Costa Rica
Term: Academic Year, Spring, Fall

Study in a small, tranquil town in Costa Rica for a semester

The next application deadline is Oct 1, 2019
See other program dates


Attend the IFSA in Costa Rica: Universidad Nacional Program for a semester to experience a quaint town experience. You take courses at the Universidad Nacional while living in a homestay, enjoy the green campus, engage in volunteer work and campus activities as well as attend excursions with an environmental focus. The program is offered during the fall, spring, and academic year available to students with at least 4 semesters of Spanish.

Academic Program

This program is designed for students with an intermediate command of the Spanish language from most majors. You enroll in a Spanish language class and regular university classes alongside of your Costa Rican peers at the Universidad Nacional (UNA). UNA offers a full range of courses and is strong in Latin American studies, sociology, economics, and environmental studies, and ecology.

Program Features

While in Heredia, you live with a host family. To ensure the most integration and immersion into the family, language and culture, you will be the only study abroad student living with the host family. You are encouraged to do volunteer work as well as participate in student groups on campus.

The program includes several excursions including a week-long orientation. Prior excursions have included visiting Liberia, a cloud forest, an orgranic coffee cooperative or taking part in a chocolate tour.


Review eligibility to ensure that you meet all Columbia requirements to study abroad.

Review the external program webpage to understand any additional program prerequisites. Note the program language requirements.

Application Instructions

To apply, you must complete the two steps below. Deadlines vary and some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, you should complete the steps below simultaneously:

  • To apply for Columbia clearance (approval) to study abroad, click on "Start Your Application" on this webpage. Clearance applications are approved on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.
  • To apply for program admission, complete an external application directly on the program webpage. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the Columbia clearance deadline.

Fact Sheet

Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM
Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies, Columbia Undergraduates, Junior, Senior, Study Abroad
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
4 semesters of language, or equivalent (Intermediate sequence)
Costa Rica
Latin America and the Caribbean
Academic Year, Spring, Fall

Dates & Deadlines

Academic Year
Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 1, 2019
Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 1, 2019
Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, October 1, 2019