You may be able to combine any of the Service-Learning Experiences below with an ISA Academic Program.
About the Location
Costa Rica's allure can be attributed to numerous factors, including its impressive biodiversity, stunning natural beauty, environmental awareness and great opportunities for adventure and ecotourism.
The variety of outdoor recreation activities provides endless possibilities to experience the natural beauty of Costa Rica. Outdoor enthusiasts will find challenges on the various trails winding through mountains, rain forests, and up volcanoes. The miles of beautiful Costa Rican coastline support an underwater ecology as diverse and spectacular as the landscape. In Costa Rica's cosmopolitan capital city, San José, you will find a large number of excellent museums, cinemas, theaters, restaurants, and dance clubs.
San José is the political, economic and cultural hub of Costa Rica. It is the perfect place to experience a bustling and cosmopolitan Latin American metropolis and is the ideal jumping off point to experience the many natural wonders of Costa Rica.
Pre-departure orientation materials
The Professional Development Toolbox
Guaranteed placement with local host organization
Airport reception at San José Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO)
Participants looking to earn academic credit for their ISA Service-Learning experience can explore the following options.
Credit From Your Home Institution
Participants may work with their home university to receive academic credit for their program. Each academic institution has a unique policy for granting internship, service-learning and experiential learning credit, thus students should inquire about receiving academic credit with their home university advisors, professors, and/or academic department heads. Many ISA Service-Learning participants have successfully received “Independent Study,” “Internship,” “Directed Studies,” or “Special Topics” credit for their program by presenting their Portfolio.
Transfer Credit from Carroll College
ISA Service-Learning has partnered with Carroll College in Helena, Montana, to offer a U.S. transcript and award 1-6 lower division service-learning academic credits for ISA Service-Learning programs. Credit awarded will be based on the successful completion of the ISA Service-Learning Portfolio and the number of contact hours accrued at the host organization.
Participants will be able to earn 1-4 credits for a 4-week program, 3-6 credits for an 8-week program, and 4-6 credits for a 12-week program. The additional cost of academic credit is $300, and includes a transcript with either a pass/fail or a letter grade from Carroll College.
In order to be eligible for transfer credit from Carroll College, participants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5, meet the minimum language requirement, and receive confirmation from their home institution that credit transfer will be accepted. Please note that some placements may have more stringent eligibility requirements.
Prices & Dates
Application Due Date
ISA Housing in San José allows participants a truly enjoyable and immersive experience living in a Costa Rican (Tico) home with a local family. All housing is located in middle to upper class neighborhoods and offers glimpses of everyday life with easy access to city amenities. The experience of living in another culture will be both educational and rewarding. You just have to remember to stay open-minded at all times. You will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a new culture and place as a local would, so take advantage of that, become a "Tico" and live the "pura vida"!
ISA Homestays allow participants to experience aspects of Costa Rican or "tico" lifestyle that are inaccessible to the average visitor. You have the opportunity for complete cultural immersion by staying with locals and experiencing the Costa Rican way of life. Homestays include breakfast and dinner everyday and laundry service once a week. In your homestay you will have your own bedroom, although there may be another student living in the same homestay. Every family has been carefully selected by resident staff in order to ensure a comfortable, enjoyable and immersive living situation.
You may opt to secure housing independently. If you select this option, you will receive a discount equal to the housing portion of the program price. By choosing to opt out of ISA Service-Learning housing, you are solely responsible for researching and reserving housing, and paying all fees, deposits, and rent directly to the housing facility that you choose.
Participants must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months AFTER their expected departure date from Costa Rica.
Participants will enter the country on a tourist visa which they will obtain upon arrival to the airport in San José. The tourist visa is a stamp that is placed in passports by immigration which is valid for up to 90 days.
Please note that non-U.S. citizens should contact their Consulate to verify specific entry requirements. As these requirements vary based on citizenship, non-U.S. citizens may not be permitted to travel to Costa Rica without a visa or outside of their visa dates. Also, visa fees for non-U.S. citizens may differ so please be sure to check specific Consulate's website for the most up to date information.
Note: Embassy and Consulate contact information is subject to change without notice. Please refer to the website of the Embassy or Consulate to verify information.