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City and Academic Overview

City Information

Located in the central valley of Costa Rica, San José is a vibrant urban center in the heart of a serene and beautiful nation. Three volcanoes surround the city, and quaint villages, farms and coffee plantations dot the hillsides. Though the metropolitan area is home to 36% of the nation’s population, one can easily explore the smaller central area of the city and discover its neighborhood markets and local restaurants. Cultural opportunities including theater, music, cinema and dance are also abundant in San José. Visit the Museo Nacional; the Museo de Oro Precolombino, with its sparkling collection of pre-Columbian gold; or the Museo de Jade, which boasts the world’s largest collection of jade.

Study Abroad in San José

Students choosing to study at the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) complete their coursework in both English and Spanish with other American study abroad students on the campus of the Universidad Latina, Costa Rica’s largest private university. The campus is located northeast of downtown in an area of San José known as Lourdes de Montes de Oca. With its modern facilities, advanced equipment, and experienced and efficient staff, the Universidad Latina provides the perfect learning environment for the ICDS programs. Students have full access to all facilities at the Universidad Latina, including libraries, bookstores, coffee shops and a food court. Intimate class sizes provide students with ample opportunities to participate and explore areas of particular interest to them, and students who desire greater interaction with local students can seek friends from among the general Universidad Latina student population.

Founded in 1991, Universidad Veritas is a private university that prides itself on the development of non-linear critical thought and creativity. The university’s mission statement emphasizes the student’s active participation in the learning process; every student is expected to play the role of protagonist in his/her own academic development. Approximately 1,700 students attend the university in any given semester. Operating programs for international students since 1993, the Universidad Veritas offers an incredible amount of academic options. Students may select Spanish language courses from the beginning to advanced levels, complete a multitude of elective coursework in Spanish or English, or enroll in art, design and architecture courses with local Costa Rican students. Students also have full access to university amenities, including extracurricular activities such as dance classes, conversation partners, volunteer work and cooking lessons.

Why San José?

  • The Capital city of Costa Rica
  • Internationally recognized universities
  • Wonderful climate
  • Great museums
  • Fantastic waterfalls nearby
  • Close proximity to beaches and mountains
  • Thriving neighborhood markets
  • Great public transportation
  • ASVO volunteer program
  • internship opportunities