Monday, Oct. 12, Columbus Day: COD is open for business and classes. Visit the Campus Hours page for more information.

Important Information

Admission Requirements

The program is open to anyone who has a strong interest in immersing themselves in another culture. Qualified high school seniors 18 and over may be accepted into the program. College students must present evidence of a 2.75 GPA. Community members are welcome to apply. If an applicant has special needs, the program will attempt to make whatever reasonable accommodations are possible, but as in many developing countries, it may be difficult to travel in Costa Rica.


A mandatory pre-departure orientation will be held at College of DuPage. This typically occurs on a Friday and Saturday in May.

Language Classes

All students are required to enroll in a Spanish Language class.  Classes will accommodate students at any level: Elementary I and II, Intermediate I and II and Advanced I and II. Prior to the beginning of classes, all students will be tested and placed at the appropriate level. Changes can be made if a student progresses at a faster rate or shows different learning needs.

Culture and Civilization of Costa Rica

All students are required to enroll in this class which covers geography, history, political and social institutions and the art and architecture of Costa Rica. This class first meets at the mandatory orientation session.

In Costa Rica, the course will continue with guided cultural excursions to theaters, museums and other places of interest that are integral components of this class, and therefore, attendance is required. A short written report on each visit is also required.

Program Directors/Faculty

All language classes will be taught by instructors from the language school in Costa Rica.

The Culture and Civilization of Costa Rica class will be team-taught in Spanish and English by COD Program Directors/Faculty who are available daily, in Costa Rica, to counsel, supervise and assist students.


Upon successful completion of classes, students will receive credit for Elementary, Intermediate or Advanced Spanish (3-4 semester credit hours) depending on placement and Humanities: Culture and Civilization of Costa Rica (3 semester credit hours.)

All non-COD students are advised to verify course enrollment/credit with their home school before enrolling in the program.

Housing and Meals

Students will be housed in carefully selected Costa Rican homes in double occupancy rooms. They will be provided with breakfast, dinner and laundry service during the home stay. This arrangement provides the opportunity for the student to continue practicing Spanish and to share the everyday life of the "ticos". Except in remote areas, the water in Costa Rica is drinkable. The homes are near public transportation. Lunch is not provided but there are many excellent places to eat near the language school.

Activities and Excursions

Activities specified in the program schedule are included in the price of the program.

Optional Excursions

Information will be provided on a variety of optional excursions that are not included in the price of the program. These may include: Rain Forest Aerial Tram, Island Cruise, 2-day Monteverde Cloud Forest and 2-day Tortuguero National Park.

Program Cost

The program cost includes: round-trip airfare from Chicago, airport transports in Costa Rica, room and board, admissions and excursion as listed and course materials.

Not included in the program cost: tuition for 6-7 credit hours, passport fees, visa fees (for non-US citizens), optional excursions, personal expenses, some meals, telephone calls, the Costa Rican departure tax and checked baggage fees.

Program fees may be subject to change due to increased costs of transportation or currency fluxuations that are beyond the control of the College.

Late Applicants

We welcome students beyond the application, space permitting. Additional charges may apply.


Each participant must have a valid passport that does not expire for at least 6 months after the anticipated return date to the U.S. Participants are responsible for obtaining their own passports. As passports can take substantial time to obtain, apply for it as soon as possible. Information can be obtained at


U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to Costa Rica. Non-U.S. citizens may need a Visa.


No special immunizations are required for travel to Costa Rica. However, it is wise to have an up-to-date tetanus inoculation. Each participant should check with his/her physician for information regarding personal health needs.


All participants are required to have medical insurance, which is valid outside the United States and to show proof of such insurance. Trip cancellation insurance can also be purchased to provide protection against cancellations and lost or damaged baggage.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

In the event that the participant withdraws from the program, the right to a refund is limited. All cancellations and refund requests must be made in writing and sent to:

College of DuPage
Field and Interdisciplinary Studies/Study Abroad, BIC 3509
425 Fawell Blvd
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599


Contact Information

Field and Experiential Learning, Study Abroad and Global Education
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 3509
General inquiries: (630) 942-2356