The program is open to anyone who has a strong interest in immersing themselves in another culture. Qualified high school students 18 and older may be accepted into the program. Community members are welcome.
A mandatory pre-departure orientation will be held at College of DuPage. This typically occurs on a Saturday in May.
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, Advanced I and II, and Heritage Speakers 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.
Civilization and Culture 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. Written assignment are required.
All language classes will be taught by instructors from the language school in Costa Rica.
The Civilization and Culture 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.
Sibyl Gallus-Price is an adjunct Spanish faculty member where she recently received an Outstanding Faculty Award. She holds an M.A. in Hispanic Languages and Literature from Stony Brook University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English at UIC with a concentration in Latin American and American literature. Her studies have led her to work with Portuguese, Italian, and French and her scholarly interests to consider writing’s relation to the visual arts. As a teacher and a scholar, she advocates for art and multilingualism. She believes that not only do they broaden our cultural horizons but that together they expand our conceptual worlds. She spent a semester abroad at the University of Madrid as an undergraduate and has traveled through Europe, Latin America, and North Africa. In her spare time, Sibyl enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends, community gardening, keeping urban chickens, relaxing with her dogs, and dancing whenever possible.
Upon successful completion of classes, students will receive credit for Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced, or Heritage Speaker Spanish (3-4 semester credit hours) depending on placement and Civilization and Culture 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.
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.
The program cost includes: round-trip airfare from Chicago, airport transports in Costa Rica, homestay with two meals per day, and excursion as listed in 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 fluctuations that are beyond the control of the College.
We welcome students beyond the application deadline, 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 travel.state.gov/passport
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. COVID-19 vaccination may be required by in-country providers.
All participants are required to have medical insurance, which is valid outside the United States. Trip cancellation insurance can also be purchased to provide protection against cancellations and lost or damaged baggage.
Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Form
Participants in all Field and Experiential Learning/Study Abroad programs must complete the Liability Release and Assumption of Risk form.
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
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 3520
425 Fawell Blvd
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599