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Summer: SHU in Costa Rica (Language, Education, and Service)
Cartago, Costa Rica (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Budget Sheets Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2015 03/10/2015 ** Rolling Admission 05/18/2015 06/12/2015

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum Class Standing:
Graduate, Rising Junior, Rising Senior, Rising Sophomore
Minimum SHU Suggested GPA:
Open to Visiting Students:
Visiting Student Minimum Suggested GPA:
Language of Instruction:
Basic Spanish language skills recommended but not required, English
Credits per term:
3 or 6
Enrollment Restrictions:
Open to Education, Spanish, and other majors that lead to initial teacher certification
Visa/Residence Permit for U.S. Citizens:
Program Description:
Summer: SHU in Costa Rica
(Courses in Language, Education, and Service)

Cartago, Costa Rica

*Program subject to change and based on sufficient enrollment

Located in Central America, Costa Rica has coastlines on the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. The only country in Central America with no standing army, it enjoys continuing stability after a century of almost uninterrupted democratic government. Tourism, which has overtaken bananas as Costa Rica's leading foreign exchange earner, bolsters the economy. Although the country is small and it covers only 0.03 % of the surface of the globe, it proudly shelters 5% of the existing biodiversity in the entire world. Additionally, 26% of the country is composed of conservation and natural protected territory.

Cartago, Costa Rica's first capital, is one of the oldest communities in Costa Rica. It was home to the first enduring Spanish settlement since its foundation in 1563 by Juan Vasquez de Coronado. This important territory remained the capital city of Costa Rica until 1823, when the country's first elected President decided to relocate to San Jose, which has been the nation's capital ever since. Cartago is still one of the largest cities in the country and much of its ancient history can still be seen to this day. Today, Cartago is a small but bustling city, and a hub for outdoor attractions. Lush, green fields encircle the city, shade-grown coffee seems to grow everywhere, and the history is tangible.

The SHU in Costa Rica program is located at our partner institution, the University Tecnológico de Costa Rica. Also known as "TEC", the university is one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Costa Rica and also in Central America. TEC is a national autonomous institution of higher education, dedicated to the teaching, research and extension in technology and associated sciences aimed at the development of Costa Rica. SHU participants will be using TEC's facilities while on this program. For further information on the host university visit the TEC website.

Program Description

The SHU in Costa Rica program offers two summer sessions, each two weeks in length.  You may choose to attend one or both sessions, and take either one or two courses while on the program.  The Spanish course is taught by local TEC professors, and all other courses are taught, in English, by SHU professors.  Each course includes local site visits that will give you the opportunity to learn firsthand the lessons and theories of the classroom.  There are three program options from which to choose:

Option 1- Two week session: May 18 - May 29
TEC Spanish course, three (3) credits

Option 2- Two week session: June 1 - June 12
Education course OR Service Learning course, three (3) credits

Option 3- Four week session: May 18 - June 12, 2015
A course from the both sessions I and II, six (6) credits

Please browse the links below for further information or contact the SHU Office of Global Affairs.
  Course Information


Spanish Language Course 
(3 credits; undergraduate level) Taught by TEC faculty

This course provides basic communication tools to enable the student to interact with other speakers and function spontaneously in the Costa Rican environment. The emphasis of this course is the communicative approach to learning grammar through the Costa Rican culture. The course will consist of 30 contact hours of class in the mornings and 15 hours of workshops in the afternoon.  A placement test, issued at the end of the course, will determine the equivalent SHU Spanish course level.  For course equivalency information, please contact Dr. Mark Mascia in the department of Foreign Languages and Cultures at SHU.
ED 603: Exploring Teaching in Costa Rica
(3 credits) Taught by Dr. Maria Lizano-DiMare

SHU course participants will be actively involved with K-12 students who represent a diversity of cultural and linguistic backgrounds, exceptionalities and learning needs in schools in Costa Rica. In addition, participants will reflect on concepts of second language learning and acquisition while participating in the schools’ English classes as well as reflect on the use of technology for enabling and empowering learners with diverse cultures, characteristics, abilities and socio-economic background. Participants will have the opportunity to observe and participate in classroom activities under the supervision of a master teacher including grade level assistance, tutoring, guiding small instructional groups, school clubs, field trips, leading school projects based on personal talents and expertise and conducting remediation lessons as recommended in learning plans by the master teacher. Teacher candidates will not be in charge of a K-12 classroom during this experience.

This course is a cultural enriched, integrated pre-service course that provides an overview of the teaching profession including educational policies, cultures, teachers, learners, school hands-on practicum, professionalism and technology in Costa Rica. When arriving to Cartago, Costa Rica course participants will be assigned to a public or private K-12 school. A minimum of two SHU course participants will be placed in a same school. The course instructor will select the schools taken into consideration participants’ certification area, grade levels or academic areas and Spanish language knowledge. It is highly recommended that course participants have some prior knowledge in Spanish but is not a requisite for enrollment in this course. 

To participate in this course, you must be a Spanish or Education major, or major/minor that lead to initial teacher certification. You must also have at least a 2.75 GPA.
ED 298 / SW 298 / SO 299 / GS 299 Service and Society 
(3 credits) Taught by Dr. Matthew Kaye 

With a focus on service learning, students will be engaged, as global citizens, intellectually and through activities in surrounding communities.  Learning will take place in the classroom and through service learning opportunities.  Students will have the opportunity to be civically engaged through undertakings spanning environmental justice, education and eldercare.  In partnership with the Costa Rican Institute of Technology, Sacred Heart University students will focus their studies and activities in the town of Cartago, though, there will be multiple excursions into the countryside.  The course sets out to give students a skill set within the scope of intercultural communications that prepares them to collaborate, consult and socialize with others who do not represent their identity.  In doing so, the course will develop students’ understanding of pluralism and privilege, thus leading to a critical understanding of socio-cultural structures.  This, in turn, provides students with the vocabulary and framework for interacting and working alongside individuals from differing cultural and class identities. There are no pre-requisites for this course. 
Courses will count towards your general graduation total. This course will also factor into your cumulative Grade Point Average (course is not available for Pass/Fail).


A sample course syllabus for the TEC Spanish course can be viewed here.  A sample course syllabus for ED 603 can be viewed here. A sample course syllabus for ED 298 can be viewed here. Please note, the syllabi are subject to change.


Dr. María Lizano-DiMare, will lead the ED 603 Seminar in Education: Exploring Teaching through Costa Rican Field Experience course in Costa Rica. She is a Costa Rican native with full mastery of the Spanish language, Costa Rican culture, politics, economics, and education system including K-12, higher education and vocational institutions in the private and public sectors. Dr. Lizano DiMare's research interests include the use of emerging technologies in education, online learning, the development of university-community initiatives, and the infusion of languages within the curriculum. She has worked in Latin America integrating educational technology programs in public and private educational sectors.

Dr. Matthew Kaye is the Director of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning.  He brings to his role  extensive experience in the training and supervision of volunteers, international development, as well as collaboration with faculty and organizations in the area of service learning.  His research is focused on social justice issues faced by disenfranchised communities and undergraduate student development through academically oriented reflection.  He is very interested in providing SHU students with international experiences that address social and educational inequalities.


In addition to taking classes, there will also be periodic visits to historical and cultural sites. From Monday through Thursdays, participants will:
  • Participate in your course
  • Most Fridays and/or Saturdays will be reserved for cultural site visits, interviews, and service learning opportunities.
Itinerary and Program Dates

Summer 2015

Session I: May 18 - May 29
TEC Spanish course

Session II: June 1 - June 12
Education course OR Service Learning course

Session I + II: May 18 - June 12
Spanish course and either an Education or Service course
Housing and Meals

Housing and meals will be included as part of your study abroad program fees

You will live with host families in Costa Rica, which will acclimatize you to Costa Rican family life. You will also be able to use TEC facilities including, gym, pool, computer labs, Internet, and cafeteria.
  • TEC will try its best to match the best family with each SHU participant’s profile
  • Families could be within walking distance to TEC or within a short ride using public transportation
Program Orientation

Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation.  During this orientation, further details about the course and program details will be discussed.  The pre-departure orientation will be conducted at the end of April. 

Program Cost

2015 Program Costs

Confirmation fee: You are required to submit a non-refundable $250 confirmation fee payable to “Sacred Heart University” two weeks after you approval to study abroad on a SHU Office of Global Affairs program.  This confirmation fee secures your enrollment in SHU study abroad.

Billable program costs: The Sacred Heart University Student Accounts office will bill you for the following amounts:

Session I or II: Three (3) Credit Course Sequence (UNDERGRADUATE)
TEC Spanish course or Service and Society course

Part-time Undergrad SHU tuition rate (3 credits) - $1635
Accommodations/Program fee* - $2050
Registration fee - $115

The total billable program cost due to Sacred Heart University is $3800
The total program cost paid to Sacred Heart University is $4050 (confirmation fee + program cost)

Session II: Three (3) Credit Course Sequence (GRADUATE)
Seminar in Education course

Part-time Graduate SHU tuition rate (3 credits) - $1980
Accommodations/Program fee* - $2050
Registration fee - $115

The total billable program cost due to Sacred Heart University is $4145
The total program cost paid to Sacred Heart University is $4395 (confirmation fee + program cost)

Session I + II: Six (6) Credit Course Sequence (UNDERGRADUATE)
TEC Spanish course and Service and Society course

Part-time Undergrad SHU tuition rate (6 credits) - $3270
Accommodations/Program fee* - $4100
Registration fee - $115

The total billable program cost due to Sacred Heart University is $7485
The total program cost paid to Sacred Heart University is $7735 (confirmation fee + program cost)

Session I + II: Six (6) Credit Course Sequence (GRADUATE)
TEC Spanish course and Seminar in Education course

Part-time Graduate SHU tuition rate (6 credits) - $3615
Accommodations/Program fee* - $4100
Registration fee - $115

The total billable program cost due to Sacred Heart University is $7830
The total program cost paid to Sacred Heart University is $8080  (confirmation fee + program cost)

*ACCOMMODATIONS / PROGRAM / CONFIRMATION / STUDY ABROAD FEE INCLUDES: Program orientation, housing in homestays, most meals, program excursions, and mandatory basic international health insurance

ACCOMMODATIONS / PROGRAM / CONFIRMATION / STUDY ABROAD FEE DOES NOT INCLUDE: Travel to/from host country, some meals, major medical insurance, visa/resident permit fees, and all personal expenses

Please speak with Financial Assistance to determine how your aid package will apply towards studying abroad.

Additional expenses

Please review the program Budget Sheet for an estimated budget worksheet, including potential expenses outside the billable program cost.

Financial Aid

Sacred Heart Students– Many Sacred Heart University scholarships and grants will apply towards SHU-affiliated programs.  You are welcome to contact Financial Assistance regarding loan opportunities and outside scholarships.

Visiting Students– If you receive a financial aid package from your home institution, please check with your Study Abroad/Financial Aid Office to find out if it may be used for this program.  Upon request, the Office of Global Affairs may provide your institution with the necessary documentation to support the transfer of aid.  Please note that Sacred Heart University will not process financial aid for visiting students.


Education Students- One $1500 is available to a SHU education student taking the Ed 603 course. The application will become available once students are accepted into a study abroad program. Deadline: March 15th

General Scholarship Information:
Scholarships are a great way to support the cost of your study abroad experience.  In an effort to encourage you to study abroad, and to make a study abroad experience more accessible, the SHU Office of Global Affairs prepared a list of scholarships  and financial resources.  Please note that this is not a conclusive list but it will help you start your search process. The OGA encourages you to apply and take advantage of as many relevant scholarship opportunities as possible.

For more information about this program, please contact the Office of Global Affairs