Skip to Content
Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Summer: Teaching and Learning in Costa Rica
Cartago, Costa Rica
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
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
 Housing Options:
 Credits per term:
 Enrollment Restrictions:
Open to Education, Spanish, and other majors that lead to initial teacher certification
 Visa/Residence Permit for U.S. Citizens:
Program Description:
Teaching and Learning in Costa Rica
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 a 5% of the existing biodiversity in the entire world. 25.58 % 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.

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. 

University Tecnológico de Costa Rica 

The University Tecnológico de Costa Rica, also known as "TEC", is a public university specialized in engineering and science in Cartago, Costa Rica. 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 and will attend this course at the TEC campus. To further foster communication and networking opportunities between SHU and TEC students, each SHU candidate will be paired up with a TEC Language Partner. TEC Language Partners will be invited to participant on cultural field trips and extra curricular events. TEC isFor further information on the host university visit their webpage.

Program Description

This is a six-week long immersion experience for teacher certification candidates. Students will learn Spanish with special emphasis on Spanish uses in the classroom. You will also take part in an educator preparation class in which you will learn about instructional practices in Costa Rica. Unique to this class, you will participate in fieldwork in K-12 English classrooms and/or in Spanish/English bilingual schools. There will also be periodic visits to historical and cultural sites.

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

Course Information


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.

Course Credit

ED 603: Seminar in Education - Exploring Teaching through Costa Rican Field Experience (3 credits) + 1 Spanish course (3 credits)

You will receive 6 credits in total on this program. Prerequisites: 

  • Minimum sophomore standing
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75 is reqired to apply for the program
  • Must be a Spanish/Education major, or major/minor that lead to initial teacher certification
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 can be viewed here. Please note, the syllabus is subject to change.


Full-time Isabelle Farrington College of Education, Associate Professor, María Lizano-DiMare, will lead the ED603 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. She is fluent in English, French, and Spanish; and also has working skills in German and Italian.


In addition to taking classes, there will also be periodic visits to historical and cultural sites. From Monday through Thursdays, participants will:
  • Participate in a TEC Spanish class (for 3 credits) and
  • Participate in ED603 course at TEC (for 3 credits)
  • Most Fridays and/or Saturdays will be reserved for cultural site visits, interviews, and service learning opportunities.

Itinerary and Program Dates

Summer 2014

  • Program start date: July 14, 2014
  • Program end date: August 21, 2014
A sample program itinerary can be viewed here.  Please note the itinerary is subject to change.

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

2014 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:

Part-time Undergrad SHU tuition rate (6 credits) - $3180 - or-
Part-time Grad SHU tuition rate (6 credits) - $3780
Accommodations/Program fee* - $2950
Registration fee - $100

The total billable program cost due to Sacred Heart University is $6230 (Undergrads) or $6830 (Grads)

The total program cost paid to Sacred Heart University is $6480 (Undergrads) or $7080 (Grads)(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 studying on the Teaching and Learning in Costa Rica program.  The application will become available once students are accepted into a study abroad program.   Deadline: March 1st

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 Study Abroad 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

This program is currently not accepting applications.