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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Alajuela, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 02/03/2020 02/05/2020 05/18/2020 06/15/2020
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English, Spanish Housing Options: Homestay
Maximum Credits Available: 04 Prior Language Study: Recommended
Click here for a definition of this term Eligibility Requirements: Completed at least 12 college credits, GPA of 2.75 or higher Duration: Short-term, Summer, Summer Interim
Excluded from Open Doors: Include Program Sponsor: University-Sponsored
Program Description:
Boys with UmbrellasProgram Dates: Mid- May to Mid- June

Program Overview

In this summer program, students study Spanish at
Instituto de Cultura y Lengua Costarricense while earning Madison College credit and experiencing critical language and cultural immersion. Students of all levels may participate, but the experience will be richer if you have taken at least one semester of college or one year of high school Spanish. Students will study at the Instituto campus in Alajuela, which is located in the small town of Carrillos, in the province of Alajuela. 

To view a video created by a former students, please visit this page.

Course Information

Students register for 4 college transfer credits in Spanish (levels 1-4). Students that have completed Spanish 1-4, may receive 3 credits for Spanish 5 and may choose to enroll in an independent study for an additional credit. Students that have completed Spanish 1-5, may enroll in an advanced Spanish class for 4 credits. Students will be enrolled in the course for Spring semester, although will travel after the semester has ended.

Classes are held Monday through Friday for four hours each day. The afternoons will be filled with visits around the area. Most classes will have a student to teacher ratio of less than five to one and are taught by native speakers. An initial exam is used to place students into groups of similar abilities and needs. Madison College students who are earning credit will take a test at the end of every week. The final grade is based on program participation, class performance, cultural activities and a self-directed final project.

Accommodations and Meals
CR Spanish Waterfall

As part of the cultural immersion experience of the trip, students will stay with a host family. All host families are individually selected and screened by Intercultura. Some host families may know limited English, but many do not. By living in an immersion environment where Spanish is constantly spoken, students gain valuable "ear training" and speed language acquisition. Breakfast, dinner, private room and laundry service are all included in the price. Probably the most valuable aspect of the homestay experience, however, is the opportunity to really get to know a Costa Rican family, making many new friends and experiencing first-hand the famous Costa Rican warmth and hospitality!


As part of the program cost, students will experience a number of excursions and cultural activities. Some excursions may be available at an additional cost. Possible excursions may include:

    Manuel Antonio National Park: This national park and biological reserve on the coast houses numerous tree species as well as two-toed sloths and squirrel monkeys. 
Arenal Volcano and Baldi Hot Springs: Students will visit the Arenal Volcano and have a chance to soak in the Baldi hot springs on a combined day trip.
   La Paz Waterfall Gardens: Students will visit the beautiful gardens and waterfalls.
   Doka Coffee Plantation: Students will visit and tour a local coffee plantation.

CR spanish Study2Additional Information

A passport is required for U.S. citizens traveling to Costa Rica. If you need to apply for a passport, it is advised to allow at least 6 weeks for standard processing.

All students are required to attend the pre-departure orientation. This orientation provides information on health and safety, packing and trip planning, flight logistics, and other essential information.

This program is led by a Madison College Spanish instructor who will accompany students to Costa Rica as well as conduct informational sessions prior to departure. This faculty member provides oversight of the program and assists students as needed during the program.

This program is held during the Madison College interim session.  For financial aid purposes, interim classes are considered a part or extension of your spring semester load. If you hope to use financial aid for this program, please talk with a Financial Aid advisor prior to the start of spring semester to determine eligibility.


The program fees for 2020 program is still being determined. Previous years final fees were between $3100-3500. The final fee is still being determined. The program fee includes:
CR Spanish Ocean
  •     Course materials and fees
  •     Housing with a host family
  •     2 meals daily with host family
  •     Some weekend excursions
  •     Transportation from Juan Santamaría International airport
  •     Mandatory international health insurance

Additional costs include:
  •     Airfare
  •     Madison College tuition for 4 college transfer credits (approximately $750.00)
  •     One meal daily
  •     Spending money
  •     Costa Rica Departure Tax (approximately $26.00)
  •     Passport (if you do not yet have one)

To Apply

All materials, including the initial deposit of $500, must be received by 4:00 p.m. in the Center for International Education by the deadline date. (NOTE: Unless an applicant is rejected, the $500 deposit is non-refundable.)

CR Spanish Group PhotoFor More Information

If you would like to know more about studying abroad through Madison College, please email us or call 608-246-6201 to schedule an appointment.