Experience the world with UMass and API

Public Health in

Costa Rica

UMass is partnering with API, an established experiential education provider to offer this Public Health program in Costa Rica. 

Experience Study Abroad in Costa Rica

Apply now to earn upper-division public health course credit taught by UMass faculty on this spring semester program in Costa Rica!

UMass students in Costa Rica with API

Program Dates: February 4 – April 27, 2024

IPO Admin fee: $955 + Program fee: $14,600 – $15,995

This price range for the program fee is an estimate. Final cost depends on student enrollment.

Application Deadline: October 14, 2023


  • PUBHLTH 302 Community Development
  • PUBHLTH 307 Teaching Community Inquiry
  • PUBHLTH 450 Comparative Health Systems
  • PUBHLTH 490J Reproductive Justice
  • PUBHLTH 398PH Experiential Course
  • Spanish Language
  • Medical Spanish
Experience Costa Rica with API
Itinerary Highlights:

Excursions and cultural activities, including but not limited to: 

  • Poás Volcano & Doka Coffee Plantation 
  • Zoo Ave Wildlife Rescue Center
  • Overnight excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park
Ready to get started?

Connect with Christina Lorimer, Education Abroad Advisor

Experience Costa Rica with API

What’s Included

Transportation & Travel Documents
  • Group airport pick-up in San José (SJO), with transportation to San Joaquin de Flores
  • Group airport return in San José (SJO)
  • Ground transportation on all program activities, as necessary

Not Included:

  • International airfare
  • Passport processing fees
  • Luggage fees
Room & Board


  • Accommodation with a host family for program duration
  • Homestay to provide linens, towels, and weekly cleaning


  • Three meals per day provided
  • Group welcome meal, one group lunches, two group dinners, and group farewell meal
  • Overnight excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park includes daily breakfast

Not Included:

  • Any additional meals or activities not specified or listed as “not included”
Academics & Faculty

Subject Areas:
Public Health; Spanish Language and Literature

The courses and instructors for the 2024 program are:

  • PUBHLTH 302 Community Development:  Kathryn DeRose
  • PUBHLTH 307 Teaching Community Inquiry: Elizabeth Evans
  • PUBHLTH 450 Comparative Health Systems: Sarah Goff
  • PUBHLTH 490J Reproductive Justice: Susan Shaw
  • PUBHLTH 398PH Experiential Course
  • Spanish Language
  • Medical Spanish

Academics Information: All courses satisfy upper-level Public Health electives and grant 3 credits with the exception of PUBHLTH 398PH, which is 2 credits.

Activities & Excursions

Below is a list of sample activities that may be offered:

Cultural Activities:

  • Service learning opportunities
  • Tropical Rhythms dance class
  • Movie nights
  • Costa Rican cooking class
  • Barva Museum (Museum of Popular Culture)
  • National Museum of Costa Rica
  • Farmers’ market in Heredia
  • Museum of Costa Rican Art in San José

Day Trips & Excursions:

  • Weekend excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Day trip to Poás Volcano National Park (includes guided tour of Doka Coffee plantation)
  • Day trip to a local organic farm
  • Day trip to Zooave Wildlife Rescue Center

Please note: Cultural activities, day trips, and excursions are subject to change depending on availability, weather, and other factors.

Health, Safety, Security & Advising Support

Health, Safety, Security:

  • API on-site Resident Director available 24/7 for emergencies
  • Every API Resident Director is thoroughly trained in emergency response and receives ongoing training and support
  • Health, safety, and cultural orientation upon arrival to Costa Rica

IPO Advising:

  • UMass advising: enrollment, finances, academics (credits, transcripts)
  • Pre-Departure orientation: culture preparation, logistics, health and safety information
  • International Travel & Accident Insurance
  • 24/7 health, safety, and security emergency lines
  • Reentry resources and support

    Why Costa Rica?

    Destination Overview

    Costa Rica is a country of natural beauty, political stability, friendly people, and a temperate climate. Since dismantling its army in 1948, it has been known around the world as one of the most stable countries in Latin America and has often been a mediator in other Central American conflicts. The International Community acknowledged this contribution in 1987 by presenting President Oscar Arias with the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Costa Rica has devoted itself to environmental conservation and educational achievement. Its National Conservation Areas System (SINAC) covers more than 134 areas – national parks, reserves, and refuges – comprising roughly 27 percent of the national territory. This commitment provides an abundance of natural wonders and biodiversity – a paradise for naturalists and a wealth of wildlife. The relatively small size of the country allows one to explore the beach, jungle, and mountains all in one day.

    Meet Our Resident Directors in Latin America

    Ready to Apply?

    Click “Apply Now” to go to the UMass application form!

    Info Session

    Friday, September 15
    1:30 – 2:30 pm
    Arnold House, 3rd floor
    Room 330

    Have Questions?

    For questions about this program, please contact Christina Lorimer.

    For more information from our partner API, including tips on applying to and getting ready for a study or intern abroad program, fill out the form below and click Submit.

    Experience the world with UMass and API

    Contact API About Our Programs
    Email: [email protected]

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