WCCCSA Program – Costa Rica Program – Pre-fall 2023

Frog on a leaf

This is a WCCCSA program. For how to start the application, please refer to “How to Apply” page.

Costa Rica, land of many natural wonders: Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, luscious rainforests, abundant animal and plant life, and volatile volcanoes. Students immerse themselves in language and culture while surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty and the warm, welcoming people of Costa Rica. The Costa Ricans (Ticos y Ticas) are dedicated to promoting harmony between nature, community development, and economic growth. They have made a major commitment to protect the nation’s natural resources and beauty while preserving its long tradition of political democracy and stability. Costa Rica offers students a safe and accessible place to study and to explore the peaceful beauty of its natural treasures. It offers reliable public transportation, the highest literacy rate in Central America, and an excellent healthcare system. Whether studying Spanish or researching rainforest ecosystems, the congeniality of the people, the steaming volcanoes, pristine beaches, virgin forests, and the unique birds, mammals, and ocean life all combine to make Costa Rica an idyllic place to live and study.

Alumni of the Costa Rica 2017 summer program, Missy Rivera, from South Puget Sound Community College, made this video about her experience while at Costa Rica:


$3,301 plus airfare and tuition for 5 BC Spanish credits (based on 14 participants or less)


Budget Request sheet for Costa Rica 2023 program – upcoming


  • Application Deadline: Friday, June 16, 2023
  • Program Deposit Due of $250: Friday, June 23, 2023
  • Balance of Program Fees Due: Wednesday, July 19, 2023
  • Tuition: Check your campus’s calendar
  • Program Dates: Saturday, August 19 to Saturday, September 16, 2023

Tuition: BC tuition for a 5-credit Spanish course pertaining to your current level; no prior Spanish credits or fluency required. 


Date: TBD

Time: 10am-2pm

Location: TBD

What to Bring: a signed copy of the Student Guidelines, a copy of your passport, flight itineraries, a notepad to take notes, and questions. You should also invite parents, guardians, or whomever you feel should attend with you. Coffee will be provided in the morning and lunch will be included.


Students live and study in beautiful Alajuela, located just 30 minutes from the capital, San Jose. Alajuela is a small town surrounded by coffee and sugar plantations. Courses are held at the Instituto de Cultura y Lengua Costarricense (ICLC), Costa Rica’s premier language institute. ICLC language school is set on a hillside surrounded with tropical flowers and fruits in the outskirts of Alajuela.


Students will take 5 credits of Spanish Immersion at ICLC. Classes are taught by qualified ICLC instructors. Spanish classes meet for 4 hours per day, 5 days a week and have generally no more than 5 students per class, allowing plenty of time to improve speaking and listening skills. There will be special cultural activities offered by ICLC and WCCCSA, in addition to mini-courses and optional day-trips and excursions that will be offered during weekday afternoons and on weekends.



Orientation Tour: Enjoy a familiarization tour of Alajuela and a walking tour to Grecia. The tour will include traveling from ICLC through the homestay neighborhoods and onto Alajuela where students can locate services and amenities like parks, malls, and stores and will include a visit to the Juan Santamaria Museum (tour and lunch included).

Excursion: 3-day, 2-night trip to Manual Antonio National Park (transportation, lodging, and breakfast included).

Day-trip: Tour of Doka coffee plantation, visit to Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfalls (transportation, entrance fees, and breakfast and lunch included).

Optional Mini-Courses: Topics vary but may include a dance class, a cooking class, traditional games, the Costa Rica healthcare system, the Costa Rican educational system, etc. (these are included in the program fee).

Optional Cultural Activities: Activities vary but may include a visit to the local Farmers Market, Tropical Bird Zoo, Pre-Columbian Gold Museum in San Jose, a hospital, a private school, a daycare center, etc. (entrance fees and transportation (usually a small bus fee) is not included in the program fee to allow for program flexibility).

Optional Excursions: Tortuga Island Pacific Cruise day-trip, overnight visit to Arenal Volcano and Baldí Hot Springs including a canopy tour (12 zip lines, Tarzan swing, and superman cable), and Pacuare River class IV rafting day-trip (these optional excursions are not included in the program fee).

Independent Travel: Use your free weekends to explore Costa Rica’s many attractions. There will be a travel coordinator at ICLC to assist you with travel plans. Student favorites include Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Jaco Beach and the Caribbean coast, visits to rainforests and butterfly farms, day-trips to San Jose to visit the MADC art museum, the National Museum, the La Salle Museum of Natural Sciences, and a train ride to Puntarenas, among other destinations.



Students live in homestays with local Costa Rican families. Each student will have a private, furnished room and two meals per day, breakfast and dinner. Homestays are located within a 30 minute bus ride from ICLC. Students are encouraged to interact with homestay families as much as possible to facilitate learning the Spanish language and culture, and to get to know the host family. Students are expected to respect the norms and customs of their host family. To learn more about host families visit http://www.iclc.ws/Host_Families.html. To learn more about Alajuela, Costa Rica visit http://www.iclc.ws/where-is-iclc.html.



    • Orientation session and two placement tests: written exam and OPI: Oral Proficiency Interview.
    • ICLC will provide a local guide for the participants to learn how to use the public bus and they will walk in Grecia center to get familiar with the city.
    • Spanish instruction for 4 hours per day at ICLC ecological campus, in classes with no more than five students per class.
    • Wi-Fi access on ICLC campus with students’ own device: laptops, smart phones, etc.
    • Room and board with a Costa Rican family, which includes breakfast, dinner and laundry service.
    • Each student will be housed in a single room. In some specific cases ICLC will accept two participants in the same homestay but students should check in for the possibility.
    • On-site support throughout the duration of the program.
    • Certificate of completion.
    • Farewell lunch at ICLC campus including one member of each host family.
    • Medical and travel insurance



Roundtrip airfare

College tuition and fees (paid to your home campus)

Passport fees (and visa fees, if applicable)

Lunches (approximately $7 per day)

Taxi to airport after the program (approximately $20)

Costa Rican departure tax (approximately $29)

Personal spending money

Last Updated May 13, 2023