Costa Rica Lake Arenal Clouds Over The Lake

We invite you to study abroad with API in charming San Joaquín de Flores, Costa Rica! This immersive program offers advanced and superior level Spanish language courses along with a variety of electives including arts, literature, cultural studies, sociology, and environmental studies taught in Spanish. Classes are held on the serene and tropical campus of the Instituto San Joaquín de Flores. This program also offers ample opportunities to engage with the local community through cultural activities and community service.

Earn valuable academic credit, enhance your language skills, experience the warm and friendly hospitality of the Costa Rican people, and explore all this beautiful country has to offer!

What's Included?

Highlights

Pre Departure Services

Advising

APIConnect Platform

Orientation Materials and Resources

Access to International Phone Plans

API Alumni Network

Social Networking

Scholarships

On Site Services

Airport Reception

API Center

On-Site Orientation

Excursions

Tuition

Medical and Life Insurance

Resident Directors

Social and Cultural Activities

Welcome and Farewell Group Meals

Volunteer Opportunities

Tutoring

Housing (including meals and laundry)

Language and Culture Tools

Re-Entry Services

Re-Entry Materials and Support

Post-Program Evaluation

Transcript

Alumni Network and API Ambassador Program

View all opportunities and amenities

Application Requirements

  • Minimum 2.7 G.P.A.
  • Open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors
  • Open to high-intermediate, advanced, and superior-level Spanish students
  • Completed API application
  • University Approval Form
  • Official transcript
  • Entry requirement: valid passport
  • Applicants who are not U.S. citizens are encouraged to contact API prior to applying for more specific information about entry requirements.
  • Partner scholarship available (up to $1,560!)
Session Program Dates Program Cost Application Deadline Extended Application Deadline Payment Deadline
Fall Aug 23, 2022 - Dec 17, 2022 $12,850 Jun 10, 2022 Aug 1, 2022 Jul 10, 2022
Academic Year Aug, 2022 - May, 2023 $24,700 Jun 10, 2022 Aug 1, 2022 Jul 10, 2022
Spring Jan, 2023 - May, 2023 $12,850 Oct 20, 2022 Nov 5, 2022 Nov 15, 2022

API students participate excursions designed to help familiarize them with the culture and surrounding areas of their host city and country. The following is a listing of potential excursions for API San Joaquín de Flores programs. API may need to modify the excursions offered in a given term due to travel restrictions or health and safety concerns.

  • Cartago

    Cartago was Costa Rica’s first capital until 1823 and is home to Costa Rica’s patron saint, Our Lady of the Angels “Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles” or “La Negrita.” Students visit the most important sites in the city, as well as the Orosi Valley, founded by the Franciscan monks in 1561. It is home to the country’s oldest church still in continuous use, built in 1735.

  • Volcán Arenal & Fortuna

    Arenal Volcano National Park is located in central Costa Rica. The park is surrounded by rainforests and cloud forests with waterfalls and hot springs (heated by the volcano) nearby.

  • Nicaragua or Panama - International Excursion

    Costa Rica and Nicaragua have a lot of things in common, but there are also many differences between the two countries. During this international trip students will experience the Nicaraguan culture as they try customary food and meet locals. Students will also learn about the history of the region by visiting Granada city and the Masaya and San Juan del Sur islands.

    Bocas del Toro, Panama was the last piece of land discovered by Columbus on his 4th journey to the New World. During this excursions students will get the chance to dolphin watch, in the Caribbean and snorkel to explore the beautiful coral reefs.

    Depending on the session, students will participate in either the Nicaragua or Panama excursion.

  • Montezuma

    Montezuma is a small but extremely beautiful beach, set amid exotic surroundings. Students can opt to explore the environment of the northern Costa Rica dry forest, visit the nearby creeks and discover the charming waterfalls in the area. The beach is great for swimming and snorkeling, and an ideal setting for taking some amazing photos!

  • Nicaragua or Panama - International Excursion

    Costa Rica and Nicaragua have a lot of things in common, but there are also many differences between the two countries. During this international trip students will experience the Nicaraguan culture as they try customary food and meet locals. Students will also learn about the history of the region by visiting Granada city and the Masaya and San Juan del Sur islands.

    Bocas del Toro, Panama was the last piece of land discovered by Columbus on his 4th journey to the New World. During this excursions students will get the chance to dolphin watch, in the Caribbean and snorkel to explore the beautiful coral reefs.

    Depending on the session, students will participate in either the Nicaragua or Panama excursion.

  • Cartago

    Cartago was Costa Rica’s first capital until 1823 and is home to Costa Rica’s patron saint, Our Lady of the Angels “Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles” or “La Negrita.” Students visit the most important sites in the city, as well as the Orosi Valley, founded by the Franciscan monks in 1561. It is home to the country’s oldest church still in continuous use, built in 1735.

  • Montezuma

    Montezuma is a small but extremely beautiful beach, set amid exotic surroundings. Students can opt to explore the environment of the northern Costa Rica dry forest, visit the nearby creeks and discover the charming waterfalls in the area. The beach is great for swimming and snorkeling, and an ideal setting for taking some amazing photos!

  • Volcán Arenal & Fortuna

    Arenal Volcano National Park is located in central Costa Rica. The park is surrounded by rainforests and cloud forests with waterfalls and hot springs (heated by the volcano) nearby.

  • Cartago

    Cartago was Costa Rica’s first capital until 1823 and is home to Costa Rica’s patron saint, Our Lady of the Angels “Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles” or “La Negrita.” Students visit the most important sites in the city, as well as the Orosi Valley, founded by the Franciscan monks in 1561. It is home to the country’s oldest church still in continuous use, built in 1735.

  • Montezuma

    Montezuma is a small but extremely beautiful beach, set amid exotic surroundings. Students can opt to explore the environment of the northern Costa Rica dry forest, visit the nearby creeks and discover the charming waterfalls in the area. The beach is great for swimming and snorkeling, and an ideal setting for taking some amazing photos!

  • Nicaragua or Panama - International Excursion

    Costa Rica and Nicaragua have a lot of things in common, but there are also many differences between the two countries. During this international trip students will experience the Nicaraguan culture as they try customary food and meet locals. Students will also learn about the history of the region by visiting Granada city and the Masaya and San Juan del Sur islands.

    Bocas del Toro, Panama was the last piece of land discovered by Columbus on his 4th journey to the New World. During this excursions students will get the chance to dolphin watch, in the Caribbean and snorkel to explore the beautiful coral reefs.

    Depending on the session, students will participate in either the Nicaragua or Panama excursion.

What You’ll Study

TOTAL CREDITS - 12-15 credits per semester

Designed for American students, the study abroad program in San Joaquín de Flores program at the Instituto San Joaquín de Flores offers advanced and superior level Spanish language courses along with a variety of electives including arts, literature, cultural studies, sociology, and environmental studies taught in Spanish.

All students enroll in 4-6 classes per semester. All students are highly encouraged to enroll in a Spanish language class. Each student’s language level is determined by a Spanish placement exam administered upon arrival by the Instituto San Joaquín de Flores.

COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING

Advanced-level students who seek active involvement with local community members in San Joaquín are encouraged to select the Advanced Spanish Conversation course. As part of the course, students complete 20 or more hours of community service at local schools, libraries or retirement homes.

TRANSCRIPTS

API students receive a transcript from U.S. – accredited Fairfield University upon completion of the program.

  • Gabi headshot

    Gabi Perches

    Gabi Perches will be your Program Coordinator and prepare you to go abroad!

    (she/her/hers)

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    Esteban Lopez

    Esteban Lopez will be your Resident Director in San Joaquin de Flores and a resource for you on-site.

    (he/him/his)

Click Here to Find Classes

COURSE OFFERINGS

Students are encouraged to select one language course and an additional 3-5 elective courses. All classes must meet minimum enrollment targets to be offered. The course pre-registration form that is part of the application is used to determine which courses are offered each session. Students receive a course schedule from the API office prior to their departure.

CREDIT INFORMATION

The Instituto San Joaquín de Flores operates on the contact hour system; the number of credits earned depends on the time spent in class with a professor. To determine the conversion of Costa Rican contact hours to U.S. credits, divide the contact hours per course by 15. Almost all courses at the Instituto are the equivalent of 3 U.S. semester credits.

Below is a sampling of courses offered. For the most up-to-date course availability, click here to explore our Class Finder.

Courses at Instituto San Joaquín de Flores (Spanish Language and Latin American Studies)

For the most up-to-date course availability on this program, explore our Class Finder. Sort courses by term, area of study, and more!

Click here to find courses, syllabi, and more!

Courses at Instituto San Joaquín de Flores (Spanish Language and Latin American Studies)

For the most up-to-date course availability on this program, explore our Class Finder. Sort courses by term, area of study, and more!

Click here to find courses, syllabi, and more!

Courses at Instituto San Joaquín de Flores (Spanish Language and Latin American Studies)

For the most up-to-date course availability on this program, explore our Class Finder. Sort courses by term, area of study, and more!

Click here to find courses, syllabi, and more!

Highlights
  • Classes taught in Spanish
  • Volunteer and community involvement opportunities
  • Transcript from U.S. accredited institution (Fairfield University)
  • International excursion

Students in San Joaquín de Flores live with local host families. Host families serve as a unique introduction into Costa Rican culture and may be made up of a married couple with children, a divorced or widowed woman with children still at home, or a family with some members living at home and others living outside of the city during the work week. As API places one student per family, all students have a private bedroom. Students are provided with 2-3 meals per day, as well as laundry service once per week.

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