Southern Oregon University Costa Rica 1 1

Offered in conjunction with Southern Oregon University, dive into the cross-section between humans and the environment in this unique summer program in Costa Rica! Students will explore the intersections of environment, diet, culture, religion, and agriculture that allows humans to live longer and healthier lives. This program is a perfect fit for Health Science majors and minors, but can also be a good match for students interested in sustainability, environmental science, international studies, and more! To accompany classroom learning, this program includes service-learning opportunities within the local community.

This is a customized, faculty-led program and it is not eligible for API-funded scholarships.

What's Included?


Pre Departure Services


APIConnect Platform

Orientation Materials and Resources

Scholarship Opportunities

On Site Services

On-Site Orientation



Medical and Life Insurance

Social and Cultural Activities

Welcome and Farewell Group Meals

Volunteer Opportunities

Housing and Meals (2-3 meals per day with host family)

Resident Directors/Coordinators

Airport Pickup and Drop-off

Re-Entry Services

Re-Entry Materials and Support

Post-Program Evaluation


Alumni Network and API Ambassador Program

View all opportunities and amenities

Application Requirements

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Open to undergraduate and graduate students
  • Official or unofficial transcript
  • Previous Health coursework is recommended, but not required
  • Completed API application
Session Program Dates Program Cost Application Deadline Extended Application Deadline Payment Deadline
Summer Jul, 2024 - Aug, 2024

Pricing Additional Information

Non-Oregon resident students will be subject to an additional fee of $2,450.

Apr 15, 2024 No Extension Jun 9, 2024

*Non-Oregon-resident students will be subject to an additional fee of $2450.
**This is a customized, faculty-led program and it is not eligible for API-funded scholarships. 

In addition to the excursions listed below, this program includes several cultural events and activities such as city walking tours, a visit to an organic farm, local dance class, surf lesson opportunity, cooking class, and more!

Cultural activities and excursions are subject to change depending on availability, weather, and other factors.

  • Volcan Irazú

    At over 11,000 feet, Volcán Irazú is the highest volcano in Costa Rica. Its awe-inspiring height allows visitors standing at its peak to see both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. The volcano’s name was taken from the name of an indigenous village that was built on the flanks of the volcano, Iztaru, which means “shaking thunder of the hill.”

  • Nicoya Peninsula and National Park Reserve

    Students will have the opportunity to explore Nicoya Peninsula over several days. One day includes a visit to the National Park Reserve in Santa Teresa!

  • Monteverde

    Monteverde is the most famous cloud forest of Costa Rica. Located on the mountains in front of the Nicoya gulf, this area receives all the moisture from the ocean winds, creating truly unique weather. Under these conditions, nature is exuberant. Students will have the opportunity to hike on one of the natural reserves on the area and spot birds, like the quetzal; mammals, reptiles, frogs, and a very rare type of forest that is located on the continental division.

What You’ll Study

Students will take two upper-division courses in Health while exploring the culture and nature of Costa Rica. Students will explore the many factors that contribute to healthy aging: community, culture, diet, lifestyle, activity, religion, and agriculture. This program provides a unique experience for students to immerse themselves in Costa Rican culture through host-families, while exploring Costa Rica as a living classroom with a strong global reputation for health, happiness, and environmental protection.

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    Veronica Bocanegra

    Veronica will be your Program Coordinator and will help prepare you for your API program.

    (she / her / hers)

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    Crystal Stroud

    Crystal Stroud, Instructor with Southern Oregon University, will accompany the group to Costa Rica to lead the summer courses.

Click Here to Find Classes

The two courses included in this program are offered for 3 quarter-system credits each for a total of 6 quarter-system credits. For schools on a semester academic calendar, 6 quarter-system credits equates to 4 semester credits.

Environmental Health

Environmental Health (HE 331) examines the interplay between humans and the natural environment. This course explores various health considerations and concerns created by the interactions of people with their environment/s. This section of HE 331 will be taught as part of a study abroad program in Costa Rica and will explore the unique natural environment of Costa Rica through the lens of Environmental Health.

Download Syllabus

Health & Longevity

This course is offered as part of an immersive study abroad experience in Costa Rica with attention to sociocultural factors such as community, culture, purpose, environment, diet, activity, exercise, religion, and agriculture.

Download Syllabus

  • Service-learning opportunities
  • Great program for quarter-system schools!

Students will live with a host family—a great way to practice your Spanish and to experience Costa Rican culture firsthand! Host families include 3 meals per day and internet along with linens and towels provided.