COSTA RICA Student Crossing Rainforest Bridge

We invite you to study abroad with API in San José, Costa Rica at Universidad Veritas! This special hands-on science field course offers you the opportunity to earn natural sciences credit in a condensed period along with fulfilling lab requirements. Students are offered the opportunity to visit field stations and natural laboratories across Costa Rica to see ecotourism in action.

Earn valuable academic credit toward your degree, learn more about tropical marine biology and the importance of the Costa Rican ecosystem firsthand!

What's Included?


Pre Departure Services


APIConnect Platform

Orientation Materials and Resources

Access to International Phone Plans

API Alumni Network

On Site Services

Airport Reception

On-Site Orientation



Resident Director


Medical and Life Insurance

Social and Cultural Activities

Welcome and Farewell Group Meals

Volunteer Opportunities

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 G.P.A.
  • Open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors
  • Completed API application
  • University Approval Form
  • Official Transcript
  • Entry requirement: valid passport
Session Program Dates Program Cost Application Deadline Extended Application Deadline Payment Deadline
Jan-Term Jan, 2024 - Jan, 2024

Pricing Additional Information

Students will enroll in online modules prior to the in-country portion of the program.

Nov 1, 2023 No Extension Dec 1, 2023

Students will enroll in online modules prior to the in-country portion of the program. These dates are Dec 6th-12th, 2022.

API students participate in 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 José programs. API may need to modify the excursions offered in a given term due to travel restrictions or health and safety concerns.

  • Field Trips & Cultural Activities

    Field trips and cultural activities are included to complement the classroom learning process and give students first-hand experience with Costa Rica's tropical marine biology! Activities may include: several snorkel opportunities, fishing, zoology museums, beach excursions, and more!

  • Bioluminescence tour at Curú Wildlife Reserve

    Kayak out to Quesera beach to swim and relax on the white sand beach and watch the sunset. Once night falls, the bioluminescence begins and the group can observe the halo of lights shimmering and moving as you swim and float around.

What You’ll Study

TOTAL CREDITS - 4-6 U.S. semester credits per session (90 contact hours)

Earn up to 6 credits for your major or for general education natural science and lab requirements while seeing some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches during one of the best times of year to visit. You'll take the first part of the class online from Dec 6 - Dec 12, preparing for your in-person experience by reading all about marine ecology, climate change and coastal environments, then will travel the Pacific Coast of Costa from Jan 10 - Jan 26th with your classmates doing fieldwork with some of Costa Rica's top marine biology experts on wildlife reserves.

Sample activities include "noctural alligator census", "fish classification" and "manta ray snorkeling observations". You'll also have access to Costa Rica's only BIOMOL lab, or biomolecular lab, at the Veritas campus in San José for the full scientific experience. You'll present your findings in a final research presentation to your peers and experts.


API students receive a transcript from the Universidad Veritas upon completion of their program.

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    Kayla Cole

    Kayla Cole will be your Program Manager and will help prepare you for your API program.


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    Francy Orozco

    Francy Orozco will be your Resident Director in San Jose and a resource for you on-site.

Click Here to Find Classes



The Universidad Veritas 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. semester credits, divide the contact hours per course by 15. At the Universidad Veritas, elective courses vary between 3 and 4 U.S. semester credits and language courses can equate to 3-5 U.S. semester credits.

Courses at Universidad Veritas (Jan Term)

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!

  • Fieldwork and research opportunities

Students in San José live with local host families. Host families serve as a unique introduction into Costa Rican culture and may be a married couple with children, a divorced or widowed woman with or without children still at home, or a family with some members living at home and others living outside of the city during the work week. Students may be housed with other API or international students, and in all cases will have an individual room. Students are provided with two meals per day, as well as laundry service once per week.