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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: San Ramon, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall Semester, Spring Semester
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: USAC 
  • Restrictions: AppState applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Type of Program: Affiliate Minimum Language Requirement: None
Click here for a definition of this term Housing: Home-stay Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English
Click here for a definition of this term Minimum GPA: 2.5 Click here for a definition of this term Program Strength: Biology, Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies, Global Studies, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Public Health, Spanish, Sustainable Development
College: Beaver College of Health Sciences, College of Arts & Science, Honors College Class Standing: Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Program Description:
USAC B Logo with Motto ABOUT USAC
San Ramon
Study in San Ramon, Costa Rica

  • Study upper-division science courses in an ideal location for ecology, biology, and health science majors who also want to develop their Spanish language skills. Small class sizes and many opportunities for fieldwork, independent research, internships, and/or volunteering complement the classroom experience.
  •  Get hands-on experiential learning about local flora and fauna in field study courses.
  • Explore interesting, beautiful areas of Costa Rica on field trips.
  • Enjoy a small-town atmosphere with easy access to the best of Costa Rica: cultural, historic, and urban highlights as well as the Pacific coast.

  Learn More
Quick Details
Available Terms
Two summer sessions 
Fall or Spring semester  

Programs Of Study

Spanish Language, Latin American Culture, Life and Sciences

Language of Instruction
English /Spanish

Horseback Riding Heredia
USAC is a non-profit organization that offers programs in 27 countries, with many locations unique for study abroad.
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Study in Costa Rica!


The San Ramón program is designed for science majors interested in learning more about health, ecology, and conservation biology in Costa Rica. You may stay for one semester or a full year, and choose from courses in tropical ecology, tropical marine biology, conservation biology, environmental policy, and other life science topics within Costa Rica. You will be able to augment your regular coursework by enrolling in several related field study courses that give you hands-on experience in these subjects. Costa Rica is well known for its extraordinary natural beauty and biodiversity, preserved in its many national parks and reserves, and it is at the forefront of the ecotourism movement. With approval from your university honors program, you also will be able to receive honors credit for certain courses.


San Ramón is located about halfway between San José and Puntarenas in the beautiful Central Valley of Costa Rica and it is just a 20-minute walk, or an even shorter drive, from many hiking trails that let you wander through the beautiful mountainside. Set against a dramatic backdrop of mountains, San Ramón is truly the heart of Costa Rica, where you will encounter friendly people and a peaceful, relaxed lifestyle. Within the city, you will find an impressive church, many excellent restaurants and shops, a variety of banks, a mall, and theaters. Most of San Ramón residents are involved in farming and agriculture, so the weekly Saturday morning farmers markets, or "ferias del agricultor," are not to be missed. You will find a delicious variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables, and coffee.

Academic Calendar
  • Fall Semester: Late August to Mid December
  • Spring Semester: Mid January to Early May
  • Summer Semester I: Early June to Early July (Optional Field Study until mid July)
  • Summer Semester II: Mid July to Early August (Optional Field Study start in early July)
For more information about the Academic Calendar please visit the USAC San Ramon web page.



USAC students will be placed in home stays.  The families are located within easy commuting distance of the university and will provide you with daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ll have a private bedroom and laundry service. Your family will be interested in you and your activities and they will serve as a good source of local practical information and advice; you’ll get to live and learn the “Tico” culture from the perspective of a local family.


Program Costs

Paid to Appalachian State
  Semester Summer
1USAC Tuition See USAC See USAC
2OIED Program Development Fee $200 $200
Intl Health Development Fee $60 $60
1Tuition and fees are charged at the USAC rate.
2The OIED Program Development Fee will be placed on students’ accounts upon acceptance by the Education Abroad Office. The fee payment confirms your spot and is non-refundable.

Estimated Additional Costs
  Semester Academic Year Summer
1Housing $2100 $4200 Included in Program Fee
USAC Application Fee $100 $100 $100
USAC Confirmation Deposit $500 $500 $500
Airfare $600 - $1200  $600 - $1200 $600 - $1200
2Personal Expenses $800 - $1500 $1600 - $3000 $300 - $500
Additional Meals $40 - $60 $80 - $120 $20 - $50
Books and Materials $70 - $140 $140 - $280 $150 - $360
Local Transportation $218 $436 $40 - $70
Visa (for US Citizens) $330 $330 $0
Passport $150 $150 $150
3US Based Health Insurance Varies Varies NA
4Personal Travel and Spending $800 - $1200 $1600 - $2400 $200 - $400
1Home stay includes 3 meals per day.
2Personal expenses includes but is not limited to: toiletries, cell phone, emergency funds, laundry, clothing, utilities, basic travel and entertainment, etc 
3Students are encouraged to maintain a US based health insurance plan while abroad (to exempt out of AppState insurance students must follow the App exemption process - proving that they have insurance coverage for the entirety of the semester.
4Personal Travel and Spending amounts will vary by student and will be affected by how often a student goes out, travels, and the items they purchase.

Please note that non-billable costs are estimates only and will be affected by personal spending habits, currency fluctuations, etc. Prices listed in USD unless otherwise noted.


Students are encouraged to start planning for their study abroad program costs well in advance. Please use the Student Financial Planning Worksheet to help estimate your anticipated expenses and your anticipated financial resources.  When planning for estimated additional costs students are encouraged to research currency conversion rates.  

Financial Aid

The majority of financial aid and scholarships can apply to semester and year-long study abroad programs. For more information please visit the Office of Student Financial Aid web page.


USAC Scholarships
USAC offers a variety of scholarship opportunities for students.  Scholarship awards range from $500 to $1000.

OIED Scholarships
Each semester OIED offers a variety of different scholarship opportunities for students. Scholarship awards range from $250 to $2000. 

Benjamin A Gilman Scholarship
The Gilman Scholarship Program application is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.

Fund for Education Abroad
Applicants from groups underrepresented in study abroad and those destined for non-traditional locations are given preference, in an effort to make the demographics of U.S. undergraduates studying abroad reflect the rich diversity of the U.S. population.

For information about additional scholarships please visit our External Scholarships web page.


The San Ramon program offers three diverse academic areas: Spanish Language, Cultural Studies, and Life and Health Science Studies, including an intensive Spanish language track. The summer San Ramon program offers two sessions, that can be taken individually or back-to-back. Courses are available in Intensive Spanish Language, Life and Health Sciences, and Culture Studies. During Summer I students can take 3-6 credits and during Summer II 3-5 credits.  

For more information about the courses and structure of the program please visit the USAC San Ramon website.

All students are expected to maintain at least the equivalent of a full time course load according to Appalachian State and the host university while abroad (whichever is greater). Students participating on the USAC Puntarenas program will be required to enroll in 12-18 credits per semester and 3-10 credits for the summer. For more information about study abroad enrollment policies, credit approval, and credit and grade conversions please visit the Academics section of our website.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and some programs may fill up before the listed deadline. Each year applications for Fall, Spring, and Summer will open up on August 1st. Once open the deadline will be listed below and an Apply Now button will be available at the top and bottom of this page. Most applications will have a 2 part application process so students are encouraged to complete their OIED application well before the listed deadline.

Students applying to a USAC program should complete the USAC application while also completing the Appalachian application.

For more information about deadlines and how to apply please visit our Guide Me web page.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.