Study in Costa Rica!
The Heredia program is ideal for students who are committed to learning the Spanish language and the diverse cultures of Latin America. Through formal coursework and personal interaction with the host culture, you will greatly expand your language skills and knowledge of Costa Rican society. Heredia, located just outside San José, offers the excitement of living near the capital city but with a more calm and relaxed atmosphere. Costa Rica as a whole is well known for its extraordinary natural beauty—preserved in its many national parks and reserves—which you will have the opportunity to discover firsthand.
Heredia is a quaint, colonial city nestled in the foothills above San José‚ the capital of Costa Rica. The city is surrounded by coffee plantations and ranches and is one of the gateways to the majestic Poás Volcano. The climate is temperate, with average year-round temperatures of 70°-80°F. Only 12 kilometers from the international airport and 25 minutes by bus from downtown San José and its one million inhabitants, Heredia offers the peace and rural beauty of a smaller city, while providing easy access to the activities of the capital. There is always something to do in Heredia, and it allows the benefit of a college city while offering a short, affordable bus ride to beautiful places such as INBIO Parque (a small local zoo), Monte de la Cruz (a hike to a beautiful lookout), and La Paz waterfall gardens.
- Fall Semester: Late August to Early December
- Spring Semester: Late January to Mid May
- Summer Semester I: Late May to Mid July
- Summer Semester II: Early July to Early August
For more information about the Academic Calendar please visit the USAC Heredia 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.
Paid to Appalachian State
1Tuition and fees are charged at the USAC rate.
|2OIED Program Development Fee
|Intl Health Development Fee
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
1Home stay includes 3 meals per day.
||Included in Program Fee
|USAC Application Fee
|USAC Confirmation Deposit
||$600 - $1200
||$600 - $1200
||$600 - $1200
||$800 - $1500
||$1600 - $3000
||$300 - $500
||$40 - $60
||$80 - $120
||$20 - $50
|Books and Materials
||$70 - $140
||$140 - $280
||$150 - $360
||$40 - $70
|Visa (for US Citizens)
|3US Based Health Insurance
|4Personal Travel and Spending
||$800 - $1200
||$1600 - $2400
||$200 - $400
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.
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 offers a variety of scholarship opportunities for students. Scholarship awards range from $500 to $1000.
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 Heredia program offers three diverse academic areas: Intensive Spanish Language, Ecological Studies, and Latin American Studies. You may choose to study for the summer, a semester or a full year and complement your language curriculum by taking courses in literature, political science, economics, history, art history, biology, ecology, and dance. The program also offers a field study course focused on Latin America and its cultures. Taking this field study course gives you the opportunity to explore Costa Rica and its culture, environment, and contemporary issues on a deeper level outside of the classroom.
For more information about the courses and structure of the program please visit the USAC Heredia 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 Heredia program will be required to enroll in 12-18 credits per semester and 3-9 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