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! Summer, SMU-in-Costa Rica: Spanish Language and Latin American Culture
Heredia, Costa Rica
Program Terms: Summer
← Please note the available terms for this program.

Semester Programs:
The application for Fall 2015 will be available January 15-March 1. Please review the Application Instructions and Checklist.

Summer Programs:
The application for Summer 2015 will not be available until December 1.
Dates / Deadlines:
↑ Please note the available terms for this program.

Semester Programs:
Applications for Fall 2015 will be available January 15 - March 1.

Summer Programs:
The application for Summer 2015 will not be available until December 1.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: Spanish Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.5
Minimum Class Standing: Sophomore Pre-requisite Subjects: 2 semesters of college-level Spanish
Field of Study: Language: Spanish Program Director: Veronica Leon,
SMU Abroad Application Cycle: December 1-February 1 Deposit Deadline: March 1
Summer 2015 Program Dates: May 25 - June 27
Program Description:

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SMU-in-Costa Rica: Spanish Language and Latin American Culture

Universidad Nacional: Heredia, Costa Rica

May 25 - June 27, 2015

SMU Abroad programs are eligible for all proficiencies, including Global Engagement. Students who wish to receive credit for proficiencies must petition the course through the UC office located in Clements Hall G02.

SMU-in-Costa Rica: Spanish Language and Latin American Culture is a five week intensive Spanish program taken at the National State University or UNA in Heredia. All students will receive six credit hours and will gain from the daily exchange with their Costa Rican families and local population. Heredia, a college town with a laid-back atmosphere for students, is a welcoming community with a small town feel, yet close to big-city attractions. Heredia is a great location to visit historic buildings reminiscent of colonial days. Universidad Nacional's large campus is located on the east side of town, easily accessible by public transportation. Costa Rica is known throughout the world for its tropical forests, open-hearted people, coffee plantations and volcanic national parks.

Study in one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world. The breathtaking scenery and political stability of Costa Rica make it a popular choice for students and tourists alike, and the friendliness of the Costa Rican people makes for an enriching study abroad experience. One of the most stable nations in Latin America, Costa Rica has become known as the "Switzerland of Latin America" since dismantling its army in 1948.

In Heredia you'll find excellent universities and great academic opportunities, all within the reach of ecological sites, beautiful beaches and charming Costa Rican villages. Immerse yourself into Costa Rican culture!

Learn more about Heredia

What Universidad Nacional has to offer
An excellent and innovative university in an outstanding natural environment
An exciting, diverse student body and small class sizes
A number of student artistic and athletic groups
Competitive and intramural athletic teams and clubs
A health center, campus library and cafeteria are among the modern amenities

Program Faculty: Dr. Veronica Leon, a member of SMU's Department of World Languages and Literatures, directs the program. Dr. Leon, a native of Monterrey, Mexico, received her Licenciatura en Letras Espanolas at the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Spanish Literature and Language.


Students enroll in two courses and receive a total of six semester credit hours.

Click here for a list of Summer 2015 courses and corresponding UC Foundations, Pillars, Proficiencies and Experiences.

Program Activities and Excursions
A three-day trip to Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the most magnificent beaches in the world; a rafting adventure through Sarapiqui river; a visit to San Jose, it's distinctive capital; zip-lining by Arenal Volcano National Park; an unprecedented hiking tour of Poaz or Irazu volcanoes.


There is no better way to learn about another culture than to stay in the homes of its people. Students live with families, allowing them opportunity to enjoy firsthand exposure to the language, people and culture of Costa Rica. Great care is taken in interviewing and selecting host families, as well as placing students with families.  Many families have hosted foreign students for several years.

Program Fee Information

Summer 2015 Estimated Student Budgets can be found here.


SMU Tuition

Room and board (three meals daily with Costa Rican family)

Travel for planned excursions

Airport pick-up/drop off for students on group flight

International Travel Health Insurance


International travel to/from program locations*

Travel documents, including passports and visas

Textbooks (approximately $60-$80)

Cell phone**

Personal expenses, entertainment and travel

* Although the price does not include transportation to Costa Rica, SMU will coordinate a group flight from Dallas. All participants are urged to take this flight, unless making special arrangements with the program director.

**Students are required to have a cell phone that works in Costa Rica, as well as in other countries where they plan to travel. Students should check with their current carrier for service or plan on purchasing a phone upon arrival.

Application and Acceptance

Students may submit an application to the SMU Abroad Office during the application cycle: December 1 - February 1. It is possible this program may be full before the deadline; therefore, students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Applications may be submitted after the deadline only if places are available in the program.

Once the application is complete, the student will be contacted for an interview by the program staff.

Program Admission and Pre-departure Orientation

Admission: Admission is competitive. Admitted on a rolling admissions basis, program directors and faculty select participants based on application materials, admission requirements and a student interview.

Orientation Sessions: To prepare students for a smooth, safe and enriching experience, admitted SMU students are required to attend the scheduled program orientation meetings prior to departure. Session dates are organized by the program director.

All students receive a pre-departure guide and program-specific materials. Topics discussed are culture and course questions, as well as a review of required forms, travel plans and documents, currency and money issues, packing, insurance and safety. Students from other universities receive orientation summaries, including the guide and materials, by email.

Payment Information
There is a non-refundable deposit of $1,000 due by the deposit deadline of March 1. This deposit confirms acceptance, holds the student's place in the program and is applied towards the balance of the program fee. Students will make the deposit payment in Access.SMU using the regular University payment procedures.

Final Payment should be made as soon as possible, but no later than April 1.
After student have paid the non-refundable program deposit and returned your Course Enrollment Form (signed by you and your academic advisor) to the SMU Abroad Office, students will be registered for courses in Access.SMU. Once students have been registered, students can make final payment in Access.SMU using the regular University payment procedures.

Financial Aid
Students who receive financial aid or scholarships may be able to apply their aid package to SMU Abroad programs. All aid should be confirmed with the Office of Financial Aid.

SMU Abroad Cancellation and Refund Policy
A student who cancels enrollment or withdraws from an SMU Abroad program must notify the SMU Abroad office in writing. The effective date of cancellation is the date that SMU Abroad receives the written notification. It is not sufficient only to withdraw an application on-line.

A student who cancels enrollment or withdraws from a program forfeits the program deposit. The student may also be charged either a cancellation fee or the remainder of the published program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. These fees cover expenses incurred on behalf of the student up to the effective date of the cancellation (see below).



Summer Programs Non-refundable
Remainder of Program Fee
Prior to the payment due date $1000 -0- -0-
On or after payment due date, but before published start date $1000 $1000 -0-
On or after published program start date $1000 -0- 100%


Undergraduate SMU Abroad Programs are managed by:
International Center/SMU Abroad
Blanton Building, Suite 216
6185 Airline Drive
Dallas, TX 75205

Southern Methodist University does not discriminate in any education practice, education program or educational activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability or veteran status. SMU's commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

SMU Abroad reserves the right to change, at any time and without prior notice, any provision or requirement, including but not limited to, requirements, itineraries, courses, cancellation and refund policies.  Fees are subject to change due to inflation and/or fluctuating exchange rates.

SMU Abroad reserves the right to recall participants from international programs and to close programs whenever it determines that the health or safety of its participants may be of risk.

SMU Abroad is not responsible for any loss or damage that may occur when participants travel outside of scheduled program activities. In addition, independent participant travel before the start or after the conclusion of SMU Abroad programs is entirely at the individual's own expense and risk.


← Please note the available terms for this program.

Semester Programs:
The application for Fall 2015 will be available January 15-March 1. Please review the Application Instructions and Checklist.

Summer Programs:
The application for Summer 2015 will not be available until December 1.