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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2021 03/01/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Fall 2021 03/01/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: Spanish Minimum Grade Point Average: 2.5
Areas of Study: Culture, Ecology, Economics, Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies, Sociology, Spanish Housing Options: Homestay
KU Program Type: Short-Term Provider: Kutztown U
Program Description:

A unique program in Central America that combines Spanish-language study with environmental, sustainability, and social justice studies. Live with a local family and immerse yourself in the language and culture. Intensive language study, internships, and more.


City: San José, Costa Rica
Population: 334,000

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Situated on the Central American isthmus, Costa Rica is a small peaceful country with unique characteristics. It is an ecological bridge for thousands of animal and plant species from both North and South America. Costa Rica shelters within its valleys, plains, and mountains a valuable part of the natural richness of the world:

  • 205 species of mammals
  • 849 species of birds
  • 160 species of amphibians
  • 218 species of reptiles
  • 9,000 species of plants

The vast system of national parks encompass both beautiful beaches and tropical rainforests. ICADS is located only fifteen minutes by bus from downtown San José, the capital of Costa Rica. The center is close to the campus of the University of Costa Rica, one of the best universities in Central America. The San Pedro and Curridibat areas of San José are quiet and residential. However, their proximity to the university makes a variety of restaurants and bookstores easily accessible.


ICADS website

Programs Offered

ICADS offers the following types of programs:

  • Semester
  • Short-term language intensive
  • Internship 


The Institute for Central American Development Studies (ICADS) was founded 25 years ago. It was created to fill information gap in foreign policy between North American citizens and their governments. ICADS is a center for study, research, and analysis of Central American social and environmental issues.

The major objectives of the ICADS Spanish language program are consistent with the philosophy and goals of the institute. Teaching is done with an emphasis on learning about the politics, social conditions, environmental issues, and human rights in Central America today. ICADS supplements intensive conversation, grammar and practice with guest lectures, and discussions on the environment, culture, political processes, women’s issues, and economic development.

Students come to ICADS from all over North America and Europe. They represent all age groups, educational levels, job, and professions. They all share a sensitivity to the myriad problems facing Central America and desire to learn more about the region and it’s people through language training and participation in the culture. ICADS instructors are highly qualified native speakers with years of experience teaching students of all age groups and levels. All professors attend regular workshops that emphasize creative uses of new materials and teaching techniques.


ICADS arranges homestays with Costa Rican families for all students. The host family provides a private room, three meals a day, and laundry service for the students. More information is available on the ICADS website.


Spanish Intensives:
High Season
(January, February, May, June, & July): $1,990*
Low Season (March, April, August, November, & December) $1,790

Summer Internship: $4,875
Semester/Internship/Field programs: $12,150

*additional 10% off of price offered when you study at ICADS for additional months of Spanish intensive programs

What's included: Airport pick-up, classes, books, field trips, activities, lectures, volunteer placements, community service activities, room, partial board, and laundry service.

Additional expenses

Flight: Round-trip airfare to/from San José, Costa Rica is not included in the program fee.

Application Fee: $50.00

Airport Transport: Students must arrange their own transportation to the San Jose airport at the conclusion of their program.

Accident & Illness Insurance: All students are required to purchase GeoBlue study abroad insurance that is valid for the entire duration of the study abroad program. The cost is $13.40 per week, with a two-week minimum purchase. Kutztown University, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and individuals associated with the ICADS Program in Costa Rica are not legally responsible for the personal well-being of students who choose to participate in the Program.  

Passport: Processing time is currently 6-8 weeks for new and renewed passports. The cost is $110.00. More information at the U.S. Department of State website.


Students must have a valid passport prior to program departure. U.S. citizens may enter Costa Rica as a visitor for up to 90 days without a visa.


Students who participate in this program are governed by the Kutztown University rules and regulations as stipulated by the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Undergraduate Catalog and The Key: Student Handbook.  In addition, all US and Costa Rican codes of conduct and customs must be respected.  Kutztown University, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the KU Office of International Admissions and Services, and the Program Director are neither responsible nor liable for the conduct of students.


Dr. Carolina Moctezuma
KU-ICADS Program Director
Department of Modern Language Studies

Merlene Oswald
Secretary, Department Modern Language Studies