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Education in Costa Rica: Literacy and Curriculum in a Global Community


San Jose, Costa Rica

Program Description

Students will complete a required education course as well as an elective to strengthen student skill sets in working with English Language Learners. Students will experience teaching and learning with local Costa Rican students. Host families will provide a rich cultural experience as students live and share meals with local families. The program will be divided into two phases. The first phase consists of three weeks taking courses at the University of Peace as well as focusing on cultural assimilation. The second phase will consist of project-based learning in a rural school implementing service projects developed in the first phase.

Location Description

The location for this trip is the University of Peace, established by UNESCO to provide peace education, promote sustainability, and to encourage diversity in education. The University of Peace is approximately 17 miles southwest of San Jose, Costa Rica within a nature reserve in the central valley of Costa Rica. The University of Peace campus shelters mammals such as monkeys and deer; reptiles; and over 300 species of birds, as well as approximately 100 varieties of trees.


Douglas Loveless | | COE, Elementary Education and Reading Education
Jen Newton | | COE, Exceptional Education


Accommodations will be provided through residence halls/dormitories and host families, with two meals per day provided in the program fee.

Additional Items to Consider

There is a Passports Departure tax of $29.

You should work with your cell phone provider to ensure cellular service or purchase a phone card in Costa Rica.

This program is targeted to the College of Education IECE TESOL 5th year MAT students in EERE, MSME.

Application Process

For this program, students are required to submit the following material(s):

  • JMU Short-Term Application Form

  • A supplemental essay addressing the following question:
    "What are your goals for this trip?"
  • Attend an interview with the program directors prior to the application deadline: Douglas Loveless | | COE, Elementary Education and Reading Education  -and-  Jen Newton  |  | COE, Exceptional Education

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 3.0.

For more detailed instructions and to download the application, please click on the following link to the Applications and Forms section for JMU Short-Term Programs.

Official transcript required for first-semester transfer students and non-JMU students.

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


READ 435: Literacy Development and Instruction for ELLs (3 credits)

READ 501: Workshop in Reading: Literacy Development and Instruction for ELLs (3 credits)

READ 590: Literacy Across the Curriculum (3 credits)

READ 635: Literacy Development and Instruction for ELLs (3 credits)