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San Jose, Costa Rica

Program Description

Costa Rica has a well-regarded healthcare system, which is arguably the best in Latin America. This program will focus on a Health Sciences and Health Professions course, Global Health (HTH 368). Students will have the opportunity to explore the Costa Rican healthcare system in settings in the capital city. Through these applied learning experiences as well as classroom learning, students will draw comparisons between the Costa Rican and US healthcare systems. 

Courses will be taught in San José, Costa Rica. In addition to classroom learning, active learning opportunities include guest lectures, site visits, and shadowing at a local hospital. 

HTH 368 Course Description: This course will provide students with an opportunity to critically examine and explore a wide range of social, economic, and demographic themes in international health. Focus will be given to the evolution of major causes of disease, the ecology and etiology of major infections and chronic diseases, and the social and economic consequences of changes in mortality and health. In addition, programs designed to affect health conditions will be examined. 

No prerequisites.

Location Description

San José, Costa Rica has a population of nearly 340,000 and is the country's capital and largest city. It is a vibrant hub with world-class museums, parks, hotels, theaters, and historic buildings. Located in the Central Valley, it is close to rainforests, national parks, biological reserves and sandy beaches.


Dr. Suzanne Grossman | | Health Sciences


Students will be housed in homestay accommodations with local families during the program, with 1-8 students per household. Internet access is available in homestays. Homestay families live within 15-30 minutes walking distance from program facilities.

Breakfast and dinner will be provided to students in their homestay accommodations. Lunch is not included as it gives students choice and flexibility for lunch plans. The program also includes a welcome and farewell meal.

Additional Items to Consider

A Passport that is valid for at least 6 months after program end date is required. Visas are not required for students holding U.S. passports. However, please note that all visitors to Costa Rica are expected to pay an airport exit tax of $30 USD upon departure from Costa Rica, which are not included in program costs.

Students are required to have a cell phone that functions in Costa Rica.

Airport pick-up at Juan Santamaría International - San José (Airport code: SJO) for students arriving on the official program arrival date will be provided. Return transportation to the airport on the program end date is included.

Cultural activities included in the the program are: an overnight excursion to Monteverde (2 days/1 night), a walking tour of San José, and a coffee tour.

COVID-19 Location Information:

Each country has different requirements upon entry with regard to COVID-19. Please check this website for the most up-to-date information on what is required for the country (or countries) that are part of this program. Please note that this changes often, so we encourage you to check back frequently.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Basic Spanish skills would be helpful in this program; Intermediate level of Spanish preferred; some activities may need to be modified if the student does not speak Spanish.

Rising sophomores through graduating seniors. Open to all majors.

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short essay 
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


HTH 368: Global Health (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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