Cover Photo Image


San Jose, Costa Rica

Program Description

In this nursing and healthcare professions course, students from various majors will explore the health needs and the health and human services delivery system in Costa Rica, as well as the history, culture, and beauty of this Central American Country. Students will examine issues that impact health in the U.S.A. and Costa Rica and the roles of health care professionals in the delivery of healthcare. This immersion experience includes home stay with a host family and Spanish language study.

Courses will be taught in Costa Rica, primarily in San Jose. Students will observe and interact with Costa Rican healthcare workers at hospitals and clinics in San Jose and the surrounding community. Spanish language classes are held in a classroom and taught by language instructors.   

Option for Current Licensed Nurses

This study abroad is also open to students who are practicing, licensed nurses and currently enrolled in the JMU RN-BSN Nursing program. Completion of this study abroad will successfully meet the hour requirement for Nursing 466- Community Practicum. RN-BSN students must be enrolled in NUR 469 concurrently.

Students in the RN-BSN program will complete either NSG 490: Nursing and Healthcare in Costa Rica: An Interprofessional Perspective for 2 credits by completing a 2 week Study Abroad, or for 3 credits by attending all three weeks of the trip.

All RN-BSN students will complete NSG 490L: Community Clinical Health Practicum (1 credit).

Course Info

NSG 360 - This course will meet general elective credit requirements, as well as chronic illness minor and medical Spanish minor credit requirements.

Location Description

San José is the capital of Costa Rica and the nation's largest city. Located in the Central Valley, San José is a large city, the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation.

Located in Costa Rica's Central Valley, San Jose is close to rainforests, national parks, biological reserves, rafting rivers, colorful sandy beaches, open-air markets, shops, a wide variety of restaurants, coffee houses, art and music festivals, and museums. The population of San José Canton is 365,799, comprises a third of the country's population, and is considered to be one of the safest and less violent cities in the region.

Week three of the program will include travel to areas outside of San Jose to experience some of the rich culture of Costa Rica.


Tammy Kiser | | Nursing

Janice Gandy | | Nursing


Students will be housed with host families during weeks one and two of the program. Week three accommodations will be in hotels, 3-4 persons per room.

Students will be provided breakfast and dinner in their host family accommodations, and lunches will be provided by the program for first two weeks. On excursions and over the weekends students may need to pay for their meals.

Additional Items to Consider

Transportation to all program activities will be provided.

All students must provide a copy of their passports and immunization records.

It is strongly suggested that the student have a basic knowledge of conversational Spanish. All students will improve Spanish speaking ability.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.5

RN-BSN students must be enrolled in NUR469 concurrently.

This program is best intended for Pre-Professional Health programs.

Application Process

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

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 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


NSG 360: Special Studies in Nursing: Nursing and Healthcare in Costa Rica- An Inter-professional Perspective (4 credits)

NSG 360: Nursing and Healthcare in Costa Rica: An Inter professional Perspective (2 credits) *For RN/BSN students only - 2 weeks

NSG 360: Nursing and Healthcare in Costa Rica: An Inter professional Perspective (3 credits) *For RN/BSN students only - 3 weeks

NSG 367: Community Health Clinical Practicum (1 credit) *all RN/BSN students

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.


Back to Top