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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: San Pedro, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Eligibility: Please see below for requirements.
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 07/20/2018
Rolling Admission 08/05/2018 08/11/2018

** 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.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Program Description:

Waterfall La Paz

Program Overview


The Summer Academic and Cultural Engagement Program (ACE) is designed to facilitate a purposeful transition from high school to college for new incoming freshmen. Through four weeks of academic courses and social activities both on campus and abroad, ACE provides an introduction to the culture of USF, the city of Tampa, and gives students an Education Abroad experience their first semester!

ACE Costa Rica will be a one week experience in which students will stay in the home of local families as they engage with professors on the history and lifestyle of Costa Rica.  This unique experience gives the students the opportunity to share with a Costa Rican family as a cultural living lab; students will learn Latin American and Costa Rican idiosyncrasy, by observing their daily activities, interests, lifestyle and more.

As part of this program students will attend lectures with key topics that determine the current life style of Costa Rica including:

  • Latin American and Costa Rican Gastronomy
  • Costa Rican Health System 
  • Cutlural Exchange with Costa Rican Students
This unique experience gives the students the opportunity to share with a Costa Rican family as a cultural living lab. Students will learn Latin American and Costa Rican idiosyncrasy by observing their daily living, interests, sharing their culture during breakfast and dinner, and much more.

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Students at waterfall

Costa Rica boasts a wealth of natural scenic beauty and a pleasant climate year-round.  San Pedro, the program site, is in the capital and geographical heart of Costa Rica. Students attend classes at the institute situated close to museums, parks, a wide variety of cafes and restaurants, and shopping centers.  Homestay accommodations are located within walking distance of the institute. Excursions outside the city allow participants to experience the contrasts and variety of scenery in the Central Valley, and be immensed in tropical forest reserves.


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Host Institution

This program partners with ILISA which assists with coordinating the housing, transportation, lectures and visits to museums, site seeing, and excursions.

ILISA is located in a wonderful part of the capital city called San Pedro which is a very quiet neighborhood, very close to the University of Costa Rica. There are many things to do and places to eat in the area. ILISA's facility is a gorgeous and comfortable place to study. On a nice day, you can have your class in one of their outdoor classrooms, in their relaxing garden overlooking the mountains. It has an onsite open-air terrace cafeteria serving food and coffee all day – all freshly made, local, Costa Rican cuisine.

ILISA offers the perfect opportunity to combine field trips, lectures and culturally oriented activities with the unforgettable experience of sharing 8 days with a Costa Rica family, being completely immersed in the culture. This program will allow students to know and understand Latin-American culture better while learning about the culture and history of Costa Rica.

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Academic Program and Course Information

ANT2410-Cultural Anthropology  - 3 credit hours 

SLS 1101 - University Experience - 3 credit hours

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Daniel Lende will be the Cultural Anthropology professor
Kimberly Read will be the University Experience Instructor. Her contact information is; (813) 974-4487.


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Program Costs

Paid through tuition

Included in the cost:
Airfare Tampa-Costa Rica-Tampa
Lodging and meals
Museum Entrance Fees
Emergency Health and Evacuation Insurance

Not included in the cost:
Personal expenses
Passport fees


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Living Arrangements

The program uses homestay accommodations in which students live with local families carefully selected by ILISA. This arrangement provides a more in-depth understanding of the daily life of Costa Ricans, who are noted for their friendliness. Another advantage of homestay lodging is that it includes breakfast and dinner daily, thereby making the program more economical for the student. 

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Who Can Participate?

Freshmen participating in the Academic and Cultural Engagement Program (ACE).


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How and When to Pay

Please click here for further details regarding payment.

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Getting There

Airfare Tampa-Costa Rica-Tampa is included in the cost of the program.

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Medical Insurance and Travel Documentation

USF provides program participants with sickness/accident and emergency medical evacuation insurance valid for the dates of the program. Those who will travel independently, either in advance of the program or after the program ends, must ensure that they have insurance coverage valid outside the U.S.

Please click here for more detailed information.

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Safety & Health

Participant's safety and well-being are paramount to USF. Please click here for detailed country-specific safety and health information given in our Country Study Report. Make sure to read up on country-specific information on the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.

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Financial Aid and Scholarship Funding

Many funding opportunities are available to USF students who are planning to study abroad. Please see our funding page for further details.

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Special Terms

Students should carefully review the Education Abroad Participant Contract, included in the Education Abroad application process. It describes students' responsibilities with regard to participation, and includes information on insurance, and cancellation and refund policies. Students will be asked to electronically sign this document. To view this document before applying, please click here.

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Contacts for More Information

For administrative questions:

Owen Hooper
Innovative Education
Summer and Intersession
(813) 974-6917

Nancy Di Bella
Education Abroad, USF World
(813) 974-1969


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This program is currently not accepting applications.