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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: San Pedro, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
Studying and Teaching Abroad - May 27 - June 10, 2018

Scatter students at school


Program Overview

USF’s two-week cultural program in Costa Rica is designed to accelerate and enhance students’ knowledge of education in Costa Rica. By participating in this intensive cross-cultural study, students participate in a global experience, and make progress while meeting summer enrollment graduation requirements. The program features an immersion into Costa Rican culture while teaching in K-12 classrooms, visiting cultural landmarks, accompanied by USF professors in pleasant facilities. 

Scatter student & school kids


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Costa Rica boasts a wealth of natural scenic beauty and a pleasant climate year-round. San Jose, the program site, is the capital and geographical heart of Costa Rica. The language institute ILISA in San Jose, where students will meet, is situated in the center of the city and is close to museums, parks, a wide variety of cafes, restaurants, and shopping centers. Because Costa Rica has no military, their government invests in culture and education; therefore, students will have a rich cultural experience.

Costa Rica's academic year begins in February and ends in November, allowing for USF students to visit Costa Rican K-12 classrooms in session. A very economical and reliable city bus system allows participants to travel between the city and the suburbs a short distance away, where many of the program's homestay accommodations are located. On day-out excursions from the city, participants will experience the contrasts and variety of scenery in the region around San Jose, the Central Valley. Weekend travel will allow time for travel to Costa Rica's famous volcanoes and immense tropical forest reserves.

Scatter students in forest


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Host Institution

ILISA building

This program partners with ILISA which assists with coordinating the housing, transportation, and visits to Costa Rican K-12 classes, museums, libraries, a theatre, markets, bookstores, and a publishing house.
ILISA is in a wonderful part of the capital city of San Jose called San Pedro. It is located in 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 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.
ILISA has an onsite open-air terrace cafeteria serving food and coffee all day – all freshly made, local, Costa Rican cuisine.


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Academic Program and Course Information

The students who attend this program in Costa Rica will receive purposeful cross-cultural instruction from their professor, experience cross-cultural learning with their host families, have hands-on experience teaching, will interact with Costa Ricans, while journaling and engaging in various assignments.

Students must take one of the following courses:
EDE4943 Alternative Setting Field Experience 
LAE 4469 or LAE 6467 World Literature for Teachers
EDF 3604 Schools and Society 
EDF 2085 Education, Diversity, and Global Society
EDE 4905: Independent Study (1-3 credits)
EDG 6931: Independent Study (1-3 credits)

How to complete the REQUIRED Course Approval Form:

  1. Download the required  Course Approval Form: CAF Studying & Teaching Abroad 201805
  2. Select your course(s) on the form,
  3. Get your academic advisor’s signature, and
  4. Upload your completed form to the Course Approval Form Questionnaire

Scatter student on cart


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Dr. Joan F. Kaywell, Professor of English Education and a Florida native, received her BAE, M. Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of Florida. She has been working at the University of South Florida since 1987 and currently serves as the Director of SCATTER, the COEDU’s Honors Program. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in English teaching methods and specializes in young adult (YA) literature. She has received numerous teaching awards as well as the NCTE Conference on English Leadership (CEL) Exemplary Leadership Award, the Ted Hipple Service Award by the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE, and the FCTE Joan F. Kaywell “Books Save Lives” Book Award.

Dr. Jennifer Jacobs received her doctorate in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education from the University of Florida. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at University of South Florida. She coordinates the Elementary Education Undergraduate cohort program and the Elementary Education doctoral program. She teaches courses in critical pedagogy, teacher education, and supervises undergraduate students in field experiences. Her research centers on how to facilitate the development of equity-centered pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and teacher educators.  Her focus within this area includes clinically-rich teacher education, teacher inquiry/action research, and teacher leadership.

Dr. Lauren Braunstein (Former Dr. Isaac) , Instructor of Social Foundations, received in BA in Spanish, her MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), and her doctorate in Curriculum and Cultural Studies. She teaches Diversity for Educators courses at USF and studies bilingual education in K-12 contexts. Dr. Braunstein has a background in teaching Spanish and ESOL at the elementary, high school, and adult school levels. In terms of her research, she investigates the role of language ideologies within multilingual educational settings, specifically within Dual Language (Two-Way Immersion) bilingual schools. She is primarily concerned with students’ linguistic performances of identity in schools. 


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Program Costs

Program Cost: $2,254 + tuition for Summer course affiliated to trip

Accompaniment and on-site program direction by USF instructor
Homestay accommodations with breakfast and dinner daily
Museum and Excursion entrance fees
Health Insurance
Farewell Dinner

Not Included:
International Airfare (estimate $350-550)
Personal spending (lunches at $3-5; entertainment to vary by individual)


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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. Also, the cultural experience is much enhanced by daily interaction with the homestay families. Another advantage of homestay lodging is that it includes breakfast and dinner daily, thereby making the program more economical for the student. Internet access should not be expected at the homestay residences, but is available at the institute and at plentiful internet cafes.


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Who Can Participate?

Students taking one of the following courses:
EDE4943 Alternative Setting Field Experience 
LAE 4469 or LAE 6467 World Literature for Teachers
EDF 3604 Schools and Society (Education majors or minors)
EDF 2085 Education, Diversity, and Global Society
A one-hour independent study with Dr. Kaywell can be created upon request 


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How and When to Pay

Please click here for further details regarding payment.

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Getting There

Students will be responsible for reserving and purchasing their own international transportation to and from Juan Santamaria International Airport. The USF Education Abroad Office will inform the students of Dr. Kaywell and Dr. Jacobs' flight schedule. It is highly advised that program participants travel on this flight, as this is the arriving and departing flight schedule that ILISA will use to determine the group ground transportation to and from the airport. Participants who choose to travel on other flights must arrange to arrive at the airport in Costa Rica at approximately the same time or earlier than Dr. Kaywell and Dr. Jacobs' flight. Otherwise, they will have to arrange for transportation by taxi to and from the airport which can be approximately $50 each way.


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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

Questions regarding the program's academics:

Dr. Jennifer Jacobs
Office: EDU105

Dr, Lauren Braunstein
Office: EDU381L
Phone: (813) 974-8105

Questions regarding study abroad, program enrollment, registration and payment of fees:

Nancy Di Bella

Education Abroad Office
University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CGS 101
Tampa, Florida 33620-5550
Phone: (813) 974-4314 | Fax: (813) 974-4613



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This program is currently not accepting applications.