Valpo’s newest study center is located in San José, Costa Rica. Ms. Heidi Michelsen, an alumna of Valparaiso University (Theology and Christ College), and head of the Praxis Center which hosts the Valpo study center, serves as the permanent Resident Director. All students are housed in homestays which allows for increase immersion experience.
Internships are available in the fields of:
- Healthcare: small primary care clinics, small hospitals, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, dentistry, rehabilitation, alcohol & substance abuse, etc.
- Social work/psychology: agencies and programs involved with: women, domestic violence, LGBTQ issues, AIDS, children, immigrants, substance abuse, etc.
- Government & international agencies: Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica, Habitat for Humanity, etc.
- Education: schools, day care centers, after school programs
- Religion: programs with children and youth, music
- Business, small business, cooperatives, larger companies
- Engineering: alternative energy - wind, solar, geo-thermal energy etc.
- Make up your own! **Work with Heidi as early as possible so that she can work to find a suitable placement.
Students will take some Spanish language and also complete an internship in Costa Rica. All majors are encouraged to participate, as the internship can be tailored to your field of study or personal interests. Students are encouraged to work with Ms. Michelson as early as possible to begin sharing goals and preferences for internships so that she can begin working on securing placements.
Dates are flexible and set based on individual student needs and preferences. Students may spend anywhere from 4-10 weeks in Costa Rica depending on time and credit hour requirements or desire.
Application Requirements and Deadlines
You must have at least sophomore standing. 3.0 cumulative GPA is preferred, but students must have a minimum of 2.75. The equivalent of two semesters of college-level Spanish are recommended, but not required. Students who place into Spanish 203 or 204, or who have taken those classes before the term abroad, are ideal for this program.
The application deadline for Summer 2017 is March 1, 2017. Applications will be reviewed by the Resident Director, and the Spanish Department alongside the Office of International Programs study abroad staff after the deadline has passed. Once a decision has been made, applicants will be notified via their Valpo e-mail.
Click the "Apply Now" button at the top of this page to begin an application.
See the Budget Sheet above. Students pay the same tuition they would pay at Valpo. During the summer tuition is charged on a per-credit basis. Be sure to meet with your Financial Aid Advisor to determine the exact cost and learn about any financial aid options that may be available to you. Students also pay a program fee that covers intensive Spanish instruction, on-site orientation, internship placement, honestays including laundry and two meals per day, and 24/7 staff assistance.See the below for program fee rates:
- 4 week program: $2,000 (with 4 weeks of intensive Spanish and internship - 3 credits)
- 6 week program: $2,500 (with 4 weeks of intensive Spanish and internship - 3 credits)
- 8 week program: $3,000 (with 4 weeks of intensive Spanish and internship - work with department for credit amount)
- 8 week program: $3,500 (with 8 weeks of intensive Spanish and internship - work with department for credit amount)
- 10 week program: $3,500 (with 4 weeks of intensive Spanish and internship - work with department for credit amount)
- 10 week program: $4,000 (with 8 weeks of intensive Spanish and internship - work with department for credit amount)
Students will be responsible for purchasing their own airfare. The Study Abroad Office is happy to offer support as necessary including soliciting quotes for flights from a travel agent, and/or connecting students with reputable travel agents.
The estimate for spending money will vary greatly depending on personal spending habits. This would include personal items, additional personal travel, restaurant meals, shopping, and other activities such as going to movies, concerts, etc. This estimate found in the budget sheet is based on average spending and students should estimate for themselves based on their individual spending habits.
Program Contact Information
Study Abroad Advising:
Erin Kunert - Associate Director of Study Abroad Programs
Office: Gandhi-King Center, Union 2nd floor
Phone: (219) 464-5333
Contact Erin with administrative questions about application, registration, program cost, etc.
Contact the Resident Director with questions about courses, or specific information about the Center
Phone: (011) 506-8647-0436 (Cell)
(011) 506-2244-8965 (House)
Apply for a Passport
Passports need to be valid for at least six months past the program’s end date. As part of the application, students must upload a copy of a valid passport, or a receipt or similar proof that the student has submitted a passport application. Information on how to apply for a passport can be found here.