Office of Study Abroad and Outreach

WISE Costa Rica

WISE Costa Rica

Western Illinois Spanish Experience--Costa Rica (WISE Costa Rica) gives you a four-week immersion in Spanish language and culture while also providing on-site guidance and mentoring by a Foreign Languages and Literatures faculty member.  Excursions and tours provide greater understanding of Costa Rican history and culture.  Lodging with host families improves your Spanish proficiency and gives you opportunities to make life-long connections.      

Program Details
Location(s)  San José, Costa Rica
Term   Summer 2019
Credit   SPAN 361 & SPAN 499, 6 hrs total    
Class Sessions On-site
Travel Dates June 2-30, 2019
Housing   Host families, hotels (for excursions)
Passport Required
Program Eligibility
GPA 2.5
Hours completed 12
Student Judicial Good status
Grad credit No 
Non-WIU   No 
Pre-requisite None 
Student Year Undergraduates (Freshmen through Seniors)

About Program

Entry Requirements

Passport required - Must be valid until at least October 1, 2019

Visa required if not a US citizen. It is your responsibility to check the Embassy of Costa Rica website for more information.  Visa cost not included in program cost. 


All travelers must pay Costa Rica exit tax before departure.  Current cost: $29   not included in program cost

Health Insurance

You must have health insurance for the time you are on your program.  Only two options are approved to meet this requirement:

Health Precautions

Walking/mobility/travel - Expect to walk 1-2 miles per day, mostly in an urban environment.  Walking on  excursions varies in length and intensity.  It is not consecutive but scheduled throughout the day, sometimes be over uneven terrain, hills and up/down flights of stairs.  You will also be responsible for moving your own luggage.

Environmental - Excursions and some portions of the progrma will be conducted outside.  Average temperatures in San José during this time are from mid-60's at night to the 80's during the day.  Humidity levels can be high.  Sun protection is strongly recommended.

Zika - Cases of Zika virus have been reported in Costa Rica.  Pregnant women should not travel to Costa Rica.   All other travelers should read about traveling to areas with Zika on the CDC website and discuss any concerns with your health care provider.

Dietary - Some meals are included in the program cost. Contact Kim McDaniel if you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions. 

Accessibility and accommodation are very different than that found in the United States.  Please contact the Disability Resource Center for questions on the availability of accommodations for your specific situation.

PLEASE NOTE   It is your responsibility to request accommodation from the DRC; faculty and staff are not legally permitted to inquire about such needs.  Requests should be made as early as possible so there's sufficient time to arrange accommodations in your location.

Costs & Dates

Estimated Cost* $4,400-$4,700
Included in the program
  • Round trip airfare from Chicago
  • In-country transportation
  • Lodging--homestays (two students per family) and hotels on excursions (up to three people per room)
  • Entry fees to scheduled sites
  • Some meals
Application Deadline EXTENDED!!  March 3, 2019
Application Fee
$75 due March 28, 2019
Non-refundable deposit $1,500 due March29, 2019
Final payment* $2,900-3,200 due April 26, 2019

* Costs subject to change based on student enrollment. 

WIU reserves the right to adjust the cost or arrangements of this program due to insufficient enrollment or circumstances beyond the University's control.  For details about this or individual withdrawals, see Cancellations and Withdrawals.

Important Dates

Passport copy deadline: April 1, 2019  Failure to meet this deadline will result in removal from the group flight and increased costs. 

Pre-departure meeting: TBA, Spring 2019


Credit offered

SPAN 361 - Taught by Margarita Obregon 

Spanish language courses - Taught by Universidad Veritas instructors.  Veritas placement determined by Foreign Languages based on pre-departure placement tests (online written exam and Skype oral interview) administered by Veritas staff. 

Participation in this program counts as upper-division departmental electives for FL majors/minors.  Helps fulfill Study Abroad requirement for Spanish Teacher Education majors.  Option for Foreign Languages/Global Issues graduation requirement. 

Please check with your academic advisor for more information on how this Course fits your specific academic needs.

  • Improve your speaking/listening and reading/writing skills in Spanish in a total language and cultural immersion environment
  • Learn aspects of Costa Rican culture not easily gained from traditional classroom instruction--habits, food, traditions, etc.--by living with a host family 
  • Experience unique components of Costa Rican culture first-hand such as the influence of nature and the environment, a more relaxed way of living, and many more

Class sessions

Active class participation, including contribution to discussions and attendance, is expected in all phases of the Program.  Students are responsible for completing assignments including readings and discussion participation, attendance and active participation during on-site visits, guest lectures and activities.  Questions about academic content should be directed to Margarita Obregon.  

Student testimonials

Coming soon!  







Contact Us

Kim McDaniel
For Faculty Led

Horrabin Room 8


Margarita Obregon
Faculty leader

Morgan Room 305D


Information Sessions

January 30, 3-4 pm, Morgan 330