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Drexel in Costa Rica: Healthcare in Latin America
San Jose, Costa Rica (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Vacation Summer,
Program Dates &
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Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
Budget Sheets Vacation Summer,
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
English, Spanish
Minimum Cumulative GPA:
Class Eligibility:
Freshman, Junior, Pre-Junior, Sophomore
Eligible Majors:
Biology Majors, International Area Studies, Nursing and Health Professions
Type of Program:
Free Standing
Housing Options:
Program Advisor:
Mary Hagenbach
Program Description:

 The Program

Drexel has partnered with the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) to offer 2 study abroad options for students in Nursing and Health ICDSProfessions, Pre-med, and Global Health: a 6 week summer vacation program for freshmen and an 10 week winter term program for sophomores, pre-juniors and juniors. Both options give students the opportunity to explore health care in a developing country while furthering their Spanish language skills and gaining an understanding of the life and culture of Costa Rica. Students will acquire the necessary language proficiency to work and interact with Spanish speaking patients and their families, as well as with colleagues in a Spanish-speaking environment. Having Spanish skills plus knowledge of Latin American health issues will better prepare any student for working with the large Hispanic population in the United States.

The Academics  

There are 2 distinct program options for students:

Summer Vacation Term Option
Click for coursework, dates, cost:
SU17 Vacation Healthcare in Latin America.pdf

* Takes place during summer vacation term
* 6 week program
* 2 courses for 9 pre-approved transfer credits (students pay ICDS directly for tuition and fees)
* On-site orientation, cultural activities, weekend excursions
* Community work in clinical rotation or social welfare services
* NO language pre-requisite

Winter Term Option
Click for coursework, dates, cost:
WI17 Healthcare in Latin America.pdf

* Takes place during winter academic term
* 10 week program
* 4 DU courses for 16 credits (students are registered at Drexel and pay regular DU tuition)
* On-site orientation, cultural activities, weekend excursions
* Community work in clinical rotation or social welfare services
* Students must take Spanish 101 or take a placement exam and place into Spanish 102 or higher.

Experiencing Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s capital, San José, is a cosmopolitan city with many cultural and recreational activities. It is located in Costa Rica's Central Plateau, ICDS healthsurrounded by beautiful mountains and volcanoes, and within driving distance to the Pacific coast and Atlantic coasts. The urban transportation system is quite efficient, and you can take a bus to just about anywhere in the country. Upon arrival, students receive an orientation, which provides students with insights and strategies to better manage the process of integration to a new cultural context, while allowing group interaction and integration.

Housing: Drexel students will be housed with a local host family in Costa Rica. Homestays are one of the most important parts of a student’s experience, facilitating immersion in and adaptation to the new culture and language, and helping students to integrate into local society. Host family relationships in Costa Rica tend to be intimate and supportive. At the same time they respect students´ private time and personal space. In order to assure students will have a great experience with their host families, ICDS has a Homestay Coordinator with a great deal of experience in the selection of host families and the placement of students with an appropriate host family, as well as of the follow-up on the student-family relationship to solve any problems that may arise.

Community Volunteer Opportunities: A unique part of the ICDS programs is volunteering in a local facility or community organization related to your field.  The volunteering continues the learning process beyond the classroom, by gaining first hand insight, exposure and experience in working with local populations. Spanish language skills are also strengthened through the volunteering.

Students will participate in 1 of 2 experiential learning placements. Both options take place twice per week for 3 – 4 hours.
--(Upper level Spanish required): Clinical rotation conducted at Hospital Clínica Bíblica (HCB), Costa Rica’s largest and most prestigious private hospital. Limited spots available.
--(Beginner/Intermediate Spanish): Community work in social welfare services.

Co-op Option: This option is only available to students who study abroad at ICDS. Students who achieve high intermediate Spanish language are eligible to pursue a co-op in Costa Rica. ICDS will facilitate the placement of Drexel students in co-op positions relevant to their field. Students may choose to fulfill a co-op in Costa Rica for 6 months, or 3 months in Costa Rica and 3 months in the US. Co-op’ing in Costa Rica gives students international work experience, allows them to use Spanish in real life situations, and give students deeper understanding of Latin American health care, culture, and communities.

Students who study abroad during winter term of their junior year may opt to remain in Costa Rica for co-op, thereby having an extended immersion experience. Students who participate during sophomore or pre-junior year may return during junior year to complete their 3rd co-op in Costa Rica.

ICDS health2Spanish Minor: Any Nursing and Health Professions students who are considering a minor in Spanish should take advantage of this program and discuss with the Modern Languages Department how the Medical Spanish coursework taken in Costa Rica can help toward the completion of their minor.

Visa for Entry: It is necessary to have a valid passport (at least six months before expiration date) to travel to Costa Rica. NO ENTRY VISA IS NEEDED for American and Canadian students --as well as for those of a few other nationalities-- only a valid passport and proof of a return ticket. In the cases when student visas are needed, ICDS and the International Office of ULatina provide students with step by step assistance to obtain the required document. For students who choose study+co-op, a visa will be required.

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2017 10/31/2016 ** Rolling Admission 01/02/2017 03/20/2017
Vacation Summer 2017 03/01/2017 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
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