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  • Locations: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Program Description:
Program Overview | Academics | Program Calendar | Program Fee | More Information

Spring Break in Costa Rica:
World Health Systems


Program Overview

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has partnered with the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) to offer graduate students the opportunity to experience firsthand the Costa Rican Health Care System. Through a series of site visits and lectures by local experts, students will be able to observe in a variety of health care facilities and gain perspectives from local health care professionals on the successes and challenges of delivering health care in Costa Rica. The program will be largely based at the Hospital Clínica Bíblica, the largest and most comprehensive private hospital in Costa Rica and the only Joint Commission certified hospital in Central America.  

The objectives of this course are to analyze the structure of Costa Rica’s healthcare system as a system that embraces and integrates the philosophy of public health. Students will learn about the various programs that specifically address health outcomes and how these programs are integrated into care provided in various settings.

Student testimonial: "The (program) was truly an awesome experience. I learned so much about healthcare, the beautiful Costa Rican culture, and even some things about myself. Additionally, it has inspired a new trajectory in my career pursuits. I am grateful for the experience and hope to participate in trips like this throughout my academic endeavors. " Effie Mathew, senior, Biological Sciences major

NOTE: while the deadline for Spring 2023 has passed, we can still accept late applications on a case-by-case basis until December 22. Please email Lauren Steinberg at to open a late application. 


Eligibility: CNHP undergraduate (Juniors and Seniors ONLY) and graduate students. 

Credit / Registration

Graduate students
have the option of taking the course as a 1 or 3-credit course, and will be billed per credit. The credit is not optional. Students must information the professor during the application process if they prefer to take this course as a 1 or 3 credit course.  ​Graduate students in other schools/colleges with relevant background are also eligible to apply. Graduate students will be registered for IPS T580 as part of their spring term courseload. 

Advanced undergraduate students are also eligible to apply for this program. They will be registered for IPS T580 for 3 credits. Undergraduate students must leave space for the 3 credit in their spring term credit load or will have to pay for exceeding the 20 credit maximum. 

Instructor: Constance K. Perry, PhD, HEC-C

Program CalendarHospitalClinicaBiblicaSJCR

Arrival Date: Saturday, March 25, 2023
Departure Date: Saturday, April 2, 2023

2023 Tentative Itinerary  

Day 1      Arrival in San Jose - individual arrangements for transportation to hotel
 Welcome Dinner at Cafe Kracovia
Day 2  Day Trip to Tortuga Island
Day 3  8:00 am – 4:30 pm
 Option 1: Guided visit to Poás volcano, coffee tour & lunch at Doka Estate coffee    plantation and processing plant
Option 2 (if visit to volcano is not possible): Day visit to La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Day 4  AM: Introduction and tour of Hospital Clínica Bíblica
 Lecture #1: Review of Healthcare System in Costa Rica: Public-  Private    
 model of health care
 PM: Visit First Level of Care Clinic (EBAIS)
 Visit Second Level of Care clinic (CAIS)
 Evening: time off
Day 5  9:00-11:00 am
 Guided city tour of San Jose and time off downtown
 PM: Lecture #2: Vulnerable Populations
 Lecture #3: CR’s Aging Population's Chronic Diseases
 Salsa lessons at Rincon Salsero Dance Academy
Day 6  AM: Visit Children's Hospital
 Lecture #4: Preventative Services in Children, at Children’s Hospital
 PM: 2:30-4:30pm
 Community work session at health-related facility. 
Evening: time off
Day 7  AM: Lecture #5: Comparative Health Care Systems in Latin America
 Lecture #6: Incidence of Breast & Cervical Cancer
 Visit Women’s Health Hospital
Visit Third Level of Care Hospital, Trauma Hospital
 Evening: 6:00-8:00 pm
 Typical Costa Rican cuisine lesson and dinner
Day 8  AM: Lecture #7: Mental Health in Costa Rica
 Lecture #8: Medical Tourism in Costa Rica
 PM: Visit Psychiatric Hospital
Return to hotel and time off for personal activities
 Evening: Farewell Dinner
Day 9  Departure for the US – individual arrangements for transportation to airport


 Program Fee - $1,930

Due November 15, 2022 - $500 Advance Payment + $25 application fee
Due January 15, 2023 - $1,430 Final Payment
*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.

Included in Program Fee:

  • Double occupancy lodging*
  • Welcome and Farewell dinners
  • Breakfasts
  • One additional dinner
  • Cultural activities and tours included on the itinerary
  • All guest lectures and site visits
  • Transportation to program site visits and activities
  • Cooking class

Estimated Costs Not Included in Program Fee:

  • Tuition: (per credit tuition will apply for graduate students)CR ICA
  • Airfare:  estimated $1000 from PHL
  • Additional Meals: estimated  $300
    (lunch is available at the Hospital's cafeteria at student's expense)
  • Course materials: $100
  • Airport transfer: $75
  • Spending money: $200

ICA Financial Aid: Students may request an Adjusted Cost of Attendance by submitting the ICA program fee and estimated out of pocket expenses listed above to Drexel Central (via askdrexel). Doing so could make students’ eligible for additional financial aid.  Students may also be eligible to apply for Drexel's ICA Scholarships.

More Information

  • Visas are not required for US citizens. Students of other nationalities are responsible for obtaining a visa if required for the program.
  • Here is a link to a short information webinar

Drexel Study Abroad CR CNHP from Wa Malamug on Vimeo. Video: Reubinedde Malamug

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2023 11/30/2022
12/07/2022 03/25/2023 04/02/2023

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.