Health Care in Latin America

Study Abroad in Sunny Costa Rica during your Winter

This joint program by the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS), in partnership with Hospital Clínica Bíblica and Universidad Latina de Costa Rica is a unique interdisciplinary professional experience for students interested in Latin American and Caribbean health issues, while acquiring the necessary language proficiency to work and interact with Spanish- speaking patients, their families, and colleagues in a Spanish-speaking environment.

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  • Experiential learning in the field of health in hospital and university environments
  • Courses taught at Hospital Clínica Bíblica and Universidad Latina campus
  • Great opportunity to learn about Costa Rica’s unique health care model
  • Spanish for health sciences course at different levels
  • Experiential learning through clinical rotations at the hospital (advanced Spanish speakers*) or community work related to social welfare services ( lower and intermediate level Spanish speakers)
  • Program field trip to neighboring country
    *(Limited spots-Spanish test required before program starts)


  • Minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Completion of basic level(s) of college Spanish or equivalent
  • For clinical rotations: complete ICDS’ oral and written test to verify Spanish proficiency

Lodging Modality

  • Homestays with carefully selected local families

What’s Included

  • Arrival/departure assistance and transfers from and to airport
  • On-site orientation
  • Homestay placement
  • Community work placement
  • Weekend excursions in-country and abroad, and class day trips
  • Cultural activities
  • Wireless Internet access

Course Offering

  • Health and Vulnerable Populations in Latin America
  • Health Care in Latin America
  • Economics of Health Care Systems
  • Tropical Diseases in Latin America
  • Spanish for Health Sciences Courses (All levels offered)

Program Fees

Please check with your home university’s Study Abroad Office, or contact ICDS at

Program Dates

Winter Quarter Duration
Early January through March 11 Weeks

I felt that the particular study abroad program (summer II) fit my career path in the medical field and was a great opportunity to broaden my perspective on the health care system of different countries. I loved that there was a course on the Spanish medical terminology which will definitely be helpful when I interact with New York's diverse patient population. I also loved that there was a home-stay program since it's important to be fully immersed in the culture during such a short stay as well as understand what the day-to-day life of a Costa Rican entails. Interacting with my host mom also allowed me to practice Spanish on a daily basis and have conversations I wouldn't normally have in an academic/class-room setting.

- Betty Lung (Summer 2015)

Interested in Spanish & Health Care in Latin America ?

Go to Preliminary Application Form

Affiliated Universities and Colleges