Institutional Profile



Study Abroad Community Work Projects

Students Community Work Site

The International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) is a non-governmental organization based in San José, Costa Rica and is devoted to knowledge creation and dissemination through applied research and international Study Abroad academic programs. ICDS fosters and implements activities in both these fields aimed at developing citizens who are proactive and engaged in the search for common good, in accordance with the Center’s mission and organizational goals.

ICDS’ long-term goal is to transform its San José venue into an international academic institution capable of providing its affiliated universities and other academic partners with a diverse international education for its students. These study abroad opportunities include the aforementioned customized programs and international seminars, workshops, and conferences.

ICDS Mission

The mission of the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) is to contribute to sustainable human development in Latin America by facilitating interdisciplinary knowledge and providing the necessary tools to guide and empower its students towards this end.

ICDS Vision

The International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) will be recognized as a center of knowledge and excellence that gives young people the tools and mechanisms to contribute to the sustainable human development in Latin America through Study Abroad programs that offer:

  • Academic excellence:  With its highly qualified and professional international team, ICDS organizes a great variety of technical and educational programs.
    Interaction and exchange with academics/practitioners:  ICDS professors are not only excellent academic researchers and pedagogues, but also well recognized practitioners in their specific field of knowledge.
  • Service-Learning:  Integral, practical, and holistic academic training through applied theory, complemented by experiential learning in local organizations and communities.
  • Cultural Immersion:  International education that fosters knowledge and cultural exchange, providing international students with the opportunity to sharpen their Spanish language skills, gain a greater understanding of Central and Latin America and Costa Rica´s cultural richness, and acquire in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience on the challenges of cultural diversity, environment, and human development in the region.
  • Global citizenship:  Comprehensive interdisciplinary education focusing on international needs and offering the opportunity to contribute to people’s development through social responsibility and change

Institutional Values:

  • Social Justice:  Commitment to equity and the defense of human rights.
  • Solidarity:  Contribution to local development through service-learning.
  • Intercultural knowledge:   As a tool towards understanding and finding solutions to the general and specific problems of the global village.
  • Sustainability:  As a guiding principle to ensure meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.