Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

New Fall Semester Abroad Program Offered in Costa Rica

January 23rd, 2014

Tulane University is excited to offer a new study abroad program this fall semester in Costa Rica. The “Central American Experience at CIAPA” introduces students to the historical, geographical, and biological complexity of Central America. Based at Tulane’s CIAPA campus in San José, Costa Rica, students will delve into contemporary regional politics through an immersive experience that uniquely combines academic courses, a personally-tailored internship placement, and excursions throughout Costa Rica and to neighboring Nicaragua.

Given Costa Rica’s successful track record in human rights, social policy, and environmental conservation, as well as its outsized role in international affairs, students will gain a unique understanding of the historical development and contemporary politics of the region. Therefore, Tulane undergraduates with interests in migration, international development, political science, and regional politics in Central America are especially encouraged to apply.

Applications for the program are currently being accepted. Minimal Spanish language experience is required.

Courses for the 2014 Fall Semester will include Governments of Central America (POLC 3310), Politics of Migration (LAST 4950), International Organizations in Costa Rica (POLI 3520), Media and Democracy in Latin America (COMM 4300), Service Internship (4560), and a Spanish language course.

Students in the program will be placed in an intensive internship program in their particular area of interest and expertise. Pre-med students or those interested in public health may be placed in local hospitals. Other available placements include but are not limited to:

  • ACORDE: A non-profit organization whose mission and work is to provide access to credit for people with scarce resources that are small entrepreneurs. It is essentially a micro-lending organization.
  • IFED/TSE: A governmental agency whose mission and work is to develop programming for civic education and democratic participation.
  • FUNDACIÓN ACCIÓN JOVEN: A non-profit organization whose mission and work is to reduce the dropout rate in public elementary and high schools that serve children from marginalized communities.
  • FUNPADEM: A non-profit organization whose mission is to promote actions that sustain a culture of peace, freedom, and democracy within Costa Rica.
  • CLÍNICA BIBLICA: The main private hospital and clinical medical care network serving the metropolitan San José community.
  • JEWISH MUSEUM OF COSTA RICA: A non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination and commemoration of Jewish life, culture, and history in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica’s immense geographical and biological diversity and San José‘s regional connectivity enable students participating in the “Central American Experience at CIAPA” to take full advantage of a wealth of experiences. Some activities for the 2014 Fall Semester include:

  • A week-long field research trip to neighboring Nicaragua. Students will work with local NGOs engaged in international development and issues of contemporary migration.
  • An excursion to Poas Volcano. Students will get an exhilarating view of Costa Rica while zip-lining through the trees!
  • A trip to the Caribbean coast to explore the history and legacy of migration. In particular, students will learn about Jamaican migration at the turn of the 20th century.
  • A week-long homestay in rural Costa Rica.
  • Field trips to international organizations such as UNESCO, ILO, UNDP, and Peace University.


Students will visit Costa Rica’s incredible Atlantic coast.


Past participants on a whitewater rafting trip.

For more information on the program, admission requirements, and the application, visit CIAPA’s website.

To see photos from current study abroad students at CIAPA’s campus in Costa Rica, visit the Tulane at CIAPA facebook page.

Central America + People
Ludovico Feoli
Executive Director - Center for Inter-American Policy & Research
Central America + News