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Costa Rica Semester Away

FPU is partnering with  to enable our students to spend a semester in Costa Rica. 

  • Earn credit for a semester of study
  • All costs covered through regular tuition plus room and board
  • Federal, state and FPU institutional grants and loans apply
  • Live with a Costa Rican family
  • Go on weekend excursions
  • Available to any FPU undergraduate student regardless of your major


One of the best parts of the Costa Rica experience is cost. All costs of the program, including round trip airfare and weekend excursions, are covered by regular FPU tuition plus $1500. All student aid, including institutional aid, federal government aid and California state aid, may be used towards your Costa Rica semester.

Credit and courses

Students may earn a maximum of 15 units of credit from the program—six units of Spanish credit, six units of focus series credit plus additional major units.

This program can be adapted for multiple majors: Spanish, intercultural studies, social work, liberal studies, business, environmental studies and art. With the addition of two or three classes at 51 Pacific, this program can also be the basis of an intercultural studies minor.

Costa Rica Credits and Courses

Courses (15 total units)

SPAN286 - Spanish (6 units)

Spanish classes at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels are offered through a highly respected Costa Rican language school. Additional Spanish language and literature classes are available for students who are already proficient in Spanish.

ICS320 - Introduction to Holistic Mission in Costa Rica (3 units)

A survey and introduction of the biblical and theoretical basis for Holistic Christian mission with a special focus on the church’s ministry to the poor. In particular, this course will explore ministry responses to social, cultural, political and spiritual issues within a variety of ministry contexts. Where possible students will reflect on their own ministry experiences and consider the gospel’s impact on both individuals and society.

SOC338 - People & Cultures of Costa Rica (3 units)

In this class, students will explore Costa Rican culture with special attention given to the history, politics and religion of this Central American nation along with issues of race, immigration, class and family relationships that are unique to the country. Course sessions will be led by Costa Ricans with expertise in each of these areas and students will make visits to various sites of cultural significance.

SOC481 - International Internship (3 units)

An intensive semester-long experience in which the student is fully immersed in Costa Rican culture, involved in hands-on ministry and guided by a mentor. Goal setting and journaling activities will help students engage in self-reflection and mentor evaluations will provide them with constructive feedback about their ministry skills. Internships will be supervised by qualified North American instructors. Internships can be tailored to fit the needs in a variety of majors, including social work, psychology, intercultural studies, contemporary Christian ministries, sociology, liberal studies, business and others.

ICS300 - Orientation Study Abroad (1 unit)


Internships will provide students with 'real-world experience of living and working in another culture. Internships can be tailored to fit the needs of a variety of majors, including social work, psychology, intercultural studies, contemporary Christian ministries, sociology, liberal studies, business and others.



Students will stay with Costa Rican host families for the entire semester. Students will travel on several different weekends to various locations throughout Costa Rica to experience the tremendous variety that Costa Rica offers.

Application and Registration

If you would like to find out more information about the Costa Rica program please contact one of there persons below. If you are interested in applying, program please complete this application.

Complete the application

For more information, contact Darren Duerksen at 559-453-2265 or Darren.Duerksen@fresno.edu or Angela Chapa at 559-453-2170 or .