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UK Consortia: KIIS Summer - Experience Costa Rica (KIIS)
Colorado, Costa Rica; San Marcos de Tarraza, Costa Rica (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer 2
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Program Dates &
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Fees and Policies Summer 2
Fact Sheet:
Experience Type:
Study Abroad
Area of Study:
Agriculture, Anthropology, Education, Environmental Studies, Health, Kinesiology, Latin American Studies, Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Second Language Acquisition, Sociology, Spanish Language, Spanish Studies, Sustainability
Course Language:
English, Spanish
Minimum Language Requirement:
Housing Options:
Guest House, Homestay, Hostel/Hotel
1-Freshman, 2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior
Minimum GPA:
Student Type:
Undergraduate students only
UK Travel Medical Insurance:
Provided by program partner
Program Description:
Experience Costa Rica
Visit for more information about this program
Costa RicaProgram Overview

Costa Rica offers students a challenging academic travel through breathtaking scenery, stirring cultural immersion, immense biodiversity, and a variety of exhilarating events. Through classroom activities and excursions, students have the opportunity to walk in tropical rainforest canopies, visit coffee plantations and hike to quetzal feeding areas high in the mountains of central Costa Rica

The program begins at the Arenal Volcano and then moves to Colorado near the Panama border where students meet their host families. KIIS Costa Rica continues with a four day visit to the beaches of the Osa Peninsula on the Pacific Ocean. This area is home to monkeys, sloths, scarlet macaws, iguanas, turtles and dolphins. From there, the group travels to San Marcos de Tarrazu, the heart of the coffee region, where students stay with their second homestay family.

Knowledge of Spanish is not required for this program, though it is encouraged. Students with some language proficiency will improve their speaking skills as well as their knowledge of Costa Rican culture through interactions with locals and explorations of the diverse regions of this spectacular country.

Please note: the KIIS Costa Rica is a physically challenging study abroad option that requires strenuous hiking in heat and elevation. Be prepared for 1) a lack of hot water during the first part of the program; 2) some insect bites; and 3) the Costa Rican "rainy season." 4) some areas where there is little Internet access.
This program is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all academic disciplines.
Academic Credit
  • Students will earn transfer credit from Western Kentucky University. For all successfully completed courses, the credit hours, course title and course equivalency will be indicated on the UK transcript. Students must complete the coursework during this program according to the established guidelines by Western Kentucky University.  The grades earned will be important to progression in future academic endeavors, including graduate or professional school. However, the grades earned will NOT be indicated on the UK transcript. For more information visit the Education Abroad Academic Credit website.
  • Available Courses in 2015
    • Introduction to Environmental Science (BIOL 280/ENV 280-3 hours) - UK Equivalency GEO 235: Environmental Management & Policy (Taught by Dr. Anthony Stallins of UK's Geography Dept.)
    • Topics/Global Environmental Change (BIOL 475/ GEOG 455-3 hours) - UK Equivalency GEO 162 Global Environmental Issues (Taught by Dr. Anthony Stallins of UK's Geography Dept.)
    • Second Language Acquisition: L2 Learning & Study Abroad (MLNG 410-3 hours)
    • Intermediate Spanish Conversation Abroad (SPAN 210-3 hours)
    • Intermediate Spanish Culture Abroad (SPAN 211-3 hours)
  • PRIOR to participating in this program, students must complete an Academic Approval Form (AAF) for all courses above with a UK equivalency. The AAF indicates how the courses will be used, or course equivalency, once they are transferred back to UK. Instructions on how to complete the AAF are included in the application materials.  
  • Upon completion of the term abroad, the transcript should be sent to the Education Abroad at UK office. Once received, the Education Abroad staff will coordinate the transfer of credits to UK.
  • All students will be enrolled in ISP 599: Study Abroad (1 credit hour) during their term abroad.
Housing & Meals
  • Students will be housed in two homestays, one in San Marcos and another in Colorado. Generally, no more than two or three students will be placed with each family.  
  • The family provides breakfast, lunch and dinner and will also provide laundry facilities.     
  • There are nights during the summer when students stay either in a hotel or cabins. These accommodations are not luxurious and participants will share a room with other students. Rooms typically have bunk beds and showers and bathrooms that students share with approximately four other students. Three meals a day will be provided when traveling together.
Scholarships & Financial Aid
  • Many financial aid packages (scholarships, loans and grants) used for on-campus study can be applied to education abroad programs. Students who qualify for financial aid should consult with their UK Financial Aid counselor as soon as possible to apply for funding.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to explore all funding opportunities for programs abroad. There are numerous opportunities available based on the area of study, program type, length, and country of destination.
  • The Education Abroad at UK Scholarship - The campus-wide Selection Committee awards need-based scholarships to UK students in the amounts of $750, $1,000 and $1,500. The deadline application material is March 1 for Summer/Fall programs and October 1 for Spring/Winter programs.
  •  KIIS awards scholarships of $250 - $750 for specific programs. Additionally, KIIS offers a $100 discount for early applications (January 20). Visit the KIIS Scholarship website for more information.
For more information about scholarship and funding opportunities, please visit the Education Abroad at UK Financial Aid & Scholarships resource page.
  • Students must complete two applications to participate in this program - one to Education Abroad at UK and one to KIIS. For the KIIS application, visit the KIIS website.
Program Costs
  • Costs and cancellation policies vary by program, so it is important to review this information very carefully. For more information on program costs, please see the "Fees and Policies" information page (the link is in the program header at the top of this website).
Passport & Visa Requirements
  • U.S. passport holders are not required to obtain a visa for participation on this program. Participants who wish to extend their stay in the country beyond the program start and end dates must investigate the visa regulations at the Costa Rican Embassy.
Travel Medical Insurance
  • All participants of this program will be enrolled in travel medical insurance via KIIS. For details on the coverage provided please visit the KIIS Health & Safety website.
  • Participants wishing to travel before or after the official program dates are strongly encouraged to purchase additional coverage for the extended dates via Education Abroad at UK. Please see the Education Abroad Health & Safety webpage for more information. There is an option to purchase the extended coverage in the application.
For More Information
  • EA Peer Ambassadors, Education Abroad Resource Center, 315 Bradley Hall
  • EA Advisors assist students according to academic major. To find your EA Advisor, visit the EA Contact website
Connect with EA
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Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2 2016 02/15/2016 ** Rolling Admission 06/01/2016 06/27/2016
NOTE: Application fee reduction of $100 if application submitted by January 20, 2016

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.