4 semesters of university level or equivalent
What does this mean?
- Fall: April 1 - Extended to May 1
- Spring: November 1
YEAR OPTIONS: Students interested in calendar or academic year-long options should contact IFSA-Butler for deadlines, fees and more.
About Universidad Nacional Partnership
Nestled between mountains, Heredia offers a unique Latin American experience. You'll find great academic opportunities at top-ranked Universidad Nacional, all within the reach of ecological sites, national parks, beautiful beaches, and nearby hiking trails. So, sit back and enjoy a fresh cup of Costa Rican coffee as you embrace the Pura Vida.
Universidad Nacional Partnership Benefits
- Universidad Nacional combines excellent academics with extensive opportunities to get involved in campus life and the surrounding community
- Join an exciting, diverse student body in smaller class sizes at an innovative university
- Take advantage of special concentrations that focus on teacher education and environmental studies
- You may cross-enroll in a variety of departments and take classes with Costa Rican students
- Academic tutors available throughout the semester
- Great program for ecology and environmental studies majors
- Live and learn in one of the safest countries in Central America, a place with a small town feel and an outstanding natural environment
- Great location to increase Spanish proficiency, and immerse in the local culture
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The IFSA Difference
Academics at Universidad Nacional Partnership
Looking for specific classes? Explore CHART, our exclusive class database — if the Universidad Nacional Program is pre-approved at your institution, you’ll find classes recently taken by other IFSA students.
This program combines the best of integrated campus life with familiarity of small discussion-based program combine the following IFSA exclusive courses with those directly-enrolled at UNA alongside local students. All coursework is in Spanish
Advanced Spanish (4 U.S. semester credits): This intensive Spanish class is specially designed for IFSA students and is mandatory. The course is offered at two advanced levels, and placement is determined by an assessment during the orientation in Costa Rica. The class is taught intensively at four hours per week throughout the semester.
Ecology and Sustainable Development in Costa Rica (3 U.S. semester credits): The course will address aspects of the history of ecology, as well as conceptual components of the ecosystems and the ways they interact with the environment. This requires an approach to ecology as interdisciplinary science enabling understanding of its importance in the recovery, preservation, and protection of the environment. This course is specifically designed for IFSA students and is integrated with Costa Rican students; however, it is dependent on minimum enrollment.
Note that if you have native or near—native Spanish reading and writing skills and would like to be considered for exemption from the Advanced level Spanish course, please speak with your Program Advisor.
As an IFSA student, you will enroll in undergraduate courses for which you are qualified and space is available. While course descriptions may be found online, course syllabi may not be available until the beginning of your semester. Click here for the on line course catalog and follow these steps:
- Click on a departmental link ("leer más) in which you would like to look for courses.
- Next, click on "descargar plan" to download a PDF of the course listings in the Carrera
- You will see a tentative list of courses that may be offered during the year.
*Please note that UNA's online course listings are not often comprehensive. If a particular department or course you are looking for is not listed, contact your program advisor for assistance.
If course descriptions or syllabi are not available online, contact your IFSA program advisor. Provide the following information in your request, and keep in mind this may take up to a month to obtain.
- University department/facultad
- Course title
- Course number (if available)
Students build their courseload with the Advanced Spanish program course, the Ecology and Sustainable Development in Costa Rica course, and 2-3 related courses at Universidad Nacional. Possible courses may include: Clean Technologies, Drawing and Interpreting Environmental Plans, Environmental Policy and Legislation, Environmental Economics, Food Security, Forest Hydrology, Fundamentals of Energy, Plant Illnesses, and Plantation Management.
- All courses are conducted in Spanish by UNA faculty members. Students who place into a lower-advanced Spanish level may not be eligible for more advanced coursework.
- You may only take 1 course from Estudios Generales and 1 course from Escuela de Arte.
- Licenciatura-level courses, such as those located in Estudios Latinoamericanos (IDELA), are only available to students with an extremely high level of Spanish and currently hold senior status at their U.S. institution.
- The Escuela de Literatura may limit enrollment in literature courses to students with very good command of the language, have received high grades in previous Spanish courses, and who place into a higher level of Spanish during orientation.
- Nivel 1 corresponds with first-year courses; Nivel 2 corresponds to second-year courses, etc.
- I Ciclo (primer ciclo) is a U.S. spring semester (January to July); II Ciclo (segundo ciclo) is a U.S. fall semester (July to December)
- Anual refers to full-year courses.
- When the word Latina appears alone in a course title, it means classic, not Latino ethnicity. This applies mostly to literature courses.
Housing & Meals
The IFSA Team
IFSA has a dedicated team who are here to help you prepare to achieve your goals. Feel free to reach out. We are happy to answer your questions!