apply nowSustainability and Environmental Studies Program
HOST INSTITUTION: Instituto San Joaquín de Flores
LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT: Open to students with a minimum of one year of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
ACCOMMODATIONS: Local host families located within the city center. Meals and laundry service are included. All students have a private bedroom.

This program offers students the opportunity to explore the biodiversity of Costa Rica while improving their Spanish language skills. Through coursework and extensive field trips, students will experience the remarkable biodiversity of Costa Rica and see the human impact on local ecosystems in person.


Students will travel to the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, as well as visit a wide variety of ecosystems including rain forest, volcanoes, biological reserves, and national parks.


The program is open to all students who have completed a minimum of two semesters of Spanish at the college level prior to enrolling in the program.


Intensive Travel Period: Students will spend the first two weeks of the program (prior to beginning formal classes at the Instituto) traveling to a variety of sites within Costa Rica's central valley and exploring one of Costa Rica's renowned natural parks and beaches.

Academic Session: Once the academic session begins, students will continue to explore the biodiversity of Costa Rica and complement classroom discussions by participating in three weekend excursions throughout the country and six daytrips.


Internship Experience: The program culminates with the completion of a 4-week internship upon which students receive a certificate that can be presented to their home university for credit evaluation. Students can choose to focus on one of the following themes: 1) Turtle protection, 2) Rehabilitation of wild animals, 3) Species cataloging, 4) Protected areas conservation, 5) Beach cleaning. Most students will not stay in San Joaquín de Flores during the internship period, but will most likely be working and staying within national parks or other natural areas.




Transcripts: API students receive a transcript from Fairfield University upon completion of their program. Fairfield University is a four-year, fully-accredited U.S. university located in Fairfield, CT. 

DATES & PRICES: Fall 2017:
August 17, 2017 - December 16, 2017 $17,250
  Spring 2018:
Early January - Mid-May, 2018
  Fall 2018:  August 16, 2018 - December 15, 2018 $17,250


API students who study abroad in San Joaquín de Flores with API will take classes at The Instituto San Joaquín de Flores. The Instituto San Joaquín de Flores affords students the ability to take courses taught by Costa Rican faculty from local universities. All coursework has been specifically designed for American students with the goal of maximizing their linguistic and cultural exposure. The location of the Instituto takes advantage of the beautiful natural environment, with picturesque views of distant mountains and volcanoes. Small class sizes and attentive professors, combined with the incredible beauty and tranquility of the grounds of the Instituto, create an unparalleled environment for learning. Transcripts for courses completed at the Instituto are issued by U.S.-accredited Fairfield University. 

San Joaquín de Flores is a charming, colorful and quaint colonial town located ten miles from San José. It is surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of Costa Rica. The small setting and slower pace of life allow for exceptional opportunities for linguistic and cultural integration. Leisurely strolls through the streets lead to encounters with friendly people, young and old. Everything can be reached on foot and along the way students can visit historic landmarks and buildings from the 18th century. It is easy to explore the Costa Rican flora and fauna outside of San Joaquín de Flores. Costa Rica boasts thirteen national parks and six biological preserves where an amazing number of species of plants, animals, birds and butterflies can be observed. API students have the opportunity to explore volcanoes, beaches, rain and cloud forests. Explore endless opportunities and discover the culture, beauty and history of San Joaquín de Flores and Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Sea Turtle
Costa Rica Students Near Waterfall At Volcan Arenal
Costa Rica Arenal Volcano
Costa Rica Butterfly
Costa Rica Student Crossing Rainforest Bridge
Costa Rica Students Walking Through Rainforest
Costa Rica San Jose Cool Topiary
Costa Rica San Jose Statue
Costa Rica Students Hiking In Jungle
Costa Rica Beach
Costa Rica Waterfall In Rain Forest