Pathfinder Costa Rica uses a three-prong approach to differentiate from the average study abroad program. The Path-Finding Guidance Model, "Sustainable Lifestyles: 9 dimensions of healthy living" course and the Arenal Volcano Excursion have been designed to create space for self-care, self-exploration, and self-discovery. These three features work in tandem to create a study abroad experience with intention.
What are the Path-Finding Guidance Model, Sustainable Lifestyles course, and Arenal Volcano Excursion?
- Path-Finding Guidance Model - Meet with a life coach weekly as a cohort to process and reflect on your experiences.
- Sustainable Lifestyles Course - Learn about yourself and how you can steer your life effectively by taking the Sustainable Lifestyles course.
- Arenal Volcano Excursion - Develop mindfulness and find clarity on an excursion designed for self-exploration and self-discovery.
Where you will study
Veritas University is an independent, private university located in the capital city San Jose. It is known as being the premier international university in Costa Rica, welcoming thousands of multinational students each year.
With over 70+ elective courses taught in English and an extensive Spanish language program, Veritas has something for each student.
Where you will live
Live with a local Costa Rican family to improve your Spanish and immerse in their culture.
- Private bedroom?
- Shared bathroom
- Weekly laundry
- Daily breakfast and dinner
- Located within walking distance of campus
- Arenal Volcano & Hot Springs Weekend (3 day trip)
- Manuel Antonio Beach & National Park (3 day trip)
- Poas Volcano & Coffee Farm Tour (Day trip)
During the Semester, students will be enrolled at Veritas University in 1 to 4 classes for 13 - 16 semester credits. Students with Pathfinder Costa Rica have special access to the "Sustainable Lifestyles: 9 Dimensions of Healthy Living" course. Each Pathfinder student is enrolled in this course to complement the Path-Finding Guidance. The other 3 courses are up to the student's discretion. This means that in addition to the Sustainable Lifestyles course, a student could choose:
- 1 Spanish course and 2 elective courses;
- 2 Spanish courses and 1 elective course;
- 3 Spanish courses;
- 3 elective courses.
to pair with the Sustainable Lifestyles course. Sustainable Lifestyles is only taught during Fall and Spring Semesters. Students who wish to take electives taught in Spanish must have a high intermediate to advanced level of Spanish.
Students enrolled in the early start term have the ability to earn up to 20 credits in a full term. Four credits are earned in the early start portion and 16 can be earned during the semester. Early start consists of one 4 week Spanish intensive class. The language level that you enroll in will be determined by a placement test before your arrival as well as what course credits you need fulfilled at your home institution.
Spanish courses run in 4 week blocks within the regular semester. Students must pass a test at the end of each "block" to move on to the next level. Spanish courses are available at all instruction levels, beginner to advanced. Before coming to Pathfinder, it is imperative that students get multiple Spanish courses and elective courses approved by their home institution to ensure their credits transfer at the end of their studies.
Elective courses meet 2 - 3 days a week for a total of 48/60 contact hours and 3/4 credits each. Spanish courses meet for a total of 60 contact hours and 4 credits. Spanish language students are in class Monday - Friday for 15 hours a week.
Study Abroad Dates
Summer Term I: May 27th - July 14th Application Deadline: March 30th
Summer Term II: July 8th - Aug 25th Application Deadline: March 30th
Early Start Fall Term: Sept 2nd - Dec 22nd Application Deadline: June 14th
Fall Term: Sept 31st - Dec 22nd Application Deadline: June 14th
Extended Spring Term: Jan - May 2024 Application Deadline: Oct 25th
Spring Term: Jan - April 2024 Application Deadline: Oct 25th
The Pathfinder staff goes above and beyond their administrative roles to create deeply personal relationships with participants. Each person I interacted with made a point to get to know me, and I believe that the deeper understanding created was integral to my feeling of belonging. It provided me with a strong support system on top of the local mentor connection and my host family. As a result, their guidance of my introspection and activity/project planning was all the more insightful and helpful to me. I have formed invaluable relationships in Costa Rica, both in and out of the program. This is the first time I have ever experienced such a deep sense of belonging outside of family and long-time friends. I only regret that I couldn't stay longer! But no matter -- what I learned about myself stays with me, and that is the greatest gift that everyone I met through Pathfinder provided me with.