Costa Rica: San Joaquin de Flores

  • study abroad students posing on a hill

Summer Study Abroad Program

Six-week program in Spanish language and culture at the Institute of San Joaquín de Flores. 

The UNH Costa Rica Summer Program allows students to spend the summer taking intensive Spanish language courses in the charming town of San Joaquin de Flores. Program benefits include:

  • Earn 8 UNH credits towards a Spanish major or minor
  • Dramatically improve your Spanish language skills through intensive courses and homestay living
  • Housing and meals are included
  • Live in a small and safe Costa Rican town with easy access to the rest of country
  • Travel with other UNH students and faculty

The program combines two Spanish courses, cultural fieldtrips and optional weekend trips. Classes meet daily Monday through Friday. Students will earn the equivalent of up to eight credit hours upon the completion of the program. Courses can be used to fulfill requirements for Discovery, Spanish major or minor.

Apply now!

Program dates

May 24 - July 6, 2024

Information Session

Tuesday, February 6th from 1-2 in Murkland 201 

Application Deadline

March 22, 2024

Deposite deadline

March 29, 2024

How to apply Financial Aid/scholarships


Lina Lee
Professor of Spanish
Granada, Costa Rica and Cuba Program Director

Mike Merrill
Education Abroad Advisor, Program Manager


No background in Spanish language is necessary. Courses are offered at all language levels.

The program offers:

  • courses at the beginner, intermediate and advanced language levels
  • a variety of culture and literature courses
  • and Spanish for medical purposes

All courses are taught in Spanish.

Summer 2023 Course Offerings

Students choose 2 courses (offered by the Instituto San Joaquín de Flores) for a total of 8 credits. The courses are treated as transfer credits, so the grades earned will not factor in to your overall GPA at UNH. They will, however, appear on your UNH transcript. Students will receive no credit for any course that significantly repeats the content of a course they've already taken at UNH or for a courses assessed below a "C" grade.

Students intending to use a course to fulfill a Spanish major or minor requirement can see the UNH-equivalents listed below.

*Spanish Majors should discuss their course selections with their academic advisors.
*Students intending to complete a Spanish Minor should discuss their course selections with Professor Lina Lee, the faculty director of the Costa Rica Summer Program.
*Courses are subject to cancellation, so students are asked to have back up choices
*Some courses carry with them additional fees related to course-related travel or activities. Students are responsible for any additional course fees payable directly to the Institute.

Course / UNH Equivalent:

  • Elementary Spanish I   (Spanish 401)
  • Elementary Spanish II   (Spanish 402)
  • Intermediate Spanish I   (Spanish 503)
  • Intermediate Spanish II   (Spanish 504)
  • Intro to Cultural Analysis (Spanish 526/647)
  • Intro to Literary Analysis (no UNH Spanish Program equivalent)
  • Intro to Linguistics   (Spanish 645)
  • Phonology   (Spanish 641)
  • Spanish Conversation (Spanish 631 or 632)
  • Spanish Composition (Spanish 631 or 632)
  • Advanced Spanish Grammar (Spanish 631 or 632)
  • Intro to Latin American Literature (Spanish 653 or 654, HUMA Discovery)
  • Latin American Short Stories (Spanish 653 or 654, HUMA Discovery)
  • Cultural History of Central America (Spanish 526 or 647, WC Discovery)
  • Latin American Music (Spanish 526 or 647, FPA Discovery)
  • Latin American Cinema (Spanish 526 or 647)
  • Tropical Ecology (Spanish 526 or 647, ETS Discovery)
  • Spanish for Nursing Careers (no UNH Spanish Program equivalent)

Located in the Heredia Province, San Joaquín de Flores is a charming, colorful and quaint colonial town aboout 10 miles from San José. It is also only a 15-minute ride by local transportation to the town of Heredia where the Universidad Nacional is located. Everything can be reached on foot and along the way students can visit historic landmarks and buildings from the 18th century. The setting is well-suited for students looking for a managable but immersive language experience. From San Joaquin de Flores, it is easy to explore Costa Rica - one of Latin America's most popular and safe travel destinations renowned for it's natural beauty and relaxed and friendly attitude.

Helpful Links

Costa Rica San Joaquin de Flores church


Estimated Summer 2023 Program Costs

  • UNH Tuition (8 UNH credits): $3,768 for NH residents, $4,344 for out-of-state residents
  • Room & board, excursions, on-site orientation (estimated): $1,500
  • UNH mandatory fees
    • Study Away Administrative Fee: $100
    • International Healthl Insurance and Travel Assistance Plan Fee: $70
    • Technology Fee: $51.25

Total payable to UNH for NH residents: Approximnately $5,550
Total payable to UNH for out-of-state residents: Approximately $6,200

Housing and Meals

All students are housed with local host families in San Joaquin de Flores. One student is housed per host family and three meals a day are provided. Host families are organized by the program's host institution, the Instituto San Joaquin de Flores, and many have hosted students regularly for years. These families are known for their friendliness and welcoming nature, and it is a great way for students to practice their Spanish language skills while also learning more about life in Costa Rica. Most students are within relatively short walking distance to the Instituto but some may rely on the bus to get to classes. Accepted students will complete a Housing Preference Form so that the Instituto can take into consideration any personal accommodations when making host family placements.

Program Includes:

  • Two intensive Spanish courses up to 8 credit hours
  • Official Transcript from the Institute
  • Orientation session, city tours and closing ceremony
  • Transportation from the airport to host family
  • Homestay lodging with a Costa Rican family
  • Three meals per day and laundry service
  • One day-trip and one full weekend trip within Costa Rica (destinations vary each year)
  • Cultural activities, community service and dancing classes

Not Included

  • Roundtrip airfare to and from Costa Rica (est. $300-500), books/supplies (est. $25-50), phone service, miscellaneious personal/spending money.

Payment Info and Refund Policy

A $200 non-refundable deposit will be due from all accepted students no later than March 11, 2019. This payment will be credited towards the final tuition bill.

View study abroad payment deadlines, cancellation and refund policy