Preparing Educators as Leaders

Study with KU in Costa Rica during your summer.

This intensive seminar aims at providing students from the University of Kansas with a general perspective on educational institutions, specifically early childhood and early childhood special education, and services in Costa Rica. This will be accomplished through lectures and site visits to communities, hospitals, early childhood programs, and schools.  The program focuses on settings and inclusiveness in private and public programs, teachers’ training and family participation. The students will examine services offered in Costa Rican institutions and how they are similar or differ across contexts and cultures.  Additionally, the students will have the opportunity to enrich their knowledge of Costa Rica’s culture and biodiversity by participating in excursions.

While in San José, students will attend lectures about the education system in Costa Rica and interact with professors from the University of Costa Rica (UCR). Planned visits include a preschool, possibly the one on UCR’s campus or government-run preschools in low-income neighborhoods, the San José children’s museum, and the INBIO Parque to learn about their children’s education program.  Cultural activities may include a city tour, which makes stops at the National Museum and National Theater, an excursion to a coffee plantation and hot springs, and a day on the beach.  

Students may also visit Monteverde, a city in the cloud forest. While there, planned activities may also include learning about the Quaker community that lives there and visits to bilingual schools in the community.  Students will also have time to explore the community. 

Eligibility To Study In Costa Rica

Each fall semester, approximately 20 students are selected to participate in this study abroad experience the following summer semester. Open to KU (and non-KU) undergraduate and graduate students. Minimum 2.5 GPA.  Exceptions considered after submission of a petition.

Academic Structure

All students will earn either one or three credit hours.  Undergraduates will enroll in SPED 672, Masters students in SPED 772 and Doctoral students in SPED 995. 


Students will stay in double or triple occupancy hotel rooms with breakfast included.  Several group lunches and dinners are also provided.

Enjoy your international cultural experience.

Costa Rica is known for its natural beauty, extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna, social and political stability, high educational levels, and efficient infrastructure and services. The capital of San José is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. It lies in the Central Valley on a plain surrounded by large forested mountain ranges, some of which include active volcanoes, green savannahs, and working coffee plantations.

The Universidad de Costa Rica is the oldest and largest university in Costa Rica, with a population of 35,000 students. The University of Kansas-Universidad de Costa Rica exchange program, initiated in 1958, is the oldest inter-university exchange of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

Let us help you prepare to study in Costa Rica.

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