Lafayette in Costa Rica Fall 2014

After preregistering through the link above, you will be notified about next steps and you will be scheduled for a language placement test with Universidad Veritas’ instructors.

Lafayette is proud to offer a faculty-led study abroad program in the fall based at Universidad Veritas in San José, Costa Rica. For students interested in fields such as Spanish language and literature, environmental studies, Latin American studies, international relations, international business, and film and media studies, this program will be an exciting opportunity to enhance their Lafayette education.

Read a student’s blog about her semester in Costa Rica

Read an article about the program

All students will take an immersion course in Spanish, matched to their level of competence, as well as another core course taught by the Lafayette resident director (for Fall 2014, the resident director will be Prof. Fluney Hutchinson of the Economics Department). Rounding out students’ schedules will be two other courses from a wide range of topics, including Spanish language and literature, environmental sciences, art & humanities, business & economics, health & human development, history, politics, and international relations. Many of these courses have field trips and guest speakers, so students will be able to experience the application of the content.

View a list of elective courses taught in English

Outside view of the National Theater of Costa RicaCosta Rica is a stable democracy with a high standard of living, whose people are gracious and welcoming of tourists, the major source of income. The country is geographically diverse, with many micro-climates that are home to a plethora of unique plant and animal life. Because of Costa Rica’s relatively small size and Universidad Veritas’ central location in the capital city, San José, these different ecosystems can be visited easily on weekend trips.

San José is rich in cultural activities (including museums, theater, dance, and concerts), while the university offers numerous extracurricular activities including cooking classes and dance lessons. Additionally, a wide range of exciting activities are available nearby, such as zip-lining through the rain forest, whitewater rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, ATVs, hiking, and hot springs.

Beach with sand, water, and palm tree in Costa RicaLafayette includes various local and regional excursions as part of the program. Two weekend trips will show students different areas of the country: probably one rainforest trip to the Pacific coast and one cloudforest trip to the central highlands. Daytrips will show students volcanoes and waterfalls not far from the capital. Another weekend trip will take students to neighboring Nicaragua, while another will take them to Panama.  Students will have opportunities to explore on their own also. The university has an on-site travel agency to help with arrangements.

Students will live with a host family situated within walking distance of Universidad Veritas. Though there may be more than one student per home, each student will have his or her own room within the house. Students will eat breakfast and dinner with their host families and will receive a credit to their Lafayette College accounts to compensate for having to purchase lunch on campus (the food is delicious and very affordable!).

Cathedral in Costa RicaThe cost of this program is Lafayette’s tuition and room fee, plus a discounted board fee (to compensate for the lunches that students will need to purchase). This fee covers tuition at Universidad Veritas, room and board with a host family as described above, round-trip airfare on a group flight between the US and San José, airport transfers in San José, two international excursions (to Nicaragua and Panama), several regional excursions within Costa Rica, and cultural activities within San José.


Instructor: Professor Fluney Hutchinson

High rises stetch to the sky in San Jose, Costa RicaThe Lafayette-taught course for Fall 2014 is going to focus on human security and disparities in economic opportunities in the Latin American region. The course will consider how worsening inequality in wealth, advances in science, and globalization, are causing more pronounced spillover effects, and pressuring a re-architecture of international cooperation and governance over the global commons. The analysis will center on the economics of collective action, and will discuss property-rights, the notion of private goods in the global commons, global political economy, and the emerging global governance architecture in Latin America.

For more information about the course topic, contact Prof. Hutchinson at

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