PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Spring Semester Only

ICDS, in coordination with Hospital Clínica Bíblica and Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, offers students a unique interdisciplinary experience focused on Latin American and Caribbean health care systems.  The universal health care system available to citizens and permanent residents is ranked #1 in Latin America by the United Nations and serves as a model for developing nations in the region and around the world. Through courses taught at Hospital Clínica Bíblica and Universidad Latina, students learn about the health care model and the way global public health issues unfold in the region.

Students will also acquire the necessary Spanish language proficiency to work and interact with Spanish-speaking patients, their families, and colleagues. Clinical rotations at Hospital Biblica (advanced Spanish speakers) or community work in social welfare services (lower to intermediate level Spanish speakers) is an essential component of the Health Care in Latin America program. Spanish classes before, during, and after these hands-on experiences are designed to provide students with an on-the-job Spanish skill set during the program and beyond. 

In addition to academics and the service-learning component of rotations, ICDS program participants will complement their coursework with intense cultural immersion. Through organized field trips, daily life in San Jose, planned cultural activities, the homestay program, and more, students will have the opportunity to interact with locals, engage with the culture, and experience life in one of Latin America’s most beautiful countries.  With San Jose as students’ home base, and the main hub of travel in Costa Rica, many of the most iconic cultural and nature destinations are also just a bus or train ride away. Finally, students will travel to a neighboring country on a guided international trip to get more exposure to the diversity of Latin American culture and development.

HOUSING AND MEALS

The ICDS homestay program allows students to live with a local family and learn the culture and values of daily life. Homestays are one of the most important parts of students' experience in experiential learning, facilitating immersion and adaptation to the new culture and language, and they helping students to integrate faster into local society. Daily immersion with host families provides program participants with a relaxed environment to practice Spanish, ask questions about their surroundings, and receive support from another network in addition to their classmates, faculty, and the ICDS staff.

Homestay families provide students a private room furnished with all the basic elements for resting, studying, and living comfortably. These include bed and linens, a closet, a well-lit work space with desk and chair, a private or shared bathroom, two meals a day during the week (breakfast and dinner), 3 meals on weekends, weekly laundry service, and Wi-Fi.

Program Website

Course Description

Students enroll in four courses three-credit during this program, totaling the equivalent of 12 U.S. credits. 

Health Care in Latin America 

This course is intended to create a unique interdisciplinary professional experience for students interested in Latin American and Caribbean health issues. Within the field of public and private health, its particular focus is on public health assessment strategies. Through this course, students will be exposed to current challenges facing Latin America and the Caribbean to reach an understanding of the way global public health issues unfold in the region. The course will provide students with concepts and updated material that will prepare them to look into issues related to people, places, and politics to assess the delivery and quality of health care in Latin America. Visits to healthcare facilities will complement the course and provide a realistic view of the material seen in class.

Syllabus - Health Care in Latin America 

Economics of Health Care Systems 

This course aims to present a broad, up-to-date introduction to analytical methods used by economists to study health, health care, and health insurance and provide a grounding in the microeconomic principles on which study of health, healthcare, and health insurance is based. The goal is to introduce students to the range of economic policy instruments used in health care and health insurance markets and provide students with tools to analyze the costs of market failures in health care and health insurance markets, as well as of government interventions to address these failures. The course will also introduce students to some contemporary policy issues in health economics.

Syllabus - Economics of Health Care Systems 

Tropical Diseases in Latin America 

This course covers cover some of the most common tropical diseases, with a special focus on the neglected tropical diseases and their impact on global health. This course is intended to create a unique interdisciplinary professional experience for students interested in tropical medicine and diseases. The course provides students with concepts and updated material that will allow them to learn about common tropical diseases. Because of the seminar approach of this course, students will work independently or in groups to develop investigative, writing, and presentation skills, as well as participate in open class discussions.

Syllabus - Tropical Diseases in Latin America 

Spanish for Health Sciences 

This is a Spanish course for specific purposes, designed for health personnel. The objective is to provide the student with the necessary tools to acquire the linguistic competence that allows them to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients and their respective families. This course is offered at the beginner, intermediate and advanced level. 

Syllabus - Spanish for Health Sciences (Beginner Level)

Syllabus - Spanish for Health Sciences (Intermediate Level)

Syllabus - Spanish for Health Sciences (Advanced Level) 

ISEP STUDENT ADVISOR Bailey Wiles 703-504-9978 | BWiles@isep.org Thanks for your interest in ISEP Study Abroad! I’m your University Relations Manager and main point of contact here at ISEP. Contact me at any point in your search process and we’ll work together to find programs that match your interests and academic needs. When you reach out, be sure to include the name of your home university in your email. Follow me on Facebook @bwilesisep for scholarship announcements, application advice and my on-campus visits and events schedule. I look forward to working with you!

International Center for Development Studies

With over twenty years of experience in international education,  the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS), based in San José, Costa Rica, provides quality study abroad opportunities in the form...

Academics

Undergraduate
(in English)

*This program is OK for Sophomores

Fields of Study

  • Health Sciences: Recommended!

    Medicine Public Health

Academic Requirements

  • U.S. GPA: 2.75 or higher
  • LPR Required
  • LPR Writing Score: C1 - Advanced Plus-Superior
  • LPR Reading Score: C1 - Advanced Plus-Superior
  • LPR Listening Score: C1 - Advanced Plus-Superior
  • LPR Speaking Score: C1 - Advanced Plus-Superior
LPR = ISEP Language Proficiency Report

Special Needs Support

  • Mental Health
  • Learning

Other Academic Conditions

A basic level Spanish is recommended, but not required.

Clinical rotations are only open to students with at least a B2 level in Spanish. Students will complete a written and oral exam to verify Spanish proficiency and placement in clinical rotations. 

Semester & Prices (based on your filters)

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International Center for Development Studies

San José, Costa Rica

(17)

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