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Costa Rica: Introduction to Global Health

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Program Type

  • OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

  • Health Sciences

Program Feature

  • Gen Ed


  • Costa Rica

Program Term

  • Winter Break

Application Deadline:

Priority Deadline: May 1, 2024

Final Deadline: August 15, 2024

*Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Early application is recommended

For additional information contact:

Debra McBride
Program Director

Dawn Graham
Program Director 

Emily Englehart
Program Coordinator, Office of Global Opportunities

Apply for this OHIO-Credit Program


Join your fellow bobcats in Costa Rica over winter break to experience “Pura Vida” while studying the principles of global health including the connection between local and global health issues, the differences between health care systems and the social, cultural and environmental determinants of health.

Highlights and Excursions 

  • Spend several days at a working permaculture farm, wildlife refugee and community focused on environmental sustainability where you will learn about medicinal plants, food as medicine, chocolate making and explore waterfalls and idyllic swimming holes.
  • Search for the illusive sloth and enjoy the beach at Manuel Antonio National Park and Seashore
  • Visit a small regional hospital in Quepos and a clinic in San Jose to learn about the Costa Rican Health system including their community-based care model.
  • Explore the downtown area of San Jose including the Central Market, Artisans Market and a tour of Café Britt.
  • Learn from local health professionals.

Good to Know

  • Participants are encouraged to have a passport at the time of application or to apply for a passport prior to September 1st, 2024.
  • Some locations will not have access to wi-fi or cellphone services (including local cell phone providers).
  • Students should expect a moderate to strenuous level of physical activity on this program, including longer distance hikes on uneven and remote terrain in hot weather.
  • This program reviews and accepts applications on a rolling basis. Early application is recommended. 

Living Arrangements 

Students will be housed at hotels and in hand-built structures at an agroforestry farm. Some locations will not have access to wi-fi or cell phone service. 

Program Dates 

December 29, 2024 - January 9, 2025


Days will be split between activities and “class” time. Participants are expected to complete some research and online coursework prior to travel and will have assignments and a presentation due after travel.

Students register for 3 credits of undergraduate or graduate credit. Students choose one of the following:

  • IHS 2210: Introduction to Global Health (3 OHIO credits) OHIO BRICKS: Foundation: Intercultural Explorations, Pillar: Social or Behavioral Sciences. 
  • IHS 3934: Global Health: Interprofessional Experiential Learning (3 OHIO Credits) OHIO BRICKS: Bridge: Learning & Doing CHSP: IPE Course credit
  • IHS 5210: Fundamentals of Global Health (3 OHIO credits)


The program fee for this program includes: Student accommodations, daily breakfast, some group meals, excursions, airport pickup, in-country transportation, and international medical health insurance.

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for 3 credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. Below is the student budget worksheet for this program, which outlines these costs. 

Items that are not related to the program (ie. additional entertainment, souvenirs, extra travel, contingency funds) are not included in the cost estimates provided and should be budgeted for separately.  


  • If you are nominated to this program, you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit is a down payment on the total costs to be billed by OHIO and is determined by the total cost of the program. 
  • For programs completed over winter-break and spring break, the credit-hours associated with the program are part of the spring semester. Students taking between 12 to 20 Athens campus hours, including those associated with the program, will not incur additional tuition costs for the spring semester. Students taking less than 12 or more than 20 Athens campus credits for the spring term will see their tuition charge adjusted accordingly.  

Funding Opportunities

More information on financial aid and scholarships can be found on our funding pages. 

Eligibility and Requirements 

This program application is open to students all majors from all OHIO colleges, as well as non-OHIO students. Applicants should be interested in Global Health and have a GPA of at least a 3.0 or higher.

Admission to this program is by a rolling admission procedure, meaning that applications are reviewed by the program director as they are received.   Early application is recommended.

All participants are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of $500 (to be credited to student’s program fees) as part of the acceptance process.  

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad. Read the entire conduct policy 

This program accepts NON-OHIO students. For more information about this process visit the Non-OHIO student page.   

Participants must be at least 18 years old prior to the start of the program. Participants must have a at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g. GED) by the start date of the program to be considered for eligibility.  Students enrolled in College Credit Plus (CC+) are not eligible for study away programs.

Application Requirements 

As part of the application, interested individuals will need to submit: 

  • 1 Personal Statement: A 1 page typed essay about yourself, your academic and career interests in relation to this program.
  • 1 Reference Letter
  • 1 DARs (or in the event of a Non-Ohio student, an unofficial transcript)

Applicants will also need to interview with the program director prior to nomination. 

Entry and Exit Requirements 

U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year,  apply for your passport  now. Some countries also require a visa to legally enter or reside in the country. 

U.S. citizens  will not  need a visa or other special document to enter the country for the length of this program. Please also note that visa requirements may vary if you plan to stay in the country longer than the program dates or travel to other countries during or after the program. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to this program. 

For more specific visa related information, please visit OGO’s  Visa Information Page 

Information for  Non-U.S. citizens  


Students in Costa Rica 2019