Ohio University

Search within:

Costa Rica: Introduction to Global Health

On This Page:

Program Type

  • OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

  • Health Sciences

Program Feature

  • Gen Ed


  • Costa Rica

Program Term

  • Winter Break

For additional information contact:

Debra McBride
Program Director



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 international health, the differences between healthcare systems and the social, cultural and environmental determinates of health.

After an overnight stay in San Jose, we will depart over the mountains for the Oca Peninsula and the Corcovado National Park area. We’ll spend several days in this rural area including New Year’s Eve. We will have excursions in the mornings, while studying Global Health topics in the late afternoon. In your free time you can walk the beach, ride horses or opt for other available activities.

The next stop will be the city of Quepos and the Manuel Antonio National Park and Seashore. We will have a guided tour of the national park where you may see sloths, monkeys, colorful birds and insects as well as one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. Here we will also learn more about the Costa Rican health system and the relationships between the environment and health.

We will end the trip back in San Jose where we will visit a local clinic or hospital and tour a coffee plantation. A special farewell dinner awaits you on the last night.

Students in Costa Rica 2019
2019 Program Participants

Highlights and Excursions 

  • Students will participate in day excursions including hospital and clinic visits
  • Corcavado National Park and Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Snorkeling, hiking, zip lining and a coffee plantation visit. 

Good to Know

  • Some locations will not have access to wi-fi or cellphone services (including local cell phone providers), including over New Year’s Eve.
  • 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. 

Study Away and COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, participation in study away and abroad involves real and potential personal, financial, and academic risk. The CDC advises that you should delay travel until you are vaccinated. Note that entry to some countries and participation in local program and free-time activities, including in the U.S., may be severely restricted or potentially unavailable to unvaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated travelers should additionally expect to incur extra expenses and onsite logistical challenges due to onsite testing requirements. For further information, contact ogoriskmanagement@ohio.edu

Living Arrangements 

Students will be housed at hotels and in shared cabanas. Some locations will not have access to wi-fi or cell phone service including over New Year’s Eve. Check out the video below for a view of the beach outside of your accomodations at Poor Man's Paradise, Drakes Bay.

Program Dates 

This program has been cancelled for Winter Break 2021-2022 in response to COVID-19. We hope to offer this program during Winter Break 2022-2023. Please monitor this page for details on future iterations.

Study Away and COVID-19

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, participation in study away and abroad involves real and potential personal, financial and academic risk. Please click here to read information related to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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 - Tier II Culture)
  • IHS 5210: Fundamentals of Global Health (3 OHIO credits)
  • IHS 3934: Global Health: Interprofessional Experiential Learning (3 OHIO Credits - IPE Course credit)
Family on beach
Enjoying the beach in Poor Man's Paradise


The program fee for this program includes: Student accommodations, daily breakfast, some group meals, excursions, airport pickup, in-country group flight, 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. 

  • An itemized Student Budget Worksheet will be published when the next travel dates are available.

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.  


  • Non-resident surcharge waived for the credit hours associated with this program. 
  • 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. 

College of Health Sciences and Professions students are invited to apply for a Global Health Travel Award for this program. 

Eligibility and Requirements 

This program application is open to all majors from all OHIO colleges, as well as non-OHIO students with a GPA of 2.5 or above for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduate students.    Applicants should be interested in Global Health.

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.  Click here to 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 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.

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. Entry and exit requirements can be found  here

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  can be found  here.  


Post-Nomination Checklist

Please refer to the Global Health Program Checklist PDF for instructions on submitting additional information once you have been nominated for a program. This checklist also includes information on course registration for programs.