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A 2012 UGA Costa Rica student Says:

"Costa Rica is an amazingly peaceful country with amazing culture and wildlife. The trip was not a culture shock, but a culture re-awareness. You learn about other values, customs, and at the same time learn the importance of conserving the land & its creatures."

Language & Culture Service-Learning

SAN LUIS main overlook from botanical gardens Drinking coffee in the rain CULTURE tree planting with local children Operating the trapiche SAN LUIS typical Costa Rican home porch dogs CULTURE students making tamales kitchen SAN JOSE students taking photos on roof Girls exhausted lying crisscross on ground COAST dog running at sunrise
Undergraduate, Graduate / Summer / College of Education

Program Overview


The Language and Culture Service-Learning study abroad program is in its 9th year, and introduces undergraduate and graduate students from any discipline to basic linguistic concepts and theories while exploring through applied activities such questions as: How does language work? How is it tied to our identities? What happens (to language and to people) when speakers of different languages come into contact? How does this impact students and teachers in schools? And how is globalization impacting the way we talk?


During this month-long program, students will explore through reflections, discussion, and theoretical readings, the nexus between language and culture and how this impacts the teaching of ESL/EFL. As part of the service-learning component, participants will apply what they are learning over a week-long “English Camp” for local elementary school children, developing interactive lessons that integrate the Costa Rican national science curriculum, all the while exploring strategies for teaching English to non-native speakers. Most of the course is held at the rural UGA Costa Rica campus and the surrounding communities tucked into the mountains around the Monteverde Cloud Forest. However, we also travel to Turrialba in the Cartago province to experience a larger Costa Rican city, and finish out the trip at Playa Hermosa, one of Costa Rica’s coastal jewels in the Guanacaste region.


Although participating students may be enrolled in different classes, study abroad is different from "regular" class in that we attempt to make the course a seamless whole, integrating all program activities into an overall learning experience. With that in mind, participating students must enroll in the ESOL Service-Learning (LLED 4620/6620), which will encompass the work we will be doing in the community and reflections on that work regarding language and culture. In addition, students may choose 1 or 2 of the four content area courses offered: Introduction to Language (LING 2100); Language, Gender, & Culture (LING(CMLT) 4870/6870); Language & Culture in the Classroom (LLED 5040/7040); or First and Second Language Acquisition (LLED 5730/7730).

Note: These last two courses are listed amongst the 3 ESOL endorsement courses required by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.


UGA Costa Rica Campus


Program courses are taught using both state-of-the art classrooms and through "living classroom" excursions. All in all, the 155-acre campus, located in San Luis de Monteverde, is comprised of 45,000 square feet of built space, which includes computer labs, spacious bungalows, a student union, and recreational facilities. Additionally, there are nearly 3 miles of hiking trails throughout the property, along with a working organic farm and reforestation nursery.



You will select two of the following options, giving you a total of 6 credit hours. (Contact Dr. Mellom to discuss taking a third course.)


March 20 2015



Program Dates

July 2 - July 30, 2015

Application Process

Enrollment is limited to 14 qualified students. Students will earn 6 - 9 credit hours.

To apply, students must submit all 3 of the following:


If you are a transient student, please click here for complete application instructions. For more information, contact Paula Mellom. You can also reach the UGACR Office at (706) 542-6203.

Costs & Payments

Program fees are approximately $2,600*, which covers all lodging (both on- and off-campus), three meals per day, travel insurance, and all sponsored in-country transportation and entry fees. Additional costs include UGA in-state tuition† and fees, personal items, and international airfare. For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the UGA Bursar's website.

* The final program fee is subject to student enrollment.
Note: Out-of-state students pay in-state tuition. Additionally, the HOPE scholarship applies to those who are eligible.



After your acceptance into the program, all program fees and tuition will be applied to your Student Account upon registration through Athena. Our office will communicate program and academic course registration specifics with you when your program term approaches. Access your Student Account here. You may pay online with a credit card or mail a check to the Bursar's Office. If you receive a scholarship from either OIE or UGA Costa Rica, or if you plan to utilize financial aid, please notify the UGA Costa Rica Office should any payment need to be submitted after the deadlines given the timing of disbursement. We are generally willing to work with students who have special circumstances.


An additional application and $60 processing fee is required for non-UGA students to enroll. Click here for instructions and to download the Transient Student application. Contact the UGA Costa Rica Office to confirm once you have started the application process. And per University of Georgia policy, all non-UGA students will be charged a $250 fee in addition to their tuition (unless a student of a USG or SEC institution), which is assessed by the UGA Bursar's office.

Other dates / Deadlines




After this date, students who withdraw from the program will be responsible to forfeit their initial deposit as well as any program costs that have been spent on their behalf (e.g., hotel reservations, transportation, and payments to local vendors). To withdraw a student must submit the official withdrawal form.


FINAL PAYMENT DUE: See the Bursar's Office website, select Calendar & Payment Deadlines in the side navigation, then choose the appropriate term to find final payment deadlines.

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