Study Abroad

Study Abroad - Costa Rica

Each year, faculty members within the College of Health Sciences lead students on a study abroad expedition. Students receive course credit and greatly benefit from the overall experience.

Cultural Competence and Health Communications in Costa Rica

Study Abroad

Join us in the spring for this study abroad opportunity for undergraduate students interested in the field of health sciences or other allied health fields.

In this program, students will choose one of two different tracks providing opportunity for development in either cultural competence or healthcare communications. Both groups will experience the rich culture of Costa Rica through excursions, service learning, lectures, peer interaction and discussion.

The Cultural Competence and Patient Interaction program will take place in San José, which is the capital of Costa Rica. San José is located in Costa Rica's Central Valley, which means the city is in the perfect location for exploring Costa Rica's diverse wildlife through Ecotourism. While living in San José, students will be immersed in the diverse architecture, which has European roots with a Costa Rican twist. Meanwhile, the city life itself offers a variety of ways to be immersed in culture from the food, which can be found at local markets and restaurants, to the variety of plays and music.

Faculty Leaders: Anna Langston and Tara Hunter
Travel Dates: TBD
Course Dates: Spring 2nd Part of Term


HLSC 3002 Patient Interaction in Medical Assisting (3 credit hours)
*Note: Required course for Medical Assisting minors

Healthcare Communications in Costa Rica, taught by Clinical Assistant Professor, Tara Hunter, will provide an immersive and international experience centered on healthcare, culture, and communication. Students will experience the language and culture of Costa Rica while developing familiarity with the role of health professionals in various medical settings serving individuals across the lifespan. An emphasis of the course is to expose students to healthcare education, practice and policies in Costa Rica while also exposing them to cultural and linguistic differences between two countries.


HLSC 4200 Cultural Competence in Health (3 credit hours)
*Note: Elective for all Health Sciences and required for Public Health majors

Developing Cultural Competence in Costa Rica, taught by Assistant Professor of Teaching, Anna Langston, is a study abroad course for undergraduate students in Health Sciences, Allied Health Sciences, and related fields. Cultural competency is seen as a lifelong journey to understanding those outside your own ethnicity, religion, and culture. Students will experience the rich culture of Costa Rica through excursions, service learning, lectures, and peer interaction and discussion. While further developing their cultural competency, students will be exposed to the concept of culture as one framework toward understanding health behavior and the implications of culture for health, disease occurrence, prevention, and intervention approaches.



Scholarship Opportunity

Students applying for the Cultural Competence and Health Communications program for Spring 2024 may apply for the Kathy C. Walker Memorial Scholarship. is in honor of Kathy Walker who served as the Assistant Director of Students Services in the College of Health Sciences prior to her passing in the spring of 2023. A consummate professional, Kathy was an outstanding employee, capable of taking on multiple responsibilities and performing with excellence in all she did. Most importantly, Kathy loved working with students and always did so with an engaging attitude and welcoming smile. She was preparing for her first international experience before her untimely death.