In the heart of Central America, Costa Rica is a nation of inspiring people who have built the longest standing democracy in Latin America. This small territory that only encompasses 0.03% of the planet´s surface is home to nearly 5% of the Earth´s biodiversity. Costa Ricans pride themselves on their healthy, peaceful and sustainable lifestyle, which they call “Pura Vida”. These words have become a true identifier for the nation´s vision and a welcoming message to all those ready to discover what Costa Rica has to offer.
ULACIT is an innovative, enterprising and bilingual university leading higher education in the Central American region. It was ranked as the best private university in Costa Rica and the Central American region by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) International University Rankings 2022, and it has been ranked as the best private university in the country for 12 consecutive years.
Bachelor Courses in English
Business & Economics, International Relations, International Trade, Latin American Studies, Liberal Arts, Political Science. Students enroll in 5 courses worth the equivalent of 15 US credits/30 ECTS units. To view the course offerings/descriptions, click here or here. Courses are subject to change by semester. Exchange students receive a tuition waiver for up to 5 courses.
NOTE: It is recommended to have at least a basic level of Spanish fluency to help with daily life. Enrollment in Spanish-taught courses is only possible with a minimum B2 fluency; a Spanish language interview would be conducted prior to enrollment. If enrolling in Spanish-taught courses, options exist in business, engineering, education and health sciences.
Master Courses in English
Master-level exchanges are not possible.
ULACIT does not offer Spanish language courses as part of the exchange. However, ULACIT can offer a Spanish language course for a fee to students who want to improve their language proficiency as part of their exchange. Students can choose to take a group or individual class. The course lasts 15 weeks, for a total of 45 hours, and it is equivalent to 6 ECTS/3 US credits. For further information, you can contact the Global Education Office.
International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) through the National Accreditation System (SINAES)
Online Registration Process
After being approved for study at ULACIT, students must complete an admissions process with two stages, which students will complete in 4 steps. First, students complete an International Exchange Nomination Form (this form requests important information not included in the Magellan application) and Exchange Admissions Form which has two different batches of documentation. Once a student is formally accepted into the exchange program, students will receive a confirmation email from the academic advisor. Final admittance will only be provided after all the documentation and payments have been finalized.
All international students are required to attend welcome activities provided by the Global Education Office (GEO); activities are held the week prior to the start of classes.
Not possible as part of the exchange. To learn about fee-based placement options, which would include a required fee-based Spanish course, please contact ULACIT for details.
Students with Disabilities
ULACIT can generally accommodate a student with a physical or learning disability. Typical student accommodations as well as shops and services in the community have somewhat limited accessibility. Students with special requirements should inform ULACIT of their specific needs in advance.
Grades & Transcripts
ULACIT uses a grading system from 0 to 100, with a minimum passing grade of 70 (bachelor level) or 80 (master level). ULACIT’s credit system is equivalent to that of the US. For additional details on transfer of credits, please refer to the Student Guidebook.
Transcripts are sent to the international office of the exchange student’s home university by email; the original document is sent afterward by regular mail. Please allow six weeks from the last day of class for the transcript to be ready and nine weeks to be sent.
Students are required to provide proof of international health insurance to cover emergencies or accidents during the entire stay in Costa Rica. Please note that international insurance usually has the patient pay for the treatment and then later be reimbursed.
University Fee & Registration
$550. This is a one-time administrative admissions fee that covers the admissions process, academic and administrative support during the stay, as well as the payment of the tech fee that covers virtual platforms and use of online services.
ULACIT students will have access to digital books through the Blackboard platform.
It is not necessary to visit a consulate. Once in Costa Rica, ULACIT will advise on different options to renew your migratory status in accordance with the applicable migratory policies at the moment. All USA and European Union residents are commonly awarded a 90-day tourist visa. To maintain legal migratory status after 90 days, students can either exit any land border to renew their tourist visa (e.g., a quick weekend trip to Panama or Nicaragua) or request a student visa through ULACIT’s migration lawyer ($200); the latter option would automatically suspend the expiration of the 90-day tourist visa until Migratory Authorities process the student visa request, which takes, on average, over 6 months. This is a common practice for short term exchange students and would be sufficient to maintain the legal migratory status while the short-term exchange student completes their 115-day academic period stay.
Host family (other options may be approved). Exchange students are placed with carefully screened local host families prior to arrival. Accommodation with local families helps students improve their Spanish language proficiency and become familiarized with the life, traditions and the culture of the country. The semester cost is $3,040 (16 weeks), which includes airport pick-up, guided assistance on the public transportation and the route the student will be using to travel from home to ULACIT and back, a private bedroom, shared or private bathroom, all meals, use of the kitchen and laundry room, access keys to the house, linens once a week, laundry once a week, and Internet access.
All meals are provided by the host family. Dining services are also available at the ULACIT cafeteria and food trucks on campus.
Fly to San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO). Students should provide their flight information to ULACIT so that ULACIT can coordinate an airport pick-up with their host family.
ULACIT’s campus is conveniently situated near public transportation, which runs throughout the city, and the main highway leading toward the Caribbean zone. In addition to a privileged location within the city of San Jose, ULACIT’s central location offers convenient access to the rest of the country. A few hours’ drive takes visitors to all of the top destinations in Costa Rica, such as Arenal Volcano, Monteverde Reserve, Manuel Antonio Park, several beaches, and more. Transportation, such as buses, trains and charter flights, leave from San Jose to various locations daily. There is also a wide variety of cafes, restaurants, clubs, and shops throughout San Jose. Theatres offer cultural activities, such as plays and musicals, while numerous museums are available for entertainment.
San Jose offers a variety of shopping malls, small shops, and markets. Most shops in the downtown area are open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Shopping malls have longer operating hours.
San Jose has a mild climate. Average temperatures range between 15-30ºC (59-86ºF). More than 90% of its annual rainfall (1,800 mm/70″) occurs in the rainy season from May to November.