Contemporary Challenges Credits

USAC: Puntarenas (Costa Rica)

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Program Overview

Term Start Date End Date Application Deadline
Fall 2021
Mar 01, 2021
Language(s) of Instruction
Class Standing
First semester Sophomore

This program is NOT accepting applications for Spring 2021.



Program Advisor

The Program

Practice Spanish, study ecology, and more in the beautiful beach town of Puntarena

The Puntarenas program is ideal for students who are committed to learning the Spanish language and diverse cultures of Latin America. Through formal coursework and personal interaction with the host culture, you will greatly expand your language skills and knowledge of Costa Rican society. Puntarenas offers a small beach town environment where you’ll be able to practice your Spanish regularly and immerse yourself in local culture. Costa Rica as a whole is well known for its extraordinary natural beauty, preserved in its many national parks and reserves, which you will have the opportunity to discover firsthand.

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Program Location


Costa Rica


Puntarenas is a small beach town environment where you'll be able to practice your Spanish regularly and immerse yourself in the local culture. The geography of Puntarenas is unique since it is located at the end of a sandy peninsula almost five miles long, but only 120 to 700 yards wide. Puntarenas offers the peace and rural beauty of a small town while at the same time affording easy access to other parts of Costa Rica.


The Puntarenas program offers three diverse academic areas: Spanish Language, Ecological Studies, and Latin American Studies. The intensive language approach allows you to complete up to two years of university foreign language coursework in only one semester to meet Spanish minor or major requirements. You may also complement your language curriculum by taking courses in literature, political science, economics, history, art history, biology, ecology, and dance. You can find more information on the offered courses here.

Academic Calendar

To find out more about the Academic Calendar for USAC: Puntarenas, click here

Fall Semester

Late August

Mid December

Winter Session

Late December

Mid January

Spring Semester

Mid January

Early May

Summer I

Late May

Mid July

Summer II

Early July

Early August

Housing and Meals

All students in the USAC Costa Rica programs live in homestay accommodations. The host families are located within easy walking distance of the university and will provide you with daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


Students are also encouraged to start researching Scholarship opportunities as early as possible. You may find the following scholarships applicable to this program.


Available to all Rutgers students participating in a Rutgers Global–Study Abroad program. Applications can be found inside of your study abroad program application. For more information, please visit the Scholarship section of our website.

Available to study abroad students who receive a Pell Grant. For more information about the scholarship and additional eligibility requirements please visit the Gilman website.