Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Every second I spent learning the more intimate details of Spanish only increased my enthusiasm for the language. My professors were so wonderful and guided me in producing some of the best papers I have ever written... I learned about literature, and so much about the history of Central and South America.

Sophie Glogovac
University of Nevada

Participant in Puntarenas, Costa Rica


Program Calendars

Puntarenas, Costa Rica | 2017-18 Yearlong

Program Deadlines
September 1, 2016 Application Opens, Early Admission Period Begins
March 15, 2017 Fall Early Admission Period Ends ($500 confirmation deposit is non-refundable)
June 15 Application Closes (Late application may be possible - contact USAC)
July 1 Fall Balance Due Deadline
July 28 Fall Cancellation Deadline (no refunds)
August 1 Spring Confirmation Deposit Due/Refund Deadline
December 1 Spring Balance Due Deadline
December 22 Spring Cancellation Deadline (no refunds)
Program Dates
August 18, 2017 Departure from the US
Arrival in Puntarenas (all students)
Move into housing
August 19 Puntarenas city tour
August 20 Mandatory orientation (begins at 2 pm)
August 21 Fall courses begin
September 2 Field trip—Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfalls
September 15 Independence holiday—no classes
October 12 Culture Day—no classes
October 16 - 21 Optional Caribbean and Bocas del Toro, Panama Tour*
Optional Cuba Field Study*
November 3 - 4 Overnight field trip—Monteverde Cloud Forest
November 23 - 24 Thanksgiving holiday—no classes
December 6 Fall courses end
December 7 Fall final examinations
January 15, 2018 Spring courses begin
January 27 Field trip—Tortuga Island
March 5 - 10 Optional Cuba Field Study*
Optional Northern Costa Rica and Southern Nicaragua Tour*
March 26 - 31 Spring break
April 13 - 14 Overnight field trip—Arenal Volcano and Hanging Bridges
May 1 National holiday—no classes
May 9 Spring courses end
May 10 Spring final examinations
Program end date
May 11 Move out of housing
Open return Students establish their own date of return
* *All tours and field studies are 6 days and 5 nights during the weeks indicated, pending final reservations. Final dates are confirmed upon arrival.

See Ready to Apply for additional information about the application process and Money Matters for more details regarding payment and cancellation deadlines.

USAC reserves the right to make adjustments to fees or deadlines at any time. If a program fills earlier than anticipated, USAC may move up the position hold payment deadline date to secure students’ placement in the program.

Occasionally dates need to be changed or field trips modified. Refer back to this calendar often for the most current dates.

Quick Details

2017-18 App. Cycle

Summer I (5 weeks): Open

Summer I & II (10 weeks): Open

Summer II (5 weeks): Open

Fall or Yearlong: Open

January 2018: Open

Spring: Open


Minimum GPA: 2.5

Program Type



U.S. Credit

Program Capacity



English | Spanish