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UT Austin International Office Study Abroad

costa rica health summer abroad

Program Description

Engaging Global Health in Costa Rica provides an immersion experience for students to explore socio-cultural issues, health care systems, health determinants, and health outcomes in Costa Rica while practicing Spanish language skills.  This program is designed for students from all disciplines who have an interest in global health and/or Latin America. Students will learn about the Costa Rican health care system in relation to the health indicators and health care systems of other Latin American countries and the U.S.  Costa Rica, in comparison to the U.S., achieves a similar high life expectancy considering its significantly lower per capita GDP.  Costa Rica provides its citizens with universal health care coverage and offers some of the highest quality health care in Latin America.  Students participate in excursions to unique health and community-based organizations, with further opportunities to enjoy Costa Rica’s natural beauty, hospitality and culture.  Students also live in homestays throughout the program, gaining first-hand knowledge of and experience with the Costa Rican people and culture.


  • N309 / N390D | Global Health
  • N354 / SPN 319S | Spanish for Health Care Professionals

Meets pre-nursing major requirements. This program carries a Global Cultures flag.

Faculty Directors

Jane Champion

jane champion

Dr. Jane Champion is a professor in the School of Nursing.  She has been recognized as a national and international scholar since 1994 in Uruguay, Peru, Chile and Mexico.  Most recently, she served as consultant, advisor, and reviewer in international partnership with Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL), Monterrey, Mexico that developed the first doctoral program for nursing in Mexico.  Her most outstanding contributions to international health are in improving the health of vulnerable, at-risk populations of ethnic minority women and adolescents.  She was one of the first nurses to study the relationship of sexually transmitted infection/HIV, unintended pregnancy, substance use and violence among these women and children.

Alexandra Garcia

alexandra garcia

Dr. Alexandra Garcia is a professor in the School of Nursing who has taught N309 Global Health to nursing and non-nursing majors for many semesters. She directed a faculty–led study abroad program to Guadalajara, Mexico from 2006 to 2008. She also teaches public health nursing and conducts research with Spanish-speaking patients with diabetes in Texas.



Program and Application Details

For full program details and information on how to apply, go to the Program Page.

Questions? Email: Dan Siefken.