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International Programs, Global Learning, Study Abroad | EpiCenter

Latin American Studies Program


Students study Latin American economics, culture, politics, and faith when they journey to Costa Rica for seventeen weeks of travel, study and service. The San Jose-based Latin American Studies Program includes home stays, language study, two-week service projects, and travel to a number of Central American countries such as Nicaragua and Panama. Students who prefer a specialized experience can choose from concentrations in Latin American Studies, Advanced Language and Literature, International Business (fall) and Environmental Science (spring).


Explore course offerings.


Goals and Objectives
The Latin American Studies Program provides a cross-cultural experience that organizers hope will prepare students to live in a multinational, multicultural world.

Students must have completed two full years of college and have at least a 2.75 GPA to qualify for the program. Students also must have completed two semesters of college-level Spanish. (Messiah College language faculty believe that students should complete at least three semesters of Spanish in order to be culturally sensitive during home stays in Costa Rica).

Students are required to attend all Messiah-run pre-departure orientation sessions the semester before studying abroad as well as half-day reentry retreat upon returning to campus the following semester.

Students earn sixteen elective credits through the seminars, service projects, and internships. Credits earned from the Latin American Studies Program may meet some general education or major requirements. Courses taken will appear on Messiah transcripts with letter grades. Please refer to the grade conversion chart .


Students will meet their third language/cross-cultural requirement by participating in this program. Students will not earn 3 credits, rather the requirement will be waived.


Costs: 2014-2015

Messiah tuition, room, board, plus $1,200 off-campus study fee. Fee covers tuition, housing, meals, educational excursions, pre-departure, and re-entry orientation.  Note: additional fees students may encounter include (but are not limited to) transportation, visas, passports, immunizations, and course fees.  


Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from this program.

Messiah Application Deadlines

Spring 2015 – April 1, 2014

Fall 2015 - December 1, 2014                                                 

Begin the application process here!



Online Application

Existing Application

Application Checklist



“LOVE! The unconditional love that I was shown no matter where I went was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. My host families genuinely loved me the second I walked into the door. Because of the language barrier, our communication was a little limited however, every person I came into contact with showed me how much they loved me. This type of love is what we, as Christians, are called to show to everyone. I hope and pray that I may imitate this unconditional love to every person I come into contact with here or wherever I end up!”

--Julie Kramer


For more information about the Latin American Studies Program and Costa Rica, check out:


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Globalization Getting Started Safety Costs Pre-Departure Re-Entry FAQs Application