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, service projects, and travel to other Central American countries. Students who prefer a specialized experience can choose from concentrations in Latin American Studies, Advanced Language and Literature, International Business (fall) and Biological Science (spring).
More information available at Latin American Studies Program.
Experiential Learning Initiative - ELI
All Messiah approved semester-long, off-campus programs are approved and designed to meet the requirements for the Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI). To learn more about the process, please explore the ELI Off-Campus Study Information Page.
- Students will complete all of the Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) requirements that are a part of this program.
- Juniors and seniors
- 2.75 GPA or higher
- 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).
Since studying off-campus for a semester is a privilege, please note the following implications of being place on probation at Messiah College:
Chapel Probation: A student currently on chapel probation for the first time (or with an impending chapel probation for the upcoming semester) will be required to meet with the Director of the Intercultural Office to determine the potential impact on the student’s upcoming semester off-campus. If a student has been placed on chapel probation more than once during their time at Messiah, they will not be eligible to study off-campus for a semester.
Academic Probation or Low GPA: A student on academic probation or whose GPA drops below 2.75 will be not be eligible to study off-campus.
Disciplinary Probation: A student who has been placed on disciplinary probation at any time during the off-campus study application / acceptance process will be required to meet with the Director of the Intercultural Office to determine the potential impact on the student’s upcoming semester off-campus.
Courses may meet major or general education requirements.
Courses will appear on Messiah transcripts with letter grades.
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.
During their college careers, students may take a maximum of four courses on a pass/fail (P/F) basis with these conditions:
-Such a course must be from a discipline other than those required for the student's major or minor.
-Courses fulfilling requirements for a major, minor, or general education may not be used.
-Students may declare their intention to take a course under the Pass/Fail option when they register or through the first calendar week of classes at the beginning of the new term. Students may also select to return to the letter grade system during this same time period. The selection cannot be changed after the first calendar week of classes.
-The cut-off point to obtain a P is C–.
-The instructor will submit only conventional letter grades to the Registrar's Office. This office will then convert the grade to P or F. (An instructor does not know which students are taking a course on a pass/fail basis.
Note: Students must declare their intention to take a course under the pass/fail option when they register or during the first FIVE DAYS days at the beginning of the new term. Students may also select to return to the letter grading system during this same time period. The selection on record after the first week of classes cannot be changed.
Messiah tuition, room, board, and student services fee.
Explore possible scholarships for this program.
- tuition, housing, meals
- educational excursions
- pre-departure, and re-entry orientation
- international travel insurance
Note: additional fees students may encounter include (but are not limited to) transportation, visas, passports, immunizations, and course fees.
Credit Limit Policy for Semester-Long, Off-Campus Program
Typically when students study off-campus in Messiah-approved, semester-long programs, students earn between 13 and 18 credits. All students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits; some programs require that students be enrolled in more. Students must complete the minimum credits required by the program.
In rare instances, students will be able to earn more than 18 credits off campus. If that occurs, students will be required to pay Messiah’s overload credit or whatever credit fee the program charges (whichever is higher) to Messiah for the additional course fees.
Students who audit classes on top of their regular course load will not incur additional fees unless the program charges for auditing courses whether students go over 18 credits or not.
*Note: Off-campus study fee increases annual at the same rate as the yearly tuition increase.
Messiah Pre-Approval Deadlines
- Fall - December 1
- Spring – April 1
Latin American Studies Program Deadlines
- Fall - June 1
- Spring - November 1
Rolling admissions; students are strongly encouraged to apply early