Our college is a family of unique applied programs and students, ranging from construction management, health related fields, information technology, biological sciences and language interpreting and translation. We gather approximately 25 students into an interdisciplinary group to explore every corner of San Ramon and Palmares, a blue collar regional center in Alejuela province, to pursue our academic interests by day, share our learning at night, and together take in the cultural immersion that is uniquely Costa Rica: the rain forest, salsa dancing, coffee and Manuel San Antonio Park on the Pacific coast. Pura vida!
Formerly known as the Construction and Facility Management Pura Vida tour since 2013, the program incorporated Integrated Behavioral Health students in 2016, and is now a college-wide program of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies (CCAPS), integrating their varied disciplines into a unique cultural immersion. For example, all undergraduate programs will to work on a common project that is selected to impact all disciplines in some way. Graduate students will generally develop their own site visit programs with help from our local program hosts. The program will include 2 program leaders, selected depending on total enrollment from each of the study areas.
This program is administered by College of Continuing & Professional Studies. Applications are processed by the Learning Abroad Center.
Housing & Meals
Accommodation: Hostel Sabana
Meals are "all inclusive" featuring local cooking except one night out per week on the town on your own (a break for the cook!), and the mid-weekend ocean retreat when you will be on your own! Note: the Hostel stay is "dry" (no alcohol).
The application deadline is November 1, 2023
Late applications may be considered but you must contact Peter Hilger:[email protected]
Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 25 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.
January 1–14, 2024
Construction Management Directed Study: For students not enrolled in CMGT 4861 Capstone, this course content will support the project based coursework described in CMGT 4861, but will not enable credit as a Capstone project.
Construction Project Management Capstone: Using a local project for a community group in need, the CM students organize themselves as a company, preparing a schematic design (in metric), a cost estimate in colones, a construction schedule, construction work plan, and a comprehensive written proposal in English and Spanish, and an oral presentation to the Board of the client site, preferably in Spanish.
Health Services Management Directed Study. Project developed around the study abroad location. Topic arranged with and supervised by Health Services Management faculty member. Must be admitted to HSM major, minor, or certificate and have department consent.
This is a directed study program that encourages cultural exploration, and offers a number of immersion opportunities. This is also a community engagement experience, pending availability. Community engagement opportunities will be available at local human service agencies.
Information Technology Infrastructure directed study. Project developed around the study abroad location. Topic arranged with and supervised by INET faculty member. Must be admitted to INET major, minor, or certificate and have department consent.
Peter Hilger an Architect by training, a builder by passion and a teacher at heart, Mr. Hilger is a Morse Distinguished Teacher and Faculty Director in the Construction Management program, and developed and led this study abroad opportunity since 2013. He mentors and engages students in all disciplines to experience a solid cultural experience, and most especially on his notorious morning walks around town!
Frances Fernandez, is the Faculty Director in the Health Services Management (HSM) program. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Frances brings a multi-cultural perspective and professional experience from her over 30 year career in healthcare. Frances lived in Miami, Florida for over 20 years where she served in executive leadership positions in HIV/AIDS services, home health, outpatient services as well as research and education for veterans. After moving to Minnesota over 8 years ago, Frances served as executive director in long term care as well as pediatric home health organizations before joining the University of Minnesota. As faculty director for the HSM program at CCAPS, she supports a people-centered cultural approach for improving diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging to effect change and create a positive impact in the communities served. She is also an advocate for mental health awareness and education, particularly for youth. Frances has served on several boards focusing on health care delivery and funding, including quality initiatives for improved access and delivery of health care, in particular for the HIV/AIDS population. Being particularly interested in minority empowerment she works fearlessly to "bring care back to healthcare". Frances holds a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Business Administration from Interamerican University of Puerto Rico and a Master's degree in Health Services Administration from Florida International University.
Ann Becher-Ingwalson is curious and passionate about her work. She has a doctorate in clinical psychology and is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor and licensed professional clinical counselor. She is the faculty responsible for the HSM Directed Study course, and will engage those students toward a meaningful experience. She loves an adventure and a daily laugh, but perhaps not Peter's infamous puns!
In addition to working in San Ramon, trips to communities within the San Ramon/Palmares/Alejuela region to visit sites to observe and ask questions of local practitioners is expected. A weekend break to the famed Costa Rican beach of Manuel Antonio State Park is planned, along with a local zip line forest canopy tour, a rafting excursion on the Rio Balsa, a visit to a working farm with a traditional lunch, a tour of a traditional sugar processing facility, and a tour of a artisnal coffee processing facility. The famed Palmares Horse Festival is also available for a visit during our stay. And for those itinerant walkers, there is Peter Hilger's daily morning Walking Club, touring the city and surrounding valleys before breakfast!
A. Peter Hilger, AIA, Program Co-Leader [email protected]
Cost of participation is approximately $3,300 ($3,625 with estimated non-billable costs such as passport, additional meals, and spending money).
The program fee includes tuition, international airfare, in-country program related transportation, housing, some meals, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, program administration, and international health insurance.
If you are registered for less than 13 credits, or if you are a non-UofM student or a UofM graduate student, you will be charged tuition for this course in addition to the program fee. Notify the Learning Abroad Center if this applies to you.
Billing & Payments
Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.
The regular Learning Abroad Center cancellation and refund policy does not apply to this course. Connect with your program contact for details on the cancellation and refund policy for this program.
Winter Break 2024
Costa Rica: The Pura Vida Tour
Winter Break 2024
|Tuition and educational costs||$1,000|
|International health insurance||$34|
|Housing and/or meals||$466|
|Transportation (if required and included in program fee)||$1,400|
|Total Program Fee||$3,300|
|Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable||$0|
|Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable||$3,300|
Estimated Additional Expenses
|Costs Typically Incurred Prior to Departure These costs may need to be paid before your financial aid is disbursed for your term abroad.|
|Transportation to and from program site||$0|
|Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure||$150|
|Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country|
|Housing and/or meals not included in program fee||$175|
|Essential daily living expenses||$0|
|Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country||$175|
Total Estimated Cost of Participation
|Total Estimated Cost of Participation||$3,625|
|Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation||$500|
|Additional Notes & Information|
|* Immunizations Note: This estimate is based on approximate cost of travel-related vaccinations and medications required for entry or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on your travel clinic, the specific immunizations and medication prescribed, and your insurance coverage.|
Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.
Current US passport processing times are longer than normal. If you do not have a passport, or your passport expires less than 6 months after your return date from your time abroad, apply for a new passport now.
You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.
Application Deadline: November 1, 2023
Late applications may be considered but you must contact Peter Hilger: [email protected]
When you submit your online application, you will be assigned an application checklist that includes:
- First Step session
- After you complete all required application checklist items, you will receive an automated email message indicating your application is ready to be reviewed.
- Your completed application will be reviewed by the program leader in the sponsoring college/department.
- If admitted, the Confirmation & Payment Agreement form will be added to your checklist. Complete this form to secure your spot on the program. By submitting the form, you also give your approval for the program deposit to be billed to your UofM student account.
- Complete the confirmation checklist, which include the following items in additional to program-specific forms:
- Passport Information
- Emergency Contacts
- Health Information Form
- Online Health & Safety Orientation
- Release & Waiver
- You will receive information about additional steps from the sponsoring college/department.