Global MedCats - Costa Rica

Costa Rica
San José
Global MedCats - Costa Rica
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Dates, Deadlines, and Costs
TermApp DeadlineStart DateEnd DateCost
SummerFebruary 25late Junemid AugustBudget
Program Information
  • GPA
  • 2.75
  • Language of Instruction
  • English, Spanish
  • Foreign Language Requirement
  • Yes
  • Class Eligibility
  • Graduate, Junior, Senior, Sophomore
  • Program Open To
  • UA and Non-UA Students
  • Credit Type
  • UA Direct Credit
  • Level of Study
  • Graduate, Undergraduate
  • Housing Options
  • Homestay
  • Program Type
  • UA Faculty-led
Program Overview

Global MedCats – Costa Rica strives to prepare pre-health and health professions’ students to provide linguistically appropriate health care in Spanish through formal coursework, cultural immersion, and clinical observation.  The program is a collaboration among the UA College of Medicine's Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Hospital Clínica Bíblica, and ICDS Study Abroad.


Tentative 2019 dates: TBD

The College of Medicine Office of Diversity and Inclusion will award 6 upper-division credit units to undergraduate and medical students completing this six-week intense summer program.

LASC 393/493 Pre Health Internship (6 units)

Depending on the participant’s Spanish proficiency level, the program offers two distinctive tracks:

  • Intermediate Level - The intermediate level track provides students with the opportunity to explore health care in a developing country while furthering their Spanish language skills and gaining an understanding of the life and culture of Costa Rica. Students will attend intensive Spanish-language training (10 hrs/week); take a Health in Latin America course (8 hrs/week) that includes site visits to regional clinics and hospitals; participate in service-learning and volunteer projects (8 hrs/week) with vulnerable populations (children, women, people with disabilities); and live with Costa Rican families.
  • Advanced Level - The goal of the advanced level track is to enhance the overall Spanish proficiency of the students in preparation to conduct patient interviews and health education presentations about common medical conditions. Students will participate in clinical shadowing rotations with Costa Rican physicians (16 hrs/week); attend intensive Spanish-language training with native instructors (10 hrs/ week); and live in a cross cultural environment with Costa Rican families.

*Students who have completed at least one year of college level Spanish prior to the start of the program will be given priority.


Tucson, Arizona

Alejandra Zapien,

San José, Costa Rica

Dr. Alekcey Murillo Alfaro from Hospital Clínica Bíblica coordinates clinical observational rotations for intermediate/advanced level students. Bernardita Rodriguez from ICDS Study Abroad coordinates Spanish classes, Health in Latin America course, homestays, and volunteer projects for intermediate level students.


Students participating in this program will live and study in San José, the nation’s capital. Spanish classes and Health in Latin America course will be held in ICDS Study Abroad, located in San Pedro de Montes de Oca. Clinical observational rotations for advanced level students will occur in Hospital Clínica Bíblica, located in San José. 


Students will live with Costa Rican host families identified and trained by ICDS Study Abroad Program.  The standard arrangement is for 1-2 students to live in a home where they have access to a private bedroom and a shared bathroom. Families will provide students with two meals per day (breakfast and dinner) as well as laundry service and internet access.

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