Language & Society

Language learning isn’t only grammar and composition. Expand your Spanish skills a means to understand culture and to interact with real people in real contexts.

The requirement to participate in this program is to placed as a high intermediate or advanced based on the ACTFL levels. In case you don’t have this qualification, you can apply to our “Social Justice & Development Internship Program” which also involves extensive Spanish experience and credits.

ICADS Language And Society Semester Program Outline (13 Weeks Total)

Throughout the semester, students will be living with one or more welcoming Spanish-speaking host families that will engage with them and provide them with their boarding needs. 


  • 5 Weeks
  • Rigorous academic schedule paired with the challenges of cultural immersion and language learning
  • This block and seminar are core and essential prep for engaging thoughtfully with Costa Rica and the rest of the semester

Latin American Perspectives on Justice and Sustainable Development: ECON/SOC 412

8:15-12pm, M-F | 3-4 credits

Lectures and activities each morning pertaining to the course topics of development, ecology, sociology, & economy. Course work, readings, and assignments are in English. 

  • Multidisciplinary approach to the sociological and economic issues of Latin America and Costa Rica within our ever globalizing world. 
  • A constantly evolving reading anthology, expert guest speakers, fieldwork, and local field trips are the tools used in exploring topical issues.
  • Interaction and engagement with culture through living with local host families and Spanish with Costa Rican professors 
  • Deep engagement with the cultural reality and different perspectives; some assignments involve conversations with locals or semiformal social interviews 
  • Process groups, reflective written assignments, discussions and office hours are all spaces for the students to grapple with their experiences.
  • 1 week is dedicated to a trip to the Caribbean province of Costa Rica

Spanish Course: SPA

12:45-4:15pm, M-F | 3-4 credits

  • Students are broken into small groups with peers at their same Spanish level for an intimate and conversational course. 
  • Course taken is determined by Spanish level.

BLOCK 2  (8 Weeks):

In Block II, participants in this program continue to take formal language classes four hours each day. During this time, students will deepen their knowledge through the analysis of different literature and cultural experiences.

 At the same time, they will commence with a structured and personalized language-related practicum during the afternoons.

Practicum experiences include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Assisting teachers at local public schools.
  • Assisting at any of a number of NGOs in the San Jose area.
  • Participating in environmental or community development organizations. 
  • Cooperating with organizations in sports or recreational activities.

Upon completion of the practicum, students spend a week at ICADS completing written work and oral presentations in Spanish, while processing their experiences as a group and together with their faculty advisors (including a reentry workshop).

Application Deadlines:

 Fall Semester May 1
 Spring Semester November 1


ICADS recommends 15 credits for the Language and Society Program, broken down as:

6 Credits Spanish 
3 Credits ECON/SOC 421 Latin American Perspectives on Justice and Sustainable Development
6 Credits Directed Internship

Keep in mind that the final number of credits granted is up to the university. Be sure to check with your university if you have questions about credits.

Financial Information:

Language & Society Tuition and Fees (Spring & Fall 2024)

 Final payment$14,250 
 TOTAL COST$14,750 
  • Fall Semester 2024
    • Sep 02 2024 to Nov 27 2024
  • Spring Semester 2025
    • Feb 03 2025 to May 9 2025
  • Fall Semester 2025
    • Sep 01 2025 to Dec 5 2025
14 weeks
& Credit
Deposit: $500 (applied to total) Tuition & Fees: $14,750