Latin America: Short-Term Programs as Diverse as Your Students

By Kimberly Sarna, Geographic Oversight Manager, Latin America, and Megan Kane, Marketing Coordinator

From realities of high program costs to daily commitments to family and work, many university students feel study abroad is unattainable. Even with today’s busy, face-paced lifestyle, ISA short-term study abroad programs breakthrough complex education abroad barriers with new program options that consider a variety of budgets, timeframes, academic interests, and professional goals.

Spanish Language & Latin American Literature in Heredia, Costa Rica


Heredia is a relaxed Costa Rican city with a small-town feel, just 30 minutes from the capital city of San Jose. The city showcases pleasant plazas and lush green spaces and residents catch the smell of coffee from the many roasting companies that surround the city.

Students at the intermediate and advanced Spanish levels can study abroad in Heredia on two new three-week sessions offered in June and July. During each session, students will enroll in one 45-hour Spanish language or literature course. Students seeking more immersion can apply for back-to-back sessions and extend their stay to six weeks.

Costa Rica offers some of ISA’s most affordable programs worldwide. Cost-conscious students will enjoy low-cost flights to San Jose from the U.S. Upon arrival, host families will provide breakfast and dinner and weekly laundry service, so students only need to budget for lunches on or near campus. Living with a Costa Rican family is a great way to keep costs low while getting a strong feel for the Pura Vida lifestyle!

International Business in Medellín, Colombia

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Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia and is home to over 30 public and private universities. Participants will live and study in the popular El Poblado neighborhood where locals are known for being famously hospitable.

ISA has partnered with the Universidad EAFIT which is one of the most prestigious private universities in Medellin. Summer students can enroll in the short-term program “International Business: A Latin American Perspective.” During this two-week program, students will learn about international management and business in the context of Latin America’s emerging markets. Guided visits to local companies in Medellín are included in the course, which is instructed by host university faculty. Students will also get to know their host city through downtown walking and graffiti tours.

Cuban Culture in Havana, Cuba


University students looking to learn more about this once elusive island can still experience all the wonders Cuba has to offer through study abroad. This summer we are happy to open more study abroad opportunities in Cuba with a new 2-week Maymester program in Havana.

The program welcomes students of all language levels since participants will enroll in one 45-hour course instructed in English, focused on Cuban culture. Outside of the classroom, participants will enjoy exchanges with locals by living in private homes located in the Vedado neighborhood, near Havana’s famous malecón. Daily breakfast is included at the homestay, while lunches and dinners are available at affordable and delicious paladares located throughout the neighborhood.  

Cultural activities are coordinated by our local Cuban Resident Director, who provides full support on the ground in Havana for the duration of the program. Students can complement their Cuban study abroad experience by adding the Summer 2 session. This program offers language and elective courses instructed in Spanish and English and it conveniently starts right after the Maymester.

Experiential Learning Abroad

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Another option for students looking to expand their resume while giving back to the community is to complete a 4-week service-learning program in Latin America. Program locations include Chile, Costa-Rica, Dominican Republic, and Peru. Our partner organizations in these locations identify projects to which students can volunteer their time and contribute their strengths. Students can choose to earn academic credit to their program through a school of record by completing the ISA Service-Learning Portfolio.

Short-term programs in Latin America are a great alternative to semester programs and open the door for students to gain new opportunities and accomplishments abroad!


Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.

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