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API: San Joaquín - Multiple Programs

Explore the colonial town of San Joaquin and study Sustainability or Culture with small class sizes.

Program Location

San Joaquín de Flores is located ten miles from the capital of San José, Costa Rica. The small, walk-able size of the colonial town fosters engagement with locals and immersion with the Spanish language. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the slower pace of life, beautiful natural environment, and picturesque views of distant mountains and volcanoes.


Students take courses taught by Costa Rican faculty from local universities. All coursework has been specifically designed for American students with the goal of maximizing their linguistic and cultural exposure. Small class sizes and attentive professors, combined with the incredible beauty and tranquility of the grounds of the Instituto, create an unparalleled environment for learning.


There are two Marist-approved programs offered in San Joaquin:*

  • Spanish Language and Latin American Studies
  • Sustainability and Environmental Studies

The Spanish Language and Latin American Studies Program holds all classwork in Spanish. In addition to a suggested Spanish language class, students can choose from a variety of electives in arts, literature, cultural studies, sociology, and environmental studies. Advanced-level students are encouraged to communicate with local community members and complete 20 or more hours of community service in local establishments.

The Sustainability and Environmental Studies students explore the unique biodiversity of Costa Rica and the efforts to promote sustainability within the country. Students spend the first two weeks of the program traveling within Costa Rica and exploring the National Parks and beaches to gain an understanding of the rich diversity of the flora and fauna. Once coursework begins, students continue their exploration through several trips and excursions related to their environmental and sustainability studies. The final component of the program is a 4-week internship covering some environmental or sustainability issue.

Student Life Co-Curricular

Students can participate in monthly API-sponsored social and cultural activities, including outings to movies, concerts, theater performances, museums, cultural tours and more – all included in the program cost. The larger city of San José is just ten miles away, and the Costa Rican National Parks, beaches, biological preserves, and forests are open to explore.


Students stay with host families while studying abroad with API in San Joaquin. Housing typically includes two meals per day and laundry service. For students who attend the Sustainability and Environmental Studies program it is possible that they will spend the final 4-week internship period living and working in a national park or other key environmental area to 

API Costa Rica Brochure 

How to Apply and Get More Information

Enrollment is limited, and applicants are encouraged to apply early. Click here for more information on the Marist Abroad application process.

If you have any additional questions about the program contact the Program Coordinator at

 Please click here for additional information on the program.