Office of Global Engagement

Telephone: 706-542-2900



Program dates:  May 17, 2021 - June 9, 2021 (28 days)
Estimated Program Fee: $3,770 (includes program deposit, lodging, some meals, program-related transportation, and entrance fees for program-related academic and cultural activities and excursions). It does not include plane fare, UGA tuition, or UGA fees.  To see a detailed breakdown of cost,  visit  Cost of Attendance Sheets link at the StudyAway Portal.
Early application deadline: October 1, 2020 (for students interested in applying to the early cycle of OGE General Scholarships.)
Early decision notice: October 9, 2020
Standard application deadline: January 15, 2021
Standard decision notice: January 22, 2021


Professors from the UGA School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Lamar Dodd School of Art team up to offer this unique interdisciplinary program in health journalism. While Costa Rica’s tropical weather attracts a thriving tourism industry, that same equatorial climate creates lots of standing water and the emergence of multiple mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika, West Nile, and Dengue. Covid-19, though not mosquito-borne, has demonstrated that public health risks easily cross borders, and new diseases may be a plane ride away. Students will delve into the topic of infectious disease and public health through a carefully curated assortment of classes, guest lectures, and field experiences, all while learning and applying journalistic and multimedia concepts to share consumer-friendly stories.



JRLC 5990: Health Journalism in Costa Rica, 3 credits. 

The course consists of lectures, seminars, and excursions focused on journalism and public health. On most days, the program will involve structured or independent activities; all students are expected to participate fully in assigned work and submit entries to a blog post with their daily reflections. Students will be reporting and conducting interviews; Spanish language skills are a bonus, but not mandatory, as a translator will be provided. The students will be taking classes and gathering materials from guest lectures, site visits, and independent initiative. The final week is production heavy, and students will produce a multimedia story that includes an on-camera package (video), a web feature (print), and a virtual montage with captions (photography).

ARST 2220: Introduction to Photography Fieldwork,  3 credits 

The course seeks to expand students’ knowledge of digital photography and video through fieldwork alongside in-class demonstrations, discussion, and group critique. This includes, but is not limited to, camera controls, composition, color temperature, and quality of light, as well as an introduction to basic editing. In addition, ethical issues in photography and video are examined as this course integrates with the journalism course to produce multimedia stories on the health topic studied.


Sabriya Rice, Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism
Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication
Maureen Costello
Lamar Dodd School of Art
For general program information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Office of Global Engagement


The Zell Miller and Hope scholarships as well as the Pell Grant apply to tuition for eligible students. All UGA students in this program are eligible to apply to the OGE General Scholarships. Students are also encouraged to research other scholarships offered by UGA colleges and departments as well as national scholarships. Please check our funding and Scholarship Page on the Study Away Portal for more information.


The program will be based in San José, Costa Rica's capital city, where students will reside in local homestays.  Most meals are included with the program, though several lunches will be the responsibility of the individual student. Homestay families have been carefully vetted and prepared by the in-country coordinators. Knowledge of Spanish is not necessary.  Several day-trips near San José are also part of the program.


Open to all majors. Preference is given to related majors and minors in journalism and health.
Satisfactory academic and disciplinary records.
Preferred GPA: 3.0 or higher 
Enrollment is limited to 15 students (minimum enrollment of 10 must be met to confirm program).


Begin an application on the portal. Only completed applications by the deadline will be considered. Admission decisions will be sent via the application portal to your UGAMail account. Admitted students will have a limited time to commit (or withdraw/decline) and pay a non-refundable $300 deposit. Once the program is full, eligible applicants will be waitlisted.