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Study abroad in
Costa Rica

Flight Voucher $1,000 Flight Voucher when you apply with code by December 19, 2019

Experience Pura Vida

Study abroad in Costa Rica and experience pura vida – pure life – for yourself. Ranked the happiest country in the world several times by the Happy Planet Index and most recently by National Geographic, Costa Rica is home to one of only five “blue zones” on earth according to the Blue Zone Organization. Blue zones are home to the longest-living humans, and Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula happens to be one of them. One thing’s clear: Costa Ricans know the secret to living well. Hang around them and you just might figure it out yourself. This incredible Central American country has become a popular destination for rural, eco, and adventure tourism, and it’s easy to see why. As one of the most biodiverse nations in the world, Costa Rica provides an astonishing range of environments to explore and species to encounter. You can watch baby sea turtles hatch on either of the country’s coasts, “sky walk” across the suspension bridges in the Monteverde rainforest, and learn to surf off some seriously gorgeous beaches. Go whitewater rafting in San José, spot toucans and macaw parrots up close on a rainforest aerial tram, and ride a horse through farmland on your way to the Arenal Volcano. Go diving in Costa Rica’s Caribbean reefs, zipline through lush forest canopy, and repel down the rock face of the La Fortuna waterfall. This country overflows with natural beauty and opportunities to experience the great outdoors in exciting and memorable ways.  

Cities of Costa Rica

Cities of Costa Rica

San José

San José, the capital city of Costa Rica blends urban life and natural beauty; more than 800 miles of coastline and acres of lush rainforests lie just a short drive from this diverse metropolitan center.
Population
288,000
Summer Temp
78°F (26°C)
Winter Temp
78°F (26°C)
Geography
Temperate Plateau
Sample Programs
  • Foreign Language & Literature
  • Global Health & Health Sciences
  • Internships
  • Sciences

If you’re passionate about sustainability and environmentalism, study abroad in Costa Rica to learn more about how to run a truly green country. Ranked second in the World Energy Council’s energy trilemma index in 2013, Costa Rica is a world leader in environmental friendliness. Thirty percent of its forests are protected reserves, and ninety-three percent of its electricity comes from renewable sources. Costa Rica aspires to be the first carbon-neutral country by 2021. Considering this small nation contains five percent of the world’s biodiversity and acts as a pioneer in sustainability efforts, it’s an ideal place to study the environmental sciences. Come to Costa Rica and you won’t have to look far for good food. Enjoy a cold, fresh coconut on the beach, cut open on the spot when you buy them from street vendors. You can drink the juice or eat the fruit flesh right out of the shell. Try pairing your pipa fria with Costa Rican ceviche, a traditional seafood dish served throughout Latin America in different variations. Costa Rica, like many other Central and South American countries, offers access to exotic fruits you won’t find back home: marañón (cashew fruit), passionfruit, pitaya (dragonfruit), and guanábana (soursop) to name a few. Pick some up at your local open-air market, a great place to practice your Spanish with the locals. Spend an afternoon talking to a new friend over world-famous Costa Rican coffee in a local café. When it’s dinner time, dig into a delectable casado plate to experience a traditional Costa Rican meal, preferably shared with your host family at your homestay.  

Popular Programs

Popular Programs

Spanish Language, Liberal Arts & Environmental Sciences

Improve your fluency, delve into local culture, and learn about environmental issues in a country known for its amazing biodiversity. Designed for all levels of Spanish language proficiency, you’ll take at least one Spanish language course and choose from a range of electives.

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  • ST
  • SU
  • SE
  • YR
  • Starting at $4,595
Medical Spanish & Health Sciences

Acquire the language skills and understanding of cultural elements that may come into play when working with Spanish-speaking patients. Designed for students at all levels of Spanish ability who wish to work in the medical and health sciences fields, this program offers health science courses (taught in English) that provide insight into Costa Rica's health care system and offer active learning components that reinforce lessons learned in class. From recognizing medical vocabulary to describing patients' physical and mental states to communication with patients and other medical personnel, language courses focus on developing the ability to effectively communicate with patients through intensive speaking and listening practice set within a medical context. Advanced students will fine-tune their language skills, discussing topics such as advantages and disadvantages of traditional vs. holistic medicine and preparing talks or presentations given at clinics or conferences. Regardless of the level of instruction, expect to give presentations that simulate medical provider-patient interactions. An Early Start option, offered for semester programs, helps you jump start your (regular) Spanish language skills before your Medical Spanish course begins in the semester.

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  • ST
  • SU
  • SE
  • YR
  • Starting at $4,595
Study + Internship in San Jose

Study + Internship in San Jose

CEA San José Center - Extension, Veritas University

Dive into a country renowned for its amazing biodiversity and rich Latin American culture. The Study + Internship in San José program allows you to make steady progress toward your academic degree while developing practical skills in fields such as visual arts, finance, tourism, and more. You have the option to take courses at Veritas University alongside your internship during the summer and semester programs.  

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  • ST
  • SU
  • SE
  • YR
  • Starting at $6,095

Costa Rican culture has plenty of history, art, and culture to appreciate. Visit San José’s Gold Museum, home to the largest collection of pre-Colombian gold in the Americas, or the Jade Museum, to see the largest pre-Colombian jade collection. Watch local women perform traditional folkloric dance in their colorful costumes or get on the dance floor yourself at the nearest bar, party, or restaurant, where you’ll have plenty of company. Go out and see a show at one of the many theaters, where limited seating makes for an intimate experience. Discover Costa Rican cowboy culture at the annual Bonanza Cattle Show. Attend any of the country’s many monthly festivals with your new friends to see just how enthusiastically the locals celebrate life. When you study or complete an internship abroad in Costa Rica, you’ll develop your Spanish language skills, learn more about Latin American culture, and make progress toward your degree in a tropical paradise. What are you waiting for?  

Costa Rica Points of Interest

Costa Rica Points of Interest

  • Art City Tour This citywide open house showcases a variety of galleries and museums and offers a free shuttle service from one cultural hotspot to another. Visit the Jade Museum, the petite art space TEOR/éTica, and the all-inclusive National Museum, among other exciting venues.
  • Paseo Gastronómico La Luz This popular street is lined with restaurants, art galleries, and creative spaces. Don’t-miss eateries include Keidas Lounge Bar/Restaurante, Luna Roja, Lulú & Saturnino Bistro–Pub, Sofia Mediterráneo, Crepería El Gato Negro, and Impar.
  • Parque Metropolitano La Sabana This park on San José’s west end of is our version of New York’s Central Park. La Sabana has tons of green areas, a lake, walking trails, tennis courts, sports fields, jogging paths, and soccer pitches.
  • Hiking in Braulio Carrillo National Park After just a 40-minute bus ride from San José, you’ll find yourself immersed in the heart of the rainforest, where you’ll enjoy an exciting hiking experience in beautiful Braulio Carrillo National Park.