Study Abroad in Costa Rica, Academic Year

Studying abroad in Costa Rica for a full academic year might be a great way to not only engage with a foreign perspective of your intended course of study for an extended period, but also an opportunity to explore the ins and outs of a tropical paradise. Far from the typical study abroad program, this unique experience may allow you to take part in the Costa Rican culture far more than the average tourist could. You might also have the chance to delve into a deeper layer of exploration of the hidden wonders of the Costa Rican forests. Of course, there’s plenty of studying to do as well! And by studying abroad in Costa Rica for an entire academic year, you could possibly earn valuable credits to put towards your concentration at your home university. It may be like you never left! (Simply check with your school to see if program credits apply.)  

Whether you’re working in the classroom or trekking through the jungle, there’s plenty of learning experiences in Costa Rica! Wondering how to combine your studies with a dose of adventure in Costa Rica? Keep reading!

What is it Like Studying abroad in Costa Rica?

While studying abroad in Costa Rica for an academic year may seem daunting, it might be a great way to continue your home studies while gaining an international experience. The extended timeline could allow for uninterrupted study of your intended concentration, unlike semester-long programs which may be hard to fit into your busy academic schedule. By studying abroad in Costa Rica for a full year, students could potentially earn valuable credits to transfer to their home university. This way, you might stay on track with your graduation timeline while still getting the chance to explore the globe. (Schools vary, so check with your advisor to see if program credits are transferable.)

Some students may actually flourish from engaging with their concentration from a new country’s perspective for an academic year. For example, if you’re studying Spanish, Costa Rica might be a perfect opportunity to fully immerse yourself in your language studies. Spanish is Costa Rica’s primary language, so there shouldn’t be a shortage of native speakers to help you practice! Instead of spending only a semester testing your Spanish skills and knowledge, you could have the full academic year to develop your techniques by just speaking each day! That’s a lot of practice!

Costa Rica may also be a great place for biology students to take their textbooks studies out of doors. Due to the country’s location and varied climate, Costa Rica has some of widest biological diverse wildlife on the planet. What a great opportunity for students to study a wide range of plants, animals, and other organisms! And since Costa Rica’s climate remains mild year-round, you might be able to see the flora and fauna at any point during your stay. The year-long time frame may also be especially helpful if you’re conducting biology related research because you could collect data over a lengthier amount of time. Imagine heading back to your home university with an in-depth research project under your belt!

These are just two examples of what you could study in Costa Rica. The country also has a rich history and culture, and many other programs available. Interested in politics? Consider studying in the capital of San Jose. Or you might study business, health sciences, education and more. Browse the program listings below to find a perfect one for you.

What Could I do When I Study Abroad in Costa Rica?

Now that you’ve been acquainted with some of your educational options, it’s time to start planning sightseeing adventures through Costa Rica as well. For a first stop, you might want to check out some of Costa Rica’s biologically diverse wildlife – which is easy because it’s practically everywhere! To catch a glimpse of animals like the three-wattled bellbird or a capuchin monkey in their native habitat head to national parks like Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve near San José or the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge near La Fortuna. There’s plenty of ways to take in the sights for varying budgets, from forest treks, to overnight stays, to ziplining!

More of a thrill seeker? Why not venture to the top of Arenal Volcano, also located near La Fortuna. The massive peak is a great hiking spot for travelers to not only stretch their legs but take a peek at an active volcano! Don’t worry, the viewing platform is located at safe distance, but you might still be able to glimpse the magnificent lava plumes jutting from the volcanoes mouth. Of course, these are only a few sights you might visit in Costa Rica. There are many more natural wonders, as well as UNESCO world cites, to see on your journeys. Your program may even have a few excursions built in! Contact them directly to learn more.                                                                

While sightseeing  might be a great way to explore the country, you should also take part in the Costa Rican culture and join some of the country’s unique cultural festivals. And since you may be there for an entire year, there’s plenty to experience. For example, if you find yourself near the San Antonio De Escazu area in May, you should watch the Oxcart Parade. During this festival,  oxcarts meander through the city streets to show off their artisanal craftsmanship. In fact, many of the carts are decorated in a way to honor both their Costa Rican Aztec and Spanish heritage. Few internationals have seen (or heard of) this festival, so be sure to grab a few pictures to send home!

Alternatively, you could head to the coast of Puntarenas in July to see the colorful regattas honor the Virgin of the Sea. The patron saint of Costa Rica’s festival is celebrated through boat parades, musical concerts, dance performance, and, of course, fire works! This could be a great way to get out to see the Costa Rican beaches as well as partake in the local customs. Or, it might just convince you to venture back for another study abroad experience!

There’s plenty more holidays and festivals for you to experience during your year in Costa Rica – some which may even be unique to certain cities or towns! Be sure to ask your new peers if there are any holidays distinct to your region. Who knows, you might even get to spend the holiday with their family!

Get Ready to go Studying abroad in Costa Rica For the Full Academic Year

Ready to get going? Before you head out on your yearlong adventure, you should figure out what Costa Rica study abroad program might be perfect for you. Scroll further down this page to view listings of potential programs. To further refine your search to a specific region of Costa Rica, select your preferred city from the menus on this page. Good luck finding a treat Studying abroad in Costa Rica academic year program!