Study Abroad in San Jose Costa RicaStudy Abroad in San Jose Costa Rica

Many students may not think of tropic climates, warm beaches, and dense rainforests when they picture studying abroad, but San Jose study abroad programs could provide just that! Studying in Costa Rica might not be the typical international experience students plan for, but the Central American country could offer equal parts challenging academics and adventurous sights for the intrepid traveler. So, why not seek out an experience that others might gloss over? You could find that when you return to your home university you have a new, distinctly Costa Rican perspective of your current studies. San Jose study abroad programs like to combine work with play, so keep reading for more information about what makes this program tick!

Why Study in San Jose Costa Rica?

Universities in San Jose Costa Rica may provide students a plethora of exciting and engaging academic opportunities, especially for anyone focusing on concentrations in conservation, humanitarian efforts, and language studies.

But why is Costa Rica, and San Jose by extension, a great choice for students studying sustainable development and conservation efforts? Costa Rica is incredibly biologically diverse and home to rare habitats, like rainforests, that are delicate and vulnerable to changes in their environment. By studying in this tropic country, you might get a firsthand view of some of the conservation efforts Costa Ricans enforce to protect the native habitat. You may even come out of the program with a few ideas of how to positively affect your own home ecology when you return! Sometimes the best inspiration is seeing an environment that is wholly different from your own.

What about humanitarian work, then? How could studying in San Jose potentially benefit students studying that concentration? As with many urban centers, there are plenty of opportunities to work towards community engagement. Students could aid the community by providing much needed services to the Costa Rican people such as ESL courses or sustainability planning.

And, of course, it’s hard to study abroad in San Jose Costa Rica without picking up some Spanish! Students looking to broaden their language studies might have an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the predominantly Spanish speaking country. Even if you’re not studying Spanish at your home university, you may be able to add an intensive language course to your curriculum. Just imagine heading home and surprising your friends and family with your Spanish skills and knowledge! Even if you don’t end up taking a formal course, you could end up with a few phrases for your return flight. Just to help you out when you get there, coffee is “café.” That should at least make your mornings a little easier!

While the above concentration programs may be offered more frequently, San Jose’s bustling city atmosphere may also hold great programs for students studying international business, and health & medicine. Check with intended programs to see a comprehensive list of upcoming program offerings.

What is it like to Study Abroad in Costa Rica?

Living in San Jose may be different experience than what you’re accustomed to at home. Studying abroad is more than just seeing the sights (though that is fun!) and visiting tourist area. It also includes catching a glimpse of the authentic life Costa Rican people live on a day to day basis. Luckily for you – there’s plenty of people in San Jose!

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to blend in with the Costa Rican locals – or Ticos – is to use some of their slang! Feel free to through these phrases into your everyday speech to make you sound less like a tourist:

  • Más Tico que el gallo pinto” which means “More Costa Rican than spotted rooster.” Though it may sound a little weird, this saying means that you’re more Costa Rican that the country’s national dish, gallo pinto. Use it when you want to say something is authentic!
  • Try out saying “pura vida,” or “pure life.” This saying is a typical way Costa Ricans say “great,” “fantastic,” or “cool!”
  • When in doubt of what phase to use, just say “diay.” It can mean anything from “hey!” to “what happened?” to “obviously!” There’s a million and one ways to use it!

Ready to practice your Tico Spanish? Then you had better get out into San Jose proper and start testing it! And what a better way to try it out than by taking a tour of one of Costa Rica’s famous industries: coffee! Coffee is más Tico que el gallo pinto! Head out to one of the surrounding coffee farms, like the Doka Estate, to see how coffee beans are grown, harvest, roasted, and percolated. Of course, no trip is complete without a fresh cuppa joe.

For the adventure seekers out there, you could go white water rafting at Rio Pacuare just outside of San Jose. Due to its location, many tour companies pick tourist up from the city center and bus them to the full day excursion. No matter how hard you try, you could get wet! Or, maybe you’re looking for a quieter day outside the city. In that case, why not take a drive through the Central Valley? The scenic drive takes you through rural villages and beach towns that offer sweeping views of the entire valley (bring a camera!). This is also a great opportunity to try regional delicacies that might be tucked away in these rustic town. Be sure to bring a full tank of gas and a full wallet!

These are only a few things you could do when you study abroad in San Jose Costa Rica. Check with your intended program (or new friends) to see if there are any excursions that shouldn’t be missed during your time abroad.

Next Steps to Study Abroad in San Jose Costa Rica

Get ready for an atypical international experience when you study abroad in San Jose Costa Rica. Pura vida! To take the next step, continue down this page to browse a list of potential programs. To refine this list, select your preferred specialty or academic semester from the menus on this page. If you’d like to request more information from a particular program, click its associated link and select “request info.” Good luck finding a perfect San Jose study abroad program!