Study Abroad in Costa Rica
Education Meets Adventure
As you learn about Costa Rican culture, get caught up in the adventure! You can participate in the countless outdoor activities, get down in the discos or sample some of the local cuisine. Passionate about your java? You can't leave this place without a taste of its famous "cafecito," or coffee. Students can also fill up on the national dish, "gallo pinto," which is a rice and bean dish.
Costa Rican natives are referred to as "Ticos," and because of the heavy European influence, there are few indigenous peoples still living in the country. Ticos are known to be conservative, especially when it comes to family. But you'll find they love to party, whether it's in honor of a family or religious event.
Are you a theater buff? Ticos have a deep love for the performing arts, and the cities of Ecsazu and Santa Ana serve as their cultural center. In fact, there are more theater companies per capita in Costa Rica than in any other nation in the world.
Besides theater trips, students who study abroad in Costa Rica will find plenty to keep them busy outside the classroom:
- San Jose's Mercado Central is a meeting place complete with shops, restaurants and bars;
- "Hang Ten" with some of the best surfing in the world in the waters surrounding Costa Rica; and
- Fly-fishing, beach bathing, hiking, waterskiing, whitewater rafting and horseback riding expeditions are all popular activities.
Ever wanted to visit a tropical rainforest? You can walk for literally days in the rainforests of the Parque Nacional Corcovado in the southern part of the country. Additionally, Pavones on the Pacific Coast is known for some of the best surfing in Central America, and students can go snorkeling and diving at the Reserva Biologica Isla del Caso or deep-sea fishing at Golfito.
Discover Natural Wonders
You've seen pictures of Costa Rica before, right? It's that impossibly green place with luscious beaches, thick rain forests and awe-inspiring waterfalls.
It's no surprise that the natural sciences are the most popular fields of study in Costa Rica. Explore Costa Rican volcanoes is the Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja in the northwest portion of the country-marvel at craters, lagoons, sulphur springs and boiling mud pools, take some scenic hikes or travel on horseback.
Zoology and biology students will discover that Costa Rica is not known as the "rich coast" for nothing. The country is home to a vast selection of animal life, including:
- More than 260 species of mammals, including marine life;
- 65,000 classified species of insects;
- 180 species of amphibians;
- and 235 species of reptiles.
The climate of Costa Rica is tropical and subtropical, making it possible for such an array of animal and plant life. The landscape is diverse and absolutely breathtaking in certain regions, including coastal plains along the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. There are rugged mountains with more than 100 volcanic cones, and warm, scenic beaches.