Study Abroad in San Jose

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Study Abroad in San Jose

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99 Study Abroad Programs in San Jose

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Costa Rica is one of the world's most breathtaking and lush countries. Why not spend a semester or a summer in San Jose, Costa Rica's radiant capital? Immerse yourself in a Spanish language exchange program (ranging from beginner to advanced) and the native country's rich culture. Adelante offers various programs to better suit your study abroad needs. During your free time, explore the scen...

Students having their picture taken in San Jose, Costa Rica
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Experience the beautiful blend of a thriving urban environment surrounded by a flourishing rainforest! Studying at Universidad Veritas is perfect for students who are looking for a city life experience as well as the opportunity to be outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of Costa Rica. Students can choose from a variety of subjects in English or Spanish and will have the option to particip...

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Spend a semester or academic year in the lively capital of San Jose with AIFS. You’ll earn up to 23 credits through a variety of courses studying at Veritas University. Courses are taught in English and Spanish and no previous Spanish language study is required. AIFS in San Jose offers unique academic opportunities: Spanish and Humanities Studies, Environmental Sciences or an Internship and ...

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Center For Study Abroad - CSA International, Inc. programs are open to all adults from all countries, for study abroad is for everyone. CSA's mission is to provide quality programs at a lower cost, as well as offer a lot of flexibility to best fit each participant.

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Participants in this Institute for Global Studies program will assist curators in the running of a butterfly garden in Costa Rica. Interns will help on all levels of the operation: butterfly collection, interpretation to the public, and maintenance of the facility. This is a great opportunity to learn about the diversity of Monteverde through the wings of its most spectacular creatures. The int...

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Warm beaches. Active volcanoes. Shady cloud forests. Bustling cities. A long, peaceful history. Study abroad in Costa Rica with CEA and experience all that this Latin American country has to offer! Focus your studies on environment science, attending class in the La Marta Wildlife Refuge, or give back to the community with the Service Learning Program in the historic city of Cartago and the vi...

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Live and study in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Maximo Nivel offers the most intensive and professional Spanish immersion program in Latin America. Our Native Spanish Program emphasizes oral communication and integrated skills development to help you really build your Spanish language proficiency - this is a great immersion experience. Our native-speaking Spanish teachers are highly q...

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This multi-country semester study abroad program (Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua) is defined by an experiential methodology and unique approach to community engagement. Students develop Spanish language skills through one-on-one Spanish courses and language practicum. They are immersed in the lives of homestay families, urban and rural communities, and learn with and from grassroots commu...

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Study abroad in Costa Rica at Universidad Veritas, situated in the capital city of San Jose. The location gives students easy access to the citys restaurants, markets, museums, and the National Theater. Lovely beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, and other great attractions in the surrounding areas, are only a few hours drive from the capital city. Universidad Veritas, located i...

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Experience studying Spanish abroad in three different cities in South America - San Jose (Costa Rica), Cusco (Peru) and Quito (Ecuador)! By studying in several locations and countries, you'll see much more in an extended period of time and fully experience each regions culture and language. You'll spend a month in each city, live with a host family, have four lessons of Spanish study on a d...

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With a population of over 1/2 million, San Jose is more similar to North American cities than most Central American cities. This city has an energetic vibe with an active night-life. You'll never get bored during the week! San Jose's convenient location makes it possible to explore all the coasts, volcanoes and national parks that Costa Rica has to offer! Known as the Switzerland of Central ...

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San José, the capital city of Costa Rica, is set in the lush Central Valley of the Costa Rican highlands. As the cultural, economic and political center of Costa Rica, San José is where the majority of Costa Ricans live, work, study and play. Students studying in San José will be able to experience a vibrant and busy Latin American metropolis while also having the rest of Costa Rica's pristine ...

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Be part of hands-on programs for progressive minds! In ICADS' semester-long Field Program, students gain research experience in both the natural sciences (forest ecology, agro-ecology, soil sciences) and social sciences (sociology, anthropology, history, economics) while learning to address environmental issues from a multidisciplinary perspective. Students are provided with the analyti...

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Study Abroad in San Jose

Located in the heart of Central America lies the most Americanized Spanish speaking city of San José, Costa Rica. Studying abroad in San José is the perfect option for those who are beginner Spanish speakers; although Spanish is the native tongue, the majority of Costa Ricans (aka Ticos) in San José understand English and tend to be patient with new learners. This city is full of historical architecture, open green areas, performance theaters, various museums, hip restaurants, and is the central hub for all transportation to the more rural parts of the country, making it any even better location for curious study abroad students.

Studying Abroad in San Jose

The typical academic calendar is relatively comparable to that used in the United States. A variety of the universities within Costa Rica adhere to the general terms that run from September to December and then January to April. Summer term programs are often available throughout the break of the regular semester terms, which typically entail three month-long study abroad programs in San José for international students.

Costa Rica as a whole has the highest literacy rates and best educational levels in all of Central America, and most of these are comparable to the higher education institutions in the United States too. These rates are especially true for San José, which is home to variety of public and private universities. The most commonly chosen for international students are Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), Universidad Latina, and Universidad Veritas.

If you are interested in taking courses in English while studying abroad in San Jose, you will be able to find courses in a variety of subjects, such as arts and humanities, communications, politics, international development, business, and the most popular, environmental science. Geographically, Costa Rica connects North and South America; therefore, it contains the entire biodiversity of both continents. Along with the extreme biodiversity, the country itself is practically an entire tropical rainforest making it a tourists' playground and environmental researchers' dream. With easy access to both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, one popular course offered to students is marine biology.

Students who study abroad in San José may also take courses in Spanish - either at the beginner, intermediate, or an advanced level. Those who are at an advanced level of Spanish typically can choose to take courses with other international students, with Costa Ricans, or a combination of both. The most popular Spanish-taught courses offered to international students studying in San José are advanced level literature and linguistic courses.

Life in San Jose

As the nation’s largest city, San José attracts thousands of people daily, from natives working in the city center, tourists passing through, and the many students attending the various universities. It is no surprise that the city attracts a large number of people; the city itself is very green, artistic, and is home to a great deal of historical architecture, namely the theaters and museums. A few must-visit sites that are full of traditional and modern Costa Rican culture are: Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Museo de los Ninos, Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica, Parque Morazan, Plaza de la Cultura, and the one-stop-shop for all souvenirs, Mercado Nacional de Artesanías.

Public transportation exists throughout the city, mainly in the form of buses and taxis. One key point for foreigners to remember about taking taxis is to take those that have a yellow triangle on the door. Taxis without a yellow triangle are unofficial taxis and the drivers will ridiculously overcharge you, regardless of how much you try arguing with them.

Despite its problems and being one of the youngest capital cities, San José remains one of the safest cities in all of Latin America. In fact, the country of Costa Rica is known as the most peaceful country in the world and is becoming a popular travel destination. 

Accommodation & Visas

The most popular type of housing for international students who study abroad in San José is homestays, which are generally within a 20 minute walk from the students' university. Typically, host families consist of either a married couple with young children, an elderly couple whose children have all left the house, or a single older women. Prior to studying in San José, as part of your program application, you will fill out an information form and answer questions related to your preferences for housing. The purpose of this form and its questions are to help place you with potential roommates and/or a homestay family. Homestays often include two meals a day, breakfast and dinner. Don’t be surprised if either or both meals contain the national dish, gallo pinto (rice and beans), as the main entree or side dish.

Students from the United States can enter the country and study abroad in San José as tourists, they will receive a tourist visa stamp at immigration upon arrival which is valid for up to 90 days. Students studying abroad in Costa Rica for an entire semester (or longer) will be required to leave the country within the first 90 days in order to re-enter the country under a new tourist visa valid for the remainder of the time. Typically, study abroad programs in Costa Rica will include a mid-semester international trip, to either Nicaragua or Panama, in order to assist students with obtaining a new tourist visa stamp.

Benefits & Challenges

  • The Language. Costa Rica is a perfect place for beginner-level Spanish speakers to come and improve their Spanish. Costa Rican’s generally do not roll their "r’s" which tends to make learning and understanding the language easier.
  • The Weather. Costa Rica has two seasons: a dry season and a wet season. Both seasons are unpredictable; however, when it rains during the wet season it tends to pour, so be sure to either bring or buy an umbrella and be prepared to make it a part of your everyday carry.
  • The Pura Vida Lifestyle. Pura Vida, literally translated as “pure life,” is the national phrase of Costa Rica. This phrase permeates the everyday mindset that life is wonderful and should be enjoyed every minute (synonym: "Hakuna Matata").
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