About Costa Rica
This Central American country lies between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. It has a narrow Pacific coastal region. Costa Rica was cited by the United Nations United Nations Development Programme in 2010 as one of the countries that have attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels and, in 2011, was highlighted by UNDP for being a good performer on environmental sustainability and having a better record on human development and inequality than the median of their region.
Students hoping to explore new opportunities and cultures may wish to study in Costa Rica. The country has a rich history and plenty of beautiful landscapes to enjoy. The country, officially called the Republic of Costa Rica, is located in Central America, near Nicaragua and Panama, with the Pacific Ocean on its west and the Caribbean Sea on the east. This country's Latin American culture is evident from the moment you arrive. Yet, for those looking to obtain higher education here, there are exceptional opportunities available.
Costa Rica is a very warm and humid country. It has subtropical and tropical climates throughout the area. You will find that much of the terrain is in fact that of rainforests,, which makes for the ideal course of study for many students visiting the area. During the rainy season, which is from May through November, it is likely to rain daily. Temperatures remain warm throughout the year. During the dry season, which runs from November through April, more tourists arrive simply because it is better for viewing. Keep in mind that temperatures remain around or above 80 degrees F throughout the year.
The country has a strong religious affiliation and its cultural heritage is also very evident. Most people here speak Spanish, though many also speak native languages as well as English. Some speak French. From the food to the music, you will find a strong Spanish vibe. Dancing, beautiful artwotk, and hand made goods are some of the other defining elements of this country.
There are many reasons to make Costa Rica the place for you to study and grow. You have the ability to learn in a very small educational facility with ample opportunities to use what you learn within the local community. For many reasons, this makes this the ideal country for students looking for international opportunities to explore the world and to make a difference in their own lives for doing so.
Study in Costa Rica
Education in Costa Rica
The country has one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America at 94.9 percent. The area did not always have this high of a level of education and, like many areas of Central America, many people fought to simply have the necessary means to survive. In 1949, things changed. The country's army was abolished and, as the citizens said, it was replaced with an army of teachers. That is why there are primary and secondary schools in virtually every community here now. Public education is guaranteed and free through high school.
Higher Education in Costa Rica
However, there are only a handful of schools that go beyond 12th grade. Most students do not make it this far. Students who complete 11 years of education receive a Cotsa Rican Bachillerato Diploma. This is an accredited level of education from the Costa Rican Ministry of Education.
In terms of higher education, there are some state and private universities available here. The public universities are considered a higher quality and a more desirable choice for students. These schools are ideal for students who are bright, willing to work hard, and eager to learn. Perhaps the best university in the country is the University of Costa Rica, which has been given awards for the quality of education it provides to students here.
Universities in Costa Rica
Higher education for international students is available in Heredia and San Jose, both large cities in the area. These schools offer trimester education as well as summer programs. University Latina is found in Heredia, with courses in both English and Spanish available. This type of school is ideal for those who are learning Spanish language and culture in particular. A semester worth of education at this school costs about $8,000 USD. Most educational programs offered through study aboard schools in this area are customized programs to fill the student's needs.
A secondary option is to study in San Jose, the capital of the city. Veritas University is an option here. This costs slightly more, at about $9000 USD per semester of education. The focus here is in the arts and humanities, though customized programs are often available to international students. Other programs include business, health care, liberal arts, and environmental studies.
Why Study in Costa Rica?
There are plenty of places throughout the world to study as an international student. Some offer better educational programs than those programs found in Costa Rica. However, these courses range widely in terms of what they have to offer. Here, students not only can come to learn, but also to participate in the community. Many of the business programs have taught locals how to open and establish businesses here.
The health care industry is very much in demand here as well as in neighboring Central American countries. Students who wish to enroll here in this type of educational program will find outstanding opportunities to work in the community. Another area of focus is on social and environmental sciences. These are also fields that are very much in demand for educated professionals in the country.
Travel Visas for Students
International students will need to obtain a student visa to obtain an education from an accredited school in Costa Rica. To do so, individuals will need to contact their local embassy to request help in securing a visa. Tourist visas last for up to 30 days, though some last as long as 90 days. If your program will be less than this, you may not need a student visa.
On the other hand, if you plant to attend one of the schools for a full semester (as summer courses may be available for shorter stays) you will need to obtain a visa to allow you to study in the country. Students enter the country as a tourist and then apply for their visa at the local embassy. They will need to leave the country for 72 hours before the expiration of their tourist visa. Then, upon re-entry into the country, the student will be given another visa, for an extended stay.