With its unique mix of modern and colonial, blend of ethnicities from all over the world, and a balance between industry and natural beauty, Costa Rica provides great opportunities for study abroad programs. Students at both the high school and university level will find many study abroad programs, allowing them to spend time in this interesting Central American country that has much to show students from a wide range of disciplines.
Study abroad programs in Costa Rica will take students to varying cities to study the culture of this tiny country. From the campesino culture of the Northern Pacific Coast, to the old colonial capital of Cartago, to the Afro-Caribbean communities of Limon, Costa Rica has several different national identities that students can learn about. In addition to cultural studies, students on study abroad programs can focus on their Spanish language skills through home stay programs, immersion programs, and various other classes at different schools through the country.
For those students wishing to pursue a study abroad program focusing on biology, Costa Rica is the dream location. From the mountain, cloud forest of Monteverde, the volcano and lake region of Arenal, the two very different coast regions of the Pacific and the Caribbean, Costa Rica has hundreds of different research opportunities throughout the country dealing with rich biodiversity found through its borders. Plants, animals, and insects abound in this land of mountains, rivers, lakes, volcanoes, mangroves, and beaches. Thanks to the government’s preservation of natural spaces through National Parks, Costa Rica is a haven for species of plants and animals found only this special place.
Students can also choose to study the unique way in which environment and industry relate to each other thanks to the importance of tourism to the Costa Rican economy and the need for sustainable development. Looking at the influence of tourism, environmental preservation, and economic stability, Costa Rica makes a great case study for students involved in any one of these disciplines.
Study abroad programs, such as the Arizona State University program out of Havasu, offers students the chance to earn college credit while touring San Jose, the nation’s capital, Cahuita on the Southern Caribbean Coast, Tirimbina Biological Reserve in the Northern region, La Fortuna and Monteverde, Costa Rica’s cloud forest, and Manuel Antonio, a Pacific beach home to Manuel Antonio National Park. As with most study abroad programs, students must have a certain GPA to participate and the trip includes fee outside of the normal tuition for the university.
While many colleges and universities offer their own study abroad programs, other private study abroad programs also exist, providing students the opportunity to find or create a program that suits both their academic and personal goals. Studying abroad is a great way to experience real-world situations, learn about other cultures, learn a new language, and have a once-in-a-life-time experience. Students on study abroad programs make new friends and gain skills and knowledge that they cannot get at home. Look into study abroad programs in Costa Rica and see if there is one out there that is right for you.