With its tropical climate, fresh food, and relaxed lifestyle, Costa Rica is an enchanting place to discover a new culture. By living with a host family and attending a local high school, you’ll get an inside look at this idyllic society. Let the country whose national saying is “Pura Vida” (“pure life”) show you how to take time and appreciate the good things. You’ll be much more than a tourist dropping in for a few days and sticking to the well-trod attractions; this year or semester program will give you the opportunity to eat, drink, and breathe Costa Rican culture, to learn the language and get to know the people.
Participants must be between the ages of 15 – 17,9 years old on the day of departure. (winter departure)
Participants must be between the ages of 15 – 17,0 years old on the day of departure. (summer departure)
The AFS Program
After your host parents greet you with traditional hospitality, it shouldn’t be long before you feel at home in their open, friendly community. By going to a local high school, you’ll be totally immersed in a new language and customs, and what you learn during the day will be reinforced at night when you spend time with your host family. This is your chance to break out of your comfort zone and join in this diverse and ever-evolving culture.
Your high school
You can expect to attend a public school where you’ll wear a uniform like your Costa Rican peers. The academic year begins in mid-February and ends in early-December, meaning that your summer vacation will be around Christmas time. Classes usually start around 7 am with a snack break around noon. Depending on the school, the end of the day could be anywhere from 1 to 4:30 pm. In some places, a portion of the students attend class in the morning while the rest go in the afternoon. Because most studying is done at school, you probably won’t have too much homework, giving you plenty of free time to learn about Costa Rican culture through firsthand experience.
“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
“Transformed” is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
- Airport Pick-up
- Host Family Placement
- School Placement
- Individual Contact Person
- Medical Insurance
- 24/7 Emergency Support
- Domestic Transport
- School Transport
- Assistance with Application Process
- Visa Application Assistance
- Pre-Departure Orientation
- Orientations during your time abroad
- Re-entry Orientation
- Global Competence Certificate
- Access to Alumni Network
- Continuous Support
- Worldwide Presence
- 70 Years Experience
- Visa and Passport Fees
- School Uniform