Stunning Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, mountains, volcanoes, waterfalls, lakes and islands, Cost Rica is an uber environment-friendly country with a strong commitment to preserving natural resources. Costa Ricans tend to be proud, friendly and diverse people who enjoy sharing their culture and social activities with newcomers. Pura vida (enjoying life) is the national motto. Costa Rica does not have a national military, which demonstrates just how much Costa Ricans value democracy, peace and political freedom.

Teenagers here enjoy the movies, dancing and visiting each other’s homes. Sports are very popular, especially soccer. Don’t miss out on local carnivals and festivals—they will be a great opportunity to soak in local culture with new friends!

Host Family & Community

Although you may live anywhere in Costa Rica, most likely you will be in a suburban or urban area. Sharing among extended family members is deeply appreciated, so expect family life to play a significant role in your experience. Mealtimes are often filled with passionate conversations on a variety of subjects, and may be stretched for weekend lunches.

School

You will probably attend a public school, which runs from February through December, Monday to Friday (7 am to 4.30 pm). Costa Rican students wear uniforms. You can always participate in sport tournaments with your high school or in the community, as well as join music groups and different clubs based on your interests.

A photo posted by Clara Aiello (@_harley_97) on Apr 22, 2016 at 10:36am PDT

Language

Spanish is the primary language spoken in Costa Rica, and some people also speak English very well. You don’t have to know Spanish before the program, but having a basic knowledge of Spanish or English will be helpful.

Food

Potatoes, eggs, corn, rice and beans, and dairy products are staples of the Costa Rican diet, Meat or fish may not be included in some meals throughout the week. You will also find a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and fruit juices.

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Go abroad with AFS to discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.
TEEN PROGRAMS (UNDER 18 YEARS OLD)

Our learning program will prepare you for an amazing AFS intercultural experience. The program begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations and other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations will help you maximize your experience, cope the challenges of navigating a new culture and community and gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding, throughout your time abroad, and as you return to you home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family through your learning journey abroad.

ADULT PROGRAMS (18 YEARS OR OLDER)

The Global Competence Certificate (GCC) program will support your intercultural learning experience. This state-of-the-art program prepares you to successfully navigate new cultural environments—during your AFSNext experience and long after you finish the program. Online intercultural learning modules combined with in-person sessions help you develop practical and global skills, knowledge and attitudes that employers need and mission-driven organizations believe will help achieve their social impact goals. You will receive your certification upon completion of the training program. 

Explore the Programs Available in Kostaryka