This programme is available to motivated, non beginner students, between the ages of 15 - 18.5yrs, who would like to study one academic year in a public or private high school in Costa Rica with local students and sharing daily life with a Costa Rican host family.
Contrary to the European system, there is not a national or regional list of compulsory lessons, each school decides their own curriculum. The lessons may be academic or specialised: Maths, Physics, Spanish, French, English, Social and civic sciences, Philosophy, Religion, Chemistry, sports, music, arts...
Lessons take place from Monday to Friday, all day except for Friday afternoon which is free. The days start quite early (7.00am) and are in general made up of five morning lessons and three or four in the afternoon.
You can also take part in various sports or cultural activities such as: football, rugby, basketball, swimming, dancing, music lessons, drama etc. Joining these groups is the best way to integrate into the local community.
Schools in Costa Rica
This programme enables international students to attend a local private, semi-private or public secondary school, in a class that corresponds to their linguistic level, age and previously studied subjects.
With this programme students cannot choose the exact destination, they may be placed in any region of the country. Our local partner is responsible for placing the students in a school that best suits them, depending on availabilities. The high schools are chosen for their academic and social facilities and they offer a diverse range of courses, adapted to the students' level.
The majority of our partner schools are located in the San José region. All of the schools have security systems, school bus pick ups and a cafeteria. Some of the private and semi-private schools also have a swimming pool. The majority have football and basketball teams among other sports. International students also have the opportunity to take a Spanish language course or to join one of the school's sports clubs.
Uniform is compulsory in most of the schools.
The different types of schools:
- Private schools: These schools are quite small (around 200 students), have excellent academic results with a reputation to match. Students are mostly from upper or middle social classes. They are bilingual Spanish-English schools and are located in metropolitan areas.
- Semi-private schools: The majority of these schools are Catholic (some are Adventist or Christian). They welcome between 100 and 300 students, most of whom are from a middle class background. Around half of these schools are bilingual and they are either located in metropolitan or province areas.
- Public schools: These are large schools with more than 500 students, who mostly come from working class backgrounds. They are either located in metropolitan or province areas.
Cost Rican Host Families
The host families are one of the most important elements of this programme, hence why their selection is so important.
The families choose to host students because they want to learn about new cultures and share their own culture and the Costa Rican way of life. After having been selected on an interview and reference basis, they take an active role in choosing the student that they will host.
Students have a single room with full-board.
The Local Correspondent
The local correspondent is an experienced member of staff who knows the host families well and is regular contact with the students. As they are able to react quickly in case of emergency, they are the students' primary contact on location.
He/she will be available to answer any questions students may have on arrival, and help them will all of the administrative procedures. Regular communication is set with the parents, host family and the school so that the programme goes as well as possible.
Students are also given an emergency telephone number in case they need to contact someone on location if an emergency arises.
Discover Costa Rica
Costa Rica is an extraordinary country with a very rich biodiversity, with numerous national parks preserving this. The country is a part of Central America, surrounded by Nicaragua in the north, Panama in the south east, the Pacific ocean to the west and south and the Caribbean Islands to the east. With 1,9 million tourists per year, it is the most visited place in Central America. Ecotourism is a very developed activity, many tourists come to Costa Rica to visit the parks and protected areas of the country.
The population of Costa Rica is around 4,1 million inhabitants. It has a tropical and subtropical climate, with a dry season from December to April and the rainy season from May to November.
The international students may be placed in the capital region of San José, in the communities of Hérédia, Alajuela or Cartago for example.
The Costa Rican School System
Costa Ricans are very proud of their education system. Teaching is split into two main phases: six levels at primary school and five levels in secondary school. Only a few schools in the country offer a sixth year in secondary school. Students receive a national "Bachillereto Diploma" at the end of their studies, which grants them access to universities. International students will get a participation certificate at the end of their stay.
The school year is split into two semesters. International students can join a class for a full academic year. The school year runs from the start of February and finishes at the end of December. The winter holidays are in July and the summer holidays are in January.
- Must be between the ages of 15 and 18.5
- Must have a good level of Spanish (at least two years of study)
- Must be in good academic standing for the past two years
- Must have the willingness to make new friends and share in the daily life of a host family
- Must be able to prove that you have an interest in learning about other cultures and languages, that you are motivated, mature, and able to adapt.
If you fit these requirements, you can click on the "Prices & Dates" tab for a link to our booking form.
Students who do not meet the age or language level criteria are invited to contact us to discuss other possible options.
Duration of stay & visas
The duration of this programme is offered for one academic year, from February to December.
A student visa is necessary to take part in this programme. It will be valid for the duration of the booking. We will provide you with all of the necessary documents and help you with the visa procedure.
Do you fit the criteria for participation? Think this high school abroad programme is for you? Then send us a booking form as soon as possible.
Upon receipt of your registration form, we will call you for a preliminary phone interview to go over the information you've given us, to discuss your level of Spanish, and to assess your motivation. If we feel you are a good fit, we will invite you to make a 1,500€ deposit to confirm your booking and begin the enrolment process. We will then schedule a second phone interview to go over more details and answer your questions.
At this point, we will send you a file to complete in the mail in which we request that you send us a letter of recommendation from a teacher, medical certificates, a letter addressed to your host family, and other necessary documents for processing your application.
Full registration must be completed by the 31st October at the latest for departures in February. Allow around one month for completing the file.
Pre-enrolment forms must be completed and sent to our office in either Brussels or Paris no later than one month before the full registration deadline.
Please note: late enrolments will be dealt with on a case by case basis and are subject to late fees.
Candidates who do not meet the age or level requirements are invited to come and discuss other available options.
So that your stay goes as well as possible and that you are aware of all the different elements of the programme, you are invited to attend an information meeting in Brussels in June. This allows Easy Languages students to meet each other and ask any questions they may have to the team. Students from previous years are also invited so that they can share their experiences with the students. It is also during this meeting that any final administrative details will be completed.
If you do not live in Belgium, you can also meet our teams in Paris or Canada. Otherwise we are able to set up a telephone interview in order to explain the full procedure and answer any final questions.
A second meeting in Costa Rica shortly after arrival will also take place. You will be contacted by the local correspondent who will be able to answer any questions you may have about the programme thus far.
Prices & Dates
- Academic Year Early February to early December
Includes all taxes & enrollment fees.Book Now
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- Enrolment and placement in our partner school
- Selection of and placement in a host family
- Detailed and personalized information on all aspects of your trip
- Advance interview
- Accommodation, meals, and laundry, as if a member of the host family
- Personal assistance, constant support, and tutor's advice during your stay
- Regular contact and evaluation reports
- Class materials
- Transfers and public transport
- All enrolment, administrative, and candidature exam fees.
Prices do not include:
- Possible medical insurance
- Possible excursions
- Possible Spanish lessons, if necessary
- Possible visa fees
- School materials and uniform
- Pocket money