The Central American country of Costa Rica is unique in several ways. The most obvious is the fact that the country has no army. But in spite of that, it is one of the most politically stable and safest countries in the region.
And since safety and political stability ranks high for reasons study abroad students prefer a particular location, coming to Costa Rica to study would be a great idea.
The county has a population of about 5 million. Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. To the east and west are the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean respectively.
Reasons to study in Costa Rica
1. Students who love nature would find paradise here. Costa Rica is a country of tropical rain forests, beautiful beaches, and several protected animal species. Hunting wild animals is banned in the country.
2. Students coming to Costa Rica are assured of high education standards. As a matter of fact, the country has one of the highest literacy rates in the world.
3. It is an opportunity to study a foreign language, Spanish. That is, if you are not from a Spanish-speaking country.
4. Study abroad students are assured of some of the best health care services in the world.
5. Compared to many Western countries, the cost of living is low. At the same time, a high quality of living is guaranteed; two combination that makes a big impression on international students
Cost of living in Costa Rica
The cost of living compared to most western countries is lower. However, it is heavily dependent on location and lifestyle.
To put it in context, one of the closest US cities to the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose, is Miami. Consumer prices inclusive of rent in Miami is about 83% higher than in San Jose.
Other major cities show the same pattern too. London, Paris, Los Angeles, Munich, and Istanbul are 92%, 62%, 82%, 46%, and 23% higher in consumer prices (including rent) respectively than San Jose.
Some prices of items in Costa Rica are as follows:
Meal in modest restaurant 7.06 $
Coke/Pepsi (330ml) 1.43 $
Water (330ml) 1.25 $
Milk 5.00 $/liter
Bread (450g) 1.66 $
Rice (450g) 0.95 $
Eggs/dozen 2.84 $
Beef (450g) 4.04 $
Tomato (450g) 1.10 $
Onion (450g) 0.82 $
Local transport: one way ticket 0.73 $
Monthly Pass 51.16 $
Taxi (1.6kg) 1.85 $
Gasoline 4.06 $/gallon
Rent and utilities
Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage 67.17 $
Prepaid Mobile Tariff 0.07 $/minute
Internet 48.20 $
Student cost of living
Depending on the city and lifestyle, students should be able to live comfortably on a budget range of between $500 and $700.
Rents of decent apartment suitable for students can be as low as $380 per month. To cut cost on accommodation, students are advised to pursue university residences if they are available.
Flat sharing is also a good option to explore to cut down cost on rent.
A tourist visa is compulsory for all international students before they can gain entry into Costa Rica. At the airport or your designated point of entry, you would he granted a student visa for courses with durations longer than 90 days.
Documents to be required include
- Health insurance certificate
- Admission letter from the University
- Education certificates
- Birth certificate
Note that not all countries need a student visa to study in Costa Rica. So, it is best to find out what kind of visa you would need after getting admission to study in Costa Rica.
For the complete information on all visa issues including fees and exempted countries, head to official website of the Costa Rican government in charge of issuing all types of visas.
Admission Requirements and Tuition
Admission requirements to study in Costa Rica depends largely on the institution since there is no central body in charge of admission.
But generally, you would have to provide the following documents
- You educational certificates
- Proof of proficiency in Spanish
- Police record (not for all countries)
- Health insurance
- Birth certificate
The specific universities would provide all the required information on demand. The websites are also helpful in providing all the needed information.
The tuition fee also depends on the University, the program of study and duration of the program. The full financial implication of studying in any Costa Rican University can be obtained from the school.
List if top Universities in Costa Rica
Universidad de Costa Rica, San Jose
Universidad Nacional, Heredia
Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Cartago
INCAE Business School, Costa Rica, Alajuela
Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, San Pedro
Universidad Veritas, San Jose
Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología, San Jose
Universidad EARTH, Guacimo
Universidad Centroamericana de Ciencias Sociales, San Jose
Universidad para la Cooperación Internaciona, San Pedro