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We can’t stop talking about Costa Rica. Costa Rica is more than a vacation destination: it’s an experience! Think about it: from majestic volcanoes, misty cloud forests, stunning river valleys to hundreds of beaches along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, Costa Rica is a beautiful place to live. With over 500,000 plant and animal species, Costa Rica is one of the planet’s most biologically dense countries. Representing close to 4% of the total species on Earth!

But Costa Rica is also one of the safest, friendliest and most international of Latin American destinations, a very family oriented country and is small and compact encompassing just 0.03% of the world’s land mass!
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. Vamos!

Eligibility Requirements

Age on Departure for Semester and Year Programs: 15-17 years old
Age on Departure for Short Programs: 14.6 – 17.10 years old

Graduates accepted; Costa Rican school system concludes in the 11th grade (in most cases) and with students 17 years old. In that context, AFS graduates and older students may have difficulties adjusting to school with younger classmates and academic contents already known.

Basic Spanish required upon arrival

It is very difficult to place vegetarian participants in Costa Rica. Any case of vegetarian applicant would be considered on individual basis. The basic diet of most Costa Rican families includes rice, beans, corn, fruit, vegetables and meat. Costa Rican families consider meat consumption not only healthy and a basic part of their diet, but in many cases something they are grateful to be able to afford. It is expected from any participant on this program to adapt to that reality.

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Host Family Placement
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • School Placement
  • Individual Contact Person
  • Medical Insurance
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Domestic Transport
  • Assistance with Application Process
  • Visa Application Assistance
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Orientations during your time abroad
  • Access to Alumni Network
  • Continuous Support
  • Worldwide Presence
  • 70 Years Experience

What you are responsible for

  • Vaccinations
  • Visa and Passport Fees
  • School Uniform