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6 Tips for International Students Who Want to Study in Costa Rica

Estimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes

6 Tips for Foreign Students Who Want to Study in Costa Rica

Why do so many international students decide to move to Costa Rica these days? To begin with, the country is attractive thanks to a warm climate, an easy-going culture, and a rather simple legalization procedure.

Also, the environment for business is amazing, therefore student entrepreneurs love it here.

The great living conditions that Costa Rica offers are another plus for international students.

Let’s analyze what is important to pay attention to when moving to a Latin American country that stands out for its simple paperwork procedure and vibrant nature. But first, let’s get rid of some of the most popular misconceptions some have about Costa Rica.


Many foreigners, before they visit the country, have misconceptions, which can lead to having a wrong impression.

1. Costa Rica is an island.

No, it’s not. Many confuse it with Puerto Rico which is an island.

2. Costa Rica is in the United States.

No, the country is independent, has its own diversified economy, and has a stable independent currency.

3. Costa Rica has a weak banking system.

No, in addition to the Central Bank, there are two large state-owned banks in the country, as well as a number of private and foreign banks. Foreigners have no problems with transfers both to and from the country.

4. Costa Rica is a backward country.

No, this country has one of the best education systems in the region and even the world. A great number of international corporations operate in Costa Rica.

5. Costa Rica has a high crime rate.

6 Tips for Foreign Students Who Want to Study in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, crime is noticeably lower than in neighboring Nicaragua and Panama. There is no army here, and the police keep order.

Costa Rica is a Spanish spoken country, so you might need some online assistance. It is pretty easy to outsource some school tasks. From start to finish, you might want to get help from professional paper writer at EssayPro.

First, you will gain an opportunity to focus on what is important at this very moment. Second, you will save yourself from worrying about missed deadlines. And third, you will improve your academic performance, since the authors do their best to ensure that the work is done at the highest level. Let’s now move on to some tips and practical advice that any international student can put to use.

6 Practical tips for international students

1. Check Out the Living Costs

The financial costs for a comfortable stay in Costa Rica are relatively low. Compared to any other country with beaches and a stable economy, Costa Rica stands out in a truly positive way.

According to mid-market rates, 1.00 Costa Rican Colon is 0.0016 US dollars. For a single person, US$2,000 a month will be more than enough to live comfortably.

The student’s financial wellbeing is perhaps the most important on this list.

6 Tips for Foreign Students Who Want to Study in Costa Rica

2. Investment opportunities for entrepreneurs

These days, students use various opportunities to earn money and some realize that they don’t want to work for someone. Thus, young people choose the path of starting their own business. And living in Costa Rica, students will surely use all chances to implement their ideas and business plans. Plus, the tax system is transparent here.

Only those incomes that are received within the country are taxed. Everything that comes from abroad remains completely untouched by the tax authorities of Costa Rica. This system is great for those whose income remains in their home country.

3. Wonderful Landscapes

Costa Rica will surprise you with its climate, flora, and fauna. Even those who visited other parts of the world say that the variety of plants and animals in Costa Rica is truly amazing. A smart student can’t be indifferent to local beaches and national parks.

4. How To Get A Visa

In Costa Rica, there are various types of residence permits (for retirees, investors, remote workers, etc.). But you are interested in getting a student visa, of course. In case you are to move to Costa Rica as a student, volunteer, or researcher, it’s crucial to provide a certificate of enrolment to a university or course in the country.

There are five public universities here and about 12 private colleges. As a rule, the university applies for your student permit. But you must gather all the necessary documents for your application yourself.

6 Tips for Foreign Students Who Want to Study in Costa Rica

5. Use social media to reach other students

Before you move, it’s crucial to gather as much information as possible about the experience other students have had. Find communities on social networks, chat with different people, ask them questions. They will certainly be happy to share with you what you may face as a international student when moving, including pitfalls.

6. Start Learning Language

We all want to fit in the new environment and that’s absolutely natural. However, many fear that a different language will be an obstacle on the road towards finding new friends. Even some simple conversation with the locals in their native language will definitely help you feel more welcomed.

Of course, there are plenty of English-speaking people in Costa Rica, but Spanish is used in everyday life.

Analyze the pros

  • Studying abroad opens the mind. The contact with other cultures and another language will be a huge plus for your career.
  • Nice climate and warm temperatures (the annual average is 22 degrees Celsius while it’s much higher in the coastal areas – all this makes Costa Rica truly attractive. The rains last from May to November, with very little rainfall at the beginning of the rainy season.
  • The entire coast of Costa Rica is famous for being the best place in Latin America for a beach holiday. Here, you can get a suntan, surf, walk the empty beaches or simply observe nature, including the giant turtles coming ashore.
  • Costa Rica has no army, is peaceful, and offers a great quality of life. The country ranks first in the region and pretty high in global rankings.
  • The IT industry is developing quite rapidly here. Costa Rica is interested in attracting qualified specialists from abroad since the level of local programmers isn’t high. So, if you are studying IT, why not use this chance?

6 Tips for Foreign Students Who Want to Study in Costa Rica

And the cons

  • To be able to study in a Costa Rican university, you’ll learn as much of the Spanish language as you can before moving here.
  • Despite a stable economy and low inflation, the level of wages here is not high.
  • The higher cost of real estate. The demand is growing, especially in the beach areas. Some parts of the Central Valley are still really affordable.
  • The fauna can also surprise you. In the tropics, you’ll find insects and reptiles, including poisonous ones.
  • Government is slow, so lines might be long whenever you need something from a governmental institution.

If you are interested in becoming a international student in Costa Rica, do your homework, visit first and then get ready for the big step.

Photo by Fabian Marin Zuñiga on Unsplash

Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash

People photo created by lookstudio –

Travel photo created by wayhomestudio –

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Ivo Henfling

Your West-side of San Jose real estate agent, covering Escazu and Santa Ana, Rohrmoser and Ciudad Colon. If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the Central Valley or looking for any property for sale in Escazu or Santa Ana, you need to contact Costa Rica real estate agent Ivo Henfling. Ivo has been selling Costa Rica real estate on the westside of San Jose, in the locations of Rohrmoser, Sabana, Escazu, Santa Ana and Ciudad Colon for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and those other areas. For Ivo, a deal is not a good one unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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