Spanish intensive & sustainable development in the world's eco-tourism capital (8 weeks)
Though small in size and population, this Central American nation holds great significance on the global stage. About 5% of the world’s biodiversity resides in Costa Rica, making it a critical site for conservation efforts. Its ecological richness and natural beauty draw adventurers and nature-lovers from around the world, who flock to its mist-enshrouded volcanoes, abundant waterfalls, and lush cloud forests containing flora and fauna found nowhere else on the planet.
A central tenet of Costa Rican culture is the idea of pura vida (“pure life”). It’s a phrase that encapsulates the wholesome, easygoing way of life embraced by so many locals, and helps to explain why Costa Rica is frequently cited as one of the happiest countries of the world. Yet, Costa Rica is not without its problems, facing rising poverty levels and the compounding effects of environmental degradation. Learn how local organizations are taking action on sustainable development goals, and what a pura vida future looks like for Costa Rica’s youth, precious wildlife, and environment.
Costa Rica Immersion Itinerary 8 Weeks
Your program kicks off with a brief orientation, where you'll meet your fellow travelers and get to know San José.
Head to Tamarindo for your 4-week accredited Spanish course. You'll live in a homestay or the school residence, and take Spanish classes at our gorgeous EF campus just steps away from the Pacific Ocean. Classes are typically a few hours a day, giving you plenty of time to explore and hang out with friends.
Head north on winding, mountainous roads to the Arenal Region. The journey offers many scenic vistas with stunning volcanic backdrops. Visit stunning waterfalls and hot springs, and zip-line through rainforest canopies.
Collaborate with a non-profit that seeks to lift up local youth through education. Activities could include playing with children, helping with homework, teaching English, and facilitating project work.
Enjoy San Jose on your own, with the option to join a whitewater rafting excursion.
Partner with a local foundation to assist sea turtle conservation efforts. Learn about the importance of helping these endangered marine reptiles, and contribute to their conservation by studying, measuring, and tagging turtles.
Work with a community-based project that leverages sustainable tourism for ecological restoration and community outreach efforts.
Head to one of Costa Rica’s most celebrated beaches for some rest, relaxation, and reflection. Swim at the beach or take guided walks in the adjacent rainforest to see scarlet macaws and capuchin monkeys in their native habitat.
Reflect on your experiences and how you can apply what you’ve learned to your future. Hone your global leadership skills through speaker-led workshops. Sessions will focus on self- and global-awareness, influencing others, and executing on your personal goals.
You could earn up to six semester hours of credit through our educational partnership with Southern New Hampshire University. Enroll in the corresponding courses at SNHU to receive credit for your participation in our program:
Language and Cultural Fluency
Civil Service in Modern Society
Tuition for this 8-week program is $12,500, and scholarships are available. Tuition includes:
Thinking about traveling in the coming year? Our flexible booking policies and risk-free cancellation options mean that you can book your gap experience with confidence. For more details, speak to one of our EF Gap Year Advisors, or see our full booking conditions here.