Study or Travel..? Do Both !

Have you thought about studying abroad in a country smaller than your home state? You should! specially if, like Costa Rica, it hosts 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Costa Rica is a beautiful country and its small size allows you to visit pristine beaches, rainforests, volcanoes, and jungles without spending much time in the road.


“Traveling to Costa Rica was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. Never have I felt more at home with a family other than my own as quickly as I did in San José. The city is extremely easy to get around (as long as you are aware of your surroundings) and there are tons of wonderful places to travel to. You must go to Manuel Antonio, Punta Leona, Tortuguero, and as many other places you can. People are incredibly friendly and will do anything to help you or make sure you feel at home. While the “pura vida” lifestyle is certainly different than what we are accustomed to, you get in the swing of things very quickly….If you have the opportunity to go to Costa Rica through ICDS, I suggest you jump on it because I promise you will benefit leaps and bounds.”  –Jenlain Coyle, GWU student, part of ICDS´ “Spanish for Development Studies” 
With paradise-like beaches on both, the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts, and over thirty national parks and protected wild life areas, the only difficulty is to choose your weekend destination. But to help you with your Study Abroad plans, we have listed below some of the students’ favorite places to visit when participating in ICDS’ program in Costa Rica:

Monteverde (Bus-About 4 hours from San José): located in the province of Puntarenas, Monteverde is a cloud forest about 4,662 ft (1,440 m) above sea level. Besides appreciating the magic of the forest, you will also feel the warmth of the local town, Santa Elena, which takes care of preserving Monteverde’s natural charms.

Manuel Antonio National Park (Bus-About 4 hours from San José): Also in the province of Puntarenas, this national park offers a stunning beach secluded in the park area and also the chance to see sloths, monkeys, deer, and many other native wild life. The park is also near Quepos town which is now a vibrant community full of amenities for all tastes and budgets.

Vara Blanca (Bus or Tour-1 hour and a half from San José): If you are up for a day trip, the province of Alajuela offers wonderful scenarios. Students can explore the area by themselves or go on a day tour and admire La Paz Waterfall and the local towns near the Poas Volcano.

ICDS Costa Rica includes, for its Spring and Fall Semester program, a study field-trip to its neighboring country, Nicaragua. The trip allows students to contrast and compare the different stages while enjoying both, Costa Rican and Nicaraguan, cultures.

So you don't have to choose, study and travel! Make the most of your Study Abroad experience!


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