Costa Rica San Jose 96113852 Hero

Located in the central valley of Costa Rica, San José is a vibrant urban center in the heart of a serene and beautiful nation. Three volcanoes surround the city, and quaint villages, farms and coffee plantations dot the hillsides. Though the metropolitan area is home to 36% of the nation’s population, one can easily explore the smaller central area of the city and discover its neighborhood markets and local restaurants. Cultural opportunities including theater, music, cinema and dance are also abundant in San José. Students can visit the Museo Nacional; the Museo de Oro Precolombino, with its sparkling collection of pre-Columbian gold; or the Museo de Jade, which boasts the world’s largest collection of jade.

API offers two options to study abroad in San José:

Students choosing to study at the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) complete their coursework in both English and Spanish with other American study abroad students on the campus of the Universidad Latina, Costa Rica’s largest private university. The campus is located northeast of downtown in an area of San José known as Lourdes de Montes de Oca. With its modern facilities, advanced equipment, and experienced and efficient staff, the Universidad Latina provides the perfect learning environment for the ICDS programs. Students have full access to all facilities at the Universidad Latina, including libraries, bookstores, coffee shops and a food court. Intimate class sizes provide students with ample opportunities to participate and explore areas of particular interest to them, and students who desire greater interaction with local students can seek friends from among the general Universidad Latina student population.

Founded in 1991, Universidad Veritas is a private university that prides itself on the development of non-linear critical thought and creativity. The university’s mission statement emphasizes the student’s active participation in the learning process; every student is expected to play the role of protagonist in their own academic development. Approximately 1,700 students attend the university in any given semester. Operating programs for international students since 1993, the Universidad Veritas offers a vast array of academic options. Students may select Spanish language courses from the beginning to advanced levels, complete a multitude of elective coursework in Spanish or English, or enroll in art, design and architecture courses with local Costa Rican students. Students also have full access to university amenities, including extracurricular activities such as dance classes, conversation partners, volunteer work and cooking lessons.

“I just wanted to say thank you API for giving me the opportunity to be in Costa Rica to learn about myself, the culture, and possible career choices!"

Genesis A. Marist College
  • Discover More Small Costa Rica San Jose Staff

    Cultural Activities

    • Art walking tour
    • Coffee plantation tour
    • Dancing classes
    • Art festivals
    • Costa Rica soccer league game
    • Symphonic Thursdays
    • Lunch and coffee meetups
  • Discover More Small Costa Rica San Jose Api Gives Back

    API Gives Back

    API students in San José have the opportunity to give back to their local community through various volunteer projects, including working with orphanages and senior centers, participating in beach and river cleanups, and working with other underprivileged populations.

  • Discover More Small Costa Rica San Jose To Do

    Things to Do

    See sloths and other amazing jungle creatures!

    Hike among rainforests, beaches, and volcanoes

    Whitewater rafting

  • Discover More Small Costa Rica San Jose Food


    Arroz con Leche (rice pudding)

    Sopa Negra (black soup)

    Gallo Pinto (rice and beans)

  • Discover More Small Costa Rica San Jose Festival

    Festivals & Holidays

    Fiestas Zapote (December)

    Día de San José (March)

    Guanacaste Day ( July)

  • Discover More Small Costa Rica San Jose University

    University Highlights

    The International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) offers students programs focused on sustainability and social justice.

    Universidad Veritas is one of the four founding colleges of the first private university in Costa Rica and is now an autonomous university focused on technology and innovation, financial health, social justice, and internationalization.

U.S. Staff

On-Site Staff


Francy Orozco

Francy Orozco will be your Resident Director in San Jose and a resource for you on-site.