The KIIS summer program in Costa Rica provides students the opportunity to explore the ecological and cultural wonders of this small, yet vibrant nation. This 21-day program, situated in one of the most advanced democracies in Latin America, offers students a wide range of study options.
Costa Rica is located in Central America with Panama to the south and Nicaragua to the north. It is flanked by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. It is a country of diverse geography, with active volcanoes and protected rainforests. During the program, students visit a pineapple farm, the local zoo, different types of educational institutions, and take an exciting boat tour.
Students fly to San José, the capital of Costa Rica, and from there to Santa Clara de San Carlos in the northern part of the country. The program will be based at the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, the largest technical college in Costa Rica. Daily field trips are taken to schools throughout the region.
San Carlos, where the program is located, is the most progressive region of the country. Agricultural products such as pineapple, bananas, coffee, and sugar cane are sent to the local market and also are exported to other countries. Four universities and many elementary and high schools serve this region of about a quarter million people (Costa Rica’s total population is approx. 4.5 million). While there, students have the opportunity to interact with one of the friendliest cultures in Latin America.
During the last week of the program, students may visit the magnificent Arenal Volcano, the Hanging Bridges (includes a two-mile walk in the rainforest), exotic Manuel Antonio National Park, Espadilla Beach, the Basilica of the Virgin of Los Angeles in Cartago, and one of the best coffee co-ops in the country. The program concludes with a trip to San José, Costa Rica’s capital city. In San José, students may visit the National Assembly, the Gold Museum, and other sites of interest.
Although knowledge of Spanish is not required for this program, students with some language proficiency will be able to improve their speaking skills as well as their knowledge of Costa Rican culture through interactions with locals and explorations of the diverse regions of this spectacular country.
Please note: Prospective students should be aware that the Costa Rica program may be a bit more strenuous than some other overseas programs. Be prepared for 1) a lack of hot water during the first part of the program; 2) some insect bites; 3) travel by bus every day; and 4) the Costa Rican "rainy season."
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