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IF YOU LOVE TO EXPLORE NATURE, THEN COSTA RICA WILL BE AN AMAZING STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE SINCE IT IS A COUNTRY WHERE ALMOST HALF OF THE LAND IS COVERED BY FORESTS.  IN FACT, 20% OF THE TERRITORY IS MADE UP OF FOREST RESERVES AND PARKS. HOWEVER, COSTA RICA IS AS FAMOUS FOR ITS BRILLIANT GREEN VEGETATION AS IT IS FOR ITS WHITE SAND & SECLUDED BEACHES THAT FACE TWO OCEANS.   


If it couldn't sound any more exciting, the country also sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and has over 200 volcanic formations, although only five of Costa Rica’s volcanoes -- Arenal, Poas, Rincon de la Vieja, Orosi and Irazu -- are considered active.   


We still haven't even touched on the variety of flora and fauna that call this country home. Close to a thousand species of birds, hundred of mammals, and over ten thousand species of plants cover this relatively small country. Keep in mind that Costa Rica is approximately half the size of the state of Kentucky!     

The people of Costa Rica are called "Ticos" and are often counted among the most friendly people in the world.  Ticos are considered to be gentled, spirited, educated, friendly, polite, and kind people. There are of course exceptions, but students should expect to be made welcome everywhere they go.  


Although the capital, San Jose, is a large, densely populated city it possesses a certain charm as a result of being the central hub of the nation. Chepe, as the city is referred to by locals, is a cosmopolitan city that can be categorized as a hybrid of a modern North American metropolis and a standard Central American capital. The city, like the rest of the Central Valley, is always at a pleasant temperature year round.  In addition, it is just a short distance from beaches, volcanoes, rain forests and national parks.

QUICK FACTS

San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica and has a population of 300,000 in the city and 1.5 million in the total metropolitan area.  


It is named for Joseph of Nazareth, and has a very European feel and culture. It is located near the middle of the country, which has both Caribbean and Pacific coasts.​


It lies about 1,190 metres (3,900 feet ) above sea level on the Meseta Central (central plateau), surrounded by mountains with prominent volcanoes.  


The main crops in Costa Rica are bananas, coffee, sugar cane, rice, pineapples, and beef. Costa Rican coffee is very high in caffeine and is considered among the best in the world.  


It actually rains in San Jose for about 170 days each year.