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SIR Costa Rica Blog
Looking to relocate to Costa Rica with your family but have no idea where to start your research on education and schools? Look no further! Find your beginner’s guide right here.
Let us start by highlighting that Costa Rica has an outstanding educational system. For many years, there has been a high amount of public spending in education, boosting the literacy rate of the country to a record 94.9% amongst Latin American and Caribbean countries. There is a high rate of educational coverage, with pre—school and general basic education levels not only being free but also compulsory. Higher levels are no longer mandatory but can still be granted by the Nation. Additionally, the majority of schools and colleges are bilingual and accredited. For these and other reasons, our educational system is recognized as one of the best in the Americas, and the most developed in Central America.
Now, we are aware that school quality may and probably will affect your choice of neighborhood. And that with over 4,300 schools and colleges to choose from it will most likely get very overwhelming and confusing. Below we give you various options organized by area.
Situated northwest from San José, Heredia is known as the “City of Flowers” and is where a vast majority of the countries’ coffee is produced. Not only is Heredia home to one of the largest universities, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, it also has a variety of schools to choose from.
Lincoln School is an international and bilingual school with beautiful installations. They are masters in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and have an outstanding College Counseling Department that aims to keep both students and parents involved and give them the proper tools to help them figure out what they are looking for beyond life at Lincoln School. They have an integrated teaching method with arts and athletics, as well as an entrepreneurial program that is present throughout the years. They recently partnered with the Lewis Institute at Babson College to collaborate and develop the program better.
Up the road, you can find the International Christian School. Also a bilingual school, the ICS differentiates in its culture based on Christian values. Their mission is to create and promote awareness of individual and social responsibility in their students and staff in a world that is globalized and constantly changing. They also believe that athletics, technology, and arts are necessary compliments beyond academics to be able to shape resilient, active learners.
Located southeast of the capital of San José, Cartago is the third largest city in Costa Rica and is known for its rich ecological diversity. Its high elevation causes weather to be cooler than most places. Home to the most important engineering university, Costa Rica Institute of Technology, Cartago also offers various options of schools.
Anglo American School is an international school that focuses on integral development education. They offer the International Baccalaureate and promote the use of music and art for education. They construct themed activities throughout the years that help prevent consumption, teach about sexuality and digital citizenship, amongst others. Additionally, Anglo American has a strong community service program that works with less privileged institutions in the surrounding area.
If you are looking to live a little farther away from the capital, Colegio Miravalle is located a little farther into Cartago and is another good option. They also offer an integral education and the International Baccalaureate. However, their strategy for success is the use of learning methodologies through projects and problems. They have specialized programs to complement these, some of them are: the Cambridge Certification that prepares students for Cambridge testing and certifies their English skills internationally, the Oracle Academy that teaches computational language and has a JAVA certification opportunity, and the Music Fever that teaches through music.
Located in the west side of the capital, Santa Ana is warm in temperature and in commercial development. Through the years it has become an upscale place full of nice restaurants, stores, hotels, and schools. These are a few of them:
You can find the Saint Jude just a few minutes away from the main road of Lindora. Its dynamic and interactive curriculum based on a formation with Christian values, strives to stimulate different non-academic assets that are not typically valued in the traditional educational system. Bilingual and with and integrated education, they create projects that help promote critical thinking, innovation, and creativity through problem identification and creative solutions.
The France Liszt is definitely not your typical school. An international school, it offers studies in Spanish, English, German, and music. They say music is the fourth language they teach and is a fundamental part of the curriculum, therefore, being taught since pre- school. Through music, they strive to shape students with social sensitivity and seek to develop their emotional intelligence. The France Liszt is a humanitarian institution that strives to form skillful, well-rounded people.
Although La Guácima is located in what used to be a more remote area than usual, it has been growing quite quickly and has a wonderful sense of community. Part of its growth is due to the great schools that have either started or moved their installations here.
GSD is an international school with an innovative and high-quality integrated education program for all. Their borderless, experience – based education and cooperative learning sets them apart from other schools as it helps them promote free though and tolerance in their students. An interesting asset is that GSD has a national study program based on a bilingual Spanish-English approach, as well as an innovative Mandarin Chinese program, both linked to sister schools based in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, the USA, and China. Talk about a world – class education.
Focusing on the American High School Diploma and a wide range of AP courses, the curriculum at Country Day School also prepares students for the Costa Rican Bachillerato examinations in High School. An international school, CDS welcomes students from 25 different nationalities, creating an enriched, multicultural, and diverse community with tolerance for all. They honor the various traditions and cultures that students contribute which creates a worldwide perspective and education.
Costa Rica’s pristine beaches, beautiful nature and thriving local economy have driven many people to call Costa Rica their second home. The country has thrived in recent years and owning a home in Costa Rica is an affordable luxury. More than 20,000 U.S. expatriates already live in Costa Rica. The wide range of scenic landscapes and microclimates make Costa Rica a dream for people looking for a vacation home. Covering 51,000 scenic square kilometers, Costa Rica is a safe place to call home. There is a low incidence of violent crime. Outside the capital city thereisn’t much crime of any kind. It is a country with amazing people, a high standard of living, and an exciting blend of local and foreign cultures.