With such a connected world it is almost impossible to stand out without cross cultural experience. The sooner young people can get this experience the sooner they will be able to apply that experience to their lives. An exchange could influence future decisions such as where to study and/or what to study. By exchanging to Costa Rica, participants are introduced to a foreign culture, but with the safety and guidance of a host organization that is dedicated to ensuring you are immersed in the culture and are able to make friendships that last a lifetime.
This exchange is for you to immerse yourself in the Costa Rican culture and live like the locals do. That’s it. Sounds basic, but the outcomes are all unique as each participant will have their own takeaways. If you’re looking for a guided experience with friends, take a look at our group exchange to Costa Rica.
Students arrive to Costa Rica where they will be picked up at the airport and taken to their host family. Here the student will become part of the family and participate in their daily activities. They’ll be treated just like any other member of the family and will do as they do. Costa Ricans attend school in the summer so exchange student will also be enrolled at the local school and have the opportunity to take classes with their host.
Being socially involved only adds to the family experience and gives a complete picture of how a typical teenager lives in Costa Rica. After just a few weeks students will have a great understanding of the culture and their insight will be far greater. Some things you might grow to appreciate:
- Early mornings (sunrise at 5:30am, school starts at 7am)
- Rice and beans for breakfast (and for lunch, and for dinner)
- Watching soap operas at any time
- Afternoon naps
- Weekend hikes and family visits
- Soccer at any moment (could be an informal pick up game, or a gathering to watch the national team at home)
- Being really “chineado” or really well taken care of
Having this experience will open your mind to the outside world and give you a head start on becoming a global citizen. Start by immersing yourself into the Costa Rican culture and create lasting friendships that will be built via the amazing experience you’ll have with them. It is an unforgettable experience that will be remembered for years and impact your future decisions.
Schools are in session year round except in December and January. Minimum two week commitment, however we recommend at least four weeks to get a well rounded experience.
How the process works…..
This is a big decision for a lot of young travelers and parents alike and because of that we offer students a chance to be matched with a potential host partner and have communication with them before any major commitments need to be made.
- Interested students are invited to fill out the information form to be matched with a local family.
- Once information form and initial deposit is received the matching process will begin. When the match is made student will have an opportunity to communicate with the family and get to know them prior to exchanging.
- Attend in person or virtual pre-exchange meeting.
- 700USD for two weeks. 100USD for each additional week.
- Airport pick up and drop off.
- All meals, lodging and laundry with host family.
- Orientation to Costa Rica, host town, and school with CRF staff.
- 24/7 local bilingual CRF coordinator.
- CRF weekly check ins during the exchange.
- Passports ($80-$110 depending on age).
- Spending money for snacks and souvenirs.
- School uniforms/supplies (uniforms may be required depending on school).
- Travel medical insurance (required).
- Flights to/from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) near San José, Costa Rica.
Our exchange locations are in the San Ramon region of Costa Rica, about an hour northwest of the capital city San José. Your safety is paramount to us and we only work with towns and schools we have established relationships with and are close to where we live. Being able to provide a local lifeline for little things that come up is the safety net needed for this experience and puts parents and students at ease, which allows them to enjoy the experience to the fullest.
If you’re not able or don’t feel ready to go on an exchange, you can still get involved in the program as a host to an exchange student from Costa Rica.
Want to chat about it? Contact us with a phone number and time to call. We love talking about the exchange even more than writing about it!