Learn Spanish in Costa Rica at an Peaceful Pace
By Kelly Matlock
|Costa Rica is one of the most lush, spectacular,
relaxed, and peaceful countries to learn Spanish.
Of the many countries in which one
can study Spanish, the majority of students choose Spain.
This is a shame because there is so much to be learned from
the unique cultures of Latin America, where dances like
salsa and merengue originated, piñatas were born,
and continuous rain for half of the year allows for a lush
climate that provides a habitat for more species of birds
than anywhere on the planet.
Among the many countries in Latin America
with democratic governments and developing infrastructure
is Costa Rica, a peaceful place where travel is extremely
cheap, the beaches are beautiful, and the native Ticos are
notoriously friendly. It is one of the most easygoing and
least intimidating countries in which to learn the Spanish
The program I attended, University
Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), offers undergraduate
study in Costa Rica for either a semester or a full year.
USAC arranges for students to live with families in one
of two locations: Heredia, outside the capital of San
Jose, or Puntarenas, a small town off the coast. Both
locations offer a range of group activities, including
a 1-week fieldtrip.
With Costa Rica's affordable and convenient
bus system, travel throughout the gorgeous country is easy
for students to do on their own. Nicaragua, Honduras, and
Panama are all easily accessible as well.
Matlock is a Univ. of Iowa graduate.