Studying in Costa Rica

Educational System Structure


According to Universa (2015), the Fundamental Law of Education of Costa Rica, records that the Costa Rican educational system includes the following levels of education:

Early Education: From 0 to 5 years.

Preschool Education: Covers children between 5 and 6 years. It holds the principal purpose of establishing good habits in children and stimulating them to their fullest potential.

Basic General Education: It is obligatory and free and includes students aged 6 years and up until they finish secondary education. Here children are provided with basic knowledge and are encouraged to take part in activities that will help them to develop their skills and intelligence.

Technical Education: Guides those students who wish to continue their vocational and professional training.

Higher Education: Divided into Diplomado/Asociado, Bachiller, Licenciatura, Maestría and Doctorado Académico degrees (roughly equivalent to Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Bachelor’s with Honours, Master’s and Doctorate degrees).

Special education: Special education is a collective of support and services available to students with special educational needs, as they are required on a temporary or permanent basis.

Studying in Costa Rica

Costa Rica as a destination to study

Studying in Costa Rica (2da)

Costa Rica is one of the most valued environmental destinations. Approximately 25% of the country has protected forests and reserves. There are more than 100 different protected areas to visit.

  • Costa Rica ranks atop the Happy Planet Index — the leading global measure of sustainable well-being. So why are Costa Ricans so happy? Chalk it up to the slow way of life in a tropical paradise. Even better: Costa Ricans can expect to live to the ripe old age of 79 years. That’s a lot of years of happy, healthy living.
  • Costa Rica’s official language is Spanish, though a large number of its citizens are bilingual. English, due to its status as the international language of tourists, is the most common second language in Costa Rica.


According to the Institute of International Education (2014):

  • In 2014, Costa Rica was ranked as the seventh destination of U.S study abroad students, being in this way, the first place in Latin America.

  • In 2012 and 2013, 37 % of U.S students preferred the summer term for their period to study abroad.

  • In 2012 and 2013, 45,473 students from the United States studied abroad in Latin America 8,497 of them studied in Costa Rica.

  • In 2012 and 2013, 22.5 % of U.S students came to Costa Rica to study in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), being in this way, the preferred field for study abroad students.  


Institute of International Education. (2014).Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Retrieved from
Universa. (2015). Educational System. Retrieved from: