20 Feb Frequently Asked Questions
In ELE USAL we know that traveling to a new country may be an overwhelming experience if you don’t have enough information about this country. That’s why in this short entrance we’ll give you some information about Costa Rica.
- Where is Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is a small country located in Central America. It is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest.
- Is Costa Rica a safe country?
Yes, Costa Rica is one of the safest countries for traveling in Central America. But, as crime is everywhere, when traveling around don’t expose your valuables and also don’t leave your belongings unattended.
- How is the weather like?
Costa Rica is a tropical country. It has two main seasons: dry (from December to April) and rainy (from May to November). The average temperature ranges between 71 and 80°F.
- How are Costa Ricans? How do they treat tourists?
Costa Ricans are generally gentle, friendly, polite and kind, so it should be easy to find Ticos willing to help you with information and even provide unsolicited advice.
- Are US dollars accepted in Costa Rica?
Yes, dollars are widely accepted in tourist areas and other places around the country. We recommend to exchange money at local banks; they’ll give you the most favorable exchange rate.
- What type of clothes should I bring to Costa Rica?
You should bring casual and comfortable clothes such as breathable, light and quick-dry fabrics, tennis shoes, sandals, rain jackets. They will be perfect since you will be adding or removing layers around Costa Rica’s climate zones. As a tip: don’t forget to bring insect repellent, a swimsuit, water bottle, light backpack, umbrella and sunglasses.
- How is the food in Costa Rica? Are there fast food restaurants?
Costa Ricans’ diet rely on carbs, vegetables, meat, coffee and fruits, mainly. They are always fresh and easy to find. Due to culture’s variety you can find any type of food either on supermarkets or restaurants. From American, Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese to Venezuelan, Mexican, Argentinian, among others.
Is food expensive in Costa Rica?
It depends on the type of food you regularly consume, but in general terms fruits, vegetables, carbs and meat are accessible. You can visit, on weekends, street farmers’ markets and find food at cheaper prices.
- Can I move easily around the country?
Yes, you can take a bus, an uber or rent a car and travel around Costa Rica. It is a small country, so in less than 3 hours you can be on the beach, on the mountain or visiting a volcano.
- Is public transportation safe and cheap?
Public transportation in Costa Rica is cheap. Fares range from $0.50 to $10 dollars according to the place you are traveling to. In general it is safe, but as we said before, take care of your belongings.
- Can I get attacked by an animal easily?
No, in the Central Valley animals are not on the streets. They are usually in their natural habitats: the forests. If you are planning to do some hiking you would be able to see them, but they won’t attack you unless you bother them.
- Would I have time to explore Costa Rica?
Yes, classes go from 8:00 to 1:00pm from Monday to Friday. This means that you will have afternoons and weekends to explore and have fun around Costa Rica.
- Is the school near restaurants, bus stops, libraries and shops?
Yes, the school is located in Tibás, a small city that offers the convenience of San José city life and the peace and safety of a residential neighborhood. Near the school you will find restaurants, banks, shopping malls, libraries and recreational parks.
- Does the program include accommodation? What type of accommodation?
Yes, the program includes accommodation with families or in a student residence. You can choose between single rooms or shared rooms. Certain services such as breakfast, cleaning and laundry are included.
- Do I receive a transcript once I finish the courses?
Yes, before the program finishes you will be asked to provide the address of your university or institution you want the transcript to be sent.
- Does the program include airport pick-up and drop-off?
The program offers airport pick-up only since at the end of the program many students don’t go home right away; they stay more days traveling around. However, we can contact with a tourist agency that can provide transportation at accessible rates.
- Would my insurance work in Costa Rica?
Yes. However, it works this way. At first you will have to pay either for the treatment or medicines; then the clinic or hospital will give you all the paperwork you will need to claim for the refund of the money you spent.
Leave us a comment in case you want to know more about Costa Rica or if you have any other question that was not answered.