The land of Pura Vida
In the heart of Central America, Costa Rica is a nation of inspiring people who have built the longest standing democracy in Latin America. This small territory that only encompasses 0.03% of the planet’s surface is home to nearly 5% of the Earth’s biodiversity. Costa Ricans, or Ticos, as they call themselves, have protected over a quarter of their national territory creating national parks, wildlife refuges and biological reserves. Divided into 7 unique provinces: San José, Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limón, Costa Rica offers visitors a wide range of experiences able to satisfy varying tastes and interests. Since the abolition of the army in 1948, Costa Rica has relied on democratic values and the strength of institutions as the founding pillars for progress and development, redirecting military spend to education and healthcare. Costa Ricans pride themselves in their healthy, peaceful and sustainable lifestyle, which they call “Pura Vida”. These words have become a true identifier for the nation’s vision and a welcoming message to all those ready to discover what Costa Rica has to offer.
10 Reasons to Study Abroad in Costa Rica
1- Happiness comes first
Costa Rica topped the Happy Planet Index in 2016, for the third time. This index ranks nations in their efforts to provide sustainable well-being for all. For Costa Ricans, it is all about achieving long, happy, and environmentally responsible lives.
2- A country of peace
Costa Rica has lived under political stability for 120 years. With the longest standing democracy in Latin America, Ticos value their peaceful lifestyle, built on dialogue, cooperation, and mutual respect. This is why Costa Rica is home to the Inter-American Human Rights Court and the United Nations mandated University for Peace.
3- Leading educational system
The literacy rate in Costa Rica is the highest in the region: 97.5%. The educational system was ranked first in Latin America by the World Economic Forum. Ticos have achieved this with an investment of 7.36% of their GDP in Education.
4- State of the art healthcare
More than 40,000 Americans travel each year to Costa Rica seeking medical and dental treatment. With an investment of 9.9% of their GDP in Healthcare, Costa Rican health services are at the forefront of innovation, quality, and coverage. This has given Ticos one of the highest life expectancies in the planet, and its very own Blue Zone in Nicoya, Guanacaste.
5- Multilingual and multicultural
English is promoted at every level of the educational system in both private and public institutions. Costa Ricans have set a goal to become a fully bilingual country by 2030 and knowledge of English is already the second highest in Latin America, as evidenced by the country’s TOEFL iBT scores. With a diverse and mixed heritage, Costa Ricans foster intercultural exchange and cooperation.
6- Naturally gifted
Costa Rica sets aside 26% of its land in more than 185 protected areas, home to nearly half a million different species and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With a coastline of 915 miles (1450km), you can visit the wonders of the Pacific and the beauties of the Caribbean, or explore the forest, jungle, volcanoes, and other ecosystems immersed in this exotic paradise.
7- Powered by green
Costa Rica generates over 99.5% of its electricity from renewable sources. Through the responsible and sustainable production of solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal energy, the country has been able to go 300 straight days without burning any fossil fuels for electric consumption.
8- Friendly people, friendly climate
In Costa Rica, there are no extreme climate conditions. While there are two seasons -sunny and rainy– its temperature is 75°F (24°C) year round. There are 8 different microclimates, providing the ideal conditions to explore adventure tourism in the cloud forest or enjoy the sand in one of its pristine beaches.
9- Economic prosperity
Costa Ricans have fostered economic growth while protecting their natural treasures. With thriving technology and tourism sectors, Costa Rica ranks third in Latin America for Digital Readiness, according to Cisco, and second in the Global Competitiveness Index, by the World Economic Forum.
10- San José: Costa Rica’s thriving Capital City
Home to world-class museums, theatres, parks, hotels, and historical buildings, San José has also become a popular tourist destination. The city’s one million residents are known for their kindness and hospitality, providing an ideal place for tourists and students to experience the colorful culture of Costa Rica. ULACIT is located right in the heart of San José. We look forward to having you!
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For more information, please contact the Global Education Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +506 2523 4095.