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Location & Facilities

 WATCH: See what students love about living in San José, Costa Rica.

Experience a country that projects an image of tropical beauty and hospitality. Sandy beaches, volcanoes, lush vegetation, remote mountains, farms, and exotic plant and animal species characterize Costa Rica’s rich landscape.

Friendly Costa Ricans (or “Ticos”) take pride in their Spanish colonial heritage and relaxed way of life, often heard greeting each other with the country’s signature phrase, “¡Pura vida!” 

While Latin American countries may have been characterized as “coffee or banana republics” in the past, their economies are becoming more diverse as they confront globalization and other 21st century challenges. See how Costa Rica is solidifying its approach to education, public services, and conservation while defining the role of government in combating poverty.

You’ll see Costa Rica through both an urban and a rural lens. Living in San José, the capital of Costa Rica and a major cultural center, will expose you to architecturally-renowned buildings, parks, and plazas, as well as other cultural events and cuisines. Your rural homestay will surround you with Costa Rica’s colorful biodiversity while you experience the tight-knit communities of the countryside. No matter where you live, you’ll grow to love the peaceful rhythm, natural beauty, and vibrant culture of Costa Rica.

ACM Program Center and the University of Costa Rica

You’ll take most of your courses at the ACM Costa Rica center, which is located in a residential neighborhood of San Pedro de Montes de Oca, just outside of central San José. The program center is a few blocks away from a bus stop and a five-minute walk from the University of Costa Rica (UCR). The neighborhood also has a wide array of restaurants and shops within easy walking distance for you to enjoy.

The ACM program center has offices, classrooms, a small library, computer and audiovisual facilities, a kitchen, and a lounge. Enjoy peaceful (and studious!) afternoons in the large garden area, where you can see beautiful views of the surrounding neighborhood.

Are you wondering what you’ll do with your free time in Costa Rica?

UCR offers ACM students plenty of ways to get involved throughout the semester. Join a sports team or take a class in yoga, mountaineering, karate, drama, or dance. For the musically inclined, consider joining a choir or band. You can also participate in activities sponsored by student organizations at UCR, or volunteer for a few hours each week at different organizations throughout San José.

Since the UCR is just a short walk away, you can study at its large library. Spending time on the university campus or studying in San Pedro’s internet cafés also gives you the chance to make new friends with Tico students.