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Location & Facilities

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

Experience a country 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 long-lived democracy, the country's natural beauty, and their relaxed way of life. You'll hear people 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 for yourself how Costa Rica is balancing new economic opportunities in tourism, pineapple growing, and high tech industries with the need to protect its precious natural resources and a national commitment to creating a sustainable way of life.

See Costa Rica through urban and rural lenses

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. If you conduct research in a rural location, you will be surrounded by other aspects of Costa Rica’s geography, such as small farming towns, seaside fishing communities, mountains, national parks, rainforests, and wildlife at every turn. No matter where you live, you’ll grow to love the peaceful rhythm, natural beauty, and vibrant culture of Costa Rica.

The ACM Program Center & the University of Costa Rica

You’ll take all of your courses at the ACM Costa Rica center, 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.

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.

Because the UCR campus is nearby, 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.