Written by Lisle Head

If you are thinking of moving to Costa Rica but you have children, you don’t have to worry about meeting their educational needs. The literacy rate in Costa Rica is around 96% and you have many schooling options in the Jaco area alone.

I’ll start off by telling you a little bit about the 3 general types of schools in Costa Rica: Public (free schools), Bilingual Private, and English only private.

English only private schools are run with a United States curriculum in mind. These are the schools that are designed for gaining entrance into United States Universities. The English only schools tend to be the most costly. Yearly tuition can run upwards of $7500 for the very best schools, but this is still much less expensive than in the states. Many have programs that run from preschool or kinder garden all of the way through high school.

Bilingual private schools are also normally U.S. accredited and allow for entrance into United States Universities. Plus, there is a base of education in the Spanish Language as well. If a student decides that they want to continue their higher learning in one of Costa Rica’s excellent Universities, then this will be helpful as they will need to be fluent in Spanish. There are excellent bilingual education options in Jaco for between $300 and $450 per month.

Public schools are free to attend and are excellent in comparison to most of the world’s standards. However, many are a tad resource poor. So, your child (if previously coming from a Canadian or U.S. school system) may be a little shell shocked upon first arrival. Costa Rica’s public schools do offer a great education, although, the curriculum will most likely not be recognized by United States or Canadian collage entrance boards. However, with good grades students may gain entrance to a selection of European Universities and of course Costa Rican or other Latin American universities. You must pay attention to the degree your student selects as basic education ends at grade 9. To gain Costa Rican university eligibility, students must complete the High school Bachelor degree which runs through the 11th grade.

Here in Jaco, there are three main options for k through 11 / 12 learning. CTP JACO is the main public school for the Jaco area. CTP Jaco is a good program and has all the basic resources a student needs for a Spanish Language education.

FALCON SCHOOL is an excellent, accredited bilingual private school located 5 minutes outside of Jaco in the town of Herradura. Falcon can prepare your child for either North American university studies or European and Latin American higher learning.

LAS NUBES is another excellent bilingual private school. They offer accredited schooling from preschool to through high school.Las Nubes can prepare your student for North American university entrance or European and Latin American higher learning.

There is a fantastic Catholic bilingual High School, COLEGIO INMACULADA . They are a little more cost effective and are the prime choice for Costa Ricans who choose to prepare their children for  university level education.

There is also a great daycare – elementary school in our beautiful Playa Hermosa. FICUS TREE offers quality, affordable bilingual education for children ages 2 through 12 years old.

For us adults, there are many language centers in Jaco to choose from. If you don’t already speak the Spanish, you can affordably  become fluent. In Costa Rica, especially Jaco, it is not necessary to speak much Spanish, as most of  the locals have at least basic English skills. However, it can make your life a bit easier, and definitely more fulfilling. I enjoy being able to communicate with whomever on a complex level. And being fluent makes it a lot easier to meet people and make new friends.

Mastering Spanish will also make it possible for you to attain titles right here in Jaco. There is an excellent Technical College where you can take a variety of courses to earn a technical degree. You can even do a short commute to go back to school and take university courses. All of this can be done for a fraction of the cost that it would be in the United States.

Contact us today for more information about schools in Costa Rica

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