Sol Abroad High School Program in Costa Rica
93% Rating
(27 Reviews)

Sol Abroad High School Program in Costa Rica

Learn Spanish in one of the most beautiful countries in the world . . . ¡Costa Rica! Explore the verdant cloud forests and tropical coastlines of the Central American country while immersing yourself in the Spanish language. Sol Abroad has on-site directors that provide quality academic support and assistance during your study abroad. For our Summer Programs, you will study at a language institute, located in the verdant highlands of central Costa Rica. For our Gap Year & High School Semester Abroad programs, you will take classes at an accredited private bilingual high school or a local accredited university. Take Spanish classes in the summer or choose from a normal high school or university curriculum during the semester or year! Sol Abroad high school programs provides quality academic support and assistance while you are on your study abroad program.

Locations
North America » Costa Rica
Length
2-4 Weeks
3-6 Months
6-12 Months
Timeframe
Academic Year
Fall
Spring
Summer
Accommodation
Host Family
Language
Spanish
Starting Price
$2,000.00
Currency
USD

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Growth
    84%
  • Support
    90%
  • Fun
    91%
  • Housing
    85%
  • Safety
    90%

Program Reviews (27)

Default avatar
Moe
Female
16 years old
Singapore

Sol Abroad High School Program Costa Rica

10/10

My host family was one of my favourite parts of the trip because they were simply such welcoming, understanding, and heart-warming people. Living with a host family is not only beneficial for language development, but it is also significant because it adds to the personal connection and takeaway of the program. The location, Atenas, and the reliable host family program is what drew me to Sol Abroad as the sense of community that is built makes the trip much more interesting and unique. My most vivid memory of this program are the incredible people of Costa Rica, including the directors. I am an international student with complicated travel requirements; however, the directors were very helpful and knowledgeable before and during the trip.

How can this program be improved?

The academics/school portion of the program should of been more rigorous as majority of what we did was busywork despite the long hours we spent there.

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Maggie
Female
18 years old
Kansas City, MO
Other

A Typical Costa Rican Night

9/10

One time, my roommate, Olive, and I were walking home from downtown Atenas. We were planning on having a night in; finishing some home, do some painting, etc. It didn't exactly turn out that way. On the way back, we passed by the indoor soccer rink, where our five year old "nephew" was having a game. Afterward, our adult "sister" invited us over to her house for a few minutes. We stayed there for three hours. We talked, played with our "nieces and nephews," making enpanadas. That's a perfect example of Costa Rican life. You can make plans, but chaces are, they're not going to stick. That's the beauty of it.

How can this program be improved?

Maybe more outdoor hikes or adventures, but over than that, it was perfect!!

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Ally
Female
18 years old
San Antonio

Awesome time in Costa Rica with SolAbroad

9/10

For the longest time I didn't want to go on this trip, I thought it was going to be super lame, that the school part would suck and I wouldn't be able to make any friends. However I actually had a great time, and this was easily a life changing experience. I gained a great new perspective, and still keep pretty close contact with some of the people I went with. The school/lessons portion of the trip was amazing and I didn't honestly realize how much i learned until I got home. Since I live in San Antonio I am surrounded by Spanish speakers, & coming back to being able to understand native speakers more easily, and just having a better understanding of even the billboards was awesome. All in all, great trip.

How can this program be improved?

I honestly have no complaints, it was really fun.

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Jessie
Female
18 years old
Portland

3 weeks in CR

9/10

At the end of my 3 weeks, I felt sadder about leaving than I thought I would. My host family was amazing and the people and friends I met along the way were truly remarkable. While Atenas is a small town (and about 45mins from SJ), it is a great place to live and study. Our houses were farther from town but that just meant you had to plan time at home, or in the town. One of my favorite things was that not very many people spoke English. As someone who has been to Mexico and Spain, it was such a refreshing experience to walk around and actually really need to use my Spanish.

While everyone is different, I think in an ideal world I would have stayed 4 or 5 weeks. By the end of the 2nd week I felt so at home and had gained enough confidence to speak, which made the 3rd week incredible. I just wish I had another week to enjoy the feeling of being a part of the town and to use my Spanish. I have always planned on studying abroad in college but this experience with Sol totally solidified that desire.
This is a summer I am going to remember for the rest of my life.

How can this program be improved?

They could work a little more on their communication with the students and the school.

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Alyssa
Female
18 years old
Half Moon Bay, California
Other

3 Weeks in Atenas

10/10

This past summer I joined the sol abroad program and went to Atwnas Costa Rica for three weeks. I can't say that I've ever had a better experience or ever done something that fun in my life. I love traveling and sol abroad was the perfect program for me. I met so many new friends that I am still in touch with today and I couldn't be happier with the experience that I had. The town life and activities that we participated in were always so enjoyable. We had the perfect amount of time to enjoy experience the culture and city on our own. It was over all an amazing trip and I hope I'm lucky enough to be able to go again.

How can this program be improved?

I think that I would change the timing of some activities. Some days the activities were cramped together and other days the activities were hours apart.

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Arielle
Female
19 years old
Houston, Texas
Other

My experiences in Costa Rica

10/10

This is actually my second time going on a SOL Abroad program. My first was going to Argentina for a month the summer before last. It was an experience unlike any other and the first I had ever had but it was so interesting, exciting, and impactful that I had to go on another program. This past summer was filled with activities so I could not go for a full month, but it the 2.5 weeks I spend there was life changing. I was pushed out of my comfort zone because I had never stayed in a rural area, nor had I ever done some of the crazy excursions we did (like white water rafting and ziplining). All of these experiences, plus the teachers and staff, plus the phenomenal kids, made my trip one that I will never forget!

How can this program be improved?

I really loved every aspect of the program. The only thing I would suggest are maybe some activities with local teenagers (if that is at all possible).

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CK
Female
46 years old
Irvine, CA

An Ideal Maiden Voyage: a Parents Review

10/10

I sent my son to Costa Rica for 2 weeks this past summer. The Sol Abroad Program exceeded my expectations and I am so appreciative to the program directors for giving him such a uniquely positive experience. It's an uneasy feeling sending one's kid off to a faraway place for the first time ever without a parent, but I felt so happy everyday because I received an email immediately when my son arrived safely and then Orlando Murrillo posted pictures on Facebook all the time- so I could see my kid at cooking class one day, dance class the next, and hiking another day, all the friends he was with; In this way, it was a vicariously-lived adventure for the parents, too! My son came back happy and healthy, with many new friends, improved Spanish, lifelong memories of his charming host family and of Costa Rica's beauty. I thought that such a program would be prohibitively expensive and available only to the very well-off. But to my pleasant surprise, the Sol Abroad Program was actually affordable and very high quality-- the kids got it ALL (housing, meals, Spanish class, cultural activities, outings including white-water rafting and ziplining, historical tours); it was an amazing deal. As a parent, I would recommend Sol Abroad, Costa Rica to anyone wanting to send their kid to study (and play) abroad! It was the perfect "maiden voyage" for a young teen who hopefully has many globetrotting passport stamps in his future. Five Stars, and a cherry on top.

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Emily
Female
19 years old
Ashland, OR
Other

I loved It

10/10

The second to last day when we went to the waterfall was amazing. It was a really great way to end the trip. I would definitely recommend going back there, because seeing the old mines and tunnels was amazing!

How can this program be improved?

The program was amazing! My only suggestion would be to make the curfew a little later.

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Lindsay
Male
19 years old
South Carolina

Literally "the best trip" he says he has ever taken!

10/10

My son, a 17 year old from South Carolina, could not stop talking about how much fun he had and how much he loved this trip. He loved the other students, his host family, the language instructors and the people of Costa Rica. If he could have he would have extended his trip.

The best part, as a parent, was that he came back energized about language and wants to pursue a minor in Spanish. He even said the course instruction each day was reaaly fun and not boring. Coming from any boy of 17, that says a lot!

How can this program be improved?

He literally could not think of a thing he would change… other than a later curfew of course ;)

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sean
Male
19 years old
Houston, Texas

pura vida comments

9/10

I got to the mother day party. I was exposed to spanish music and become influencd to listen to the same kind of music at home. I loved spending time with my parents at the parts. I just hoped that I could have gone to more similar to this in Costa Rica.

How can this program be improved?

Need to provide more food

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Maggie
Female
Federal Way, WA

Atenas

9/10

Even though Atenas is small, it has alot to offer. When I first arrived here I never thought that I would have any fun in this small city, but I was really suprised. There is a ton of little surprises within the city. One thing to for sure do when in the city is to talk to the locals. they love to talk to you and it really helps with your spanish practice. All the people are so nice, except when they are behind a wheel. If the car is comming just let it go! A few resturants to go to are La Finca and Gellys. There are some of the best and super cheap. Another thing to also do is walk around the city. There are tons of small cute shops to explore and the little market is really cute and fun to walk around. Atenas is very small, but you can have a lot of fun when your here! Also, dont forget to do to the cooperativa. Its one of the nicer super markets and is a great place to get small gifts like local coffee and snacks to bring home!

How can this program be improved?

I would have to say some the lenghs of the culture activities. Some of them where way to look and some of them were way to short for the occasion.

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Sydney
Female
19 years old
new jersey

Pura Vida Sol abroad !

10/10

Sol abroad is a very good program. They pick the perfect location, you truly feel like a part of the town. With,the location they choose you are forced to speak spanish 24/7. I thoughht sol abroad was a great program.

How can this program be improved?

No, the program is great! If i had to change one more thing would add in some more excursions. So, we could experience a bit more of Costa Rica. Other than that i thought the program was amazing.

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Shelby
Female
19 years old
Phoenix, Arizona

Forest Excursions

8/10

With Sol Abroad I took a weekend trip to Manuel Antonio National Park, and went white water rafting the next day. Both were an incredible experience for me. I caught myself smiling without even realizing it. The scenery in Costa Rica was some of the most beautiful raw nature i've had the opporunity to see. Overall, I think it was a worthy experience.

How can this program be improved?

We didn't have a lot of opportunity to bond with the other students before we went to do cultural activities together. They were fun, but I think if I felt closer to the other students it could have been better.

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Allison
Female
19 years old
San Antonio, TX

Atenas is Cool

10/10

Atenas has a ton of really amazing sights and experiences. The weather was always nice. The park was a great place to talk and hang out with friends, there were many excellent places to eat and have fun.

How can this program be improved?

The activities were at odd times and lasted for wither to long or to short.

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Savannah
Female
19 years old
Fayetteville, Georgia

White water rafting

8/10

Last weekend, my group went white water rafting near Manuel Antonio National Park. This was my favorite excursion during my four weeks here. My tour guide was so much fun! When the water was rough, he would stand up on the raft and jump as high as he could. At one point when the water was deep and calm, he pushed me out of the raft and into the water. Then he grabbed my life jacket to help me into the raft... or so I thought. He grabbed my life vest and threw me like a rag doll to the other side of the water! The water felt great, and I hope I can go back again before I leave for the US!

How can this program be improved?

I would require more Spanish speaking with the kids. During the excursions, they talked to us in English, and I feel like I missed out of some interesting Spanish vocabulary.

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Anna
Female
19 years old
Atenas, Costa Rica

Summer stay in Costa Rica 2015

10/10

Hi! I'm a high school student from the Midwest and this summer I went to Costa Rica as part of the Sol Abroad study abroad program. During my stay I was placed in a house in Atenas, Costa Rica with a roommate from the United States and a host mother. The house that I stayed in was absolutely beautiful and my host mother was very sweet. My roommate and I are not native Spanish speakers and our host mom spoke almost no English but she was very patient with us. She was also an amazing cook and served us 3 delicious and authentic meals per day. In the morning students attend school which helps us to enhance our understanding of the Spanish language. In the afternoons we participate in cultural activities such as cooking classes, latin dance classes, and volunteer days. On the weekend we go on excursion where we hike up volcanoes, go to the beach, go ziplining, and go white water rafting. In my opinion this program perfectly combines a small town cultural experience with the tourist type of activities you might do on vacation. There are also many opportunities to explore local cafes, restaurants, and shops with friends in your free time. I had a ton of fun on this trip and I wholeheartedly recommend it to high school students who want to experience another culture, be better at speaking spanish, make a bunch of lifelong friends, and have an unforgettable time in another country.

How can this program be improved?

Honestly I can't think of anything!

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Robin
Female
19 years old
Eastern Shore of Virginia

The first day and downtown life

10/10

The first day of my trip, I had a vague idea of what to expect but still found myself nervous and anxious. I was the only kid on the trip without a roommate, which added to my nervousness. Orlando and the other students came to pick me up at my house and we headed on our way. Not realizing that the walk to town was approximately thirty minutes through broken pavement, grass, and hills, I wore nice sandals which are good for walking.... on flat surfaces. Tip one kids- wear sneakers. We proceeded to downtown, exchanged money at the bank, and enjoyed the rest of our tour through to town. I immediately fell in love with Atenas. The park is fantastic for chilling with friends. There are volleyball and basketball courts, soccer fields, a half pipe for skateboarding, and lots of small stores and pastry shops. All the locals are super friendly and I had no problem making friends in my group of English speakers. That day was the beginning of a great month long adventure that I will always remember!

How can this program be improved?

While spending time with my host family was great for improving my Spanish, I found it to be a hinderance that my friends and I all spoke English to eachother. While I realize this will happen anywhere, I think it wouldve helped if the use of Spanish was more strictly enforced.

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Sergio
Male
42 years old
San Antonio, TX
Angelo State University

Sol Abroad, Atenas, Costa Rica -Pura Vida

10/10

Sol Abroad does an amazing job with the students they take on. I highly recommend that you open prospective students to this opportunity. Your sons and daughters will be in good hands. From daily class to day and weekend excursions, students are active and engaged. Their are always opportunities to use their Spanish daily. As for me the Póas Volcano had to be my favorite excursion. The weather is cool and the view of the crater is amazing. All the excursions we exceptional.

How can this program be improved?

None

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Graham
Male
19 years old
San Antonio, Texas

Fun people great location

10/10

I had a wonderful time and met many lifelong friends, and Costa Rica is so beautiful and was the perfect environment for it. The excursions were very fun, however the bus rides were terrible, but that's ok.

How can this program be improved?

Provide a bus from the houses to downtown, it's a long walk or an expensive cab ride
Have more first aid at the beach and la Fortuna waterfall swimming

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Makayla
Female
19 years old
Los Angeles, California

Taking Advantage

7/10

I loved this program and the experience it provided me with. My host mother Leticia was a wonderful women who was nice, funny, and a good cook. I really wish I had had more conversations with her. The excursions and cultural activities really made my experience. Not only were they fun, but they helped bring the students together, especially during the long bus rides. The people I met really helped shape my experience. I liked everyone I met, though I admittedly got annoyed with some people at some times, but that´s to be expected. people in our group got very close. So close that some people are going to visit each other and stay at each other´s houses when they are in the same state. The teachers were great too. They really cared and tried to bend the curriculm to fit your needs, which teachers in America are mostly unable to do. I would highly recommend this program, and I am thinking about coming back another year.

Response from Sol Abroad

Great review! Thank you so much for the positive feedback and nice comments. I can tell you had a great time and we look forward to seeing you next year:) Vamos SOLmates!

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Eliana
Female
19 years old
Palo Alto, CA

amazing experience

8/10

The Sol Abroad Program was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I met new friends from both the US and from Costa Rica and became close with them in a matter of hours. This program does an amazing job of completely immersing you into the Costa Rican lifestyle by placing you in the household of a native family here. I enjoyed every minute I stayed here and I hope to return soon.

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Lauren
Female
19 years old
Atenas, Costa Rica

Summer II

9/10

Before starting my trip with Sol Abroad I was afraid I would be homesick due to the fact that I would be in Costa Rica for three weeks. After staying in such a beautiful country, I honestly do not want to leave. I wish I would´ve chosen a longer program with Sol Abroad. I absolutely loved my experience.

How can this program be improved?

I think the program should advise the students of more activities to do in town when there is freetime.

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Laura
Female
19 years old
Boston, MA

Atenas, Costa Rica

10/10

During my experience in Costa Rica, I learned to be independent while still counting on the support of other students my age. This was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life, and would like to have again.

How can this program be improved?

Do more activities during our free time.

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Mike
Male
19 years old
Stamford Connecticut.

Costa Rica

10/10

I think the best part of this trip was the excursions and if I had any advice to give as to how to make the program more fun it would be to have more excursions and pools days. If I had any suggestions on how to make the learining of spanish better I would leave more time for kids to speak spanish with their host families or people who speak no english whatsoever. The onñy difficulties I encountered is when our house lacked water or elictricity but other than that I there were no difficulties. I thought the cultural activities were very fun and we should have done more.

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Seth
Male
19 years old
San Diego, CA

Rice, Beans, & Plantains

8/10

I had a lot of fun. The activities were well-organized, and the group was cool. My host family was actually wonderful, too. The only problem was I had few ideas on how to spend my free time. Still great.

How can this program be improved?

More stuff to do in free time, or more activities.

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Daniel
Male
19 years old
Seattle, Washington

Costa Rica

9/10

The excursion to Costa Rica was a very eye-opening experiance that is a once and a life time opportunity. It humbles you because the things that you take for granted every day like hot showers are not available every time of the day. The trip changes your life and it opens your eyes to a new way of living and a new culture that teaches you life lessons and betterment of character.

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Talia
Female
19 years old
Los Angeles, California

Sol Abroad Made Me Passionate

10/10

There is nothing to complain about when I think of my experience in Costa Rica during the Sol Abroad immersion program. Those three weeks helped me put what I had been learning in the classroom at school for three years into practice. It helped me realize how much I truly love speaking and learning Spanish as well as Latin American culture and traveling. The experience gave me new friends and a more intense passion for what I already love. If you are looking for an experience to help you mature, gain knowledge and friends, and overall just have a good time, Sol Abroad is the trip for you. I wish I could have stayed in Costa Rica forever!

How can this program be improved?

I would maybe integrate more community service because even though we did paint an elementary school, it did not feel as meaningful as it could have been. I wish we could have done more.

About The Provider

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Sol Abroad is an affordable high school study abroad, Gap Year and Spanish immersion program for students 14 - 18 years of age. There are programs offered during the summer and semester. Sol students live with local families, take Spanish classes on the weekdays, participate

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