API offers students a wonderful opportunity to take a gap year in Costa Rica and immerse themselves in the "tico" culture and way of life through study in San Joaquín de Flores. Courses are taught in Spanish and are best suited for students who have at least an intermediate level of background in Spanish.
Costa Rica is a country of natural beauty, political stability, friendly people, and a temperate climate. Since dismantling its army in 1948, it has been known around the world as one of the most stable countries in Latin America and has often been a mediator in other Central American conflicts. The International Community acknowledged this contribution in 1987 by presenting President Oscar Arias with the Nobel Peace Prize.
Costa Rica has devoted itself to environmental conservation and educational achievement. This forward-thinking country took formal measures to protect its natural assets in 1955. Today, Costa Rica’s National Conservation Areas System (SINAC) covers more than 134 areas – national parks, reserves, and refuges – comprising roughly 27 percent of the national territory. This commitment provides an abundance of natural wonders and biodiversity – a paradise for naturalists and a wealth of wildlife. The relatively small size of the country allows one to explore the beach, jungle, and mountains all in one day. The population of Costa Rica is diverse and the people are generally warm and friendly.