San Jose, Costa Rica Project Center (IQP)
Costa Rica is a land of contrasts: banana plantations, flaming volcanoes, misty black sand beaches, and a thriving modern capitalist economy. A remarkably stable country, both politically and economically, Costa Rica offers an opportunity for students to become immersed in a Central American culture where democracy, economic development, and concern for the environment are a permanent part of the landscape. Students stay in the capital city of San José and have ample opportunity to visit the country’s many attractions. Costa Rica has a tropical and subtropical climate with a dry season from December to April and a rainy season from May to November. San José’s average temperature in April ranges from 66°F to 83°F.
Students will stay in apartment-style housing in the San Pedro district. You will have a two-burner electric stove, a microwave, and a medium-size refrigerator. The apartments are arranged around a central interior, covered courtyard. Accommodation type and location are subject to change without notice and will be confirmed the term prior to departure.
Costa Rican cuisine is known for being fairly mild, with high reliance on fresh fruits and vegetables. Rice and black beans are a staple of most traditional Costa Rican meals, often served three times a day. Costa Rican fare is nutritionally well rounded, and nearly always cooked from scratch from fresh ingredients. Due to the tropical location of the country, there are many exotic fruits and vegetables readily available and included in the local cuisine. Make sure to take any dietary restrictions or allergies into account as you consider this site and inform your advisor and IGSD of any health concerns well in advance of your participation in this program.
Students must arrive on or before the posted start date and stay through the posted end date of the program. Dates will be posted at the top of this page. WPI housing will be available from the start date to the end date. If students plan to arrange any personal travel before or after the program, they will be responsible for arranging and paying for their own housing.
Past Costa Rica students have:
- Evaluated the phase-outs of HCFC's in refrigerants to guide regulatory measures and recycling to reduce global warming
- Analyzed supply chain, marketing and retail venues of responsible fishing products with Marviva
- Determined the best approach for an agro-ecotourism route close to San Jose with the Ministry of Agriculture
Learn more about past projects on the Project Center's website: Costa Rica Project Center Website
Students will be billed the following fees by WPI for the WPI semester they are away. These will be billed to you on the regular WPI billing cycle (i.e. Fall semester, and Spring semester).
In addition to this, students should budget for the following while away:
- WPI Tuition and Fees
- WPI Housing Fee (if applicable)
- WPI Meal Plan (if applicable, reduced for term away)
- Global Projects Program Housing and Program Fee (for applicable programs)
- Local transportation
- Airfare (if applicable)
- Tourist activities and incidentals
- Project related incidentals
A breakdown of all estimated expenses for Costa Rica can be found here: Costa Rica Estimated Expenses
WPI is committed to the health, safety, and security of all students who participate in our programs. While off-campus study can present unique challenges and inherent risks, we believe that careful research and diligent planning are keys to a safe and rewarding project experience. WPI utilizes several key resources to understand the risks of travel in the countries where we operate, and we urge you to consult these same resources as you research your intended destination. You can also discuss questions and concerns about your travel plans with on-campus resources such as the IGSD, the Student Health Center, the Office of Disability Services, and the Student Development and Counseling Center. It very important that you consider your own health requirements as you review what sites are most interesting to you, and that you carefully review the published information concerning health, safety, and security at the resources linked below prior to applying to a particular site. Make sure to visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for the most up to date health and vaccine information, and review all information in relation to your own health and any medical conditions you may have.
Costa Rica Project Center Website
Student travel website from the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Country-specific travel health information from the Centers for Disease Control
Country-specific page from the U.S. Department of State