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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Study Abroad: Education Sources: Costa Rica

This guide is intended for a study abroad course at the College of Education.

Map of Costa Rica


Travel Information

The U.S. Department of State provides information on traveling to various countries, including passport and visa requirements.

Costa Rican Ministry of Public Education

Ministerio de Educacion Publica logo

The Costa Rican Ministry of Public Education, or Ministerio de Educación Pública, features reports, official policies, and publications compiled by the ministry. For example, Ingles Para La Conversacion De Turismo is an English-language publication discussing teaching English in the Costa Rican educational system, including policies and curriculum guidelines. The Ministry website is available in Spanish, but some publications, such as the one linked above, may be in English.

Natural Disasters and School Emergency Drills

Information about school emergency drills such as fire drills or drills for other natural disasters may not be available online. However, another way to be prepared is to be aware of some of the common natural disasters that occur in Costa Rica:

  • Earthquakes: Costa Rica is in an area that is prone to earthquakes. Most are rather small and do not cause damage.
  • Volcanoes: Costa Rica has 5 currently active volcanoes that occasionally result in ashfalls and spewing rocks in the surrounding areas.
  • Hurricanes and flooding: Hurricanes occasionally make landfall in Costa Rica but are not usually a major concern. During the rainy season (from April through mid-November) it rains nearly every day, which may cause occasional flooding in some areas.

Background Information on Education System

For a brief overview of the Costa Rican educational system and related topics, try this article available in the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library's reference collection:

These reports available from the OECD, UNESCO, and the CIA also provide useful background information about Costa Rica and its educational system:

Spanish-Language Resources

Print Books

These Spanish-language resources from the University of Illinois library provide information on the history of education in Costa Rica.

Costa Rican Education Periodicals

La Revista Educación is a periodical associated with the Faculty of Education at the University of Costa Rica. It is a semiannual Spanish-language journal publishing research on topics such as access to education, the right to quality learning, conditions of teaching, formal and informal education, and learning methods. It is open access and available freely online. 

Cultural Norms

For information about cultural norms in Costa Rica, try these resources:

To find more resources in the library catalog, try searching using the following keywords:

  • Costa Rica -- social life and customs
  • Latin America -- social life and customs
  • Etiquette -- Costa Rica
  • Culture shock -- Costa Rica
  • Intercultural communication

Finding More Resources in the Library Catalog

To find more information about the educational system of Costa Rica, try these tips for searching the library catalog to find books, magazines or journals, DVDs, and many other resources:

  • Start with our local online library catalog to search the 14 million volumes we have on this campus.
  • In addition to these resources, you can connect to over 70 other libraries in Illinois using the I-Share catalog and request books be sent to you.

Here are some keywords that may be useful in your search:

  • Education -- Costa Rica
  • Education -- Latin America
  • Education, higher -- Costa Rica
  • Education -- curricula
  • Curriculum planning
  • Curriculum evaluation