Known as nature’s paradise and ranking high as one of the world’s happiest countries, this tiny land of 51,100 km2 (19,700 sq. miles) and only 5 million people welcomes expats from all over the world with open arms. Regardless of whether you're moving on your own or relocating with a company, at CDS, we understand that moving can be a challenging transition for families. We’ll do our best to ease your process and offer you our assistance every step of the way.
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Life in Costa Rica

The standard of living in Costa Rica draws expats from all over the world. Life in Costa Rica is colorful, busy, and full of smiles.


Costa Rica is divided into seven provinces: Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, Guanacaste, Limón, Puntarenas, and San José. However, these provinces are in five main regions: Central Valley (GAM), North Coast, Arenal/Monteverde Mountain Region, Southern, and Central Pacific.


Most companies, schools, and services are in Central Valley (GAM). Coastal or rural towns like Jacó, Tamarindo, Dominical, Uvita, Ojochal, Atenas, Grecia, and Puerto Viejo are popular with expats.


Costa Rica has a few major highways mainly connecting to the coasts. The government offers Universal Health Insurance; however, it's best for expats to obtain private insurance.


Education in Costa Rica

The education system in Costa Rica is very accessible. If you're interested in sending your children to school in Costa Rica, the process is simple.


Public Elementary, Middle, and High School in Costa Rica are free and mandatory, giving the country an educated population. Five public universities are also free of charge.


Many private educational institutions offer diverse programs and options for those who want to receive more than what they'll obtain at a public school.


When You Arrive

CDS offers families who are new to Costa Rica a warm welcome at various events throughout the year. The CDS Admissions Team are key to new families and welcomes your inquiries. The Parent Association offers a warm welcome via our Buddy Families: existing CDS families act as "buddies" to help new families settle into the school and wider community.


New Family Welcome Events

CDS provides several formal and informal opportunities for new parents to meet the school administration and other families, such as:


Parent Representatives

Parents volunteer as Class or Divisional Representatives and on the PA Executive Committee. They're an excellent source of information, so do contact them for any questions you have.


Learning Spanish

New families in Costa Rica can take advantage of the city's international language services.


For relocating families that need to learn Spanish outside our school academic program, Costa Rica offers many different options and programs in the city or surrounding areas.


International language services are found in San José, such as Berlitz, the European School of Languages, Centro Cultural, Wizard, Cervantes, Intensa, and others. Also, many major private and public universities offer Spanish lessons all throughout the country.


Many programs tailored to expats and foreigners offer fun language learning options such as "Spanish and Surf," "Do Yoga While Learning Spanish," or "Spanish and Culture."