Studying abroad in Costa Rica gives you the chance to travel around not just Costa Rica but also Central America. There’s plenty to do and always somewhere to go. But if you are anything like me, it catches up to you quickly. It’s nice to always have a new place to go, but I know that traveling takes a lot out of me and I need to take a break every now and then. Not to worry, staying in Zapote gives you the chance to stay at home but also have much to explore. You are living in the biggest city of Costa Rica, explore!
There is always something to do in San Jose. If it there isn’t then you aren’t looking in the right places. To start off with, San Jose is a big city and there are things to do there everyday. There is the central market and the artesian market, which is open everyday, besides Sunday, of course. There you can go shopping for almost anything. It’s a great place to get one-of-a-kind souvenirs. Not only do I love shopping at the artesian market, but also it is the best time to practice your Spanish! They also try to speak English with you, but if you tell them you want to practice your Spanish they are always excited and willing to help you! If the markets aren’t quite what you are looking for, San Jose has plenty of shops and stores to browse, peruse, window shop and purchase from. San Jose is a typical big city and offers so much to do.
If you want to have a more laid back weekend, but still have the urge to explore Costa Rica, day trips are always a great option. There are a couple beaches that people travel to and explore only for the day. I personally have been to Puntarenas, but there is also Jaco and other smaller places to go. Both offer shops in the street, local sodas to eat at, and, of course, the beach. It’s great to just spend the day there and come back home for dinner that night. Spend a day in the sun and come back to your own bed.
There are always, always soccer games going on. If not any professional league games, then there are always pick up games or club games. Next to the National Stadium are a couple fields and there were probably about 7 or 8 games of soccer going on, open to the public to watch and cheer on the players. Soccer is a way of life here in Costa Rica, definitely something every student abroad should experience.
One last option is the University of Costa Rica. The University is always having events. From concert in the parks to movie screenings to more cultural events there is always something happening on the campus.
If nothing is appealing to you, there is nothing wrong with just kicking it with your host family. I spent my Sunday morning with my Mama Tica and we went to the “feria” and bought all the fresh fruits and vegetables for the week. Make sure you always experience something in your weekends. Put yourself outside of your comfort zone and experience the culture. So many opportunities will present themselves don’t let them pass by!
Written by Chelsea Bates, Social Media Journalist