What Costa Rica Offers

  • Spanish language immersion
  • Friendly, hospitable people
  • Stable government
  • Responsible eco-tourism
  • Peaceful politics
  • Proximity to the U.S.
  • Family-oriented culture
  • Educational opportunities
  • Temperate weather year-round
  • Excellent medical care within private U.S. affiliated hospitals

NSA's location in Costa Rica is no accident-Costa Rica is an experiential learner's paradise. Because of Costa Rica's strong environmental and educational values as well as her unparalleled natural resources, opportunities for experiential learning abound in subject areas such as marine biology, tropical botany, tropical biology, geology, and agricultural sciences.

In this increasingly complex and global world, the hazards of ethnocentrism and cultural isolation are undeniable. Whether participating in Community Service or the Homestay program, students engage their unfamiliar environment with the goal of contributing to its health and prosperity. In today's world there is a growing need for cultural understanding and sensitive, astute world citizens. New Summit Academy is committed to developing self-reliant, healthy, and empathetic world citizens.

Attracted by Costa Rica's education ethic and natural resources, many researchers, conservancies, and educational cooperatives from around the globe have set up Costa Rican facilities. Many of these facilities function as open resources for local educators. Costa Rica's emphasis on education has yielded a national literacy rate that rivals that of the U.S. and Japan, and has spawned a host of universities, cultural centers, museums, libraries, and other educational resources.

Costa Rica is one of the safest foreign travel and living destinations in the world for Americans. Often referred to as the "Switzerland of Central America", Costa Rica is politically neutral, and has enjoyed more than a half-century of domestic and international peace.

Nearly 9,000 different kinds of flowering plants grow in Costa Rica, including more than 1,300 species of orchids. To date, nearly 850 species of birds have been identified, which is more than are found in all of the United States, Canada and the northern half of Mexico combined. The country is also home to 209 species of mammals, 383 kinds of reptiles and amphibians, about 2,000 species of butterflies and at least 4,500 different types of moths.


Many university admissions departments are recommending that students spend a year abroad before college in order to mature through involvement with a foreign language and culture. With hundreds of excellent language schools, Costa Rica has developed a reputation as the premier Spanish language instruction locale in South and Central America.

There is a healthy disorientation that occurs with a change in surroundings. Therapists, educators, and mental health researchers have increasingly capitalized on the therapeutic value of milieu change, as evidenced by the proliferation of study abroad programs, adventure learning programs, and adventure therapy programs. This disorientation provides rich opportunities for students to see the world with new eyes, and to reflect on old patterns and behaviors that they have grown accustomed to at home.

Country Overview
Though comparable in size to West Virginia, Costa Rica hosts an incredible 5% of the world’s total biodiversity.  From primary rainforests and active volcanoes to more than 800 miles of Atlantic and Pacific coastline, the country offers a rich canvas for learning adventures. Situated 11 degrees north of the equator in Central America, Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. Tourism and micro-chip exports are the country’s leading sources of income, followed by agricultural products such as coffee, pineapple and sugarcane. Home to approximately 4.5 million people, Costa Rica is a country of vibrant culture, where gracious locals welcome you to enjoy the beautiful landscapes and pura vida lifestyle that make it so unique.

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