Why it’s awesome: Monteverde is one of those dream-come-true study abroad destinations, particularly for the adventurous at heart. First off, the region itself is characterized by incredible cloud forests and breathtaking biodiversity — don’t be surprised if you spot more unique plants and animals (hello, sloths and monkeys!) in this lush, green paradise than you thought possible. There are also tons of opportunities for excitement and adventure, whether it’s through hiking, zip-lining, or exploring the canopy. Plus, the towns of Monteverde and Santa Elena are relatively small and plenty authentic, giving students the chance to really become immersed in the Costa Rican way of life.
What you’ll do during your experience: During your SPI experience in Monteverde, you’ll take Spanish immersion courses for college credit at a local language school and also practice speaking Spanish with your homestay family (so, don’t be surprised when you’re able to converse freely with locals after just a few days!). You’ll also get to take part in a worthwhile volunteer service project, which could range from helping to renovate a school or community building to volunteering in a local orphanage (giving back to your study abroad community while simultaneously practicing your Spanish skills = awesome). And if it’s beach time you want, don’t worry – the Monteverde itinerary includes excursions to both Isla Tortuga and the Guanacaste Coast.
What you’ll gain from the program: A true sense of what it means to be Costa Rican, college credit for your time in the classroom, a vastly improved level of fluency in Spanish, volunteer service hours in exchange for helping out your local community, sloth sightings, and all the zip-lining your heart desires!