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Best 10 International Schools in San Jose

International Education in San Jose

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Costa Rica and its capital city San Jose have long had a reputation for being progressive. It has a stable democracy and forward-thinking social policies, places environmental protection among its highest priorities, and has an excellent and free public education system.

So why should you consider sending your child to an international school in San Jose? There are two big reasons: language and curriculum. Being a Spanish-speaking nation, Costa Rica’s public schools obviously teach through Spanish. This can pose a problem for expat children with no grasp on the local language.

San Jose’s international schools teach mostly teach through English and Spanish, or Spanish and the language of the international school’s primary curriculum (e.g. French, German). The International Baccalaureate and American curricula remain the most popular. Both are taught in international schools all over the world, so it’s much easier to keep your child’s education consistent when they move to a new country. Plenty of international schools in San Jose also offer a dual curriculum with the IB or American curricula and the national Costa Rican one.

The public school calendar in Costa Rica runs from February until November or December, because the country’s summer season is from November to January. International schools may choose to follow this calendar, or stick to the northern hemisphere calendar of September to June. The choice is up to each individual international school.

Another thing that varies from school to school is the admissions process. Demand for international school places can be high, and waiting lists are not uncommon for the most sought-after schools. You will usually be asked to provide passports, proof of vaccinations, previous school reports, and to complete admissions forms. Depending on the school your child may also need to sit an entrance exam or attend an interview. Regardless, it’s best to apply as early as possible.

The international schools in San Jose aren’t located in the centre of the city, but rather spread throughout the outskirts and neighbouring towns in the Central Valley. These include Santa Ana, San Antonio, La Guacima, and Granadilla among others.

You’ll find all of the usual features you’d expect from international schools around the world in San Jose. That includes native English-speaking teachers, small class sizes, additional language classes, and usually a school bus service. School sizes can range from a few hundred students to over a thousand.

One difference between international schools in San Jose and elsewhere is extracurricular activities. Although every school is different, the extracurricular program in many of the city’s schools is mostly focused on sports. Some may offer art classes and other options, but sports are usually the primary option. Luckily, most schools have excellent sports facilities.

Below, we have compiled our top 10 international schools in San Jose. However, there are another 11 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in San Jose based on your requirements.

Best 10 International Schools in San Jose

Out of a total of 21 International Schools in San Jose.

Based on the aggregated preferences of our users in the last 30 days.

The British School of Costa Rica

The British School of Costa Rica is dedicated to serving the Costa Rican Community and the International Community resident in Costa Rica by offering an excellent, English/Spanish bilingual education.
Curriculum
IB, British
Languages of instruction
English, Spanish
Ages
3 to 18
Yearly fees - 2021/2022
from: ₡ 3,900,000
to: ₡ 8,079,500
Reviews
(1 review)
Your personal score

Lighthouse International School

We are an international school with the vision of transforming lives through character education with a solid foundation of academic excellence.
Curriculum
IB, American, Christian
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 18
Yearly fees - 2021/2022
from: ₡ 4,860,356
to: ₡ 6,652,713
Reviews
(7 reviews)
Your personal score
Curriculum
IB, American
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 18
This school does not make their fees public.
Your personal score

The European School

The European School was founded in 1989 by Anne Aronson who longed to see in her adopted country, Costa Rica, a school emphasizing the Liberal Arts and the Humanities such as she had known during her formative years in France and in her university education at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Curriculum
IB
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 18
Yearly fees - 2021/2022
from: ₡ 4,763,789
to: ₡ 7,878,574
Your personal score

Pan-American School

* Fully bilingual (English-Spanish)
* First and only IB Continuum School in Costa Rica.
* Multicultural and international (30 nationalities represented).
* Mid-sized community, family environment.
* Careful attention to each child and their specific needs.
* Beautiful modern campus, with lots of gardens and recreational spaces.
* Students have an opportunity to earn 3 diplomas: IB, US High School, and Costa Rican Baccalaureate.
* Strong ESL and SSL language support programs; strong special needs program.
Curriculum
IB, American, Costa Rican
Languages of instruction
English, Spanish
Ages
2 to 18
Yearly fees - 2021/2022
from: ₡ 4,680,440
to: ₡ 8,779,360
Your personal score
Curriculum
IB, Christian, Costa Rican
Language of instruction
English
Ages
2 to 18
This school does not make their fees public.
Your personal score

American International School of Costa Rica

International students and teachers, US diploma, family-oriented environment
Curriculum
American, Costa Rican
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 18
This school does not make their fees public.
Your personal score

United World College Costa Rica

We are a non-profit organization that offers a two-year pre-university residence, focused on experimental learning for students 16 to 18 years of age.
  
Our educational program consists of three main areas: Academic (International Baccalaureate Diploma), co-curricular, and residential life. All learning activities and opportunities incorporate at least one of the competencies of UWC Costa Rica: social responsibility, diversity, conflict transformation, sustainability, leadership and healthy lifestyle.
 
Our mission is to instruct a diverse group of young people to become happy, healthy and committed individuals, capable through their leadership and commitment to create positive change in their communities and contribute to building a more peaceful and sustainable world.
 
Being the only UWC in Latin America, we offer a bilingual program, opportunities to learn more about the region's social, cultural and political history, and options to explore Costa Rica. Costa Rica's long history of peace, democracy and environmental protection, as well as the absence of a national militia, make the country the perfect setting to develop the UWC Costa Rica curriculum.
Curriculum
IB, Costa Rican
Languages of instruction
English, Spanish
Ages
16 to 18
This school does not make their fees public.
Your personal score

Berkeley Academy

Berkeley Academy is an exclusive, private (K-12) U.S.- Costa Rican AP/College Board Certified school serving the international community located in Santa Ana, Costa Rica.
Curriculum
American, Costa Rican
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 18
This school does not make their fees public.
Your personal score

Golden Valley School

Golden Valley School is an international, trilingual educational institution whose mission is "educating for life, developing better men and women". We offer an excellent academic program that encourages our students to be true to their ideals and become agents of change in an evolving world. We believe that each child has a special talent to develop and an innate ability to learn and acquire skills throughout life.
At Golden Valley School, teaching and learning are based on a process of continuous improvement through a comprehensive and holistic education, centered on values such as; discipline, respect, peace, solidarity, conviction, excellence, integrity, and protection of the environment.
Curriculum
IB
Languages of instruction
English, Spanish
Ages
3 to 18
This school does not make their fees public.
Your personal score

Find the Best International School in San Jose FOR YOU!

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