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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 the top 10 international schools in San Jose according to our users. However, there are another 12 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.

Recommended Schools

Pan-American School

Pan-American School is fully bilingual, first IB Continuum School offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), and Primary Years Programme (PYP) in Costa Rica.
Curriculum
IB, American, Costa Rican
Languages of instruction
English, Spanish
Ages
2 to 18
This school does not make their fees public.

Best 10 International Schools in San Jose

Out of a total of 22 International Schools in San Jose.

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

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 - 2022/2023
from: ₡ 4,284,309
to: ₡ 5,862,000
Reviews
(7 reviews)

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.

Pan-American School

Pan-American School is fully bilingual, first IB Continuum School offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), and Primary Years Programme (PYP) in Costa Rica.
Curriculum
IB, American, Costa Rican
Languages of instruction
English, Spanish
Ages
2 to 18
This school does not make their fees public.
Curriculum
IB, Christian, Costa Rican
Language of instruction
English
Ages
2 to 18
This school does not make their fees public.

United World College Costa Rica

As the only UWC in Latin America and the Caribbean, UWC Costa Rica offers a bilingual program and opportunities to learn more about the region’s social, political, and cultural history and explore Costa Rica. The country’s long-standing history of peace, democracy, environmental protection, and the absence of a national military provide the ideal setting for the College’s strong experiential learning curriculum.
UWC Costa Rica is located in Santa Ana, San José, and it is transitioning to a new space in San Isidro, Heredia, offering many learning opportunities in nature for the new generations; a campus surrounded by 40 hectares of a nature reserve is an ideal place for an inverse and transformative experience in connection with nature. Our current campus at the heart of Santa Ana allows students to engage with the Costa Rican community directly while still surrounded by nature.
The core learning experience at UWC Costa Rica is based on three educational programs, all working around our 5-year Strategic Plan and following our Sustainability Framework.
Curriculum
IB, Costa Rican
Languages of instruction
English, Spanish
Ages
16 to 18
This school does not make their fees public.

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
This school does not make their fees public.
Reviews
(3 reviews)

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.

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 - 2023/2024
from: ₡ 4,550,812
to: ₡ 7,557,838
Reviews
(5 reviews)

Humboldt Schule

Humboldt Schule is a German international school.
Curriculum
German
Language of instruction
German
Ages
3 to 18
Yearly fees - 2023/2024
from: ₡ 5,035,000
to: ₡ 5,035,000

Lincoln School

Our school is characterized by academic excellence, strong character development, holistic learning, and a supportive community. We offer an International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum program, a Babson College alliance, and prioritize arts and sports as essential components of education. Our overall community values inclusivity and school spirit, making our school a welcoming and supportive environment for all.
Curriculum
IB, American
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 18
This school does not make their fees public.

Find the Best International School in San Jose FOR YOU!

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