Costa Rica Schools


Costa Ricans enjoy one of the highest literacy rates in the world: the country boasts 96% literacy in those 10 years old or over.  Many of Costa Rica’s early founders, such as the first president Jose Castro, were former teachers concerned with education in Costa Rica. In 1869, the country became one of the first in the world to make education both free and obligatory.  In those days, only one in ten Costa Ricans could read and write.

Public Education

The last 20 years have seen a significant boosts to educational standards. Since the 1970’s, Costa Rica has invested more than 28% of the national budget on primary and secondary education.  The Constitution mandates that public expenditure in state and higher education should not be less than 16% per annum of the gross domestic product. The Ministry of Public Education is in charge of awarding scholarships and assistance to those in need.

Elementary and High schools are found in every community.  Elementary school has 6 year levels, and high school has 5 year levels.

Although the country lacked a university until 1940, Costa Rica now has four state-funded universities and many smaller private universities whose number has increased dramatically in the last decade due to the difficulty of being admitted to state-funded universities. The government facilitates primary or secondary diplomas for adults who failed to complete their education as children.

Private Education

Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast schools in the Guanacaste province enjoy an exceptional reputation.  There are schools to suit most ages, budgets and education goals.  Students from the various academies have been accepted to esteemed North American universities and colleges such as McGill in Canada and MIT in the USA.  Some of the more established private schools in Tamarindo and the surrounding area are:

Green Life Academy
Green Life Academy

We are currently one of the few schools in Guanacaste offering fully accredited grade completion. When your student completes a grade at Green Life Academy, he/she will receive a certificate of grade completion from the United States.  In addition to our advanced, gifted curriculum, we offer language courses; gardening and survival/ecological projects; Costa Rican social studies and Spanish; as well as various hiking and outdoor excursions.

Lake Side International School

Lakeside is ideally situated a short 15 minute drive from the local beach communities of Playas del Coco, Ocotal and Panama.  We are approximately 15 minutes from the Liberia International Airport, and within easy travel distance of Liberia and all northern Nicoya Peninsula towns.
Both private and public bus service is available within the surrounding areas from Liberia to Santa Cruz and all points in between, including the local beach communities.

La Paz Community School

At 3.5 years of age, La Paz Community School becomes another good option – it’s exactly 50/50 for English/Spanish and is internationally certified.

The Country Day School

The Country Day School is certified and affiliated with a San Jose School, though its for older children.  The list of universities that accepted Country Day alumni is impressive.
Gold Coast Learning Center – one of their students just got accepted to MIT