Daily Life in San Jose, Costa Rica

Hello folks! I currently have the pleasure of living in the gorgeous country of Costa Rica and the privilege of living in a small community just outside of the capital city San Jose. This little suburb of San Jose is called Sabanilla, where the majority of the study abroad students in the program live, is a quiet family-oriented community. After living in Philadelphia for almost 5 years, living in such a quiet environment is very refreshing.

Each day of the week I have a different routine to accommodate my class schedule that changes slightly day to day. On Mondays and Wednesdays, my classes begin at 8 am with Vulnerable Populations in Latin America, followed immediately by Tropical Diseases in Latin America at 10 am.  To get to class on time for my 8 am, I get up at 6:30 and take the 7:15 bus to make my class on time. The bus itself takes around twenty to thirty minutes depending on traffic and costs 325 colones, so just about 50 cents USD. After reaching San Jose I have a 15-minute walk from the bus stop to Hospital Clinica Bibilica where we have the majority of our classes. Vulnerable Populations lasts two hours and is then followed by Tropical Diseases, also lasting two hours. After this class, I head to Universidad Latina de Costa Rica on the bus where I complete my last class of the day, Spanish. In this specific Spanish class, we are focusing on medical terminology and patient dialog interactions. Spanish starts at 1:30 and generally ends around 3:30. Since ULatina is much closer to Sabanilla than Clinica Biblica, my friends and I often take the 15-minute walk.

Tuesdays and Thursdays I only have my Health Care in Latin America class that runs for two hours, 10 to 12. To get to this class on time I have to leave about an hour before class starts because traffic is very heavy during this time.  For the first half of this trip, I had observational rotations on Tuesdays from 1:30 to 4, but in the latter half I now have rotations on Thursdays at the same time.  However, my after-class routine hasn’t changed much as I get lunch at the Subway in the hospital food court with friends After each day is finished, I like to come home and take a small rest to reset from the day before joining my host family in the living room for dinner and family time.  Once dinner is finished, I round out each of my days with some homework and calling friends and family back home.

Finally, we have long weekends every weekend as we don’t have classes on Fridays. The majority of the term, the weekends are completely up to us but generally twice a month we have program field trips. On these trips we engage with local culture and get to experience more of Costa Rica.

Pura vida,


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