Studing abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica? - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Old 10-14-2006, 12:27 PM   #1
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The travel bug just bit me again...Spending 5 weeks in Europe wasn't enough and a really great opportunity has come up through my university to study in the summer (July 7 - Aug 4) at the University of Costa Rica in San Jose.

Of course I came to travelpunk first for my reseach on the country and on San Jose. I got a little worried when I read the reviews and comments about San Jose. For the most part, I've read that it is a dirty and dangerous city . I'm going to be spending 4 and a half weeks there with a family of one of the students from the University of Costa Rica. Nothing is set in stone yet so I can easily back out of this.

I plan on traveling for 2 or 3 weeks after my classes let out before heading back to the States to start my fall semester. I want to do all the ecotourism stuff and the beaches/nightlife. I'm not really concerned about the logistics of that because I've been reading that everyone loves it. I'm most worried about spending 4 and a half weeks living in San Jose.

What does everyone think of living and studing in San Jose, NOT visiting as a tourist?
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Old 10-15-2006, 04:07 PM   #2
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Well the time I spent in San Jose as a tourist was not fun. it is dirty and dangerous, lots of pick pockets and diesle trucks.

I was only there for two days. But I wouldn't go back.

I can't say about living there.. if you're living with a family it may be different. and if you can remove that 'TOURIST' label you may be ok.
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Old 10-16-2006, 12:53 AM   #3
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I didn't care much for San Jose because it's a typical big city, and there's so much more in Costa Rica to see that's more beautiful and interesting - however, I would *not* turn down an opportunity to study there. The people are still awesome and I bet there's a lot to discover in the city's little nooks and crannies that the average passerby (myself included) would not really notice.
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:29 PM   #4
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PEOPLE COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG...SORRY!! PEOPLE DONT STAY IN SAN JOSE LONG ENOUGH TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOCK IT!!..SAN JOSE IS A GREAT CITY IT MIGHT NOT BE LONDON OR PARIS BUT IT HAS ITS THING, I DEFINETLY AGREE THE BEACHES AND OTHER PARTS OF C.R. ARE MUCH BETTER BUT THERE IS A LOT TO SEE IN S.J....ITS SMALL, IT DEFINETLY IS DIRTY AND YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO WALK THE CENTER OF SAN JOSE AFTER 9 PM, BUT IVE LIVED HERE ALL MY LIFE IVE NEVER GOT ROBBED, AND I HAVE TO SAY I LOVE S.J....AND YOU NOW SAN JOSE IS NOT ONLY THE CITY CENTER, IF YOUR GOING TO BE IN UNIVERSITY OF COSTA RICA, THATS IN SAN PEDRO..ITS LIKE 10 MIN AWAY FROM ACTUAL SAN JOSE BUT ITS A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE, ANY DAY OF THE WEEK SAN PEDRO IS FULL OF STUDENTS IN ''LA CALLE DE LA AMARGURA'' WHERE YOU HAVE REALLY GOOD PUBS, BARS WHATEVER..AND THE CHEAPEST BEER IN COSTA RICA, THEN ALSO NEAR SAN PEDRO YOU HAVE BARRIO LA CALIFORNIA ALSO FILLED WITH REALLY GOOD BARS... UHMMM YOU HAVE ESCAZU WHERE YOU HAVE THE MORE EXPENSIVE CLUBS, BUT EXPENSIVE FOR LOCALS BUT NOTHING COMPARED TO AMERICAN OR EUROPEAN CLUBS..SAN JOSE ALSO HAS REALLY GOOD MUSEUMS IF YOUR INTO THAT THING..THERE ALWAYS SOMETHING GOING ON HERE I PROMISE YOULL NOT BE BORED!..
DONT BE SCARED OF SAN JOSE REALLY...ITS A CITY IN DEVELOPMENT I HAVE TO SAY.. BUT IT HAS THEATERS, RESTAURANTS, CAFES..ANYTHING YOU WANT..JUST BE AS CAREFUL AS YOU ARE IN ANY CITY... AND I SWEAR YOUR GONNA FINISH LOVING SAN JOSE...ANYTHING I CAN DO FOR YOU REALLY ANYTHING JUST WRITE..IL BE MORE THAN GLAD TO HELP U OR SHOW U AROUND...RELAX..
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:41 PM   #5
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I really appreciate everyones input! I'll keep you guys up to date about if I go and thanks for the detailed info ticapacker. I might have some other ones in the future.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:42 PM   #6
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Hey Ticapacker, ALL CAPS is screaming

Didn't much care for SJ either, but I loved Mercado Central. I have a habit of visiting the local markets when I get somewhere to grab the pulse of the city. Good way to get your bearings and get an idea of the locality.

Sure, there are parts you want to avoid as a tourist/traveler because of safety issues, and any city has them. Hell, here in Baltimore I can tell you a half dozen areas to stay the hell out of!!!

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Old 11-29-2006, 07:37 PM   #7
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Just an update for you guys!

I got accepted and I'm 99.9% sure I'll go! Gotta go over some financial stuff with my parents and check the dates ect, but as of now its almost definate.

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Old 11-29-2006, 08:00 PM   #8
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that's awesome man!
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:51 PM   #9
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Congrats! What I would do now is start reading some guidebooks so you can plan your weekends with cool trips away from the city. And PM Ticabackpacker...I'm sure he'd be happy to take you under his wing when you get there.

Keep us posted once you get there!

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Old 11-30-2006, 12:38 PM   #10
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Good luck!!
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