The List You’ll Need to Spend 3 Months in San José

So, you’re almost ready to make your trip, but are you packing the right things?

Study abroad, studying abroad, study abroad in San Jose

Pack light, you’ll be lugging these things round.

This is a list of the items that I brought and those I wish I’d brought/ hadn’t and why it was useful or not.  I packed 1 suitcase and 1 backpack and packed another bag for travel and souvenirs, I hope this helps!

What I wish I brought

  • Another towel- our homestay didn’t have towels, an extra one could really come in handy
  • More sunscreen- it is hot near the beaches, and the sunburn doesn’t help anyone
  • Another water bottle-there aren’t many places where the water is unsafe, but while traveling another water bottle comes in handy
  • A pair of running shoes- one of the only easy ways to be active here and stay out of the hot gym is to run.  There is also a soccer team with ticos and they’d be useful there
  • An umbrella- people here don’t really use rain jackets, and the downpours are rather heavy
  • A 3>2 prong charger converter-these aren’t necessary in most of the homestays, but mine was an older house and I liked to use my laptop frequently

What You’ll Want

Clothes

  • Only bring the amount of clothes that you’ll wear in one week as the host family does your laundry at least once a week.  You’ll want to bring light clothing that will easily dry as it rains most days.
  • You’ll likely want a long sleeve shirt and a pair of pants as the bus rides during excursions can get cold.
  • You may also want dressier clothes for some of the dinners or going out.

Shoes

  • Bring shoes that’ll be good for hiking, going to the beach, daily-wear, and something dressier.
Study abroad, studying abroad, study abroad in San Jose

Keens- my most un-regretted purchase prior to leaving.

Bathroom stuff

  • Nothing is provided and most of it is much more expensive here- bring enough shampoo/conditioner/lotion/etc. for your entire trip in addition to dental hygiene products, period products, and nail clippers.

Swimming/ Beach excursion stuff

By far one of the best parts of the trip for me, the water feels awesome, and there are a  lot of cool places to explore

  • 2 swimsuits-there are no real standards of modesty here, all beachwear is accepted and worn by ticos
  • 1 pair of goggles-if you have them, many of the beaches have cool underwater rock formations or coral that are fun to explore
  • Sunglasses, Sunscreen, After-burn lotion/Aloe, Bug spray- the sun is hotter here, and many of the beaches have sand flies, protect yourself!

First Aid

  • Diarrhea medication (just in case, almost everyone gets it at some point)
  • Ibuprofen/Aspirin/other pills
  • Bandages

School Supplies

  • Bring the items that you’ll want for each class in terms of notebooks and pencils, textbooks are provided and have already been paid for.

Other Useful items

  • Phone (make sure you call in and tell them where you’ll be and get an SD card if necessary)
  • Laptop (not necessary but useful)
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Headphones and MP3 player
  • A Journal-to document your time here
  • Water bottle
  • Wallet
  • Neck pillow (good for plane and bus rides)
Study abroad, studying abroad, study abroad in San Jose

You’re ready to come experience this beautiful country!

Allie N. is a CEA alumni.  She studied abroad in San José, Costa Rica during the summer of 2017 and is currently a junior at Ohio Wesleyan University.

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