Costa Rica: International Student Living Costs Guide 2024

How much is the cost of living in Costa Rica for international students?

Latin America’s happiest country attracts everyone, from ex-pats to adventure seekers, wanting to experience “Pura Vida,” or Pure Life. Additionally, as its educational system is recognized worldwide, learners flock to upgrade their credentials and enjoy breathtaking natural wonders, delicious cuisine, and magnetic culture.

With that, we created a complete guide on the cost of living in Costa Rica for international students. We also included valuable tips on budgeting your expenses in the country. 

Tuition Fee in Costa Rica for International Students

Tuition fees significantly affect the cost of living in Costa Rica for international students. It is often the most costly, but it’s an investment that reaps excellent rewards after!

Aside from being one of the best, The Latin American University of Science and Technology, or ULACIT, is the only bilingual university in the nation, ensuring exceptional communication for all academic purposes. Furthermore, it is in the top 5% of the best universities globally and is the leading private university in Costa Rica.

ULACIT offers study fields in Economics, Business Management, Latin American culture and history, International Relations, Political Science, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Spanish language for just 2,190 EUR per semester. 

Cost of living in Costa Rica for international students

After the tuition fee, below is a detailed table on the cost of living in Costa Rica for international students courtesy of


One-bedroom apartment in the city580.92 EUR
One-bedroom apartment outside the city432.62EUR
Three-bedroom apartment in the city1,180.84 EUR
Three-bedroom apartment outside the city824.78 EUR

Monthly utilities

Electricity, heating, water, etc73.89 EUR
Mobile phone with a monthly plan with calls and 10GB+21.03 EUR
60 Mbps or more internet connection at your accommodation46.78 EUR

Grocery items

1.5 liter of bottled water2.16 EUR
One liter of milk1.71 EUR
A loaf of bread2.34 EUR
One kg of rice2.05 EUR
A dozen of eggs3.10 EUR
Local cheese7.30 EUR
One kg of chicken fillet8.17 EUR
One kg of beef11.45 EUR
One kg apple4.07 EUR
One kg banana1.42 EUR
One kg tomato2.41 EUR
One kg onion2.34 EUR
One kg potato2.41 EUR


Monthly pass37.42 EUR
One-way ticket0.90 EUR
Starting rate of a taxi ride1.53 EUR
One liter of gasoline1.40 EUR


A pair of midrange rubber shoes106.59 EUR
Leather shoes92.35 EUR
Jeans68.54 EUR

Leisure and miscellaneous 

Gym membership52.44 EUR
Cinema ticket6.48 EUR
Three-course meal for two at an inexpensive restaurant8.99 EUR
McDonald’s combo meal8.63 EUR
Cappuccino3.14 EUR
0.5-liter local beer2.70 EUR
.33 liter imported beer4.14 EUR
.33 liter Coke or Pepsi1.83 EUR

Tips on how to budget the cost of living in Costa Rica for international students

Planning and preparation for study abroad, which includes budgeting for the cost of living in Costa Rica for international students, is easy if you follow our suggestions below! 

Share this life-changing experience with your friends

Enrolling with friends not only motivates you to continue, but it also lessens the cost of accommodation and other expenses. Also, imagine living in an exciting new environment with your favorite people and making good memories! 

Choose shared apartments and student dormitories

Aside from being less costly, renting in student dormitories and shared apartments allows you to make new acquaintances and bond with the locals. You will establish meaningful connections that help in personal and professional growth. 

Use libraries and online learning materials 

Instead of buying additional books, utilize learning resources in university libraries and online references. Not only will you learn additional information, but you can also discover hidden books that will fuel other interests.

Support local markets

Instead of dining out, be familiar with the local market and buy fresh produce. Aside from being reasonably priced, it is healthier. You also get to choose what meal to satisfy your cravings daily.

Be familiar with public transportation

Another essential part of the cost of living in Costa Rica for international students is the daily transportation. Opt for buses and trains as they are more affordable. Download vital apps like Moovit and “Yo Viajo Bus Info Costa Rica” to check routes, daily schedules, and more.

Engage in free activities

Instead of enrolling at the nearest gym for your physical health, immerse in Costa Rica’s natural wonders. Swim on the beach, trek in national parks, and jog in designated paths. You may also join university organizations to meet new friends who share your interests. 

You will discover more ways to save on daily to monthly expenses once arriving in the country. Furthermore, our Budgeting tool can effectively aid in preparing the cost of living in Costa Rica for international students. 

In a nutshell

Careful planning and consideration of your financial capabilities will help you prepare for the cost of living in Costa Rica for international students! More importantly, learning is an investment, and the rewards are ultimately satisfying, personally and professionally. Expect to be the best version of yourself after a semester or year abroad

Take the first step and enjoy “Pura Vida” in Asia’s happiest country! Beyond Abroad offers the easiest and most affordable way to study in Costa Rica. Apply now and enjoy the benefits of enrolling overseas! You may also schedule a free counseling session today, and our team experts will answer all your concerns!

For further motivation, visit our Student Experiences section and learn from our past global learners about their memorable learning experiences in America, Asia, and Europe!

Finally, regularly visit our Blog Section to learn everything about studying abroad! We cover everything, from living expenses at in-demand locations to the best tips and news! 

About the writer

Mark has been a professional content writer for four years. He is an expert in creating articles about education and studying abroad. His writings don’t only inform; he also wants to establish emotional connections with readers.