Pathfinder Costa Rica is a unique international experience intended to create sustainable lifestyles and growth opportunities. Using the Path-Finding guidance model, we combine your self-exploration with adventure, cultural immersion, Spanish immersion, education, and community service. Your unique experience is designed to awaken and inspire as you get ready to tackle the next phase of your life.
Self Exploration & Growth
At Pathfinder, we use a three prong approach to give you the most memorable and meaningful experience possible. Our goal is to facilitate positive self-reflection and healthy habit formation while you enjoy the richness of Costa Rican culture and the beauty of Costa Rican nature.
- Path-Finding Guidance - Meet as a cohort with a life coach to process and reflect on your shared and personal experiences.
- Sustainable Lifestyles Course - Complete a "Healthy Lifestyle Plan" every week after learning about each of the 9 Dimensions of Healthy Living. The final product is a plan that describes your own version of wellbeing for each dimension, as well as strategies to maintain and regain wellbeing in all 9 dimensions.
- Meaningful Hands-On Experiences - Our intentional living model offers adventure trips, community service, wellness activities, Spanish immersion, internships, and cultural immersion - all supported by individual guidance.
Two Gap Options
Gap Semesters - Gap Semesters is an option for students who want to design their own experience but prefer to have a set start and finish date, and potentially experience it with a cohort. With this program, students can select internships, Spanish classes, community service opportunities, and wellness activities that align with their interests and goals. Additionally, the program includes exciting excursions that students can enjoy with their peers.
Individualized Path - The Individualized Path option offers even more flexibility, allowing students to select the dates and length of their experience without being bound to a specific start or finish date. While there may not be peers to experience Costa Rica with depending on the chosen dates, students have the freedom to fully customize their experience with their chosen internships, Spanish classes, community service, and wellness activities. While there are no included excursions in the base program, students can opt to add on as many excursions as they'd like.
Both the Gap Semesters and Individualized Path offer unique gap year experiences that allow students to customize their time in Costa Rica to their interests and preferences. Whether students prefer the structure of a cohort or the flexibility of a fully customized experience, both options provide opportunities for self-exploration and adventure while exploring a new country and culture.
Design Your Experience
Internships and Spanish Classes
- Wildlife & Adventure: Wildlife Refuges
- Spanish Language Intensive: Spanish Classes
- Sustainable Agriculture: Local Farms and Farmers Markets
- Education & Social Work: Teach english at local schools, Local Orphanage service
- Culinary Arts & Hospitality: Local Boutique hotel and restaurant, Bakery
This is a snapshot of some of our most popular internships and classes. Altogether, we have over 40+ internships and community service opportunities to choose from. For a full list, contact us!
- Soup kitchen
- Recycling Center
- Elementary schools
- Daycare facilities
- Center for persons with special needs
- Municipal market
- Community Salon
- Children’s foster home / orphanage
- Retirement home
- Gym membership with multiple class options
- Yoga, tai chi
- Mountain / road biking clubs
- CrossFit outdoor park
- Local swimming pools
- Sports: Soccer, basketball courts, and volleyball, jogging
- Rock climbing gym
Homestay Family - Living with a homestay family provides a unique opportunity to experience local culture, improve language skills, and gain a deeper understanding of the community, making it a valuable and enriching aspect of a gap experience.
- Private bedroom?
- Shared bathroom
- Weekly laundry
- 3 meals per day
- Local mentor of similar age
Atenas, Costa Rica - Atenas is the perfect location for exploring Costa Rica's rich culture and natural beauty. With its central location, Atenas is an ideal jumping-off point for excursions to some of Costa Rica's most famous national parks, such as Manuel Antonio and Arenal. You can hike through lush rainforests, soak in natural hot springs, and enjoy the country's stunning beaches, all just a short drive from your base in Atenas. Known for its friendly locals and traditional food, Atenas is a great place to learn about Costa Rican culture and practice your Spanish.
Gap Semesters - Our Gap Semesters are 8 to 12 weeks long depending on which semester you choose. There are three semesters per year. Summer, Fall, and Spring.
Individualized Path - The Individualized Path has no defined start or finish date. Your enrollment date and length of stay is up to your discretion.
Gap Semester Dates
8 to 12 Week Semesters
June 10th - Aug 5th 2023
Sept 9th - Dec 2nd 2023
Jan 6th - March 30th 2024
***Individualized Path operates on a rolling admissions format. Students can choose their start date. Be aware there may be no cohort depending on what dates you choose.