About the Program
Below we have provided some of the answers to the most commonly asked questions about our program. If you still have questions, please feel free to get in touch with us by visiting our Contact Us page.
- To promote international understanding and friendship between the people of Oregon and Costa Rica.
- To provide students from both countries the broadening educational experience of living in another culture, with opportunities to develop conversational skills in the language of the host country.
- To strengthen ties of partnership between Oregon and Costa Rican high school students and their families.
Special Note: As part of the exchange, student travelers are expected to host and recommend 2 other families that are interested in hosting a Costa Rican exchange student for four weeks during the winter, typically from mid December to mid January.
Up to 25 Oregon high-school students travel to Costa Rica in June, live with families, and attend school for 4 weeks or 8 weeks (No Studies). They are accompanied by two chaperones.
Departure from Oregon is in mid June and students return in mid August. Students typically stay in Costa Rica for 8 weeks, however some students have selected a 4 week option. Travelers depart shortly after the end of the school year; exact dates will be set at the start of the application cycle.
Oregon students go to Costa Rica to improve their Spanish skills, attend high school, and experience family life in Costa Rica. This enables them to be both bilingual and bi-cultural. Students have an opportunity to know Costa Rica and to make long-lasting friendships.
Students can apply to Host or apply to Travel by visiting the links at the top of the page.
The cost for families to host a Costa Rican student is minimal. Families are expected to provide room and board for the Costa Rican student. The student brings money for his/her incidental expenses.
The cost for a student to travel is the same for both the 4 week or 8 week program. This includes airfare and all basic costs EXCEPT medical insurance, immunizations, passport charges, and incidental expenses for gifts and extra activities. Find more information about the specific cost each year by visiting the Travel section of the website.
We recommend that each student take $400 for incidental expenses in Costa Rica. Need-based scholarships are available.
You can use the following form to apply for assistance. Financial Assistance Form
Partners of the Americas originated in 1964 under President John F. Kennedy’s administration. “Partnering” states in America with Latin American countries enabled the two to form friendships, cultural exchanges, and assistance in various forms. Under this program, Oregon was partnered with Costa Rica. The original exchanges were between businessmen and politicians but then expanded to include senior citizen, teacher and student programs.
In 1966, Mrs. Margaret Byers, a Salem Spanish teacher, took five boys and five girls for a few weeks to stay in Costa Rica. A few years later, the Partners Of The Americas Oregon-Costa Rica High School Exchange Program began. It has expanded to two full months and up to 25 students.
Partners of the Americas is a non-profit organization made up of several committees of volunteers: students, teachers, schools, business people, professionals and families–all interested in promoting increased understanding and cooperation between Oregon and Costa Rica.