School of the World Costa Rica Learning Vacation
Posted by Jack Albritton on December 12, 2012
“I heard about SOTW from a work colleague who had been twice before. I figured if he went once and liked it enough to go back a second time, it was definitely worth my while to see what it was all about. I was not disappointed in the least. Even before I arrived, the staff was warm and helpful, answering all of my neurotic questions via email. I arrived to a beautiful room with a private bathroom, sink and fridge (decided to spring for a single since this was my only summer trip) and great surroundings. The school itself isn’t huge, but it is lovely. There is a shared kitchen, yoga studio, photography lab, pool and common area (mostly outdoors, Costa Rican style). You have your choice of yoga, photography, spanish or surfing. I chose photography and surfing for my three weeks. The next time I go (yes, there will be a next time), I will probably add yoga to the mix! The surf instructors, photography instructor, yoga teachers and Spanish teachers were all amazing and helpful. They had plenty of talent to share and were very patient. Even the house staff were friendly and eager to help in any way they could.
The staff can help you plan weekend excursions – I did a day trip canopy tour, a weekend in Montezuma, and a booze cruise to Tortuga Island. Classes themselves involved field trips and excursions. We went somewhere new every day for photography, allowing me to see neighboring towns and markets. The Spanish class sometimes joined us on our adventures. Surfing lessons broke us down into groups by ability level – from the super newbies to some pretty regular surfers. I felt comfortable with my group and my instructor.
A unique feature of SOTW is that start dates are rolling. I stayed for three weeks, others were there for durations ranging from one week to six! This meant I got to meet a lot of new people from all over the world over the weeks, but a few of them were there my entire visit. This also meant my experience was very different each week. My first was full of party people, lots of bars, lots of dining out. The second week was a little more mellow as the crowd got a little older, and the third week was a mix of old and young – nights out, dinners in, and lots of mellow fun. Overall, I enjoyed each week in different ways.
I highly recommend this as a learning/experiential vacation. It is low key, low stress and fun. The town has plenty to offer. The school has plenty to offer. You won’t leave disappointed, but it definitely is what you make of it! I went solo and made friends I am sure I will keep for life! Pura Vida!! Enjoy your trip!!”