As my stay here in Costa Rica is coming to an end, I thought I’d offer some advice to the next group arriving on what to pack and what not to pack. In this blog post, I’ll share three things I wish I’d brought with me and three things I wish I’d left at home.

First, I highly recommend buying your school books from former students instead of buying new ones. This will save you time, money, and weight.

The books you need for the course are easily accessible in the Facebook group “Kulturstudier sell/buy books”. You can contact a student selling the book that matches your Spanish level and pick them up at the school when you arrive.


Second, don’t pack too many clothes. In both San Jose and San Isidro, there are many thrift stores or “tiendas americanas” with cool pieces at great prices. Additionally, there are a lot of cute markets where you can find anything from handcrafted jewelry and accessories to souvenirs.

If you’re like many of us, finding space for all your new pieces when packing for your trip back home can be problematic if you brought too many clothes to begin with. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that many of the white tops and T-shirts we brought turned yellow and green from sunscreen.

Third, I personally recommend buying mosquito repellent in Costa Rica instead of brands like Mygga from Norway/Sweden/Denmark. I find the local brands to be more efficient and cheaper than the options available at home.

In addition to what I wish I hadn’t brought, I also have a short list of what I would recommend bringing from home.

Firstly, you need to buy an adapter before arriving in Costa Rica because the plugs here are American, not European. You can find these at Clas Ohlsson or at airports if you forget to buy one before leaving. The one I used is shown in the picture below.

Moreover, I would bring sunscreen and beauty products from home, especially if you use specific brands. Not only is it difficult to find similar products to the ones at home, but some are actually more expensive in Costa Rica since they are imported.

Last but not least, I highly recommend bringing a small backpack with you. It’s not only useful during school days when you need to carry your books, but also during weekend trips or hikes.

Also, during the week in Longo Mai, it was handy to have a backpack to carry your stuff from project to project. If you plan on traveling more after your stay in Costa Rica, it’s recommended to pack your luggage in a bigger backpack rather than a suitcase, as it’s easier to carry around.

I hope you find these six recommendations useful. Best of luck with your packing when the time comes. Enjoy your stay in beautiful Costa Rica!

Pernille <3