Living and working in Costa Rica

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Target audience

Employees preparing for an assignment in Costa Rica and their partners


No prerequisite


This seminar aims at significantly improving the ability of the participants to meet the challenges of living and working abroad. The objective is to enable them to identify the stumbling blocks that lie ahead and to be able to adapt and integrate in Costa Rica.

At the end of this training, participants will have acquired the necessary skills to:

  • Be aware of their own cultural baggage
  • Understand Costa Rican context and culture
  • Analyze situations in which misunderstandings may arise and identify ways of communicating more effectively
  • Reduce and manage the symptoms of culture shock
  • Understand Costa Rican mindset, work practices, decision-making processes and negotiating styles
  • Strike the right balance between personal and professional life

Added value

  • Conducted by an intercultural expert consultant
  • Decoding the Nomad’ Profiler
  • Alternating theory and practical exercises
  • Access to Digital Learning for 1 year
  • Sharing best practices and personalized action plan


Module 1 : Successful personal integration in Costa Rica

1. Cross-cultural awareness : the key to a successful expatriation

  • Taking stock of one's own cultural baggage
  • Culture shock and the integration process
  • Identifying and going beyond cultural stereotypes

2. Key aspects of Costa Rican culture

  • A Latin American country with extensive resources.
  • Ticos, Nicas, Cabecar, Bribri, Afro-Costa Ricans: a multi-ethnic population
  • A well entrenched tradition of Catholicism
  • Remarkable economic and political stability

3. Costa Rican values and behaviour patterns

  • Hospitality, friendliness and a general love of life
  • The significant and fundamental role of family life
  • A macho tradition
  • Religious fervour
  • The importance of the work ethic
  • Laughter and a sense of humour
  • Tico-time”: an adaptable view of time
  • Dances and festivities: collective social activities

4. Practical day-to-day information

  • Focus on the host town or city
  • Transport, administration, housing, security, hygiene and healthcare
  • Social life, leisure activities
  • Learning the language
  • Schools, extracurricular activities, sport

Module 2 : Successful professional integration in Costa Rica

1. The Costa Rican corporate world

  • A hierarchical company structure involving concerted decision making
  • The importance attached to status
  • The marketplace, employment and staff turnover
  • The role of the state, the church and the authorities

2. Effective communication with the Costa Ricans

  • Implicit and roundabout communication
  • The importance of formalities
  • An extensive use of gestural communication
  • The advantages of learning Spanish

3. Working with Costa Ricans teams

  • Taking account of regional differences
  • The right combination: leadership, qualifications and experience
  • Patience, discipline and perseverance
  • Building trust and confidence: giving praise where praise is due

4. Successful meetings and negotiations with the Costa Ricans

  • Discovering and understanding the local situation
  • Giving relationships that personal touch and developing social links
  • Time and deadline management
  • Written contracts, their interpretation and implications

5. Final handy tips

  • Caution, patience and humility
  • Social standards, gifts, business cards, dress code
  • Sensitive subjects: politics, history, religion
  • Humour: a double-edged sword

Intra-company coursesDuration: to define
Interested in customizing this training to your needs ? Contact us.

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