I came to Costa Rica wanting to learn to surf and I left it knowing how and wanting more. I found that the surf teachers at the school are skillful and committed to my success. As a beginner surfer who has never done any kind of board sports, I was so thankful that my teachers were patient, encouraging, and also pushed and challenged me to succeed. In the surf classes there are a mix of levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The teachers meet each student's level of surf and provide coaching according to the student's skill. During my stay, the ratio of teacher to student was no more than 1:3.
During my 3 week stay, I also took yoga and photography classes. I have practiced yoga before and I saw my practice grow and develop in ways that I didn't expect. Both the teachers are amazing. Alejandra, has studied the Anusara style of yoga, so her alignment cues are skillful and nuanced. Both the teachers, Alejandra and Catalina, are skillful teachers and I see that they often adjust the class to the level and energy of the people in the room. For myself, I really enjoyed the classes when they pushed me hard and challenged my body, but I also enjoyed the more restorative classes when my body ached for days of surfing. Coming home, I now realize the importance of being committed to one teacher who I can get to know and trust and also for the teacher to understand my body and history of practice.
The photography classes were a lot of fun. Carlos is a fun guy who is encouraging and also builds on the skill levels of the students in the room. He is a professional photographer who studied fashion photography in New York. I have taken a few photography classes before and still found the photography classes very valuable because Carlos showed me functions on my camera that I did not know, went over some basic composition theory which for me is always a good review, and critiqued the photographs at the end of the week. Another highlight of the photography classes were the outings to places around Jaco that I would not have known to go. We visited a mix of places that often showed the authentic side of Costa Rica, which included small towns, a fishing village, pristine resort beaches, and the crocodile river.
The School of the World is an amazing place to stay. It's beautiful and airy. If you are able to splurge on private accommodation, then I suggest that you do so because the rooms are beautiful. The shared rooms are also very good - each room has their own washroom, fridge, and kitchen area. They also offer home stays, which is very valuable for people who want to learn Spanish. The school was very full during the time I stayed (end of December to mid January).
All the staff at the school are friendly and very helpful. The program coordinator always responded to emails in a timely manner and during my stay she was always very helpful and kind. She also helped me book an adventure package. The maintenance staff are very kind and do a very good job. I am very thankful to them!
The School of the World is 5 min walk a way from the touristy restaurants and shops and the beach.
I started my 3 week travel going solo and then my friend met up with me during the last week. It's really easy to meet new friends from all around the world! It's also a fun way to spend a vacation with a group of your friends. Some people stay for a week, some for months, and some intend to stay for a year or two.
I hope to come back again!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.