THE LANGUAGE INSTITUTE
Intensive Spanish language classes for this program are held at CRLA, the most prestigious language institute in Costa Rica. CRLA was established in 1989 and employs more than 25 full-time seasoned Spanish instructors. It is located in Los Yoses, San Pedro, an upper middle-class residential neighborhood only minutes from downtown San José.
All the instructors are accredited with the Costa Rica Department of Education and hold university degrees in Spanish, Education, Linguistics or Philology, from either the University of Costa Rica or the Universidad Nacional (the two most prestigious universities in the country). The instructors are very patient, and skilled at working with all levels of Spanish learners from around the world.
HOMESTAY PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The homestay families that we use for this program are carefully vetted and selected based on their hospitality, friendliness and warmth. They all offer clean lodging in safe middle-to-upper class neighborhoods 15-20 minutes away from the language institute.
We personally meet all the family members and inspect each home thoroughly. The most important quality we consider when choosing a host family is that they are genuinely interested and excited about hosting a foreign student. Even though they receive a fee for this service, their priority is sharing their home, language and culture with international guests.
We have created a network of diverse, local Costa Rican families (ie. with or without children and extended family members, single, married, older, younger, religious, non-religious, etc.) in order to better accommodate all of our international guests' preferences.
Upon acceptance into the program, we will speak with you about your host family preferences (pets, diet, smoking, no children, etc.) and make every effort to place you with a matching family.
Prior to arrival to Costa Rica, each guest will receive contact information and a detailed profile on their host family (ie. names, ages, interests, diets, personality, etc.). In return, each host family will receive similar information on each guest.
Living with a Costa Rican family is a wonderful experience and the best way to fully immerse yourself in the culture. If for any reason you do not feel completely welcome or content with your family, do not hesitate to let us know and we'll immediately make the necessary changes.
HOMESTAY PROGRAM DETAILS
You will have your own private bedroom which will be cleaned periodically. In the majority of the homes, guests share a bathroom with other family members. There are, however, a few homes where private bathrooms are available.
Your Costa Rican homestay family will provide you with two daily meals (breakfast and dinner).
If you are vegetarian, or if you have any food allergies or other special diet requirements, please let us know and we will be glad to accommodate you. Just indicate your dietary preferences prior to arriving to Costa Rica. This information will assist us in selecting a family for your homestay experience. Families are aware that many types of food are new to you and that you will like some dishes more than others. The families that we work with are accustomed to getting constant feedback from guests regarding the food. So please feel free to let your family know what dishes you prefer.
Your family provides laundry service and a weekly change of bedclothes. You need to bring your own towels for the homestay.
Coming & Going
Your host family will give you a front door key to your home and you are free to come and go as you wish. However, as a courtesy, please consider informing the host mom if you are planning to stay out overnight or return later than usual.