CPI Frequently Asked Questions

THE PROGRAM

Why should I study Spanish in Costa Rica?

There are many different countries in the world where one can study Spanish. Costa Rica, however, offers some unique advantages. Costa Rica is known around the world for its stable, democratic government. After abolishing its army in 1948, Costa Rica funneled a large portion of its national budget toward education and health care; today, the country boasts the highest literacy rate in Latin America, and a high-quality educational and health system.

Costa Rica also is home to tremendous biodiversity. The country is teeming with wildlife and natural beauty, allowing visitors to climb a mountain volcano in the morning and relax on the beach in the afternoon. Costa Rica has a long-standing commitment to environmental conservation; about 13 percent of the country is dedicated to national parks, and over 25 percent is protected in the form of biological and environmental reserves.

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Why should I study at CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica?
How long are the CPI Spanish programs in Costa Rica? When can I start my Spanish immersion experience?
How quickly will I learn Spanish with CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica?
What is the recommended length of stay at CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica? How many hours of Spanish instruction are best?
How does dividing my time among the three locations work at CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica?
Who typically attends CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica?
How many levels of Spanish are offered?
Is one-on-one Spanish instruction possible at CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica?
Does CPI have experience teaching advanced students? Heritage students?
Do I have the same Spanish professor every week?
Can children study Spanish at CPI Costa Rica?
Can I study Spanish with my family? And with the homestay model, can all of us stay in the same host family?
Will I obtain a certificate for my Spanish studies at CPI Costa Rica?

HOMESTAY

Why choose a host family? What are the CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica host families like?

All of our host families are carefully screened, and are accustomed to housing foreign students. The families are very patient and go out of their way to help our students learn Spanish.

Our families are diverse - young couples without children, couples with children (of all age groups) and older couples with grown children who no longer live at home. We always do our best to accommodate students' wishes concerning homestay families. If the student does not state a preference, we typically place them with couples of the same age group.

The majority of CPI homestays are within 20 minutes walking distance of the school. If your homestay is more than a 25-minute walk from the school, we will pick you up and bring you to classes without extra cost.

The standard of living of CPI homestay families is middle-class by Costa Rican standards. However, most students will find a simpler way of life than to which they are accustomed, especially in Monteverde and Flamingo. Students should remember that although its economy is better than most in Central America, Costa Rica is still a country in development and many homes do not have the same consumer items which are found in North America and Europe. Each homestay is clean and safe, and all students have a private bedroom.

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Who is my CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica host family?
Can families, spouses or travel companions stay in the same CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica homestay?
Should I bring a gift for my CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica homestay family?
How long may I stay in my CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica homestay?
What is the food like in Costa Rica? I am a vegetarian; can the CPI Spanish Immersion host family accommodate my needs?
What are my options if I am not interested in a homestay while I am studying Spanish at CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica?
Does CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica offer a diverse and inclusive environment?

TRAVEL

How safe is Costa Rica?
Good question as advanced preparation is key to a positive travel experience! Costa Rica is a serene country, committed to upholding its history of peace and diplomacy. The nation also depends greatly on tourism from the United States, Canada and Europe; each visitor is warmly welcomed with respect and kindness. However, travelers should always use their common sense and best judgment, especially when visiting major cities.
Does CPI provide transportation between Heredia, Monteverde, and Flamingo?
I want to book my plane flight. What day should I fly into Costa Rica to begin my classes?
Any arrival tips for my international flight into Costa Rica? If my plane is delayed, will I still be picked up at the airport by a CPI Spanish Costa Rica driver?
How do I arrive to CPI Flamingo if I choose to fly into the Liberia International Airport (LIR)?
How do I get to school on the first day?
This will be my first time in Costa Rica; how do I get around?

GENERAL

Location of CPI: San Joaquín, Monteverde and Flamingo

San Joaquín

San Joaquín de Flores is a small town, just close enough to San José to enjoy the benefits of a big city, yet far enough away to maintain a sense of serenity outside the traffic and tension of San José. This distance allows students to experience the people and culture of a small Costa Rican community, relatively free of tourists and other English speakers.

Monteverde

Monteverde offers students the opportunity to visit Costa Rica's famous cloud forests and enjoy a variety of exciting outdoor activities while studying Spanish. With its clean air, beautiful mountain views, and easy access to the Monteverde and Santa Elena cloud forest reserves, CPI Monteverde is the ideal location for nature, hiking, and birding enthusiasts.

Flamingo

Flamingo is a small beach town with a distinctive rural feel. Guanacastecos, or people from Guanacaste, are well known for their warm hospitality. Since the school is on the beach, this location, like Monteverde, is an excellent choice for those who wish to combine language study with a vacation.

Are there times when the school is closed, such as holidays?
What vaccinations do I need to enter Costa Rica?
How much money should I bring? Will my debit card work in Costa Rica?
What is the best way to communicate with my family and friends back home?
Can I use my cellular phone in Costa Rica?
What kind of volunteer opportunities are available?
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