Who operates the language school?
The on-the-ground program provider is Maximo Nivel, with whom InterExchange has collaborated for years on offering affordable Spanish immersion and other cultural exchange programs. They will be your program provider, there to support you from the school and throughout your time in Costa Rica.
How is COVID-19 affecting the program?
Our number one priority is your health and safety. In light of the unfolding global circumstances surrounding COVID-19, our language school partner is happy to accept your enrollment form and will notify you once travel to Costa Rica is possible. Online classes are available, if you don’t want to wait to start learning!
I’m an absolute beginner. Is there a class for me?
Absolutely. We recommend doing a little practice (maybe online) before arrival but welcome total beginners and often have beginners on the program.
I’m already conversational in Spanish but want to continue working on the details. Can I join?
Yes! In this case you might consider private lessons or a mix of private and group lessons, to ensure you have some one-on-one time with an instructor to focus on your specific goals.
What else can I do while I’m there?
San José is central and an ideal leaping off point for weekend excursions. Coasts, mountains, rainforests and volcanoes are all within 2-4 hours driving. Many participants also add a few days after programs to travel. If you stay in Manuel Antonio you’ll no doubt spend lots of time lounging at the beach! There are also kayaking, rafting and sailing day trips at your fingertips. With other students and volunteers around, and weekly activities either planned or suggested by the program, it’s not difficult to meet new people.
Can I stay with a friend?
Yes. Please let us know in advance and we’ll arrange this for you.
I’m a vegetarian – will there be vegetarian food available if I stay with a host family?
Yes, host families have experience with vegetarians/vegans and various special diets, but please let us know in your application so we can find you the right placement.
How will I get around in Costa Rica?
Walking is a great, free option, but buses are also very inexpensive and support staff will provide info on using public transportation or taxis. If you plan any excursions during weekends or after your program, buses are usually the way to go.
How can I stay in touch with friends and family back home?
You’ll have access to computers and high-speed internet at school. We recommend bringing a tablet or other personal device, as computer access can be limited during busy hours, but WiFi is available. There are also internet cafés available throughout San Juan and Quepos. Most host families have WiFi at their homes but this is not guaranteed.
If your phone is unlocked for use with a foreign SIM card, you should be able to get onto a local phone plan while in Costa Rica.