When should I enroll?
At least one month before your desired travel date. Early sign-up is encouraged.
What kind of experience do I need?
Some related experience like teaching, tutoring, coaching, or camp counseling is ideal. The most important thing is that you are prepared to guide teaching or tutoring sessions and work independently at times. Volunteers many be responsible for independently creating new lesson plans or other curricular materials. It’s important to be open minded and expect an environment that may feel disorganized in some cases.
If I'm not accepted into the program will I receive a refund?
Can I make a location request?
Yes. You can choose between San José and Manuel Antonio.
Please note that Manuel Antonio is a beach area, but the host families are in Quepos, a short bus ride away. You will be able to enjoy the beach almost every day if you want.
What else can I do while I'm there?
San Jose 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 if you are so inclined.
What are host families like?
You’ll stay with a middle class Costa Rican family. For shared rooms, you are placed with 1-3 other people of the same gender and age group, but private rooms are available at an additional cost. Breakfast and dinner are included seven days a week. You’ll have a key to the house and are free to come and go as you please, but must respect the routine and house rules of your host family.
Can I be placed with or close to a friend?
We can usually place friends in the same area.
Is there Internet access at every household?
The majority of our families have Internet access in their homes.
Are there resources to help start my program?
Yes! We’ll send pre-departure information and are available to answer any direct questions you have for us. You’ll also have an ESL crash course and orientation session to get you started in your first week.
Should I bring my U.S. phone with me?
You could simply use your existing phone with a local SIM card purchased in Costa Rica (check with your U.S. carrier to make sure your phone allows this), or purchase a relatively inexpensive phone just for your time there. If you're traveling for a short period, you could also use your existing device with WiFi for services like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger to contact friends and family back home. You can find more information here.
Do I need to buy a roundtrip flight?
When entering the country you may be asked to show proof of a flight (or other transportation) out of Costa Rica.